Connect was established in 2005 in response to a growing community’s desire to attract and retain young professionals by educating them about Huntsville/Madison County. Connect is designed to engage participants in serving the community while connecting emerging leaders with like-minded individuals. Connect enhances skills sets of participants to help them see their potential as a leader in their career field and the community.


 "As a graduate and now a volunteer, I have witnessed and experienced how Connect shapes and changes lives. I have seen how ordinary individuals, with a sense of community service and a desire to give back, have realized that they have the power to be change agents in our community. Once that force is unleashed, great things happen and the character and strength of our community continues to be enhanced because of Connect."-David Little, Keel Point, Leadership 31, Connect 10, Impact 3


The Connect program runs August through April with participants meeting one or two times per month, usually between the hours of 7:00am – 7:00pm. Young professionals are exposed to exemplary leaders from the major sectors of Huntsville and Madison County. The program days include the following areas of discussion and topics:

  • Community Engagement
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Human Services
  • Leadership Development
  • Local, State and Federal Government
  • Diversity & Inclusion 
  • Personality and Workplace Assessments
  • Public Safety
  • Quality of Life
  • Innovation
  • Team-Building


"Servant Leadership" principles have been integrated into every program day and to expand on this goal, small-group projects are completed throughout the year to immediately impact change.


Connect recruits young professionals under 40 from every sector in the community. Class members are selected by a committee of Connect graduates, local leaders and Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Board Members, and staff. Selection is based on high standards of personal integrity, record of achievement in community activities, desire to increase community involvement, the ability to set and attain goals as demonstrated by significant career/personal/community achievement, and the commitment of necessary time and effort to complete the program. Connect classes usually include 35 to 45 participants representing a cross-section of the population.

Connect Class 20 

 July 2017 – April 2018 

The application for C-20 is CLOSED.  Please click here to be notified when applications open for C-21.

Contact: Danielle R. Barnes or (256) 489-2281, ext. 305

Tuition: $3,350

Objective: Designed specifically to recognize and engage young professionals for increased community involvement, personal growth and professional development. Opportunity to network with peers across business sectors. Includes overnight opening & closing retreat.

2017-18 Program Dates:

*Preliminary Service Projects Week: July 24 - July 29
Engage (Orientation): August 17 & 18
Activate (Opening Retreat): September 14 & 15
Program Day: October 19
Program Day: November 16
Program Day: December 7
Program Day: January 11
Program Day: February 8
Impact (Closing Retreat): March 21, 22, 23
Graduation: April 26

*Preliminary Service Project week consist of small groups volunteering throughout the community at local nonprofits. Each student will be assigned to one service project, and be required to work a four hour shift the week of July 24th.