Announcing the 2019 – 2020 Leadership Siouxland Graduates

No drum roll, no banquet, no handshakes and no in-person celebration this year, due to the pandemic that has changed our lives and our routines.  But it has not changed the fact that Siouxland has 42 new leaders that are enthused and ready to make positive differences in our community!

Leadership Siouxland is a 9-month program that teaches community leadership skills and provides opportunities for the class participants to grow their knowledge about themselves, their community and the resources available in Siouxland.  

What a year our 2019 – 2020 class had!  With their completion of the program, over 1000 people have graduated since Leadership Siouxland began as Leadership Sioux City in 1984.  This year, our class truly put to the test the skills of flexibility, crisis management, adaptability, and positive thinking.  We started in September at the Sioux City Museum, concentrating on learning our strengths and talents through the Gallup Talent2Strength program.  In October our class learned about public safety in our community.  November was a “mission driven organization” fair and a discussion on board involvement.  The class got to meet with representatives from numerous organizations and learn about their missions and needs, and teams were formed to work together on a community project.  December was devoted to diversity, inclusiveness and difficult communications.  The January session helped us learn techniques to use as leaders when our employees are facing difficult circumstances, such as health issues, the loss of a family member, or other trying circumstances and how to lead with compassion during such times.  February’s session about economic development opened the eyes of each participant.  In March, we learned about public service and how to go about running for office and contributing to local governance.  April and May were different than we had planned!  We as a class learned how to meet remotely and still be effective.  We discussed how as leaders we can learn from the pandemic new skills that will help us in our continual leadership journey.  May was an inspiring remote session in which two unique leaders shared their perspectives, and motivated and inspired us all!  We still plan to have a formal “graduation” in July, and until then our class continues to work on their community service projects and stay connected.

This year, our class represented many different areas of Siouxland – Sioux City, Le Mars, Jefferson SD, Dakota Dunes, SD, Aurelia, Lawton, Orange City, Ireton, Akron, Hinton, Jackson, NE, South Sioux City, North Sioux City.  It is exciting to see how the program reach has extended and the value it adds to all of Siouxland.

Our congratulations to the following 2019 2020 Leadership Siouxland graduates and our thanks to the companies that sponsored their participation:

Abby Weibel and Cory Meusberger, sponsored by Chesterman Company; Allison Liska, sponsored by the Diocese of Sioux City; Amber Hopper, Long Lines Broadband; Amy Kakacek, RealtyOne Group; Camille Brown, Moore, Heffernan, Moeller & Meis LLP; Cassie Adams, Dipak Mehta, Erica Doyle, Kim Smith and Robert Sadoski, Wells Enterprises, Inc,: Chad Lynch and Donna Macek, 185th ANG; Claudine VanMeeteren and Tammy Hartett, UnityPoint; Craig  Jorgensen, Jon Millen, Jose Flores, and Sufana Kreber, Tyson Foods; David Muelle and Trisha Sadler, Goodwill of the Great Plains; Dirk Richou and Elizabeth Nordby, Gelita USA, Inc.; Hannah Otis, CMBA Architects; Jennifer Bell, Premier Bankcard, Jennifer Rosenbaum and John Zevenberger, Great West Casulty Company; Joey Salmon, Primebank; Karri Wilde, Federal Express; Kaylee Betterton, Heritage Bank; Kolleen Queener, Hinton and Melbourne United Methodist Church; Liz Sheka, WITCC and Morningside College; Matt Pfister, Bellevue University; Mindy Hodgson, NW Iowa Credit Union; Mollie Richardson Pry, Great Southern Bank; Rebbel Henningfeld, WITCC; Shellice Daly, American Natural Processors; Theresa Brehm, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Siouxland, Velvet Jeratowski, Crossroads of Western Iowa; Wendy Prins, Floyd Valley Healthcare.

Leadership Siouxland is accepting applications for the 2020- 2021 class.  Please reach out to Peggy Smith, Executive Director, for more information at

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