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 take time to learn, practice, and experiment with new skills acquired in the Lab. The Lab hosts monthly workshops at five regional sites, with Oceana 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.

The Lab was born out of the collaboration of 11 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 NorthSky Nonprofit Network and 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.

This three-year program has supported 17 leaders in a wide range of positions across Oceana County. Providing a trusted space for rising nonprofit 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 Lab is currently seeking partnership funding to support another 3 years of nonprofit leader capacity training. Applications for the next cohort will be released soon.

Third Cohort

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

Second Cohort

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

First Cohort

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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