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Barton Leadership Program


John W. Barton, Sr. Leadership Development Program







Who is John W. Barton Sr.?


“The single biggest challenge [for Baton Rouge] is the development of young businessmen and businesswomen who are interested in realizing just how much they can mean to the community and what they can contribute to it.” – John W. Barton, Sr.
As the “Father of modern Baton Rouge”, Mr. Barton served the community for 75 years, understanding that investments must be made in the present to ensure the success of the future. It is through his legacy and commitment that Forum 225 gained the inspiration to create the John W. Barton Sr. Community Leadership Development Program, affectionately known as the Barton Leadership Program. 
Whether it was the founding of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, serving the Baton Rouge community Jack’s Cookies, or being heavily involved in ensuring organizations like the Mary Bird Cancer Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Cancer Services of Great Baton Rouge had the resources it needed, Mr. Barton was always willing to serve the community and those who live in it.
Forum 225 taking Mr. Barton’s advice and investing in the development of young businessmen and businesswomen.


What is Barton Leadership?


The Barton Leadership Program is Forum 225’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.


2020 Barton Program Topics:


In 2019 the program was redesigned to encompass broader subjects in leadership cultivation. There are four two-part sessions: 

  • Baton Rouge Arts and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Diversity

The 2019 program also kicked 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 mentor.


What’s the Cost?


$300.00 for Forum 225 members / $350.00 for non-members

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


Important Dates:

Application Deadline: July 31, 2020

Class Decisions Made: Early August
Session Dates:
Arts and Culture: September 1st & 15th 
Leadership: October 6th and 20th 
Service: November 3rd & 17th 
Diversity: December 1st & 15th 




If you are interested in Forum 225 or need more information on the Barton Leadership Program, contact the Barton Leadership Chair, Brian Melancon at or Vice President of Leadership, Ethan Melancon at


Join this committee to help facilitate our program! 

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Volunteer Opportunity - Food Distribution GBR Food Bank

Service Committee Meeting

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