Tag: public speaking

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Linda Ross,
Executive Director

 

Editor’s note: As a Leadership Development Academy alum (Class of 2013-14), Linda Ross is passionate about the mission of the organization and enjoys working as  Executive Director/Program Facilitator. Wisdom acquired at LDA empowers her to continue her success in business.  She is excited to work with others to obtain their leadership goals.

Volunteering and Mini-Projects

Volunteering can change your life and the lives of others.  The Leadership Development Academy class learned all about that from our panel of experts, then were able to put what they learned into practice.  In the morning we met at IronTek in Beloit.  During the afternoon,  participants divided up into teams and worked on mini-projects at non-profits in Beloit.

A Panel who Loves Volunteers!

Have you ever been listening so intently to someone that you forgot to do something? I forgot to take the panel’s photo.  Yes, I did, so I’ll just have to tell you about it and show you a photo of a cute puppy available for adoption from one of our panel member’s non-profit.  I think you will be able to figure out which one it is from.

Our panel was moderated by Jennifer Johns from Mercyhealth, and included Donna Ambrose from Caritas, Michelle Matthys from First National Bank, Brett Frazier from the Rock County Humane Society, Sandy Johnson from CASA of Rock County and Jill Ayres from Mercy Hospital.  They are all passionate and love volunteers.  They find their volunteers from word of mouth, social gatherings, social media, and hopefully from this blog.

Volunteers are Customers

Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville has more than 81,000 volunteer hours recorded each year, the equivalent of more than 39 full time staff members.  Jill Ayres stressed the importance of choosing where you would like to volunteer based on your passion.  She said volunteers are her customers, so she makes sure to thank them every day, keep them busy and make time for them, so they feel important.

Volunteers Must be Committed

Sandy Johnson, who started as a volunteer for CASA, and is now the director, has walked the walk, so now she can talk the talk to the LDA class.  She makes sure to choose the right volunteers to serve at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Rock County.  Not everyone is cut out for the job.  They have to be committed, reliable and be willing to stay for as long as the child needs them.  Most of the children, who are served at CASA, are under age five and are great kids.  They need someone who will stick with them, because the last thing they need is another person to walk out of their lives.

Let Them Discover Their Passion

Volunteering has to be positive and have an element of fun, Brett Frazier from the Rock County Humane Society, told the participants.  You can’t place restrictions on volunteers.  Let them discover their passion.  A young person may come in the door thinking they want to walk dogs, then participate in a surgery and find they want to go to school to be a vet tech. Don’t limit them.  Brett said some of the best volunteers go to organizations with opportunities or ideas they have for them.  Sometimes the ideas help shape the organization’s future.

Volunteering Makes You Humble

Find something you are passionate about.  Boards don’t need bodies, they need working bodies. When you are at events, you had better be representing boards you are sitting on. Great advice from Michelle Matthys from First National Bank.  She enjoys networking and has become friends with those she is on boards with.  As humans, we are selfish and volunteering makes you humble, she told the class.  Don’t volunteer for personal gain.  If you have an agenda, don’t volunteer.  If you are looking to help others and give back, volunteering is for you.

Feedback is Important

Donna Ambrose, from Caritas, has learned a lot of skills from volunteers and volunteering, such as human resource skills.  People need to find their niche or professional skill set and give time to organizations that fit them.  Donna has been seeing an increase in volunteers, especially from high schools and first responders.  She likes feedback from volunteers, because if she doesn’t know something is wrong, she can’t fix it.  Flexibility and people who understand their mission are her best volunteers.

All of our panel had heartwarming stories to tell about their volunteers.  They said they could go on and on.  Volunteering changes people and organizations.  Most non-profits could not do the great work they do without them.  Volunteer and change the community you live in!

Benefits of Volunteering

Erin Loveland

Erin Loveland shared the benefits of volunteering.  She has been with House of Mercy for years and has a heart for the homeless and for volunteers.  Many of us don’t think about most volunteer opportunities being in informal settings, such as shoveling for your neighbor or making dinner for someone who is sick.  People who volunteer have an increased sense of well being and mental health.  You can learn job skills and network.  Many community services would have to decrease without volunteer labor and Erin is grateful for those who volunteer.

