Experience an engaging program of unparalleled growth and leadership development.

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. From sessions with real-life examples 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.

What’s Included
Apply for the Class of 2025 today!
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On June 4th You Are Invited To Connect with
Past, Current, and Future Emerging Leaders!

Discover firsthand success stories, gain valuable insights into leadership, and forge meaningful connections.

Learn More and Register Today

Broaden Your Leadership Skill Set


Learn ways to improve your communication, operation, and innovation throughout your career with a curriculum that is delivered through topic specific modules, dialogue exchange, best practices and insights.


Develop your confidence and learn how to become a more collaborative, creative and innovative leader with interactive, real-life examples of what currently works for the modern leader.

Embrace Excellence


Exchange ideas, collaborate on new perspectives, and learn the concepts that matter today with the people that will change tomorrow – like-minded professionals who come from a wide variety of roles and industries.


Choose to be in an in-person or virtual cohort. Each session meets monthly from October through August, from 8:30 – 11:30 am CST.

Full Circle Leadership


As an Emerging Leader, you will receive a free year-long membership to Central Exchange providing you access to additional programs to assist with your leadership journey ($480 value).  Learn more about being a CX Member here.


After graduation, you’ll join a community of fellow Emerging Leaders Graduates with over 1,000 professionals from 155 companies, 16 states and 5 countries. Between alumni events, private social media groups, 1:1 meetups, and future programs, you’ll make connections that will last forever.

Emerging Leaders Alumni

Curriculum Overview

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.

Meet The Leadership Experts

Denise Mills

Denise Mills 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 nationally consults to the members of C200, the most prestigious women’s business organization in the U.S.

Robin Sterneck

Robin Sterneck 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.

Emerging Leaders Class of 2025 Details

TIMELINE: Cohorts gather once a month from 8:30 – 11:30 am October 2024 through August 2025

FACILITATORS: Denise Mills and Robin Sterneck


  • Engaging monthly sessions with a curriculum that is delivered through topic specific modules, insights from executive thought leaders, study, dialogue exchange, and best practices.
  • Intimate peer cohorts, with like-minded professionals, to exchange ideas and collaborate leadership development.
  • Interactive, modern-day, real-life examples that develop decision-making capabilities and leadership skills.
  • Applicable frameworks to boost communication, operation, and innovation throughout your professional career.
  • A free year-long membership to Central Exchange providing access to additional programs to assist with your leadership journey.


Apply By August 19, 2024

Need help asking your company to pay for Emerging Leaders?
Download this customizable Email Reimbursement Template and Brochure.

*Employees of CX Partners receive a $500 discount and non-profit rates are available. See the FAQs for full details.

Who is an Emerging Leader?


who want to grow in their careers
and move into a leadership role


who are ready to begin leading
and empowering their team


who are looking to add to their current leadership skillset and increase their impact

Since 2006, 155 companies have invested in over 1,000 women from 16 states and 5 countries to experience the Emerging Leaders program.

built a sustainable professional and personal network

increased their confidence and success levels

implemented one or more ideas discussed in class

took on new responsibilities in their roles

directly improved the bottom line

measurably improved the effectiveness of their teams

formally took on a new role

Emerging Leaders Class of 2022 Blue Cohort

Emerging Leaders come from organizations such as:

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

I’m wrapping up my favorite part of the past year – my Emerging Leaders course through Central Exchange. We met each month for a few hours 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 for my team, 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 | CX Board Member

“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

“About a month before graduation, I received the best yearly evaluation that I have had in my career to date.  Emerging Leaders has played a large part in my growth this year. The content of the program has challenged me to think and evaluate myself more than I ever have before about who I am and who I want to be as a person, colleague, peer, and leader. I have also met some outstanding women during my time that have inspired and given me the confidence I needed to take that next step.

Thank you to Denise and Robin for the time and work they put into the program and for the inspiration and confidence they bring to the women who have the opportunity to be Emerging Leaders.”

Kayla Curiel, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, Children's Mercy Kansas City | Director of Trauma Services

“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

“My cup was filled each month I attended the Emerging Leaders sessions. Taking the time out for yourself, your growth and your career is the best thing to do for yourself, which I know can be hard for us as women to do. Denise and Robin are the kind of teachers and mentors you need in your life. They don’t tell you what you want to hear, they tell you what you need to hear. No one is in control of your career but yourself and it’s up to you to take the action. Do that by signing up for Emerging Leaders.”

Emerging Leaders Alum, Class of 2022

As someone in the later stages of a successful career, I fully admit I came in quite skeptical about a program with “emerging” in the title… However, EVERY SINGLE SESSION provided to me useful tips / tricks and insight that I have since applied to everyday situations, tough challenges, and even toward my future career and life plans! Thus proving my initial thoughts wrong, these newly learned skills weren’t just aimed toward the early career (or “emerging”) leaders, but truly for everyone!

I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of this great program and thoroughly enjoyed the helpful guidance and teachings from Denise and Robin. If you haven’t signed up for this Central Exchange leadership program, run, don’t walk, and do it today! I promise you won’t regret it!

Kerrie Greenfelder, Burns & McDonnell | Engineering Director

“Emerging Leaders was an amazing way to both make new connections and gather new tools for leading in our ever changing environment. It was a great reinforcement of things I thought worked well as well as a new perspective on different ways to develop myself and others throughout their careers.”

Kaitlin Gill, KCNSC, managed by Honeywell FM&T | Technical Manager

“Emerging Leaders is a wonderful opportunity to add to your leadership toolkit and build your professional network. The ladies in the program are so supportive of each other. I even gained friendships from various cohorts during the program that I know will be long-term professional and personal connections.”

Angelia Ward, UMB Bank | Senior Business Contiuity Analyst

“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

“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

Watch the videos below to hear from Emerging Leaders Alumni.

Alum Panel Discussion Recorded in July 2022 (panel begins at 02:55)

Promotional Video Recorded in 2019

What’s Holding You Back?

Don’t miss your chance on being a part of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2025!

Fill out the 15-minute application before submissions close on August 19, 2024.
Program acceptance occurs on a rolling basis and an invoice will be sent to your billing contact upon acceptance.


Need help asking your company to pay for Emerging Leaders?
Download this customizable Email Reimbursement Template and Brochure.

You have questions? We have answers.

Frequently Asked Questions
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