RLND Class X in Jamestown

Empowering Leadership Journeys: RLND Class X Shines in Second Seminar!

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Class X completed Seminar 2: Personal Leadership Development

Written by the Seminar Management Team: Katie Wentz, Trinity Nelson, and Emily Ptacek

Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) Class X convened in Jamestown from January 17-19, 2024 for their Personal Leadership Development Seminar. The seminar took them to businesses around the Jamestown area as well as Oakes to visit and meet with businesses and leaders there.

RLND Class X visit to NDFU
The Seminar kicked off at North Dakota Famers Union (NDFU), where we enjoyed a wonderful meeting space and lunch provided by NDFU. We met and had a valuable conversation with NDFU President, Mark Watne. We then dove into ethical decision making with Rachelle Vettern, Leadership and Volunteer Specialist with NDSU Extension. In this session we increased awareness of ethical issues and skills needed to navigate ethical conflicts by breaking up into groups and talking through some tough mock situations that could arise in the workplace or your community.
Next up was a three-person panel to focus on leading the future and navigating challenges and innovations in the professional workplace. The panel consisted of Jodie Mjoen, CEO/President of Impact Dakota; Melissa Kastet, Materials Manager with Collins Aerospace; and Charles O’Neil, Site Leader for Collins Aerospace. Next we received our Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) results. We spent some time learning how to interpret the results and how to discover and apply the language of the Leadership Challenge in order to reflect one’s own leadership skills and behaviors. To end the day Susan Milender, Class IX Alumni and Extension Agent with NDSU Barnes County led us in an etiquette dinner at the Buffalo Grill in Jamestown.
RLND Class X at Growing Small Towns
Day two started with a bus ride to Oakes, we had some discussions around our Leadership Projects to pass the time. Our first stop was at Growing Small Towns where we were given a tour of the building and learned how it’s founder, Rebecca Undem turned her vision of creating a space for people to come together to learn and grow into a reality. The Director of Oakes Chamber of Commerce, Kausha Magill then led us in a conversation about keeping our young people in small towns and encouraging them to become business owners.
We continued on our journey in Oakes to Southeast Regional Career and Technology Center where Director, Dan Spellerberg gave us a tour and showed us what the facility offers youth in Oakes and other communities. Current student and local business owner of Feel Good Foods talked about the lessons she had learned at the center and she applied them when starting her own business. We had a great discussion about preparing the next generation of leaders and increasing the entrepreneurial spirit in our own communities. A wonderful lunch was prepared by the culinary arts students, made with local foods processed in their classes. Guests included an RLND Class I alum, Jon Zetocha.  Our time in Oakes concluded with a tour of Kustom Machine, a family business of fellow Class X member Emily Ptacek and a stop at Sweets ‘N Stories for a treat.
RLND Class X at Cavendish
On our way back to Jamestown we toured the fourth largest producer of frozen potato products in North America, Cavendish Farms. Our next stop was a bit chilly up on the hill, but our visit to Jamestown would not have been complete without a stop at the World’s Largest Buffalo!
The day concluded with a Leadership Dinner at the historic 1888 Stutsman County Courthouse, where eight RLND alumni- Merri Mooridan (Class I) and her husband Jeff, Joni Tillich (Class VI and RLNDAA President), Gwen Crawford (Class VIII and former RLNDAA President), Tammy Jo Taft (Class VIII), Annika Plummer (Class VIII and RLNDAA past president), Andrea Nelson (Class IX), Kristina Dick (Class IX and RLNDAA Communications Director), and Sue Milender (Class IX) joined us. Site Manager, Steven Reidburn told us the story of North Dakota’s oldest surviving courthouse.
RLND Class X Seminar 2 Leadership Dinner
Friday morning we made our home at Babb’s Coffeehouse, thanks to their generous donation of letting us use their meeting space. We continued our discussions about our LPI and our Leadership Projects. Mid morning we were joined by two leaders in Dakota Soy. Stephanie Sinner, Executive Director with ND Soybean Council and Mike Keller, President of Green Bison Soy Processing led discussions around production, value added agriculture, and future leadership trends. In closing we had some discussion on our upcoming trip to Washington D.C. and Class X members reflected on their highs and lows of Seminar 2.
We owe much appreciation to our Seminar 2 Sponsors: Babb’s Coffee House, Dickey Rural Network, North Dakota Farmer’s Union (Leader Corps Member), Kustom Machine, Otter Tail Power Company, and Starion Bank – Oakes. The success of RLND seminars would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.
RLND Class X at Babb's