About Us


The West Houston Leadership Institute (WHLI) is a 10-month program structured to engage leaders – and future leaders – in the issues of the day. The program opens with an overnight retreat outside of Houston, designed to remove participants from their everyday routines so they can fully focus of identifying what’s good – and not so good – in West Houston. Over the course of the next nine months, class members attend half-day sessions built around specific topics of concern, including core areas of demographics and diversity, education, health care, public safety, transportation, and energy. Typically an alumnus of the program puts together the class session, working with program facilitator Joni Goodman.

Class members also take “deep dives” into the community and issues through learning journeys – self-organized expeditions that expose individuals to parts of West Houston they may never have experienced. Learning journeys are an integral part of the program, and have included forays into Spring Branch, Alief, the Chinese community, the Muslim community and the Korean community, among others.

Class enrollment is limited to 30 senior leaders or business owners from the West Houston community.

WHLI, a 501(c)(3), is governed by a volunteer board of directors and is supported by our program facilitator, Joni Goodman, a part-time administrative assistant and a part-time Executive Director. Funding generally comes from individual dues, sponsorships and an auction at the annual Zest in the West event.