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2017-18 Leadership Community Change Initiatives Unveiled

May 1st, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

This past month, the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo class unveiled their group projects. These Community Change Initiatives (CCIs) apply and reinforce the skills and insights gained throughout the Leadership program while allowing participants a chance to envision, develop and bring to fruition real and lasting community change in collaboration with others. Having worked on these projects for the past seven months, each group gave a 20-minute presentation to the community as Cass County Electric, offering a first look into their hard work and dedication to helping find a solution to a number of our community’s issues.

Jeremiah Program: Technology Empowerment Initiative

Maggie Aslakson, Holly Hoeschen, Melissa Reichert, Robert Wilson, Craig Bjur, Rhonda Young

The Technology Empowerment Initiative has been established to support a variety of technology needs for the Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead campus. Focused on a mission to transform families two generations at a time, Jeremiah Program prepares single mothers to excel in the work place, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. This year, the Technology Empowerment Initiative donated 11 Surfaces to the Jeremiah Program. Mark your calendars for July 20 for Lunch for a Cause at Rasmussen College, where the proceeds will go to the Technology Empowerment Initiative!

Mentorship Matters

Bethany Berkeley, Matthew Gehrtz, Shawn Paschke, Brenda Johnson, Meghna Roehl, Angie Ryan

While numerous leadership programs and opportunities to network are available in our community, it can be challenging to initiate a formal mentoring relationship, especially when you aren’t already plugged into our community network of professionals and don’t know where to start. The Mentorship Matters toolkit is accessible to businesses and post-secondary institutions throughout the community. The toolkit is a guide to developing and managing a mentorship program to match college students and seasoned professionals and new hires within an organization; help equip students and professionals with valuable leadership insight and soft skills; build the talent pipeline in our community; increase employee engagement; and enhance company culture.

Professionally Paired

Aaron Buffington, Danne Doering, Mike Opat, Angie Berntson, Kirsten Peterson

This group’s goal is to provide an event that invites local non-profits and local professionals the opportunity to get introduced to one another. This offers an opportunity to build new connections and expand networks, help professionals find rewarding volunteer opportunities where they can leverage their skills, and provides non-profits an opportunity to introduce themselves to our local professional community. The first Professionally Paired event was held on April 5 and was a success!

Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionallyPaired/.

FMWF Letter Exchange

Alexis Swenson, Christine Bushy, Brett Johnson, Liv Helm, Josh Payne

A pen pal project of sorts, the FMWF Letter Exchange promotes positive community, connection and letter writing through the process of exchanging letters bi-monthly between members in the area. Ultimately, the FMWF Letter Exchange encourages a return to the timeless art of writing to a pen pal. By matching young students with residents of senior living communities, the hope is that their written exchange will inspire joyful connection, a sense of unity in the community, recognition of the value of learning how to send handwritten letters and remembering the power a written letter holds.

The Bundle of Joy Project

Megan Surdo, Carrie Carney, Tifanie Gelinske, Ryan Mullikin, Brandon Chapman, Charlotte Rusch

As new parents are welcoming a baby into their homes, they should be experiencing many positive feelings; joy, excitement and love. However, some parents experience feelings of worry or doubt at not being able to provide for their new family member. This goal is to provide items to first-time parents that will help them care for their child. Bundle of Joy hopes to make the transition into parenthood an easier, more joy-filled experience.

Clean Community Initiative

Dan Cash, Tyler Fischbach, Wes Heyen, Mitch Kudrna, Tony Wolf

Each spring the community is littered with paper, building materials and other trash that has blown in the wind and remained underneath the snow. As it melts, it leaves behind an unsightly amount of garbage that can be unsafe and causes our beautiful parks to look unnecessarily messy. The Clean Community Initiative teamed up with Concordia College during their Earth Week to assist in the cleanup. Concordia students, along with other community volunteers, cleaned areas in two Moorhead parks adjacent to the Red River.

Commercial Recycling Action Group

Laura Caroon, Michelle Enockson, Brian Halverson, Jeff Arntson, Cal Perleberg

The City of Moorhead successfully launched single sort recycling in residential areas in July 2017, increasing monthly recycling pickup loads by 400%. The Commercial Recycling Action Group has been working with Moorhead Public Works to pilot an affordable and convenient single-sort recycling solution for the city’s commercial customers as well. The result of this collaboration will be realized this summer as Moorhead will launch a 6-month commercial recycling pilot program for 30 local businesses free of charge. Goals of this pilot program include evaluating the operational and economic feasibility of commercial single sort recycling in addition to soliciting feedback from the selected participants.


Be a part of next year’s class!

Applications are open for the 2018-19 Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo program through May 17, 2018.

Apply online at fmwfchamber.com. For more information, contact Alyssa at aralston@fmwfchamber.com or 218.359.1579.


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