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Northwest Minnesota Foundation ~ Developing Community Assets ~ Serving 12 Counties WINTER 2007

Number 41

NMF Adult Leadership Program

Since 1988, the Leadership Development Program of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) has been attended by 870 individuals in the 12-county service area. The focus of the program is rural leadership and was designed specifically for Northwest Minnesota. The participants attended a four-and-a-half day residential workshop, and then returned to their homes, their jobs, and communities with new tools and skills, which they put to work helping to improve the quality of the places they live. A second workshop, Leadership II, was created several years ago. It was a 2-day “refresher” to the first workshop, reinforcing leadership skills and serving as a way for participants to reconnect with people they had previously met and networked with. Additionally, NMF has delivered STAR Teams youth leadership development, the Organizational Excellence Program, and diversity and cultural competence workshops. NMF has decided to restructure its overall adult leadership program to respond to feedback received over the years and to adapt to changing priorities. Staff traveled around the region gathering input through focus groups. Major findings were identified in the process and combined with feedback received from participants of both leadership workshops.

Dr. Okokon Udo

Pat Balstad

Some of the key considerations that emerged are: being aware of and appreciating the uniqueness of the region; continuing personal and professional development for individuals; sustaining a team and relationship building approach for long-term systems and community change; and, including ways to integrate all of NMF’s training programs into one easily accessible structure. A new design team made up of Distinctive Leader Options, Inc. and Northland Community and Technical College has been charged with the responsibility for developing the new programs. Dr. Okokon O. Udo, Pat Balstad, Deanna Murphy and Sheila Michaels are the team members who are working closely with NMF Training Specialist Rebecca Weir. Guided by their vision “to create the best leadership program FOR the world,” the team is mindful of the need to make the program reflect more of a life-long learning approach. Committed to using the best of technology and development that is grounded in regional reality, the program will be costeffective, user-friendly, flexible and sustainable. (Continued on page 4)

Deanna Murphy

Sheila Michaels


Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation invests resources, creates opportunities and promotes philanthropy to make the region a better place to live and work. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Eric Bergeson Chair Fertile Anne Sand Vice Chair Bemidji Gary Purath Secretary Red Lake Falls Dean Johnson Treasurer Mahnomen Terri Anderson Ogema David Bergman Thief River Falls Mark Hewitt Park Rapids Roger Malm Hallock Kim Wilson Fosston Ann Beck Bagley Robert Hager Greenbush

Four female political science students gained knowledge and networked at the League of Women Voters’ Leaders of Today and Tomorrow conference. Women in Hawley learned how to prepare for a job interview and received an outfit to wear when meeting with potential employers. Baudette area women and teen girls received financial management training. Girls in Climax-Shelley schools earned educational experiences though an enrichment program for advanced students. These beneficial opportunities and many others might never have happened, if not for the establishment of the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund and its grant program, funding these projects and more. On February 21, 1997, the Board of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation became one of the most visionary, progressive community foundations in all of Minnesota by establishing a regional Women’s Fund. Norma Hanson is one of the originators of the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund. Conversations began when she was serving on the Northwest Minnesota Foundation Board of Directors, working with Ruth Edevold, who was executive director. They determined that women and girls face many inequities in northwest Minnesota, resulting in missed opportunities, wasted leadership potential, and unrealized dreams and aspirations. “Through my experiences in the region as a member of various boards, as a community volunteer, and rural farm partner, it became apparent that a source of financial support was badly needed in our region, beyond what the foundation could provide. The idea arose to create a component of the foundation that was specifically devoted to women and girls,” Hanson said. Hanson, Edevold, and other women interested in finding ways to improve the lives of women and girls in northwest Minnesota attended focus group meetings, which were held in Thief River Falls, Crookston and Bemidji. Community leaders were invited who shared the belief that women in the region need to fully understand and participate in areas that impact their lives, such as finance, business, estate planning, career development, and others. Their task was to identify the unique problems or issues confronting women and girls in northwest 2

Grant check presented for political science students to attend the League of Women’s Voters Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Conference. (L-R) Professor Patrick Donnay, Bemidji State University; students Kris Leritz; and Carly Melin, Dr. Patricia Rosenbrock, Women’s Fund advisory committee.

