Leadership Fort Dodge begins a new year

Leadership Fort Dodge is one of the best programs developed by the Chamber of Commerce before it merged with the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, according to Dennis Plautz, chief executive officer of the Growth Alliance.

The program, now in its 13th year, is sponsored by the Growth Alliance.

It was created to develop future leaders in Fort Dodge.

More than 30 members of the community gathered at Willow Ridge Golf Course & Restaurant Thursday morning to begin a new year of Leadership Fort Dodge.

“This has become a very valuable program,” Plautz said.

One of the things that has made the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance successful is the amount of collaboration it has created, Plautz said.

“We started communicating and collaborating better than we ever have,” he said. “That’s been the biggest contribution of the Growth Alliance.”

Plautz said one of the goals of the leadership program is to extend that collaboration to other areas in the community.

“The whole purpose of this is to get people with the same purpose from different organizations to start talking,” he said.

Twenty-eight people from various businesses in the area are participating in a leadership class, according to Jill Nelson, community development director for the Growth Alliance.

The participants are selected by their employers, she said.

According to Nelson, the class will help to inform its participants about the growth and development in Fort Dodge.

“We want to get people informed about what’s going on in our community,” she said. “The areas of focus and different aspects of development that’s happening. The goal is that they become engaged and involved and become some of the future leaders in our community.”

Leadership Fort Dodge sessions are held once a month from September to May. Topics include civic engagement, media, criminal justice, agriculture, ecology, and leadership skills.

Here are the participants in the 2017-2018 Leadership Fort Dodge program

• Ryan Baldridge, Webster County Attorney’s Office

• Linda Cheshier, UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center

• Brett Daniel, Fort Dodge Public Works Department

• Heather Farrell, CJ Bio America

• Kell George, Friendship Haven

• Zachary Felch. Boy Scouts of America

• Sarah Feldmann, Webster County Social Services

• Ryan Gruenberg, Fort Dodge Police Department

• Caitlin Hergenreter, TKG Holdings

• Steve Hergenreter, Fort Dodge Fire Department

• Cory Husske, Fort Dodge Police Department

• Dreand Johnson, Iowa Central Community College

• Renae Kruckenberg, Community Health Center of Fort Dodge

• Amanda Lyon, Unity Point at Home

• Rachel Maehl, TKG Holdings

• Chelsea Meyers, Kingsgate Insurance

• Justin Mikos, Mikos & Matt Furniture

• Jessica Moffitt, North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency

• Jeremy Munden, Northfield Church

• Heather O’Brien, Town & Country Insurance

• Lori Paxton, First American Bank

• Melanie Russell, KHI Solutions

• Tim Schlosser, Weitz Industrial LLC

• Sarah Schumack, Fort Dodge Regional Airport

• Christen Sewell, UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center

• Jessica Smith, UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center

• Mallory Smith, Citizens Community Credit Union

• Anne Zwink, Soldier Creek Winery.