Emerging Leader Fellowship Program

June 19 – 24, 2016, New York City

The International Downtown Association has selected 26 of the industry’s brightest professionals for the inaugural year of the Emerging Leader Fellowship Program. These senior staff members hail from three countries and 18 provinces or states, including Atlanta, Auckland (New Zealand), Denver, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Toronto (Ontario, Canada), and Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada). Read the press release.

Congratulations to Beth, Bianca, Brian, Dominic, Frederick, Gary, Jason M., Jason S., Jeff, Jennifer B., Jennifer L., Jenny, Jessica, Jordan, Judith, Kate, Miranda, Pegg, Randy, Samantha, Sara, Teneka, Tim, Todd, William, and Winfield!


The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a week-long experiential program in June that will bring together a cohort of IDA professionals from within the urban district management industry. The fellows will learn essential leadership and place management skills, and gain practical tools in the areas of place-based economic development, the live-work-play experience, and public-private partnerships.

The program features intensive instruction delivered by professors from Baruch College –The City University of New York (CUNY), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Coro New York Leadership Center and technical in-the-field training from IDA professionals within several BID organizations across the city. The event takes place at the ICSC Leadership Center in New York City, with field visits provided by several local business improvement district leaders throughout the city. This program has been made possible with the support of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Stantec, and Larisa Ortiz and Associates.

Where: ICSC Leadership Center, New York City
When: June 19-24, 2016

Details Hotel accommodations and travel are at the expense of the attendee. Attendees will be required to arrive on the afternoon of Sunday, June 19 and depart on the afternoon of Friday, June 24, 2016.


Urban Champion



LOA       PB

Questions? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, Professional Development Director, at cdellutri@ida-downtown.org.

The application process is now closed for the 2016 program. Applicants interested in the 2017 program should contact Carolyn Dellutri after July 1.


Preliminary Program Outline

This program is preliminary and subject to change.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Arrival. 6pm: Dinner, opening reception and ice-breaker


Day 1: Monday, June 20, 2016

Module: Adaptive Downtown Leadership & Urban District Management
8:00am-8:30am: This first breakfast session begins with an opening ice-breaker where participants will get to know fellow classmates, their respective organizations and their professional goals.
8:30am-12:30pm: Interpersonal Leadership Styles (Presented By Coro New York Leadership Center) The ILS training* allows each participant to better understand his/her own leadership style and its impact on others. Participants also gain an understanding of other leadership styles, allowing them to consider how to build more collaborative relationships with their colleagues. Participants receive a personalized booklet with a detailed assessment of their own style; they also learn specific strategies focusing on how to "flex" in order work most effectively with others on their team.
*Prior to attendees arriving, each participant will participate in an ILS Survey.
12:30pm to 5pm: Lunch and Fieldwork in NYC BIDs (TBD)
6pm-8pm: Dinner and Debrief


Day 2: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Module: Adaptive Downtown Leadership & Operations
8:00am-12:30pm: Practicing Effective Inquiry (Presented By Coro New York Leadership Center) This training introduces a series of frameworks to help participants observe and interpret what happens around them more accurately, and when needed, intervene to create change more effectively. Participants also learn strategies for asking effective questions and common pitfalls to avoid. This work equips participants with strategies for gathering information about what is really going on, and aims to increase their ability to assess the landscape accurately, gather information effectively through inquiry, consider and leverage multiple perspectives, and ultimately make better and more strategic decisions.
Noon-1pm: Lunch and Keynote Speaker
1:15pm-2:45pm: This session focuses on the funding mechanisms of business district organizations and how they are used to manage and market a downtown district or neighborhood district. This session will also include discussion around other fundraising opportunities and incorporating foundations and grants in your organizational strategy.
3:00pm-4:30pm: Taking what we learned in the previous session attendees will learn best practices of writing a budget, cash flow analysis, and the fiscal responsibilities of managing the budget. Case studies will be presented to the class for group participation and discussion.
7pm Dinner and debrief


Day 3: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Module: Adaptive Downtown Leadership & Public Space and Placemaking
8am-10:30am: The Art of Feedback (Presented by Coro New York Leadership Center) Participants learn a protocol to assist them in giving and receiving feedback more effectively and develop strategies for having difficult conversations as part of their work. They engage in experiential activities to practice giving feedback in order to prepare to implement this protocol back in their workplaces. This module includes training on active listening and managing challenging relationships.
10:45am-Noon: In today’s world, private public partnerships are the key to the success of any downtown organization and/or business district and its leader. This session will focus on organizational structures and the importance of public private partnerships. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of who their potential partners are and what role each partner can play through real world examples between downtown leaders and social service agencies, corporate sponsors and city staff and elected officials.
12:30pm-5pm: Lunch and fieldwork in NYC BIDs (TBD)
6pm-9pm: Dinner and evening activity: This evening topic will focused around creating a vibrant nightlife and the management issues that go along with this.


Day 4: Thursday, June 23, 2016

Module: Economic Development Strategies
8:00am-10:00am: The health of a vibrant business district relies heavily on the mix of retail, restaurant and office tenants along with a good mix of residential. This session will focus on attracting commercial investment and identifying the right retail and office mix.
10:15am-11:45am: TBD
Noon-1:30pm: Lunch and Keynote speaker
2pm-5pm: Fieldwork in NYC BIDs
7pm-9pm: Dinner and debrief


Day 5: Friday, June 24, 2016

Module: Adaptive Downtown Leadership
8:00 am-11:00am: Board and staff relations
11:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch and recap the week
Afternoon: Departure

Note: This program is preliminary and subject to change.


About the International Downtown Association

The International Downtown Association (IDA) is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping dynamic city center districts. Our members are downtown champions who bring urban centers to life. We represent a growing industry of more than 2,500 organizations employing 100,000 people throughout North America alone. IDA enables networking with fellow professionals, and is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. Our adaptive members bridge the gap between public and private sectors, convening critical partnerships to transform cities, neighborhoods and towns. Join IDA.

Click here to see the 2018 Emerging Leader Fellows.

Click here to see the 2017 Emerging Leader Fellows.