Five Changemakers Join the Community Foundation for Oceana County’s Regional Leadership Learning Lab
Pentwater, MI –
The Community Foundation for Oceana County (CFOC) is proud to introduce the six community leaders participating in its regional Leadership Learning Lab (LLL): Rubi Berumen, Aubrey Boerema, Curtis Burdette, Mark Olmstead, and Griffin Vogler. As the fifth cohort of LLL, participants will join Oceana County’s 26 LLL alumni in expanding their leadership skills and networks.
LLL began in 2018 after several northern community foundations, including CFOC, brainstormed how they could empower leaders and acting changemakers in their communities. Oceana & Manistee counties make up one of five LLL sites across the state, which now includes leaders from Mason County in this cohort. The program is a collective effort among the Frey Foundation, Rotary Charities, and ten community foundations in northern Michigan. Statewide, 225 individuals have taken part in LLL with 167 alumni continuing to meet and utilize LLL’s learning resources. After its 2023-24 cohort, CFOC will select another new cohort and invites those interested to keep an eye on the Foundation’s communications, as it will announce when the 2024 application opens.
For CFOC, supporting LLL is an investment in Oceana County’s future as its alumni continue to sustain and innovate their work across West Michigan. A full list of alumni is available at the Foundation’s website under the RESOURCES tab at oceanafoundation.org. LLL provides a space for budding leaders and seasoned changemakers to learn from one another. “Each leader brings their own experiences and passion for their work into each LLL session, providing their unique perspective to each conversation. Growing your leadership capacity not only includes developing technical skills, but also listening to and learning from views different than your own. The Foundation continually works to create opportunities for these conversations and learning moments to help our nonprofit, government, and business leaders to better serve our community,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey explained.
By connecting leaders from Oceana, Manistee, and Mason counties, LLL works to strengthen the relationships between nonprofit professionals across the region. Participants meet monthly to learn about different aspects of management, including storytelling, fundraising, and adaptive leadership. The 2023 cohort participants are each committed to growing their skills to better serve their organizations.
As a Departmental Supervisor for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), Rubicelia (Rubi) Berumen coaches Michigan Works! agencies and their staff to better serve Michigan’s growing economy. She previously worked as a Migrant Service Worker for LEO and as a Foster Care Specialist. Rubi noted, “What I learn in the LLL will help me enhance my skills and be well informed, resourceful and supportive in the learning process and educational needs of other in my community.”
As the founder and executive director of Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center in 2014, Aubrey Boerema has been a community leader since her early twenties. “As a visionary, I have big dreams for our program,” Aubrey said. “I love the West Michigan community. I love the support we have here. However, our community needs more… I’d love to continue learning how to be a leader who is engaging, intuitive, and working towards the best we can so that we can continue to operate right here in Oceana County.”
Along with becoming the Executive Director for Oceana County Economic Alliance, Curtis Burdette fostered his interest in leadership by serving on the United Way of the Lakeshore Oceana County’s board, participating in the County’s Broadband Task Force, and leading the County’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. He has completed several leadership training programs at Rapid Roots and the International Economic Development Council. “The connections and training I gain will go directly into practice for myself and benefit Oceana County Economic Alliance in our mission to create a diverse economic environment,” Burdette stated.
As a career teacher and later educational administrator, Mark Olmstead is deeply passionate about developing vibrant educational environments for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. He is the superintendent of Shelby Public Schools. For Mark, leadership is a skill best developed through networking. He explained, “I strongly believe that qualities of leadership are continually developed and grown through engaging with other leaders.”
Griffin Vogler, the Director of Camp Miniwanca, has dedicated a significant portion of her 15-year career in operations leadership to the next generations. In establishing youth leadership programs in healthcare and her current role in facilitating an empowering youth camp experience for the American Youth Foundation. “I am hopeful that I will gain new skills, create stronger connections that will better equip Miniwanca to meet the needs of local youth,” Griffin explained.
The Community Foundation for Oceana County envisions an Oceana where everyone has access to resources to thrive. If you would like more information on the Leadership Learning Lab, call CEO Tammy Carey at 231-869-3377 or visit – https://oceanafoundation.org/community-impact/leadership-learning-lab/.