LEADS is directed by a dedicated group of experts with decades of experience delivering executive education, catalyzing transformative start-ups and working in Gateway Cities. The program was successfully piloted in Lawrence, Mass. in 2018–2019 and has expanded to host cohorts in Lawrence, Haverhill, and Lowell in 2020–2021, in collaboration with the Lawrence Partnership (Lawrence), Lowell Plan (Lowell), and Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce (Haverhill).
The concurrent delivery in all 3 communities allows for the development of an impact cluster, recognizing that many structural issues must be dealt with at the regional level. The Merrimack Valley Impact Cluster (Lowell, Haverhill, Lawrence), is strategically supported through a partnership with the Essex County Community Foundation, providing supplemental programming and networking development to amplify regional opportunities.