EMERGE Criteria

Leadership development and succession planning are key initiatives for any successful organization. As the healthcare environment changes and organizations are asked to do more with less, it will be more important than ever for not-for-profit aging service professionals to have deep leadership bench strength and become innovative thinkers. To support the membership in this regard, LeadingAge California offers EMERGE, a leadership program designed to develop and shape tomorrow's leaders.


EMERGE is a year-long growth and development experience for high potential leaders seeking to transform themselves and their organizations.
Vision: To prepare future generations of individuals to successfully lead highly engaged and innovative organizations.


The program is available to anyone who works for LeadingAge California member (including, but not limited to voting members as well as associate members), irrespective of position or work experience. It is far more important for Fellows to demonstrate potential within their organizations than it is for them to carry specific job titles. 

LeadingAge California provides complimentary registrations to Fellows for the Annual Conference (in conjunction w/ their first EMERGE Session) and the RISE Summit (in conjunction w/ their fourth EMERGE Session). Meals are provided during each class session at no additional cost. Continuing Education Units will be awarded to Fellows after each session. A $2,699 tuition payment (non-refundable and non-transferable) is required from each Fellow’s sponsoring organization. In addition, all lodging and travel expenses will be paid by the sponsoring organization (the costs incurred vary depending on the locations of the face-to-face learning experiences). EMERGE graduation will take place at the following Annual Conference during the Opening General Session. Discounted conference registration fees are given to the new EMERGE graduates.  

Fellows should plan on spending between 10-15 hours a month working on EMERGE Leadership Development program activities in addition to one hour each month for monthly team conference calls. Fellows will need access to a personal computer for regular e-mail contacts.

Affiliation with a non-LeadingAge California member could result in removal from the program.

Submission Deadline 

Applications for the 2020-2021 EMERGE group will go live online November 1, 2019. All applications will need to be submitted electronically. All applications must be received by February 21, 2020 to be considered. Applications that fail to meet all guidelines or are incomplete will not be considered. Applicants will receive notification of acceptance into the EMERGE Leadership Development program the week of March 9, 2020. 

Evaluation Criteria 

All application submissions will be carefully reviewed to ultimately assemble a diverse class of Fellows (in terms of life experience, work experience, geography, type of organization, as well as other unique characteristics). A committee of LeadingAge California member leaders will evaluate applications using the following criteria: 

• How well defined, insightful and introspective are the leadership essays? 
• How well does the applicant demonstrate a personal commitment to the field of aging services? 
• How well does the applicant demonstrate a dedication to life-long learning? 
• To what extent does the applicant possess the capacity to become a transformational leader?

Summary of Qualifications Checklist

Please submit all of the following information along with your completed application (remember that incomplete applications will not be reviewed):

• A résumé or brief description of your work experience, educational background and other pertinent information (please limit your submission to no more than two pages).

• Recent photo (headshot with plain background; in-focus, and appropriate for professional setting; high-resolution of 300 dpi or better; and taken within the last 12 months). The photo will not be included in the selection process. If selected, the photo will be used for any EMERGE promotional placements, including recognizing the new class on LeadingAge California’s website. You may upload your photo via the online application or you can email your photo to Kevin Tuuaga at ktuuaga@leadingageca.org.

• A brief summary description of your experience in the field of aging services and the responsibilities associated with your current position (please limit your submission to no more than one page). 

• A 1-2 page essay response to all three questions below (applicants must submit three separate essays total). Please make sure you provide enough information to give the selection committee insight into your experience and desire to be part of this program. One or two sentence answers are not recommended (please limit your submission to no more than two pages per essay).

Essay #1
Describe the capabilities you possess that make you an effective leader and the specific ways in which you have utilized these attributes in your personal and professional life. In doing so, please refer to a significant professional achievement, your specific role in attaining that achievement and the impact it had on you and your organization.

Essay #2
Describe the perspective and knowledge you hope to acquire as a result of your participation in EMERGE.

Essay #3
Describe your personal commitment to the field of aging services and how you envision using your experience in EMERGE to enhance aging services within your organization, your community and at the state level.

Three letters of reference (one personal and two professional). We suggest approaching selected references early in the process to ensure they are completed prior to the February 21, 2020 deadline (please limit your submission to no more than one page per letter). Please include letters of reference in your completed application packet.

Scholarships/ Additional Information
A limited number of tuition scholarships are available. For additional information on EMERGE scholarships or for questions regarding the application process, please contact Kevin Tuuaga at 916-469-3365 or ktuuaga@leadingageca.org