Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Leadership Program
Michele Berg, Purchasing Manager
American Crystal Sugar Company is a proud, long term member of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber. One of the many programs the Chamber offers to its member employees is an annual Leadership Program. Through an application, interview and selection process, the leadership program selects 40 professional leaders from member employee applicants to become part of the Leadership Program.
I was honored to be selected to the 2015-2016 Leadership Program. This is a ten-month program for leaders to discover the inner workings of the Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo community and region, as well as to define my individual role and responsibility as a leader within the community. Through community exploration we were introduced to and presented with issues that face our region, various economic impacts to the community, community challenges, as well as a plethora of community leaders and businesses.
Summarizing ten months of amazing experiences is very difficult; however, here are some highlights:
- Northwest Valley City “Ropes Course” where the group was not only challenged and supported physically, but mentally as well
- Giving back to the community through Junior Achievement teaching opportunities
- Innovation labs and panel discussions with local, successful entrepreneurs
- How does it feel to be homeless? Experienced homelessness through an extensive homeless simulation lead by the Coalition for the Homeless
- Annual State of the Cities presentations followed by an exclusive closed-door session with all local mayors fielding Q&A with our select leadership group
- NDSU Economic Futures Community project – how decisions impact community economics
- Generational divides, cultural blitzes, and emotional intelligence in the workplace
- Hidden Gems Tour – a bus tour around the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo communities exposing the leadership group to many “hidden gems” (businesses and entities) that are not usually well known in the community, but are very vital and impactful in their own way
In additional to each monthly session, the 40 leadership group members were divided into seven groups that worked together over the same ten month period on Community Change Initiative Projects. These projects were initiatives suggested by seven of our peers that would impact our community. The initiatives ranged from military support group, workforce connections, and anti-bullying, to college scholarship databases and mental health awareness, to kids’ play passports (for family that otherwise could not afford some area attractions) and new American/refugee awareness. Each group did amazing, impactful work on each of their initiatives and the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo communities are already reaping the benefits.
I was honored to be nominated and supported by American Crystal Sugar Company to participate in this program. The breathed and depth of knowledge and skills received and the scope of community and leadership exposure was immense and will be continuously impactful to me as a community leader.