School Leaders, Parks & Families

Speeches were on the agenda for those who couldn’t share at the last session.  Most chose to share Rock County’s great assets.  Teachers and school leaders, as well as the wonderful parks and businesses in our communities came up.  Families are admired.  We all have so much to be thankful for in the area we live in.  Look around you and pay attention, then thank others who make Rock County a better place to be.

Civic Responsibilities & Government

Dan Cunningham, from Forward Janesville, is very passionate about politics and government.  It shows.  Dan encouraged the participants to contact their legislators and local officials.  He said government is everywhere and we can make a big difference by getting involved locally.  A group from Rock County recently took a trip to Washington DC, and Dan, who used to work there, said it feels “normal”.  Government is not built to change quickly and it takes time to see results.  Government is everywhere in our lives, so get involved and make a difference, he told the class.

Dan Cunningham

Greater Beloit Chamber & IronTek

The Greater Beloit Chamber hosted us at Irontek and provided a taco bar for lunch.  They always treat us so well and we appreciate their hospitality!  If you have not been to the business incubator to visit, be sure to stop by soon.  

Megan O’Leary Photography

Irontek was a great place for the class to take group and team photos.  The space is bright, airy and interesting.  Megan O’Leary Photography does a fantastic job for us each year.  Come back next month to see the photos.

Mini-Projects

In the afternoon, the class was able to put their volunteer skills into practice.  Four non-profits in Beloit needed help, so the class pitched in to make a difference in their community.  

Stateline Boys & Girls Club

One of the teams worked at the Stateline Boys & Girls Club.  The weather was beautiful, so they started in an outside garage area, then moved into organizing their art classroom and inside storage areas. They filled two dumpsters and really made a difference for them.

Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center

Another team helped out at the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center.  They worked on painting their main bathroom and a wall in their living room.  It looked fresh and clean when they were finished.

Community Action

Community Action was looking for help in their Community Garden, as well as doing some odd jobs at one of the houses they are working on in the Merrill neighborhood.  I was impressed with the amount of work they had done by the time I got there.

Caritas

Caritas needed help unloading their Second Harvest Food Bank Truck. Once unloaded, the team helped inside with sorting, labeling and many other jobs that needed to be done.  It was fun to watch everyone so eager to tackle each job with gusto.

Making a Difference

Another great day at the Leadership Development Academy session, making a difference in our communities by giving back and volunteering.  Nonprofits always need help, so find one that fits your skill set and get started today!

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Linda Ross,
Executive Director

Editor’s note: As a Leadership Development Academy alum (Class of 2013-14), Linda Ross is passionate about the mission of the organization and enjoys working as  Executive Director/Program Facilitator. Wisdom acquired at LDA empowers her to continue her success in business.  She is excited to work with others to obtain their leadership goals.

Public Speaking and Active Shooter Training

What do public speaking, a leadership game, an organization that helps clients with disabilities, an FBI agent, active shooter training and emergency medical procedures have in common?  The Leadership Development Academy’s training for participants at the March session, held at KANDU Industries and Mercyhealth in Janesville, of course.

Public Speaking

Our day started with some great speeches from Leadership Development Academy (LDA) participants.  The dreaded speeches!  Little did they know, they have been preparing all year for this day.  Each month, participants are presenting information about their team projects.  Through these presentations, they have the opportunity to be in front of others.  We have been breaking them in slowly.  

The speeches were heartfelt and informative.  Some spoke about who they admire.  Others about the most valuable thing they have learned in LDA.   All of them spoke about people.  People they admire.  Some who are still with us and some who are not.

Several shared about Rock County’s greatest asset.  Guess what it is…people.  We are the greatest asset.  The class is like family now.  They look out for one another and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. The speeches were moving; each and every one of them.  

The Leadership Game

Next up…the Leadership Game.  Challenging and sometimes frustrating, the Leadership Game invites participants to rely on their teammates for answers.  This game throws participants into scenarios they need to come up with solutions for.  Sometimes there is no right answers, just like in real life.  

Leadership Development Academy board members, Lori Stottler from the City of Beloit, Joe Jimenez from KANDU Industries, and AmyJo Verbeten from SSM Health, set the bar high for the class.  Presenting to the board, each team was able to gain points during the competition when they answered questions correctly.  They also gained several extra points when everyone presented. The depth of understanding the class has always amazes me.

