In 1995, when the Leadership Park City program took its first class on a “city tour” to Lake Tahoe, musician, political activist, and class participant Rich Wyman wanted to do his best to represent Park City. “I decided to give an impromptu concert in the hotel lobby where we were all staying,” Wyman says. “I was pounding the piano so hard that the sustaining pedal sheared right off the piano. Everybody thought it was part of the show.”
First impressions aside, Leadership Park City—a tuition-free community-leadership training course devised by founder and director Myles Rademan—is as out-of-the-box as Wyman: it’s the only program of its kind in the country, and for the past 20 years it has churned out leaders who move on to run for public office, serve on local boards, or launch nonprofit organizations.
With only 32 spots per class, most applicants don’t get into the yearlong program the first time they try. Restaurateur and businessman John Davis is an exception. He’d lived in Park City only a year when he applied for Leadership Park City Class 17. “I did it for several reasons: to get to know more about the city and the county and to meet people that I ordinarily wouldn’t have come across,” he says. “I thought it was terrific. I got to meet some wonderful people.”
All told, more than 500 Parkites have moved through the award-winning program. Two-thirds of them still live here. “Do our alumni run the community? Yes,” Rademan says. “Would they have run the community anyway? Probably. But because of this class, they know each other on a level they wouldn’t have realized otherwise. And I’m proud of that.”