Building Regional Leadership Capacity

Jun 26, 2018 | Education & Professional Development

Today, the 9th class of Leadership Northern Colorado graduated. It’s hard to believe the program is now 9 years old.

Like many good things, Leadership Northern Colorado got started after a setback. In 2006, leaders in the two-county Larimer-Weld region were intensively discussing the idea of a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). RTAs are a tool provided under state law that enable local areas, with permission from voters, to identify a specific geographic area and pass a special tax for transportation improvements.

Regional suspicions, lack of good working relationships, and competing agendas doomed the idea of an RTA, which died with the Fort Collins City Council in April 2007 and the election of an anti-RTA majority.

In 2008, I was selected to be a Ford Foundation Fellowship for Sustainable Development, in coordination with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The key focus of the Fellowship was around regionalism and how to foster better livability and economic prosperity on a regional basis.

For being selected into the Fellowship, each participant had to submit a Regional Action Plan (RAP), a document that outlined a project that could be implemented in their area and something that would make the region function even better.

In the spirit of regionalism, I convened my counterparts from the Greeley and Loveland chambers to discuss what we could do together. We landed on the idea of a regional leadership program. The lack of regional leadership and cooperation was still fresh in our minds from the recently imploded RTA effort.

During the summer and fall of 2009, we discussed the idea with our chamber boards of directors and secured formal approvals. Recognizing the strong alignment with the community foundations we sought their involvement and they readily signed on as founders. And now 9 years later, the rest is history.

Since then, the five LNC partners have been in the business of helping to grow our region’s leadership capacity.

Congratulations to the 2018 Leadership Northern Colorado graduates:

Laura Armstrong, Heart J Center at Sylvan Dale
Seth Baucke, Bank of Colorado
Avery Buser, The Group, Inc.
Erika Benti, Colorado State University
Erik Berlin, Bryan Construction
Marisa Donegon, City of Fort Collins
Ryan Dusil, North Front Range MPO
Bianca Fisher, Greeley Downtown Development Authority
Erin Frisch, Academy Mortgage Corporation
James Herman, Radiology Imaging Associates
Beth Higgins, Poudre School District
Rebecca Holder-Otte, Banner Health
Bryce Jacobson, Greeley Tribune
John Kloster-Prew, Audubon Rockies
Jennifer McLain, Alpha Center
Tyler Nichols, Eide Bailly CPAs
Clay Olson, Transamerica Financial Advisors
Emily Peddicord, Saunders Heath Construction
Lee Reiff, Larimer County
Sarah Rice, Kaiser Permanente
Sylvia Robinson, TOLMAR, Inc.
Daniel Roth, Yogasacrificium
Brian Rowe, Town of Windsor
Joyce Saffel, Columbine Health Systems
Jared Shamburger, US Bank
Shelby Sommer, The Brendle Group
Nicholas Spezza, Front Range Community College
Derek Strader, Banner Health
Tara Streeb, Teaching Tree
Stacey Swanson, Larimer County
Grace Taylor, UCHealth
Clint Torczon, State Farm Insurance