MISSION: The mission of the San Joaquin Political Academy is to develop political leaders that are committed to public service that creates a healthy business climate, a strong economy, and a vibrant community. By providing education and civic training to professionals and business leaders with the potential and desire to enter public service, the Academy equips its graduates with the tactical skills and pragmatic vision to creatively address the challenging systemic, and societal issues our region faces.

Application Process:

  1. Begin by submitting the online application.
  2. Next, staff will review your application, and someone from our team will reach out to schedule an interview.
  3. Admission letters will be sent out the week of February 13th.

Benefits of the San Joaquin Political Academy:

The San Joaquin Political Academy is a program of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce that teaches candidates how to listen to constituents with a clear understanding of how to seek endorsements, support, and reserve the right to make independent decisions.

Successful graduates will feel secure knowing they have the knowledge and vision to put their services forward as an elected public official who is capable of offering creative solutions to the problems of the region. 

When do classes start?

The next cohort will begin in March 2024 and run until May 2024.

Classes will be held on a weekly basis on Tuesday afternoons from 4 PM- 7 PM.

What topics can I expect to learn more about?

    • Image Consultation and Crafting Your Message
    • Media Relations
    • Developing an Effective Campaign
    • Fundraising Strategies
    • Issues Impacting Business
    • Regional Problems and Solutions
    • Ethical Leadership Traits
    • Critical Thinking and Listening Skills


Tony Gastelum

Daniel Gerstner

Larry Westerlund

Debbie Hunsaker

Pamela Kallsen

John Ostlund

Michael Stein

Paul Betancourt                                 Sal Quintero                                       Dave Rippeote

Larry Fortune                                     Randall Reed                                     Matt Rogers

Jerry Prieto                                         Dave Rippeote                                  Darren Rose

Terrance (TJ) Cox                              Jared Gordon                                     Al Smith

Gage Dungy                                        Shirley Grace                                     Alita Warner

Susan Good                                        John Lester                                         Laura Whitehouse

Oran Cogdill                                        Martha Hernandez                          Scott Miller

Tal Eslick                                              Amy Huerta                                        Larry Wilder

Richard Gallegos                               Keith Kelley

Steve Caughran                                Kirk Hunter                                         Jose-Karim Nunez

Jim Flanagan                                      Nathan Magsig                                  APS Sidhu

John David Haskell                           Vong Mouanoutoua

David Bacci                                          Denise Lanier                                     Tory Sherman

Austin Ewell                                        Marion Montgomery-Austin            Bob Whalen

Robert Ikemiya                                  Jerry Schuber

Raul Cantu                                          Todd Hirasuna                                   Michael Karbassi

Vernon Crowder                              Dennis Montalbano                        Marcelino Vadez, Jr.

Victoria Gonzales                             Christopher Montelongo

Alicia Bohigian                                   Patrick Hanson                                  Steve O’Hara

Emmett Castro                                  Chuck Littlefield                                 Tim O’Hara

Brian Domingos, Jr.                          Adam Mortanian

Steven Crass                                      Brian Janes                                         Terry Metters, Jr.

Joseph Hebert                                   Debra McKenzie                               Paul Szopa

H Spees                                                 Amarpreet Dhaliwal                        Daniel Babshoff

Paul Singer                                          Laura Brautigam                               Joseph Ruda

Holly Carter                                        Gwen Morris                                      Jasdeep Singh

Claudia Cazares                                 Lorenzo Rios

Keane Anrig                                        Jason Dees                                          Ike Grewal

Christine Cerda                                 Kristina Garabedian                        Barigye McCoy

Nicholas Grim                                    Raj Sodhi- Layne                               Jenni Solla

Kamaljit Gill                                        Naindeep Singh

Chad Cirvelli                                       Jonathan Holt                                    Lor Xiong

Ivan Chebotariov                              Emily Salazar

Tuition for the San Joaquin Political Academy is $650. Tuition must be paid in full before the class orientation.

**Installment plans are available upon request.**

NOTE: If you are accepted into the program and then resign prior to the orientation, a refund of tuition can be provided, less the costs of the orientation and retreat. If you resign after orientation, no refund will be provided.

2024 Sponsorship Information

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2024 San Joaquin Political Academy cohort. Please contact Fernando Alvarez at falvarez@fresnochamber.com or (559)495-4800 for more information.