Ignite Leadership Development Program

Igniting leaders with the skill development to make an impact in your organization and community.


The purpose of the Ignite program is to expose participants to skills, ideas, and established area leaders, offer a space to explore personal and professional leadership development, and catapult emerging leaders into situations that create value and impact.


  • A cross-sector, diverse cohort of emerging, regional leaders who are curious to develop soft skills around self awareness, building teams, conflict management, networking, and presenting.
  • A forum, guided by experienced practitioners and regional leaders, designed for self discovery and practical applications for personal and professional development.
  • An opportunity for a hands on development of leadership and civic engagement skills in a high-impact team service project with one of Volunteer Arlington's nonprofit partners
  • Access to an alumni base of 1,500+ graduates.


The Ignite program consists of 8 half-day sessions, held once a month from October through April, and concludes with a Leadership Summit in May. Program days are from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.


  • Up-and-coming or emerging leaders from the region who are eager to grow.
  • Community-minded leaders who are seeking to make a difference in their communities.


The Selection Committee seeks a diverse cohort of established leaders who demonstrate a commitment to personal growth, civic engagement, and community impact.

If you would like to discuss the program, please contact Lisa Fikes at lfikes@leadercenter.org.

Ignite program day
Ignite program day


The application deadline for the Ignite Class of 2025 has passed.


May 13, 2024: Applications from Arlington County employees are due by 5:00 p.m.

May 24, 2024: Community applications are due by 5:00 p.m.

June 11, 2024: Applicants will be notified

July 2024: Class of 2025 Announced


Classes will meet on the following days from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, October 10, 2024
  • Thursday, November 7, 2024
  • Thursday, December 5, 2024
  • Thursday, January 16, 2025
  • Thursday, February 13, 2025
  • Thursday, March 13, 2025
  • Thursday, April 10, 2025
  • Thursday, May 15, 2025 - Leadership Summit and Commencement (followed by reception)



Leadership Center of Arlington encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of financial status.

Tuition covers the monthly programs, one ticket for the Leadership Summit and Alumni Reception, and access to our alumni directory and ongoing alumni resources and networking opportunities.

We provide partial scholarships to nonprofit and small business applicants, based on need and funds available. Scholarship requests are not a factor in the selection process.

Scholarship applications are due by Friday, May 24, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. (at the same time as the program applications). Scholarship applications will not be accepted after this date.


If you would like to discuss the program, please contact Lisa Fikes at lfikes@leadercenter.org.


Ignite Class of 2024

The Ignite Class of 2024 includes 30 leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors:

  • Lizzi Alarcón, Arlington County Government, Department of Human Services
  • Tommy Amal, National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Tanishia Bailey, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Cliff Ballena, Animal Welfare League of Arlington
  • Niall Conrick, Clark Construction
  • Jana Godaire, Chain Bridge Bank, N.A.
  • Jamari Green, Deloitte
  • Samuel Hill, Arlington County Government, Treasurer’s Office
  • Maggie Hutzel, GDIT
  • Addy Johnson, Accenture
  • Alana Kasindorf, Nestlé
  • Ta’Jah Martin, Arlington County Government, Department of Environmental Services
  • Natalie McClellan, Brookfield Properties
  • Margaret McCoy, Aspire Afterschool Learning
  • Kiana McKenna, NRECA
  • Celeste McKenzie, Leadership Center for Excellence
  • Samantha McNamara, Arlington County Police Department
  • Adeline Mishler, EY
  • Dymand Mitchell, Aridai
  • John Musso, Arlington Chamber of Commerce
  • Laney Parrott, AHC Inc.
  • Jasmine Pierce, Accenture Federal Services
  • John Reynolds, Maximus
  • Aida Salamanca, Arlington Free Clinic
  • Rachel Seay, The Craddock Group
  • Joseph Shook, Clark Construction Group, LLC
  • Carli Sims, Gilbane Building Company
  • Zachary Smith, Brown Advisory
  • Katherine Thompson, LMI
  • Margaret Vaughan, Strategic Engineering Solutions


Classes will meet on the following days from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, October 12, 2023
  • Thursday, November 9, 2023
  • Thursday, December 7, 2023
  • Thursday, January 11, 2024
  • Thursday, February 8, 2024
  • Thursday, March 14, 2024
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 - Regional Leadership Summit and Commencement (followed by reception)


If you would like to discuss the program, please contact Lisa Fikes at lfikes@leadercenter.org.


Janetta Brewer (Lead '17)
Christina Dietrich (Lead ’23)
Will Flagler (Lead '17)
Takis Karantonis (Lead '10)
Kris Krider (Lead '19)
Rupal Lamorena (Lead '19)
Matt Owens (Lead '21)
Mike Richardson (Lead '13)
Debby Taylor (Lead '99)
Diana Waller (Lead '18)


Mary-Claire Burick
Stacy Cook (Lead '19)
Charles Davidson
Scott Nycum (Lead '14)
Mary Ellen Payne (Lead '11)
Kristine Wood (Lead ' 15)

Siarra Foster, Ignite Class of 2020

“Being in a leadership position, you don’t always have the resources to connect with people who are in similar situations in different sectors. It was really cool to be in the room with like-minded individuals who were going through similar things to what I was going through.”

Siarra Foster, Bowlero Arlington, Ignite '20