Central Exchange’s year-long leadership development program
designed to accelerate the careers of women professionals


Take Your Leadership Skills To The Next Level

Facilitated by highly sought after leadership experts Denise Mills and Robin Sterneck, this year-long leadership development series advances leaders’ effectiveness, builds networks and connects participants with regional and global thought leaders.

Join a group of high potential women for a year-long course focused on empowering you through actionable education. From sessions with real-life examples shared by regional thought leaders to active-learning based small group sessions, you will graduate Emerging Leaders with the skills and tools to take your leadership to the next level.

*The scrolling image above are photos provided by the Emerging Leaders Class of 2021.

Embrace Excellence + Broaden Your Leadership Skill Set With:

Engaging monthly sessions, featuring highly sought after leadership experts, providing the professional development you deserve.

Intimate peer cohorts, with like-minded professionals, to exchange ideas and collaborate your leadership development.

Interactive, modern-day, real-life examples that develop your decision-making capabilities and leadership skills.

Applicable frameworks to boost your communication, operation, and innovation throughout your professional career.

Meet The Amazing Facilitators

Denise is a Leadership Development Consultant and has been working with Executive Leadership teams for more than 25 years. As Chief Mindset Officer for her firm, LeaderFuel, she is adept at challenging perspectives, identifying beliefs, and exposing blind spots that limit effectiveness in business. Denise brings expertise and insights to the Emerging Leaders program on topics such as developing dynamic teams, creating a constructive organizational culture, strategic planning and employee engagement.

In addition to being an Executive coach and master networker, Denise facilitates Executive Women Round Tables, Lean In Circles, and national consults to the members of C200, the most prestigious women’s business organization in the U.S.

Robin brings 30 years of business and leadership to our Emerging Leaders Program curriculum and conversations. Her corporate work as an investment banker, large P&L Leader, Marketing Director and Head of Talent Development bring a broad breadth of first-hand experience and strategies to the table as our participants define and refine their own leadership styles.

Robin’s ongoing work with more than 50 companies and not-for-profit organizations enable her to bring both a time-tested and fresh perspective to developing seasoned leaders in high performance cultures. As a co-founder of two major international women’s networks, and a mentor to scores of professionals, she brings both a macro and micro approach to advancing tomorrow’s leaders.

Curriculum Overview

The Emerging Leaders curriculum is a focused, best practice, experiential, research and behavioral based leadership development program.  The half-day per month, year-long program is delivered through topic specific modules, insights from executive thought leaders, study, dialogue exchange and practice.

This year participants can choose from in-person or virtual cohorts. The virtual option has been very attractive to those who’s organizations have a local, national or global presence, as well as those who travel for work and may not be able to make it in-person each month. Read the FAQs for how we are handling Covid-19 precautions for our in-person cohorts.

Success By Intent

Establish a clear view of your strengths and opportunities with assessments and coaching to support your development plan.

Your Leadership Brand

Understand different leadership styles, learn about executive presence, and create your own unique leadership brand.

Leveraging Your Network

Identify the activities that build useful networks rich in social capital and business advantage.

Strategic Thinking + Vision

Develop strategic perspective to identify and build support for short and long-term planning and transformation.

Influence + Political Savvy

Identify a toolkit of influencing skills; leverage those most effective for you and your own organization.


Hone your skills and learn strategies and tactics to optimize outcomes for daily and game changing situations.

Leading Teams + Managing Talent

Learn how to lead, mentor, and manage your human capital resources to their highest potential.

Decision Making + Risk Taking

Approaches are provided to drive reasoned decision making, understanding and leveraging our personal and corporate risk tolerances.

Managing Change

Communication, engagement, leadership and metrics tools are presented to lead and manage sustainable change in a dynamic world.

Innovation + Time Management

Lean in to create an environment where novel thinking is encouraged and applied to business solutions.

Values Driven Leadership

Great leaders lead with values. Challenge, clarify, and embed your values in your leadership strategies.

And last but not least…

Celebrate with your new professional network as you receive your certificate of completion.

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Watch the video above to hear from just a handful of previous Emerging Leader graduates on their favorite parts of the program.

And Read A Few Testimonials…

I’m wrapping up my favorite part of the past year – my Emerging Leaders course through Central Exchange. We met monthly for a few hours each month and covered a variety of topics from negotiation to influence to risk-taking.

I am not exaggerating when I say I use something from this program – whether it is a tangible tool or a bit of advice – every single day at work. The program has helped me show up better at work, be more confident and – most importantly – figure out what I ultimately want to accomplish in my career.

Rita Arens, H&R Block | Director, Bended Experiences

“We send women from Black & Veatch each year because the Emerging Leaders Program provides in-depth high quality programming and we see the difference it makes in our graduates. We believe in this investment, the women benefit as does our organization. Our graduates consistently tell us that this program has been very valuable to their development and is definitely worth the time that they dedicate to this initiative. Kansas City is very lucky to have such a unique program to help develop a pipeline of talented women leaders!”

Sheri Blauwiekel, Black & Veatch | Executive Vice President | Project Support Executive Director, B&V Energy

“This has been a year I chose to leap out of my comfort zone. One of my greatest professional accomplishments is to be a 2021 graduate of the Central Exchange Emerging Leaders program!

With a year focused on strategic thinking, influencing, innovating, negotiating and networking, through the program I met some seriously amazing women who make me want to rise up, to be more.”

Amy Clark, Red Ventures | Director, Paid Media

“We feel fortunate at UMB to have the Emerging Leader Program at Central Exchange available to our dynamic female talent. The continued focus on providing relevant development topics and top-notch facilitators is one of the many reasons our leaders have found this program to be beneficial. Our leaders have enjoyed both the professional and personal growth they experience during their time in the program. I would recommend it to any company looking to improve how they build and retain top female talent.”

Kelly Eschweiler, UMB | SVP Talent Development | Human Resources

“The Emerging Leaders Program is the best female-focused leadership development program in Kansas City. All of the participants are from outstanding companies, of all sizes, that are committed to the personal and professional growth of their valued employees.”

Amber Miller Manning, The Miller Group | President - Private Risk Management

Since 2007, 132 different companies have invested in over 700 women
to experience the Emerging Leaders program.

Some of these Emerging Leaders come from:

built a sustainable professional and personal network

increased their confidence and success levels

took on new responsibilities in their roles

measurably improved the effectiveness of their teams

directly improved the bottom line

formally took on a new role

What’s Holding You Back?

The Emerging Leaders Program takes place over 11 months to achieve sustainable development and to accommodate your busy schedule. Each session meets from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., eleven times in a calendar year beginning in October 2021.

Applications for the class of 2022 are now closed. Class of 2023 applications will open this spring!

Questions? Check out our FAQs or reach out to Ann Hackett, Central Exchange Bloch Leader.