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Catalyst Program


Since 2007, the Catalyst Leadership Program has been a tremendous success for our Chamber.

The Catalyst Leadership Program is a hands-on, 9-month structured leadership development program designed to develop the individual leadership and management skills of diverse young professionals and emerging leaders. During the program, participants develop an individual leadership plan; join a community, social service or professional organization; and meet with community leaders in order to forge key relationships within and beyond the greater Sacramento region.

The primary objectives for our program graduates is to continue their success and advancement in their companies, to increase their service on boards of nonprofits and public commissions, and to be an active participant and inspiration for their communities.

Program Director

Julius Cherry polygon
Julius Cherry
Attorney at Law

Julius Cherry retired from the Sacramento Fire Department at the rank of Fire Chief in 2007 after more than 30 years of service. Prior to becoming Chief, he held the ranks of Firefighter, Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief of Support Services. Julius has also been a practicing attorney for 25 years, handling a variety of civil matters. In August 2015 Julius was selected by his peers to be named one of Sacramento Magazine’s Top Lawyers in his field. He is the CEO of The Cherry Consulting Group, which provides advisory services on local government issues. Julius also teaches business law as an adjunct professor for the Los Rios Community College District.

Julius is past chair and current member of the Community Advisory Board for Dignity Health. He is past chair and current board member of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada. In 2011 he chaired the Sacramento Re‐Districting Citizens Advisory Committee, charged with advising the city government on reshaping the eight council districts after the 2010 census. From 1994 to 2001, Julius served and chaired the Sacramento County Project Planning Commission. He is a past board member of the Sacramento County Fair Board as a Governor appointee.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Julius attended night school to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in public administration from California State University, Sacramento. Julius is married with three daughters, one son, and four grandchildren.

Benefits for participants:

• A better understanding of their skills and strengths
• A strategy for implementing those skills to advance their careers
• A greater role in helping solve community issues
• A network of support from fellow emerging leaders
• Skilled coaches for career guidance

Benefits for employers:

• An emerging leader to draw upon
• An immediate contributor with a clear understanding of skillset
• Greater access and connection to the regional business network
• Personal insight and relations with underserved communities
• Fresh ideas, energy and perspective to troubleshoot challenges
• Civic goodwill and positive exposure

Enrollment Capacity: 20 participants

Class Modules

• Developing Your Leadership Network
• Leading with a Vision
• Leading Highly Effective Teams
• Project Leadership
• Individual Leadership Plan
• Negotiations and Conflict Management
• Leadership Communications and Social Media
• Leading Organizational Change

Individual Leadership Plan

Each participant creates a custom-tailored personal development plan focused on achieving leadership competencies, skills, and experience. Participants identify a future (or current) leadership position and characterize the dimensions of the ideal leader in that position. Using a Radar Diagram, they assess their current leadership capabilities relative to the ideal. Working with the Program Director, they will construct a development plan to close the gap in each of their prioritized capabilities.

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For more information, contact Lauren Oto at