Wisconsin Leaders Graduate Prestigious 2-Year Program


On Saturday July 16, 2016 thirteen leaders were celebrated as graduates of Leadership Wisconsin.  They join over 400 alumni across the state who have invested in their capacity to create positive change in their organizations, communities and Wisconsin.  As part of their two-year educational journey the leaders studied issues such as healthcare, education, agriculture, energy and changing demographics.  In addition they traveled to Washington D.C. to study federal policy, and to North Dakota to look at how the natural resource extraction industry there connects to Wisconsin’s economy and larger national energy issues.  Their program culminated with an international experience in Kazakhstan where they developed global leadership skills.

Leadership Wisconsin is a non-profit whose educational programs are delivered through University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Cooperative Extension division.  The program, formerly known as the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program, graduated its first class in 1986.  Designed for residents from diverse backgrounds who share a strong desire to actively participate in meeting the challenges facing their organizations and communities, Leadership Wisconsin helps individuals discover their leadership passion, potential and philosophy.  Participants gain a broadened understanding of local, state, and national issues, and are prepared to apply their leadership skills to affect positive change in a dynamic multicultural world.

Congratulations to the Graduates of Group XVI: Thomas Charpentier – Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Stacy Craig – Northland College, Becky Hurley – Realtor/ Investor, Sarah Kastern – Hales Corners Fire Department, Phillip Lotto – Farmer, Consultant, Entrepreneur, and small business owner, Mario Micheli – New Rail, Shelly Missall –  JB Resources LLC, Kalpana Rizal – Dane County Parent Council, Ericka Sanchez – MaidBrite LLC, David Lee Schneider – CRI/ Genex, Tory Tullis – Colony Brands Inc., Monica Vick – Cooperative Resources International, Theresa Zenchenko – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

In addition to celebrating the graduates of Group XVI, Leadership Wisconsin recognized several leaders the evening of July 16th.  Jim Holte, a graduate of Group VI, and current President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, was given the honor of Outstanding Alumni for his commitment to positively impacting agriculture, farmers, and the agricultural community.  The Russ O’Harrow Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the work of Leadership Wisconsin, was given posthumously to Lowell Klessig.  Klessig’s wife Christine was present at the event to receive the award.

Leadership Wisconsin would like to thank the many partners and alumni across the state who made Group XVI’s leadership experience possible.  In addition to University of Wisconsin-Extension, major support for the program is provided by the Wisconsin Counties Association.  WCA supports the program in an effort to foster the development of engaged and informed leaders who participate in public policy.  To learn more about Leadership Wisconsin you can go to www.leadershipwisconsin.org or call the office at (608) 263-0817.

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