Our Blog

Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the sixth in a series; read all posts.

Session 6: The Power of Volunteerism

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

Did you know that in 2015, 62.8 million US citizens donated 7.9 billion hours of services to the tune of $184 billion?

During the morning of the January 2016 LDA session, Cindy Leverenz of Blackhawk Technical College led us through several discussions and activities focusing on volunteerism. We considered motivations for individuals and businesses to get involved and the absolute necessity for volunteers in the ever-growing non-profit sector.

In a highly competitive market, for-profit companies are moving beyond the norm of cash-only contributions to encouraging their employees to give back and serve in their communities. Businesses understand positive community relations are key to achieving a competitive advantage. Consumers have made it clear they will pay higher prices and support brands that demonstrate social responsibility and community involvement, (i.e. Starbucks).

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Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the fifth in a series; read all posts.

Session 5: Selling Yourself (in the marketplace, that is!)

 

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

Be Confident; but not arrogant.

State your mind; but don’t be pushy.

Be a leader; but be a team player.

In today’s competitive culture, it is imperative that one know how to sell one’s self. Whether seeking employment, working towards a promotion, fundraising, or simply getting along with co-workers; confidence, positive attitude, and effective communication are key to successful relationships both professionally and personally.

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Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the fourth in a series; read all posts.

Session 4: Dissecting the anatomy of conflict

 

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

The November LDA session hosted by KANDU Industries (Adel Street, Janesville) was amazing and insightful on many levels. Much of the day was spent learning about how to handle conflict and difficult conversations.

Our facilitator from Blackhawk Technical College, Cindy Leverenz, started the morning by representing conflict; she then asked us to come close to her if we were comfortable with her (conflict).

The idea of this exercise was to determine my reactions to conflict and the methods through which I tend to manage said conflict. Some of my fellow participants were hugging her; some stood a few feet away.

I and one of my team members were comfortable hiding out in the hall, peeking around the woodwork at her!

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Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the third in a series; read all posts.

Session 3: Stacey really begins to hit her ‘slide’

 

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

Meeting in Beloit at AccuLynx for our October LDA session was no less than AMAZING! I’m not sure what was more impressive, the air hockey game, video games, assorted snack jars, or the giant slide in the middle of the room! That’s right, a slide — complete with little carpet squares to speed up the ride! The ambiance was an indication that the software company knows how to provide a fun working environment for their employees.

The Acculynx website states:

“We value our employees and strive to provide the best working environment possible. We believe that culture is the most important ingredient to success. Fun, learning, collaboration, innovation, and personal growth is a way of life at AccuLynx. We encourage laughter. If you don’t like to laugh or prefer a life of melancholy and infinite sadness…we’re probably not the right place for you.”

Knowing the morning session would be intense and fast moving, this atmosphere was the perfect spot to keep us energized and focused while working our way through the complex problems we were assigned to work through during the morning session.

Click each image to see its full-size version

Our team was ready!

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Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the second in a series; read all posts.

Day 2: Outdoor Wisconsin Leadership School

 

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

Day 2 began with sunny skies, which was a welcomed sight after hearing the forecast of possible torrential rain. That would take the fun out of outdoor learning!

I carpooled to Williams Bay with one my new teammates and another woman from my original “Blue” group. Our attitudes were up-beat as we chatted about what we had learned from the “True Colors” class the day before, and we all seemed excited about what we would learn through OWLS. Though there were some concerns about getting out of our comfort zones, we relished the thought of continuing our bonding experience with the entire LDA class and hoped for new ways to develop our individual leadership skills.

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Editor’s note: Stacey Bodnar is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Independent Disability Services and a member of the LDA Class of 2015-16. She has agreed to keep a blog of her experiences throughout the nine-month program. This is the first post in the series; read past posts.

My Journey Through The Leadership Development Academy

Stacey Bodnar

Stacey Bodnar

When my Executive Director, Lisa Hurda, offered me the opportunity to enroll in the Leadership Development Academy (LDA), I was enthralled by the idea that through participation in the course, I might develop the necessary skills to become more involved in the community and assume a leadership role in some capacity.

As a Marketing and Public Relations Director, I was not extremely nervous about meeting new people or presenting in front of a group. I did, however, have some reservations regarding physically working on a small team with individuals of varying personalities and dispositions. It is one thing to network and socialize with people of all make-ups, it is quite another to agree on a community project and work together for nine months and see it through to the presentation stage.

And…what’s this I hear about a high ropes course?!

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Welcome the Leadership Development Academy’s new website! We timed our site launch for today (Sept. 10, 2015) as it coincides with the first session for our Class of 2015-16.

This new version (3.0) is the first upgrade to the LDA website since 2011 and is responsive (mobile-friendly) and employs all the modern web technologies you’ve come to expect from any quality site.

As is the case with every website, this is an evolving process. Please check back soon (and often!) as we add additional media, as well as information for current participants, alumni, sponsors and those interested in learning more about LDA.

Thanks to Why The Fuss? Technical Solutions of Janesville for working with us to bring you this new website!