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Leadership Fort Dodge

May 19, 2009 - Dave Jakeman
I graduate from my Leadership Fort Dodge class today.  Leadership Fort Dodge is a  broad-based, interactive experience that seeks to shape future leaders by providing them with the background information and tools to become a positive force in our community.

Having lived here my whole life, 31 years, I thought I knew everything there was to know and heard everything there was to hear about this community.  Boy was I wrong.

I saw and learned things during each class that I had never seen or heard about before.  From touring manufacturing plants, to learning how to get involved through volunteerism, to seeing what our great parks had to offer, each class was more enjoyable than the last.

It also demonstrated to us that there are great things going on in our community.  Things that we can take pride in.  I came out of each session with an affirmation that things are moving in the right direction in Fort Dodge.  It made me proud to be a Dodger.

Leadership Fort Dodge also served as a showcase of other ordinary citizens, just like us, who have
identified needs in our community and stepped up to the plate to make a difference in our society.

People like Joe Ruge, who saw the recreational need for kids and helped start the Fort Dodge Soccer Association.

People like Deb & Casey Johnson, who helped with numerous charities in our community because they see the need to give a helping hand to others.

And People like Madai Taylor, who absolutely refuses to stop believing in the Pleasant Valley area and won't let the people in that neighborhood stop believing in themselves.

Leadership Fort Dodge lays the foundation for the future leaders of Fort Dodge.  It gives us all the tools to make a difference.  Now it is up to us graduates to take these tools and get involved in our community.  It’s time to stop relying on our neighbors to fix our problems for us. We need to be the ones to make the quality of life in Fort Dodge the best it can possibly be.

Get Involved! You don’t need to do everything, but you gotta do something!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Diane Patton, Program Coordinator, for organizing these classes and making sure everything went smoothly.  Thank you to the steering committee for believing in this program and volunteering your time to make it as good as it is.  

I also want to thank the sponsors who, without your support, none of this would be possible.

Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust
First State Bank
Fort Dodge Animal Health
Frontier Communications
Iowa Central Community College
Nestle Purina PetCare Co
The Messenger
Trinity Regional Medical Center
United Way & Community Foundation of Northwest Iowa

Finally I want to thank our employers for understanding the importance of this program.  By allowing your employees to attend this program, you are investing in the future of Fort Dodge.


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Blog Photos

Networking at our picnic with Leslie Caldwell