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Oceana Nonprofit Leaders Chosen for Leadership Initiative

Six Oceana nonprofit leaders have been selected by the Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) to attend an eight month Leadership Learning Lab.

Facilitated by NorthSky Nonprofit Network, the Leadership Learning Lab seeks to connect and empower nonprofit leaders and give them the skills to strengthen the organizations and communities they serve. The monthly workshops are held at the Lakeshore Resource Center in Ludington in partnership with the Manistee Community Foundation’s selected nonprofit leaders. This regional initiative will allow participants to create a network of other leaders to build relationships, share challenges and learn from one another.

Funded by the Frey Foundation and the Oceana & Manistee Community Foundations, the Leadership Learning Lab aligns with the Foundations’ strategic efforts to support capacity building among local nonprofits.

The emerging leaders in Oceana County are Brian Beckman, Eva Berumen, Suzie Knoll, Alyssa Merten, Stephanie Moore and Kittie Tuinstra.

Brian Beckman is attending on behalf of The Ladder Community Center in Shelby, where he has served as the Director since the center opened 2 years ago. He desires to become a quality leader, communicating well with staff, volunteers, funders and community members and seeks to facilitate positive change in the community. He also is eager to be a part of a larger peer community to feel less like a “lone ranger” in his nonprofit role.

Eva Berumen is attending on behalf of the Oceana Hispanic Center, where she has served as the Executive Director since April 2016. She hopes that the program will allow her to gain knowledge of becoming an effective leader and the ability to respond to challenges with intelligence, strategy and expertise. She feels the sessions will also give her the chance to step back from daily responsibilities, to examine the agency and think about how the future may unfold.

Suzie Knoll is attending on behalf of the Oceana Conservation District, where she has served as the Executive Director since 2014. She anticipates this opportunity will help her facilitate positive change and impact on the environment and natural resources of Oceana County. She also looks forward to incorporating the concepts and skills into her personal life and non-work related interests as an activist for social justice.

Alyssa Merten is attending on behalf of Oceana College Access Network, where she has served as the Program Coordinator since June 2015. She is looking forward to learning how to best adapt her leadership style to the needs of different groups and connecting partners to create sustainable trust and relationships across sectors.

Stephanie Moore is attending on behalf of Oceana County Council on Aging, where she has served as the Program Director since 2001 and the Associate Director since January 2016. She desires to learn more about mission-driven story-telling and board development in her ultimate goal of ensuring older adults have the opportunity to age in place. She also feels that developing relationships with cohorts and having a support system with like-minded individuals strengthens a community.

Kittie Tuinstra is attending on behalf of Oceana’s Home Partnership, where she has served as the Executive Director since September 2011. She feels the Leadership Learning Lab is an exciting opportunity to build a network of supportive colleagues and to increase her leadership skills. She also plans to share learned skills and strategies internally, to permeate positive change throughout the organization and have it become part of their culture and value system.

The Foundation envisions an Oceana where everyone has access to resources to thrive. It receives and manages contributions from citizens and organizations and has provided over 5 million in grants and scholarships back to the community since 1989.  More information can be obtained by calling Ms. Carey at 231-861-8335 or following the Facebook page.