Community leaders celebrated for commitment to learning

Maximize Northwest Missouri Website

Community leaders in six northwest Missouri counties were part of Maximize Northwest Missouri’s 2021 Regional Learning Collaborative that wrapped up late last summer. 

“Some of the keywords that participants used to describe their learning experience include: enlightening, motivating, empowering, informative, inspiring, insightful, and team-building,” shared Mary Hinde, president of The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri.

Based on the positive feedback of the pilot program’s initial participants, the community leadership development experience has been split into several phases in 2022. Today, Maximize NWMO’s Navigation Team announces the opening of registration for the 101 Framework Foundations Program. The first offering will be February 7-March 14 on six consecutive Monday evenings via Zoom. The second option is a one-day in-person retreat on Saturday, March 26, 2022. A third offering will be held on Wednesday mornings via Zoom from May 4-June 15, 2022. Interested individuals can learn more at this link and register directly at this link.

“We are delighted that so many who were a part of our pilot program are finding value in what they learned. It’s exciting to see collaborative efforts at work. The Clinton County Initiative, for example, is busy with the first stages of better understanding the strengths of its place, dreams and needs of its residents, and potential focus areas for working together across communities and sectors while Maximize Albany members are moving forward with strategic action mapping of their key priorities such as housing and childcare,” said Rachel Kagay, chair of The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri’s regional vitality committee a.k.a. the Maximize NWMO Navigation Team.

The following individuals are celebrated as participants in the 2021 Regional Learning Collaborative: Andrew County – Donna Wilson; Clinton County: Shelby Berkemeier, Caitlin Goad, Christel Gollnick (facilitator), Chad Howerton, Stephanie Williams, Kristy Young; DeKalb County – Rachel Kagay (facilitator); Gentry County: Jackie Allenbrand, Beth Doyle Findley, Karen Gillespie, Terri Johnson, Mackenzie Manring, Brenda Parman, Shanda Parrish, Linda Place, Joe Shanks, Bradley Sheely, Nick Smith, Kaylie Walker; Linn County – Sarah Dunham, Darrell Gardner, Patrick Kussman; Livingston County – Carlee Quinn (facilitator); Worth County – Jackie Spainhower (facilitator); Serving Northwest Missouri – Lowell Kruse, Joe Lear, Andrew McCrea, Stephanie Norling, Sandra Potthoff, Sharon Schenewerk, Lara Summers, Max Summers, Tara Summers, and Steve Wenger.

The key benefit of the Collaborative according to organizers is learning how to shift from a project-based line of thought where success lives and dies on the shoulders of very few people in communities to a much more sustainable systematic or big picture approach that includes many voices.

“Understanding the systems approach allows for perspective and guidance within current community organizations and fosters perseverance during frustrating times. I am using what I learned nearly every day in many areas of my life,” shared 2021 RLC participant Caitlin Goad.

Recognizing the interconnected nature of communities and the need to consider and involve many more perspectives to reach short-term and long-term goals effectively is the first step to creating more thriving places to live, learn, work, and play. Everything from learning why community development is important for individual residents and business owners to group decision-making, conflict resolution, communication, and design thinking to storytelling, mapping resources, and much more are included in this interactive and fun online program. How to get things done to improve your community is the underlying topic covered in all of Maximize NWMO’s leadership and community development programming.

Additional details of the 201 Taking Action Program with Community Coaching and 301 Evaluating and Recognizing Success learning opportunities will be announced later in the year.