Leadership St. Tammany was founded in 1993 under the direction of the West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, with Diane Winston, then the chamber’s executive director, at the helm. Also instrumental in the founding were Chamber Board members Joanne Gallinghouse and Ed Dillard. Winston was the heart and soul of the program for many years, but found her workload too great after being elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. In 2002, Mark Johnson and Glen Villalobos stepped in as joint Program Directors. Through the years, they built a highly respected program that has graduated more than 500 civic-minded men and women who have gone on to effect positive change in the community. In 2014, Mark Johnson assumed the entire role of Program Director with continued success and renewed energy to enhance the program curriculum as St. Tammany continues to evolve and change.

The goal of the program hasn’t changed through the years – to ensure the growth of community leaders by helping develop a clear sense of the entire community in St. Tammany Parish. For local residents, this means taking an in-depth look at important issues facing St. Tammany Parish such as business development, government, culture, non-profits, law enforcement and much more. The program is now affiliated with Southeastern Louisiana University, which provides resources and administrative support. Each year, Leadership St. Tammany fields a new crop of program applicants as well as making new graduates eligible to become members of the Alumni Foundation.