2019 – 2020 Green County Leaders
Andrew Aurit, Rudy Folk, Teagan Kluckhohn and Donna Pence are Colony Brands’ most recent Green County Leaders graduates, bringing our company total to 83 employees that have completed the program since the first class was held in 2002-03, including Bob Erb and Ryan Kubly…
The program provides an educational opportunity for participants to focus on personal leadership development and local community orientation. “Through interactive community orientation, personal leadership development training, outside activities and a hands-on team project, GCL provides participants with an increased capacity to contribute as effective leaders and a great knowledge of the area in which they live and/or work.” Colony Brands is honored to host one session for Green County Leaders each year and provide a company overview and tour.
2013 graduate Al Hanusa, Engineering, represents Colony Brands as a member of the GCL Board.
We’ve asked this year’s graduates to share their experience in the program.
Rudy Folk (Talent Acquisition)
I am grateful I had the opportunity to participate in GCL. The relationships forged and the network of resources built has been incredible. I am honored to join fellow GCL grads in continually supporting Green County’s forward progress.
The group project I joined focused on bringing a Community Garden to Monroe. Our goal is to offer space for growing fresh fruit and veggies, provide networking opportunities among community members and to bring educational opportunities surrounding health and nutrition forward for kids and families. We have partnered with Blackhawk Technical College and both parties are committed to bringing our concept to life for the 2021 growing season.
Donna Pence (Food Supply Chain – Planning)
This past year I had the opportunity to be part of the Green County Leaders program. It helped me to learn and understand some of the community issues and needs. It showed us all the different resources that are available to you or someone you may encounter who has a need for help. The program offered several different leadership trainings to use as we become more involved in our community. One of the great things about the program are the networking opportunities it provides to help you become more involved in leadership roles within your community.
Our team project was doing a feasibility study for implementing a Splash Pad for the City of Monroe. This would add amenities to our local communities, keeping our residents here and supporting our local economy.
Our team’s goal was to locate the splash pad housed in a public space such as Twining Park in Monroe. We want it to be easily accessible for anyone and free to the public.
In February 2020 the Finance and Taxation Committee gave us approval to start a pledge campaign. We then built a webpage and Facebook page dedicated to raising awareness and gathering support for our project. The Monroe Parks and Recreation Department also allowed us to add a featured page to their annual brochure that allows the community to make pledges for the project.
In March 2020 when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the team decided to hold plans to actively pursue pledges due to the uncertainty of the economy and the toll on local businesses.
Even though we face uncertain times our team remains committed to see this project to the end. Once the economy has become more stable, we will resume our fundraising efforts.
Andrew Aurit (DMS)
For my group project, we were tasked with the job of restarting the existing Young Professionals of Green County group. The previous group was successful but has since disbanded.
Our group decided to completely rebrand the group and renamed it Aspiring Leaders of Green County (ALGC). This group will focus on a social aspect that would bring professionals within Green County together, but we also want to place more of an emphasis on community outreach. Through this, we hope to positively impact the areas of Green Country with the most need (affordable housing, child care, mental health, etc.).
Due to the current pandemic, unfortunately, a lot of our plans had to be put on hold. Once we are able, we are planning to have a kickoff event and begin group meetings where we will plan events that would help address the topics stated above. With that being said, we are currently in a recruiting phase, so if anyone in interested, you can search us on Facebook and join the group.
The thing I took most away from Green County Leaders was the ability to push myself out of my comfort zone. Through the group project and the exercises during class, I was constantly encouraged to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I also was exposed to a lot of new information about Green County that I didn’t previously know.
Teagan Kluckhohn (Food Supply Chain – Planning)
For my team, our project was Language Sharing: Convivio.
Proposed to help break down the language barrier for Spanish speaking residents and their neighbors by creating a group to regularly meet and practice through culturally based sharing.
As for the biggest takeaway, I feel like it reinforced that leadership isn’t so much about focusing on yourself as a leader, it’s about partnering with people who share your goals and have strengths that are complimentary to your own.