Building leaders to build communities

Jeff Ebel, LuAnn Bird and Corinda Rainey-Moore

Three leaders-in-training reveal their early reactions to the Leadership Wisconsin two-year leadership development program coordinated by the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Chosen as the 15th group in the organization’s history, they will meet for 11 seminars – ranging from three days to two weeks in duration – between 2012 and 2014.

Corinda Rainey-Moore of Dane County says:

 “I want to encourage more people to be part of this organization because there are a lot of people like me who have the potential to be leaders. Leadership Wisconsin recognizes that we don’t all have to come from a place where we’re known in the community to be leaders.

“It also teaches us to connect with each and every person that comes in our path. We don’t really know how those people can help us and how those people can be utilized to benefit the greater good, which is really to help other people. That’s what this program is really about for me.”

LuAnn Bird of Waukesha County says:

“I’m already gaining more insight, more skills into the workings of the state government, how things have occurred in the last year or two, why they’ve occurred in the last year or two, which gives me a little more empathy, helps me to understand different perspectives of how things have occurred.

“I think that’s critical to the future. If I don’t understand why things have happened the way they do, how can I then be part of some positive change in the future that I’d like to see, particularly around, I guess, leaders who know how to compromise, who know how to find a compromise.

“When you put us together and we work together in small groups, we learn about each other and we learn how to get along, how to pull our diverse views together to get something done.

“So, by modeling the program, I’m confident then when I go back home I’ll be able to make a change in my local community, which has an impact on the state.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the people at the UW-Extension and for the legislature that supports this work so that we can build leaders around our state in our communities who can make a bigger difference.”

Jeff Ebel of Portage County says:

“Opportunities like this don’t come along very often, where we can interact in this way with each other, learn from each other, grow and have doors open for us like we did this weekend.”

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