Minnesota and determine how to address them. The discussions formed the basis for the mission and vision of what became the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund. Hanson has been a member of the advisory committee ever since. She is one of the first Founders’ Society members, has made two additional Founder donations, and is also a Visionary Partner. “Being part of the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund is helping to create interest and fascination,” Hanson said. “It is encouraging women to succeed and commit to making a difference.” Current Advisory Committee Chair Florence Hedeen stated, “By stimulating discussions, promoting ideas and developing and committing financial resources, the Women’s Fund will realize its vision,” she said. “There is a great need in our region for women and girls to share and use their personal strengths, talents and resources. We must encourage them so we can make the most of their abilities.” To date, the Women’s Fund endowment has surpassed the $260,000 mark, made possible primarily through 153 individual donations of $1,000 to the Founders’ Society and Visionary Partner programs. Investment earnings have been put to work, with over $15,500 distributed in total grants, helping to support programs and activities for women


Women’s Fund 10th Anniversary through nominations in this exclusive group of women who have had a lifetime of impact and influence in the region. Among them are many pioneers in their chosen field or in nontraditional careers. Original oil portraits of the inductees are on display in a Hall of Fame exhibit in the AC Clark Library on the Bemidji State campus. Through the years, numerous forwardthinking women have served on the advisory committee. Current members are Norma Hanson of Goodridge; Florence Hedeen, Chair, Park Rapids; Vicki Svedarsky, Vice-Chair, Crookston; Gloria Kaste, Secretary, Fertile; Jody Horntvedt, Treasurer, Baudette; Jeannine Windels, Crookston; Barbara Muesing, Fosston; and Nancy Carroll, Park Rapids. The committee has recently been working on renewal of the fund’s strategic plan. They have held a retreat, which accomplished a refreshed mission statement, vision and goals. Work continues to create action plans built around the new, focused set of goals and objectives. One of the newest advisory committee members, Barbara Muesing, skillfully articulated what lies ahead. She said, “The founders of the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Fund made their own way, inspired by a mission to improve the quality of life for women in the region. Their extraordinary patience was matched by remarkable imagination and generosity. “Ten years later,” she added, “visionary partners are moving forward with an equally ambitious agenda to encourage and equip women to reach their full potential. The vision is bold. The time is right.”

2006 NW MN Women’s Hall of Fame induction of Dr. Kathleen Annette (left) and Susan Mills

and girls. Although this is not a substantial amount, it is an exciting development for the founding members and donors who watched the Women’s Fund grow from the theories developed by focus groups with zero donor dollars, to the level it has today. Advisory committee member and former Chair Nancy Carroll expressed her commitment to the Women’s Fund very well. She said, “Why am I a member of the Founder’s Society and a Visionary Partner? Because, I truly believe in the Vision Statement: A region where women and girls share and use their personal strengths, talents and resources and…use their leadership abilities in the home, school, work and community.” It has been a long-term goal of the Women’s Fund to recognize women at all life stages for their contributions to family, organizations, community and the region. The ever-popular Community Builder recognition program is one of the ways that goal is achieved. Twenty-three extraordinary women from across the region have been recognized for their contributions as mentors, community volunteers and for professional excellence. Nominations are solicited each year, with selections made in May. Receptions to celebrate the awards are arranged and hosted by the Women’s Fund in the hometown of each Community Builder. Co-sponsoring Women’s History Month events and the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Hall of Fame Current Advisory Committee Members L-R (back row): began in 1998 in a partnership with Current advisory committee members: Jody Horntvedt, Florence Hedeen, Lisa Peterson (NMF staff), Jeannine Bemidji State University Women’s Windels. L-R (front row): Barbara Muesing, Gloria Studies Program. Nineteen Kaste, Vicki Svedarsky, Norma Hanson, Nancy Carroll individuals have been selected 3

“There is a great need in the region for women and girls to share and use their personal strengths, talents and resources. We must encourage them so we can make the most of their abilities.” Florence Hedeen, Chair, NW MN Women’s Fund

Former Advisory Committee Members Kristin Anderson Karen Ahmann Janet Brademan Lorena Cook Kathy Craddock Tande Ruth Edevold ex officio Carolyn Eeg Brenda Finkenbinder Sheila Fontaine Celine Graham Joyce Hagen Jean Heinrichs Susan Hoosier Joy Johnson Renee Rongen Patricia Rosenbrock Holly Smith Mary Turner Darla Twomey Bobbie Wagner Kim Wilson Renae Womack Deb Zak


NMF Adult Leadership Program

(Continued from page 1)

Udo said the team is excited about the challenges ahead. “We are anticipating the possibilities of what the region will become and the connections that will be made between it and the world, while being good stewards of the region’s resources,” he said.

“We are anticipating the possibilities of what the region will become and the connections that will be made between it and the world.” Okokon O. Udo, PhD, CPCC, Distinctive Leader Options, Inc.

