Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance recognizes FD Leadership graduates

‘We exist to bring hope. Strong leadership is key to that.’

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Jeremy Munden, youth and family minister at Northfield Church, right, visits with Rob Hughes, Fort Dodge Community School District assistant superintendent, during the Leadership Fort Dodge graduation Tuesday night at Best Western Starlite Village in Fort Dodge. Leadership Fort Dodge is hosted by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

About a year ago, Jeremy Munden, the youth and family minister at Northfield Church, had a challenge for his organization.

“If our church closed our doors today, would anyone notice?” Munden said during the Leadership Fort Dodge graduation at Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites Tuesday night. “That was our challenge.”

Munden was one of 24 graduates recognized by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance for taking part in a program where participants learned about Fort Dodge, leadership skills and networking.

About 50 people attended the social gathering.

Providing strong leadership, volunteerism and hope, were qualities he thought would ensure that people would notice if the doors to the church closed.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Rhonda Chambers, of Fort Dodge, applauds during the Leadership Fort Dodge graduation at Best Western Starlite Village Tuesday night.

“We exist to bring hope,” Munden said. “Strong leadership is key to that.”

He added, “A community built on strong leadership grows.”

Munden concluded by thanking the GFDGA for the opportunity.

The leadership program covers a different topic each month from September through May.

Topics range from health and human services to criminal justice to economic development.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Mike Dewerff, president and chief executive officer of UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge, stands at left as members of the hospital are recognized during the Leadership Fort Dodge graduation Tuesday night at Best Western Starlite Village in Fort Dodge.

According to Jill Nelson, community development director for the GFDGA, 123 business or individuals contributed to the Fort Dodge leadership program during the past nine months.

“That’s how much community support we have,” Nelson said. “That’s just one example.”

Tim Schlosser, of Des Moines, was another graduate of the program.

He drove to the leadership class in Fort Dodge once a month.

Schlosser is a project engineer for Weitz Industrial, of Des Moines.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Tim Schlosser, of Des Moines, is all smiles during the Leadership Fort Dodge graduation Tuesday night at Best Western Starlite Village. Schlosser was one of 24 gradutes of the program.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I learned a lot about local government and how businesses and citizens work together with local government to bring growth to the region.”

He added, “Fort Dodge does a really terrific job of collaboration with these groups.”

Christen Sewell, an employee of UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, appreciated the program. “It really brought my eyes in to other industries in Fort Dodge that contribute to our community,” she said.

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