Heart of Wisconsin Community Leadership Class Starts with a Choice

When you think about a leader, what do you think about? Is it the way they speak? The way they lead initiatives and ideas? Maybe how they empower others? All leaders start with the same action, a choice. Choosing to be a leader does not come easy. A leader has to acknowledge they will need to change. Leaders also will assess who they are as individuals and how they lead best. This choice will take them down a path of self-discovery that will impact not only themselves but others around them.

The Heart of Wisconsin, Community Leadership Program is the first step in the choice to lead. The Community Leadership Program is an eight-month course that is an interactive program designed to provide a deeper understanding of our community. They will share practical tools for effective community leadership and empower participants to be catalysts for positive change.

On Thursday, October 17th, 23 participants attended the Opening Retreat at Rosholt Lions Camp to begin their journey. This two-day retreat started with the group connecting and understanding who they are as leaders. Using the Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, participants discovered their strengths. Leadership Facilitator Paul Liebherr took the participants through workshops and exercises looking into each strength. Every trait has “positives and shadows” to it that help participants evaluate themselves. Participants could see where they can position themselves on a team with executing, influencing, relational or thinking.
The Leadership Class is also diving into The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by author Stephen R. Covey. This material will let the group look at many ways to have a positive change on themselves. Each month the class will dive further into the chapters to develop seven effective habits. The group focused on individual core values and becoming proactive during the retreat.

In addition to the readings, each year the class breaks into groups to develop community projects. These projects are ideas from the group which impact the community. These impactful initiatives reflect opportunities in the area, leadership abilities, and an understanding of the community. In years past projects included Wisconsin Rapids Welcome Signs, Snow Sculpture Spectacular, and Small-Town Big Ideas Entrepreneurship. With two project ideas started, the class is anxious to impact the community.

At the end of the retreat, participants reflected on the experience and what they had learned. To say that the group is excited about the future is an understatement. As the class looks at future sessions, they can only grow stronger as leaders and develop further connections with one another. This class wants to achieve and make an impact on the community. The victory for the class is building relationships that are embedded in the community's progress and passion for success.

Yes, one choice lead participants on a learning session like no other. And yes, they will continue to grow and be impactful.  There will be many more choices they make as a leader, but their journey started with a choice here in Central Wisconsin.

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Community Leadership Class.
Amanda Smith – Members’ Advantage Credit Union
Angel Whitehead – Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce
Ashley Haldeman – Opportunity Development Center
Ashley O'Keefe - Aspirus
Bradley Burris – Wisconsin Rapids Police Department
Cameryn Ehlers Kwaterski – Visit Rome
Heather Khachani – Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area
Jeremy Sickler – South Wood County Airport Commission
Jerry Babiak – Nash Law Group
Jessica Maurer – Nekoosa Court
Jodi Friday -United Way of South Wood and Adams Counties
Jordan Jazdzewski – Wisconsin Rapids Police Department
Kris Leonhardt – Multi Media Channels/Wisconsin Rapids City Times
Marla Ferkey – Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa
Mary Sigler – Nekoosa Port Edwards State Bank
Matt Edwards – River Cities Bank
Michael Kirschling – Insurand Wealth Planning
Samantha Krummel – Paper City Savings
Shawn Becker – Wood County Sheriff’s Department
Suzanne Campbell – Simplicity Credit Union
Wendy Haske – Renaissance 
Wes Meyer – NextHome Partners 
Zachary Stublaski – ND Papers 

For more information on the 2020-21 Community Leadership Program which kicks off October 15th and 16th of 2020 contact Krista Coon at programs@wisconsinrapidschamber.com or call 715-423-1830. 

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