The design will be completed in the fall of 2007, with the new sessions beginning the following year. Visit the NMF web site at www.nwmf.org for further developments and for future announcements about a starting date for the new sessions. Dr. Udo presenting at a recent NMF conference.

In a recent interview, Dr. Okokon Udo answered questions about the new design: What does the new Individual Leadership Development Program hope to achieve? The design team has been given two major tasks by the Board of Directors, namely: redesign of the individual leadership program and creating a framework for integrating all of the foundation’s leadership related programs into an easily navigable structure and flow. This will allow individuals to determine where best to enter the program, which will have several different tracks. With regard to the individual leadership program, the design team has the vision of creating the best possible program - not just for the 12-county region, but for the world. The goal is to make a program available locally that is comparable to any offered globally. The program, when launched, will be based on clearly defined competencies aimed at deepening personal awareness of one’s leadership and enhancing the impact of such leadership at home, work, and the broader community.

significant role in the delivery of the program. One of the major components is for the participants to stay connected, to benefit from professional coaching as they create their personal vision and determine how they can implement their individual plans. Most of that work will be delivered online through a variety of forms. Networking within the region and among program participants is an integral part of the design.

Will the training result in increased effectiveness and productivity for everyone? Certainly! In the current design process, outcomes are a definite concern and will inform the rigor and intensity with which the program development process is engaged. We intend to build evaluation strategies into every step of the delivery to insure relevance and measure ongoing impact of the program beyond the classroom setting. The program will provide the structure and resources to assist all participants as they determine their strengths and how to apply them in their lives and in their communities.

How will it meet the needs of Northwest Minnesota residents? A big strength is that the entire design will be based on the reality, assets and unique challenges of the region. As such, it will have a regional focus with the intention of expanding the individual’s perception of how local actions impact the world. Given the foundation’s limited resources and focus, the program is intended solely for residents of the region.

Will the training be useful to both non-profit and for-profit workers and businesses? Traditionally, the foundation’s programs have tended to have a nonprofit focus. Given the reality of life in the region, for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, needs for competent leaders and excellent staff development opportunities exist across sectors. The goal of the current design is to meet the needs of individuals no matter what sector they serve.

Will the programming include ways for the participants to stay connected and network? In line with the times, technology will play a 4


Northwest Minnesota Foundation Launches New Effort for Early Childhood Mental Health

With $1.5 million from the Bush Foundation in a $2.5 million project, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) is one of six pilot sites participating in the statewide Minnesota Thrive Initiative – promoting the healthy social and emotional development of our youngest children. NMF has selected the Bemidji, Blackduck and Kelliher communities for the pilot site in its service area. They will receive $380,000 over three years for planning and implementing a continuum of care. The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) are collaborating in this joint venture. NMF’s Early Childhood Specialist Lin Backstrom describes early childhood mental health as the developing capacity of a child to experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close and secure interpersonal relationships; and explore the environment and learn. “A young child’s healthy social and emotional development forms a strong foundation for all other development, including cognitive -- the ability to learn and thrive in school.” Backstrom said. Children under the age of five can experience an array of emotional, behavioral and mental health problems, most of which go untreated. Parents and caregivers are often unsure what to do or where to turn. Unsettled living conditions, poor bonding with caregivers, family violence, and substance abuse can be contributing factors. Left untreated, early childhood mental health problems can lead to difficulty in school, an inability to develop friendships, and poor social skills. The goals of the Minnesota Thrive Initiative are to raise awareness of children’s mental health needs between the ages of birth and five, determine existing services and gaps, and develop of network of services for families and young children, supporting healthy social and emotional development. The local Action Team will work to gather information and develop a plan, so that existing services work well together and gaps in service are eliminated. Training for professionals, parents and the whole community will also be part of the plan. As part of this Initiative, the MIFs are creating a statewide learning community to facilitate

