NEL is an 11-week leadership training program designed for young professionals in Nashville. Each year, approximately 25 individuals are chosen through a rigorous selection process. NEL members participate in a series of weekly sessions led and moderated by Strategy and Leadership.

The weekly sessions feature interactive exercises, issue exploration, self-assessments, community participation, group projects and in-depth discussions with Middle Tennessee’s top community and business leaders. Past speakers have included Charlie Strobel, Ralph Schulz, Janet Miller, Howard Gentry and many others. The issues discussed have included personal values, Nashville politics, diversity, education and non-profits.

The sessions are designed to accomplish the following:

  • Educate NEL members on their personal styles, values and strengths so they can grow as leaders, motivate others and impact change intheir organizations and communities.
  • Engage NEL participants in issues important to the broader Nashville community and engage members in shaping the future of our city.


NEL is the first leadership training program of its kind in Nashville. It was founded in 2002 by Adam Small and a cadre of motivated and passionate young professionals to create an organization dedicated to the ongoing development, advancement and interaction of emerging leaders in our community.


Regarded as the premier organization dedicated to developing and molding the young emergent leaders in the Nashville community. Serving as a catalyst to congregate, engage and advance future leaders through personal development, mentorship and access to senior leadership. Recognized for our passion of learning and community stewardship, NEL’s resources, energies and skills are focused in building the foundation of leaders to forge the Nashville of tomorrow.

Additional Details

If selected, NEL costs $500 per participant. Food and drink are provided each week. The location for the weekly sessions has not yet been determined for 2017.

If you have any questions or need more information, contact Strategy and Leadership at 615.320.0039 or info@nashvilleemergingleaders.org