Leadership Learning Lab

In today’s complex world, especially with the service pivots necessitated by the pandemic, the conditions to be successful are constantly shifting, requiring people from all sectors to lead with a new kind of courage and skill. The Leadership Learning Lab helps leaders to become a more adaptive leader and to take the time to learn, practice, and experiment with new skills acquired in the Lab. The Lab hosts monthly workshops at five regional sites, with Oceana, Mason and Manistee leaders together at the Lakeshore Resource Center in Ludington. The Lab aligns with the Oceana Foundations’ strategic efforts to support capacity building among local nonprofits and community partners.

The Lab was born out of the collaboration of 10 northern Michigan community foundations that recognized they could do more together than separately, and funders that wanted to invest in a new way of empowering communities. Facilitated by Rotary Charities, and funded by the Frey Foundation and the local community foundations, the Lab seeks to connect and empower nonprofit executive directors and emerging leaders and give them the skills to strengthen the organizations and communities they serve. The Lab is supported by the Foundation’s Administrative Fund as a leadership initiative.

This program has supported 31 leaders in a wide range of positions across Oceana County. Providing a trusted space for rising leaders to develop their talents and a plan for the impact they wish to make within their local communities is invaluable. The Lab is an investment into planting the seeds of open communication and support between different organizations, not only between the nonprofit leaders but also amongst the participating foundations.

The application to join the 2024-25 cohort is now open – apply here
Application deadline is June 28
LLL flyer with all the details here!

We invite you to consider joining this cohort and submitting an application. Leadership Learning Lab combines monthly sessions, small groups, social media, and cohort support as a year-long program. While learning more about leadership, participants will also network and develop connections with other community leaders. We welcome leaders at all levels from nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, and Tribal Nations. To learn more and apply, visit LLL Program’s website.



To read more about the 2023-24 cohort, please click here.

  • Scott Beal, Director of the Hart-Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau

    Tracey Blamer, Director of Procurement at Peterson Farms

    Steve Bruch, Economic and Community Projects Coordinator for Oceana County

    Terri Demeter, Advancement Coordinator and Finance Manager at the Fountain Hill Center

    Irma Hinojosa, Chairperson of Oceana Hispanic Center and West Michigan Migrant Resource Council Boards

    Mark Kraus, Community Liaison Development Director at TrueNorth Services

    Sarah Oleniczak, Deputy Health Director at the District Health Department #10

    Kathleen Rash, Library Diector at the Hart Area Public Library

    Elizabeth Russell, Board Secretary and Grant Writer at the Pentwater Historical Society



  • Paul Erickson, President of Oceana County Fair & Oceana County Historical Society

    Kortni Garcia, Public Health Educator, DHD #10

    Jodi Nichols, Business Development Coordinator, Oceana County Economic Alliance

    Sarah Schaner, 4-H Program Coordinator, MSU Extension

    Danielle Siegel, Program Assistant, CFOC

  • Tiffany Collins-Haight, Director, Shelby Area District Library

    Emma Kirwin, VP Walkerville Thrives, Leavitt Township Supervisor

    Rob Widigan, Administrator, Village of Shelby Village

    Julie Kreilick, Director, Hart Main Street

    Maggie Bowman, Clearinghouse Coordinator, Love INC Oceana County

    Catalina Burillo, Community Health Improvement Coordinator, Health Project

  • Kittie Tuinstra, Executive Director, Oceana’s Home Partnership

    Suzie Geerlings Knoll, Executive Director, Oceana Conservation District

    Alyssa Merten, Program Director, Oceana College Access Network

    Eva Berumen Reyna, Executive Director, Oceana Hispanic Center

    Stephanie Moore, Associate Director, Oceana County Council on Aging

    Brian Beckman, Director, The Ladder Community Center

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