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Our Mission

The mission of Leadership Allegany is to provide a dynamic learning environment where adult professionals who live, work or have vested interest in Allegany County grow their leadership abilities, create connections, and impact their communities.

Core Values

Our core values, based on the Social Change Model of leadership, include:

  • Consciousness of Self

  • Congruence

  • Commitment

  • Collaboration

  • Common Purpose

  • Controversy with Civility

  • Active Citizenship


Our History


January 2009

Houghton University and The Greater Allegany County Chamber of Commerce (GACCC) collaborated to establish a county wide leadership program.


A five-member committee invested a full year of research, fundraising and curriculum development resulting in the successful launch of the first cohort.



Alfred State College came on board to join as co-chair.

After GACCC ceased operation, the Cuba Chamber of Commerce further solidified its long term support by formally joining this initiative. Houghton University, Alfred State College, and the Cuba Chamber of Commerce continue to partner to offer this unique leadership experience.

Program Learning Outcomes

We seek the following outcomes for each professional who invests the time and effort to complete the program.



Phyllis Gaerte

Leadership Allegany Co-Chair

Phyllis serves as Alumni and Community Engagement Director at Houghton University. She has been involved with Leadership Allegany since its inception. 

Phone: 585-567-9621



Jonathan Hilsher

Leadership Allegany Co-Chair

Jonathan works at Alfred State College as Asst. Vice President of Wellbeing & Student Support. He is a Leadership Allegany graduate from the class of 2013.

Phone: 607-587-4077 




Program Co-Chairs
Phyllis Gaerte, Houghton University

Jonathan Hilsher ’13, Alfred State College

Bruce Campbell '11
Allegany County Area Foundation

Michele Conklin ’15
Palmer Opera House

Michelle Denhoff '18
Allegany County Planning Office

Judy Hopkins
Allegany County Industrial Development Agency, Vice Chair

Trina LaFleur ‘12
ACCORD Corporation

Brian Loucks
Cuba Chamber of Commerce, SCORE

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