Generous Project Donations

Not to be missed is the support from participants to the other project teams.  One team is collecting diapers to “Stuff a Bus” and donate them to Caritas.  Participants brought a cart full of diapers to support the team.

At KANDU, We Kan Do!

At KANDU, We Kan Do!  Gary Bersell, Executive Director of KANDU Industries, gives a great message and tour.  KANDU provides diverse opportunities for persons with disabilities or disadvantages, to have the opportunity to pursue greater independence and meet their full potential.  For the clients, it is a workplace, social life, recreation and fun.  Best Events is part of KANDU and they offer full service catering and event production.  They can make anyplace look amazing.

We also had the privilege to have lunch with the clients.  John sat at our table.  He has worked at KANDU for 24 years and loves it there.  A huge Packer fan, he has a smile on his face and is friendly to everyone he meets.  Thanks for hosting and sharing the love with us, KANDU!

FBI Agent GB Jones

Workplace Violence and Active Shooter Awareness and Preparation was empowering! GB Jones, an FBI agent, who is married to one of the class participants, shared his story with the class.  Agent Jones has been involved in four active shooter events in his career, so he knows what he is talking about when he presents.  Giving the class tools and resources to identify “at risk” individuals before a problem happens was empowering.  There are pre-attack indicators, such as a personal grievance; contextually inappropriate acquisition of multiple weapons and interest in explosives; an intense fascination with previous mass attacks; and a personal loss prior to the event, such as a death, divorce or loss of a job.

Run, Hide, Fight!

It was interesting to learn that typically active shooters have no prior history of mental illness.  Everyone workplace needs to have an emergency operations plan in place.  The Run, Hide, Fight video is a good example of a company who took time preparing for an emergency. Get out quickly if you can. If not, hide.  If you have to, fight for your life.  Agent Jones shared with us for an hour and made the class truly think about what they would do in case of an emergency.

Dr. Christopher Wistrom

Dr. Christopher Wistrom is the Associate EMS Medical Director and a staff physician on MD-1, an emergency response vehicle.  MD-1 brings hospital-level care directly to the scene of a trauma or medical emergency.  Dr. Wistrom is engaging, funny and direct.  He cares about the community and he understands that training can make a difference between life and death.  He wants to empower people and teach them how to deal with situations from the inside, so if there is an emergency and first responders can’t get in, others can provide the care that is needed.  The only way to increase survivability is to increase preparedness.

Dr. Wistrom would like to see every young person in the classroom, grades 7 and up, be prepared in case of emergency.  Mercyhealth has a program called “Casualty Care in the Classroom” to take care of this.  They also have a program called, “Casualty Care in the Workplace”.  Give Mercyhealth a call and they can set you up for the training.

Tactical EMS Training Center

Did you know that there is a 25,000 square-foot tactical EMS Training Center in Janesville?  Mercyhealth provides this facility for law enforcement and EMS training. There is nothing like it in the region.  LDA participants were able to put on tactical vests, grab training weapons and respond like a Rescue Task Force.  

Led by Gene Wright, Fire Chief for the Town of Beloit, who is a LDA participant this year, the class gained a better understanding of what it would be like to respond to an active shooter incident.  Chief Wright lead the class into an office setting and explained what to expect.  Mannequins lying on the floor, bleeding and crying out in pain made the scenario seem real.

Bryan Hasse, Police Officer for the Town of Beloit, also a LDA participant, taught the class how to pack a wound that is bleeding.  Some were squeamish, but all stepped up to the plate and packed the wound.  

LeAnn Jones, Police Officer for the Town of Beloit, also a LDA participant, taught the class how to properly apply a tourniquet and what to look for to use in a room if you don’t have the proper supplies.  We are so thankful to our first responders and their knowledge.

As if our day hadn’t been full enough, we toured the training facility with it’s state of the art simulation labs.  They have it all…church, office, ER, classroom, boardroom, theater, night club, locker rooms and an apartment.  The simulation labs have sounds and realistic backgrounds to make you feel like you are really in that environment.  Well done, Mercyhealth, well done!

Exhausted, but Empowered!

What a day!  Public speaking, a leadership game, an organization that helps clients with disabilities, an FBI agent, active shooter training and emergency medical procedures.  Everyone was exhausted, but feeling empowered.  We live in a great community and are thankful for the people who share it with us.

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