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Barton Leadership Program


John W. Barton, Sr. Leadership Development Program



2019 Program Information


Who is John W. Barton Sr.?


There was an article written in the 2012 Baton Rouge Area Foundation publication, Currents, which details the greatness of John W. Barton Sr. and his undeniably positive impact on the community. It’s an impact that will continue to help shape our community for many years to come. Taking a quote from the article, we can begin to understand why Mr. Barton’s influence can still be seen 4 years after his passing:


 “He wasn’t focused on short-term impact, or about what something meant to him, but about what a project would mean 20 or 30 years into the future. He looked forward at every age.”  - Terrell Brown


In his 75 years of serving the Baton Rouge community, specifically the nonprofit sector, Mr. Barton understood that investments must be made in the present to ensure the success of the future. It is through his legacy and commitment that Forum 35 gained the inspiration to create the John W. Barton Sr. Community Leadership Development Program (Barton Leadership Program). 


What is Barton Leadership?


The Barton Leadership Program is Forum 35’s premier leadership training program that enables members to develop their leadership skills while promoting community involvement and volunteerism in Baton Rouge through training sessions. Participants gain a behind-the-scenes look at important updates on the private, public, and nonprofit sector landscape from those experts working in it while also engaging with other young professionals participating in the program.


The program is designed to:


  • Expose participants to a variety of business, civic, and community leaders
  • Broaden participants’ knowledge about the rich history, culture, and events of the region
  • Provide the opportunity for participants to network and build relationships with fellow young professionals
  • Challenge and equip participants with the resources and knowledge needed to become more involved in the community

Participants leave the program better informed of how to make an impact as a young professional in Baton Rouge. Plus, they emerge better connected to the people, organizations, and service opportunities that can together, make positive and meaningful changes for the community. When young professionals activate the knowledge and connections gained through Barton Leadership, the community and businesses benefit from improved understanding, services, and relationships.


Who Should Apply?


Any Baton Rouge Young Professional who wishes to be more engaged in the community is encouraged to register. If you are new to Baton Rouge or have lived here your entire life, Barton Leadership will connect you with the Baton Rouge community in a dynamic and meaningful way.


2019 Barton Program Topics:


In previous years the Barton Leadership Program focused on preparing and training young professionals for service on community non-profit boards. This year, the program has been redesigned to encompass broader subjects in leadership cultivation. The 2019 program will include in-depth sessions on Baton Rouge’s arts and culture; Issues facing the Baton Rouge Community and how as Young Professionals we can make a difference; honing your skills for service on a non-profit board and how to get involved in the community; and finally, learning how to break down the barriers that divide our community.


The 2019 program will also kick off an exclusive Mentor Connection Program which will pair accepted participants with C-level executives and community leaders. All participants will receive a guaranteed minimum of two mentorship sessions with their paired community mentor.


What’s the Cost?


$300.00 for Forum 35 members / $350.00 for non-members


This includes meals, mentorship connection, materials and an evening reception with key Baton Rouge influencers.




2019 Session Dates:


Kick-off: August 20

Session 1: September 3

Session 2: September 17

Session 3: October 1

Session 4: October 15

Mentor Social: October 29

Session 5: November 5

Session 6: November 19

Session 7: December 3

Session 8/Closing Event: December 17th


Sessions will meet 5:30 PM at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s downtown location (564 Laurel Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801)


Need To Convince Your Employer?


Download our employer flyer here for all the information they need. 




If you are interested in Forum 35 or need more information on the Barton Leadership Program, contact the Barton Leadership Chair, Ethan Melancon, at or


Join this committee to help facilitate our program! 

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Communications Committee Meeting


Forum Fever & 2020 Annual Meeting

Uncorked Committee Meeting

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