Meet the Association of Leadership Programs Team

To connect with a specific team member, click their name

Contact Lura with questions about: 

  • Operations
  • Partnerships
  • Strategic Goals
  • The ALP Board

Lura Hammond (she/her) is a dynamic leader who brings her wealth of experience to her role as the part-time Executive Director of the Association of Leadership Programs. Lura's career spans diverse sectors, showcasing her dedication to making a positive impact. After a distinguished 12-year tenure as the Executive Director of Camp Summit, Inc. in Dallas, Texas, a camp catering to individuals with disabilities, she shifted her focus to foster local economic growth as the Executive Director of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce.

Lura's passion for leadership development was ignited during her involvement with Leadership Garland, TX, which propelled her to form Leadership Mesquite. Her commitment to fostering effective leadership extended regionally, as she completed both the Leadership Metrocrest and Leadership North Texas programs. Her visionary spirit led her to co-found the Association of Texas Leadership Programs in 1990 and establish The Metroplex Leadership Network in 1991, both instrumental platforms for nurturing leadership excellence. Her dedication to service led to the establishment of the Sundown Exchange Club in 1988, and her active participation in the National Exchange Club garnered national acclaim for forming multiple local service clubs in North Texas. Her contributions have earned her accolades from esteemed organizations, including State and National PTA recognition, Business Women of the Year, Business and Professional Women of Northeast Dallas County, and acknowledgment from the Texas Economic Development Commission.

A multi-faceted individual, Lura's expertise extends to events and meeting planning, exemplified by her role as a Past President of TxACOM, the Texas Association of Conventions, Events, and Meeting Professionals. She has also lent her insights and efforts to various committees within her local church. Lura's academic pursuits reflect her commitment to continuous growth. Armed with a degree in Business Management from Stephen F. Austin University, she bolstered her knowledge with an IOM (Institute for Organizational Management) designation and Certification in Non-Profit Management. She and her husband are accredited PVMs (Professional Vendor Members) of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, showcasing their expertise in this specialized field.

Lura calls Ponder, Texas, home - where she resides with her husband, Dick, and their various farm creatures. Hammond has served as the Executive Director of ALP since its founding in 2010. 

Contact Heather with questions about: 

  • Affinity Groups
  • Becoming a Member
  • Membership Renewals

Heather T. Freeman (she/her) is a dynamic and results-driven leader who has taken on the role of Director of Membership for the  Association of Leadership Programs. Heather is dedicated to cultivating a thriving community of diverse professionals committed to honing their leadership skills.
Having previously served in key leadership roles, Heather brings a unique blend of strategic vision and hands-on expertise in fostering member engagement and driving organizational growth. As Director of Membership, Heather is poised to spearhead innovative initiatives that amplify the value of membership, facilitate collaborative networking opportunities, and elevate the impact of leadership programs across the nation and beyond.

An avid proponent of lifelong learning, Heather envisions the Association of Leadership Programs as a platform for continuous growth and excellence. Through fostering meaningful partnerships and implementing forward-thinking strategies, Heather is resolute in ensuring that the Association remains at the forefront of leadership development, empowering its members to effect positive change in their respective spheres. With an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, Heather aims to embrace and celebrate the diverse perspectives and talents within the membership, fostering an environment that encourages creativity, innovation, and mutual support.

Heather resides near Seattle, Washington, and was most recently employed by Leadership Snohomish County prior to joining the ALP team. She serves in a part-time capacity as the Director of Membership for the Association of Leadership Programs.

Contact Sarah Alice with questions about: 

  • Monday Messages
  • National Conference
  • Website Features

Sarah Alice (Throckmorton) Keiser (she/her) joined the ALP team in October 2021, bringing over a decade of event production, volunteer management, and donor stewardship experience. Sarah Alice is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Association of Leadership Programs, utilizing her expertise to create impactful experiences. Before this, Sarah Alice made her mark as the Manager of Leadership Programming at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, overseeing the esteemed Leadership Dayton program, the Leadership Dayton Board of Governors, the LD Alumni Association, and guiding the Chamber's young professionals' initiative, Generation Dayton. Through her time at the Chamber, she became connected with ALP, previously serving as the Alumni Affinity Group Champion. 

Sarah Alice is also the Event Operations Manager for the renowned Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop at The University of Dayton. She holds a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Wright State University. Sarah Alice discovered her passion for working in the non-profit and event management world after serving as the Chair for the Dayton, OH, Walk to Defeat ALS at just 15 years old, following her grandfather's diagnosis with Lou Gehrig's Disease. 

Outside the realm of work, Sarah Alice finds joy in her creative pursuits. She channels her talents into a home bakery, indulging her love for baking, and finds solace in the pages of books. Traveling and quality time with loved ones are integral parts of her life, complementing her active engagement as a national-level volunteer for Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity.

Sarah Alice and her husband, Luke, live in Montreal, Quebec, with their loyal German Shepherd, Scout. She serves in a part-time capacity in her role as Director of Events & Marketing with the Association of Leadership Programs. 

Contact Jessie with questions about: 

  • The Certified Community Leadership Practitioner (CCLP) Program

Jessie Baginski, Ph. D. (she/her) joined the ALP team in December 2023 after serving as president/CEO of Leadership Lake County (OH) from 2012 - 2023. She has volunteered for the Leadership Lake County Junior Program since 1997, originally as a Health and Human Services Day planner. Jessie was one of the first four professionals to receive ALP's CCLP designation in 2022. 

She has over 35 years of experience in communications, marketing, and management in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Baginski is a frequent speaker on leadership and building cultures of leadership. Prior to Leadership Lake County, Dr. Baginski was Laketran’s first Director of Public Relations and Marketing from 2000 through 2010. During that time, she earned numerous national awards for communications

She received her Associate’s from Lakeland Community College; her Bachelor’s in Management from Ursuline College; her Master’s in Education from Marietta College and her doctorate in Urban Education from Cleveland State University. 

She serves as an adjunct faculty member for Cleveland State University’s College of Education and Lake Erie College. Dr. Baginski serves as a reviewer for Youth & Society

She enjoys being present at many community and charitable events. Among her favorites are the local golf outings and Dancing Under the Stars, where she has served as a dancer, a judge, and an emcee to put the fun in fundraising!

 Jessie serves in a part-time capacity as the Director of Programs for the Association of Leadership Programs.