the sharing of information between the pilot sites and other statewide partners including the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Children’s Mental Health Association, the Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and the Minnesota Head Start Association. The Action Team Manager for the BemidjiBlackduck-Kelliher Thrive Initiative site is Carol Heimsoth. She comes to the position with extensive experience in maternal-child health, as well as in community organizing and grant management. Her leadership will bring people together who are involved in the issues around early childhood mental health to develop a plan for the area. Partnering with NMF in the management of the Thrive Initiative is the Beltrami Area Service Collaborative. According to Executive Director John Pugleasa, they are very excited about the opportunity. “Infant and early childhood mental health has been an area of specific concern to our Children’s Mental Health Team for some time,” Pugleasa said. “We see this as an opportunity to integrate our children’s mental health work with the Thrive Initiative.  Clearly, the sooner we are able to get young children and families the services and support they need, the greater the likelihood that they will be fully prepared to enter school.” The Action Team’s first priority is to conduct a community survey and identify current services and opportunities for families. A spring series of community forums will lay the basis for an action plan. NMF is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) working to address early childhood issues throughout the state. It has helped to form 64 coalitions to improve early care and education opportunities for young children. The NMF service area includes coalitions in Naytahwaush, Fertile-Beltrami, Warroad, Bagley, Thief River Falls, Marshall County, Lake of the Woods, Crookston, Park Rapids and the Bemidji area. 5

“Clearly, the sooner we get young children and their families the services and support they need, the greater the likelihood that they will be fully prepared to enter school.” JOHN PUGLEASA executive director, Beltrami Area Service Collaborative


Grants Grants totaling $458,684 were awarded from Nov. 2006 – Jan. 2007 Caring Communities

Bagley Education Endowment and Project Fund (3)............................................. $1,950 Scholarships

Children & Families Meritcare Clinic Bemidji............................. $500 For Celebrate Kindness campaign

Bemidji Area Early Childhood Initiative Fund................................................... $750 To Headwaters School of Music & Arts for Music Together

North Country Health Services................... $500 For David Parnell presentation

Bemidji Area Parks and Trails Fund First City Lights Fund................................ $22,585 For project costs

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo School Dist# 2176................................... $1,000 For a drug use prevention presentation by the Climb Theater

Bemidji Lumberjack Foundation Fund For a scholarship.............................................. $750 Bun & Alvera Fortier Scholarship Fund......... $500 Des Sagedahl Scholarship Fund.................... $500 Deerwood Bank Scholarship...................... $2,500 Nortech Systems-Derek Hedstrom Scholarship ................................................. $500 First National Bank Foundation Scholarship (2).......................................... $1,500 George Pelawa/Calgary Flames Hockey Club Scholarship............................................... $1,000 Paul Bunyan Telephone Scholarship............. $500 Pat Campbell String Fund............................. $300 First National Bank Bonspiel Fund........... $12,006 For the Nymore Arena public address system Security Bank USA Lumberjack Scramble (2)............................................ $15,754 For soccer, hockey football and volleyball equipment John F. Breen Scholarship Fund................. $1,000 Ray F. Breen Scholarship (2)...................... $3,000 Clearbrook-Gonvick Education Endowment & Project Fund Clearbrook-Gonvick School Playground Fund....................................... $6,992 Thorbeck Field Fund.................................. $3,003 For Pre-school Playground and Press Box on Football Field

The Elderly Baudette Community Foundation............ $2,000 Lake of the Woods senior fishing and boating program

Community Planning Economic & Community Development Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Foundation................................................ $1,000 For the Minnesota Business Gives program Growth Management City of Park Rapids................................. $21,000 For a Quality of Place Initiative

Natural Resources Healthy Lakes & Rivers Partnership Program Hubbard County Soil and Water District $4,000 For water quality reconstruction from fossil diatom analysis

Training Organizational Effectiveness Hope House.............................................. $5,000 For technology improvements Human Achievement & Performance Academy.................................................... $5,000 For board recruitment, orientation and development Mahnomen Health Center........................ $5,000 For customer service in healthcare training

Clearwater Health Care Fund Emergency Services Endowment & Project Fund............................................. $750 For communications

STAR Teams Franklin Middle School and Nevis School Dist #308 (2)........................ $300 For follow-up activities

Crookston Early Childhood Initiative Fund (2).......................................... $3,100 To Crookston School District #593 for Partnering with Parents/Specialized Services and for Month of the Young Child Activities

Component Funds Bagley Early Childhood Initiative Fund (2)................................................... $21,295 To Lakes & Prairies Childcare Resource & Referral for SEEDS training scholarships and for playground installation

Crookston Education District #593 Foundation Fund............................................ $5,205 For grants for school district projects and activities

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Grants Red Lake Falls Education Endowment & Project Fund Kris Fontaine Memorial Scholarship Fund...... $500 Roseau Area Community Fund Joseph Schneider Scholarship Fund............... $125 Roseau Adult Education Fund................... $75,000 To Northland Community Technical College for the Roseau City Center classroom site

Frances Drivold Special Education Endowment Fund ...................................... $3,500 To Crookston High School for Special Education/ Vocational programming Fertile Area Armed Forces Veterans Fund.. $35,000 For the Fertile Veterans Memorial Fosston Education Foundation Endowment & Project Fund Dean & Joyce McNelly Family Vocational Scholarship Fund............................................ $700 Fosston Education Foundation Scholarship................................................. $1,500 Jim Miller Memorial Math Scholarship Fund... $469 Wilma & Franklin Vikan Scholarship Fund...... $475 Greenbush Area Community Fund (3)............. $750 To the Greenbush HRA for Elderbush Life Enrichment Program; for Greenbush-Middle River School Dist #2683 for Disability Awareness Puppets; and, to Industrial Technology Education Department for equipment

Roseau Area Hospital & Homes Health Care Fund Maggie Adams Medical Equipment Fund (2) .................................................... $8,458 For pediatric and urology equipment Sheltering Oaks Manor Fund...................... $1,200 For Aquarium Project Roseau County Historical Society Endowment Fund............................................................... $3,500 For general operating expenses Ruth Edevold Endowment for Excellence..... $2,000 To Clearwater County Historical Society for center remodeling

Heartland Christian Academy....................... $1,400 For business purposes HRDC Leadership Fund HRDC Successful Communities Challenge Fund ....................................... $10,500 To the City of Park Rapids for implementation of growth management activities

Thief River Falls Early Childhood Initiative Fund................................................ $3,300 To Thief River Falls School District #564 for Building Language Together outreach coordinator Upper Mississippi Watershed Fund.................. $600 To the Beltrami County Lakes and Rivers Association for shoreline buffer restoration guidebook

Julie Holmquist Memorial Scholarship Fund........................................... $1,000

Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Education Endowment & Project Fund Lyle H Engelstad Scholarship Fund (3)....... $3,000 Myron & Margaret Carlson Education Scholarship Fund........................................... $400 Warroad Area Community Fund Gaylord A. Gunderson Education & Scholarship Fund....................................$3,800 Four scholarships and for classroom equipment Margaret A. & Paul S. Johnson Family Charitable Fund (6)...................................$15,000 For donations to the Warroad Care Center Fund, Warroad Education Endowment Fund, Warroad Heritage Fund, Warroad Memorial Arena Fund, Warroad Point Restoration Fund, and Zion Lutheran Church Warroad Early Childhood Initiative Fund............................................................$7,000 To Warroad School District #690 for Story Time on Wheels Warroad Education Endowment & Project Fund..................................................$500 For the Presidential Freedom Scholarship Warroad Swim Program Fund..................$40,000 To Warroad School District #690 for swimming program support

Lake of the Woods Early Childhood Initiative Fund................................................ $9,268 To the Baudette Chamber of Commerce for holiday program and for school readiness activities and transportation Leonard J. Kucera Memorial Scholarship Fund (2)..................................... $2,000 Luther Younggren Memorial Scholarship Fund............................................................... $1,500 Mahnomen Education Endowment & Project Fund (2)............................................. $1,000 Gen. Ike Isaacson & Maj. Bruce Isaacson Scholarship Fund........................................... $500 American Legion Scholarship (4)................ $1,500 Bejou Roughriders Scholarship ................... $250 Major Robert Olson Memorial Scholarship.................................................... $1,000 North Valley Health Center Endowment Fund............................................................. $60,000 For computer accounting sprinkler systems Park Rapids Early Childhood Initiative Fund... $10,000 To Mahube Community Council Crisis Care program

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NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage PAID Bemidji, MN 56601 Permit No. 36

4225 Technology Drive NW Bemidji, MN 56601 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Upcoming Events Business Development

QuickBooks Accounting Software March 13 & 14, Beltrami Electric Cooperative, Bemidji March 15 & 16, Roseau Community Center Classroom, Roseau

STAR Teams Youth Leadership – All sessions held at Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji Session IIa March 6 & 7 Session IIb, March 20 & 21 Session IIc, March 26 & 27

Nonprofit Program: Individual Excellence – All sessions held at Beltrami Electric Co-op, Bemidji Appreciative Inquiry, March 9 Smart Marketing for Nonprofits, April 13 Program Evaluation, May 9

All workshops are listed on the NMF website (www.nwmf.org), or call Samantha Hedin (218-759-2057) at the NMF office for more information.

~ Northwest Minnesota Foundation ~ www.nwmf.org ~ CONTACT US: 218-759-2057 ~ 800-659-7859 ~ FAX 218-759-2328 ~ nwmf@nwmf.org

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