DATE:   January 26, 2017
CONTACT:  Deb Powers, Executive Director,

23 Regional Participants Begin Leadership Northwest Missouri Program

Twenty-three men and women make up the newest class of Leadership Northwest Missouri, an annual series of sessions that bring together existing and emerging leaders from throughout a 19-county region to discover and sharpen their leadership skills, explore regional issues, and build a network of contacts throughout Northwest Missouri.

The 2017 class began with a two-day retreat, January 18-19, at Conception Abbey. The participants will gather monthly for day-long sessions in varied locations throughout the region. The series concludes with a June 29 graduation ceremony in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Members of the 2017 class and the counties they represent are: Jan Glenn and Robert Jandorf, Andrew County; Kris Umbarger, Atchison County; Melissa Birdsell, Laura Buhman, Jeff Gates, Deanna Lamb, Wes Moore, Janice Neumann and Clay Rich, Buchanan County; Stephany Beaver, Caldwell County; Peggy McGaugh, Carroll County; Stephanie Williams, Clinton County; Morgan Scott, De Kalb County; Vicki Hogue and Cassie McMillen, Gentry County; Brandi Pittman, Grundy County; Jennifer Anderson, Livingston County; Marcus Casady, Kaity Holtman, Sam Mason and Emily Minton, Nodaway County; Ellen Hodge, Sullivan County.

Leadership Northwest Missouri is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri and contracts Deb Powers as the Executive Director of the program. “Our partnership with Community Foundation is something new this year but they have been very gracious to us. We are thankful for their generosity and support. Deb has been involved in Leadership Northwest since its inception. Her ideas and valuable leadership really help to take Leadership Northwest to new heights. We are thankful to her for her dedication in helping to grow leaders in our region,” said Ben White, LNWMO 2015 Graduate and Board President.

“Leadership Northwest Missouri has become the catalyst for identifying, training and connecting the leaders of our region and is the pathway for effective leadership for generations to come,” said Dr. Tim Crowley, a local leadership expert who is one of the program’s facilitators. “There is a deliberate focus on fostering a sense of ownership for the region – that we have interdependent roles and we depend on each for the progress and success of Northwest Missouri.”

Sessions incorporate a blend of classroom presentations and experiential exercises; in-depth examinations of such regional issues as education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, economic development, regional vitality and team empowerment round out each session.

“Regional-focused leadership development programs are the foundation for building the capacity of individuals, communities and regions to solve their own problems,” Crowley said. “Participants develop leadership best practices, establish strong networks, increase ability to solve complex problems and deepen their understanding of regional needs and assets.”

Please contact Deb Powers for information on Leadership Northwest Missouri,  Website:



DATE:   September 12, 2016
CONTACT:  Contact: Deb Powers, Executive Director

            Leadership Northwest Missouri Recruiting for 2017 Class

St. Joseph – Leadership Northwest Missouri is looking for the right men and women to fill its 2017 class, promising those who join an experience they’ll never forget.  Eight days over a seven-month period is the commitment, but the results are worth so much more.  The deadline to apply is December 1, 2016.

Often, seminars offer tips on leadership and networking.  But Leadership Northwest Missouri is different.  It provides a localized experience, offering leadership training, education on hot topics in the region, and access to a well-connected network of contacts.  Here is what some of the 2016 class participants had to say about their experience:

Leadership Northwest was a great, positive experience for me. A great opportunity for anyone to expand their ability to work with others.
Darrell Gardner, Marceline

This experience was so much more than I expected.  The connections, friendship, and knowledge I gained were completely beyond my expectations!
Renita Neville, Agency

Leadership Northwest was an inspirational and positive experience for me.  It helped me build healthy relationships with friends I will have for a life time!
Jenny Moss, Chillicothe

The 2017 class will begin with a two-day retreat at Conception Abbey, January 18 and 19, led by Tim Crowley, Ph.D., a national speaker on personal and professional development.  Day-long monthly classes will follow in various communities throughout our 19-county region, (Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Sullivan and Worth), with the class graduation scheduled for June 29.

Class participants will come away with a new outlook on the workplace, enhanced leadership skills, hands-on team building exercises, communication and motivational skills, and so much more.  To create an effective experience, Leadership Northwest Missouri must limit the number of class participants.  The deadline to apply is December 1.  Please contact Deb Powers if you have questions or to request an application; e-mail:



DATE: September 1, 2016
CONTACT: Ben White, President; Staci Baker, President Elect

Leadership Northwest Missouri is pleased to announce their affiliation with Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri.  They are a great organization for LNWMO to affiliate with.  Community Foundation’s vision is “To be a national leader in regional collaboration creating the culture which results in increased philanthropy and prosperity.” Their vivid description: “Northwest Missouri is known for its vibrant home towns with extraordinary citizens who invest in and care about the prosperity of their region. Through regional collaboration the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri fosters grass roots innovation and economic vibrancy in communities. We believe our success in the future is based on our work today.”

Leadership Northwest Missouri mirrors Community Foundation’s efforts in our region, providing the fit needed to continue to grow our communities now and in the future. Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri covers 18 of our 19 counties in Northwest Missouri.  This change will provide continuity of the program as the board continues to look at potential growth for Leadership Northwest Missouri. “Our partnership with Community Foundation is invaluable and our visions for the future of Northwest Missouri are very similar. This affiliation made sense on so many levels. Their resources will be a huge asset to our organization, and we look forward to working with them to better the Great Northwest,”  President Ben White said. Our “physical” office/mailing address is now:  1006 West St. Maartens Drive, Suite B, St. Joseph, MO 64506.

In addition to this new partnership, LNWMO is pleased to share that Deb Powers has been hired by Leadership Northwest Missouri to continue as Executive Director.  President Elect Staci Baker said, “We are very excited that Deb accepted LNWMO’s proposal.  We are blessed to have her.  She does an amazing job keeping things on track and maintaining the organization of the program.  With her knowledge and enthusiasm, LNWMO will continue to foster leadership development and growth throughout our Region.”

Leadership Northwest Missouri is gearing up for their 2017 class.  Here is what some of our Class of 2016 participants had to say about the program:

I learned through the program of “The Leadership Challenge” that I can truly make extraordinary things happen in my work, community, family, and life. By applying a simple yet powerful framework. Most importantly, I realized the meaningful, connected, and deeper relationships along the way are the best rewards of the entire process.  What a wonderful experience that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to improve in life.

Sean Beaver, Polo

Leadership Northwest was a great, positive experience for me. A great opportunity for anyone to expand their ability to work with others.
Darrell Gardner, Marceline

A lasting and growing experience to carry one through all leadership areas of one’s life.

Andi Ramsey, St. Joseph

This experience was so much more than I expected.  The connections, friendship, and knowledge I gained were completely beyond my expectations!
Renita Neville, Agency

Leadership Northwest was an inspirational and positive experience for me.  It helped me build healthy relationships with friends I will have for a life time!

Jenny Moss, Chillicothe

Please help us recruit for the 2017 class.  Reminder… application and brochure for the 2017 class available on the website:

And, don’t forget to Save The Date for the LNWMO Alumni Gathering that will take place on October 22nd at the Benton Club in St. Joseph.  The Class of 2016 is hard at work preparing for this event.



DATE: June, 2016
CONTACT: Deb Powers, LNWMO Executive Director

Leadership Northwest Missouri Class of 2016 Graduates 22 from the Region

Leadership Northwest Missouri Class of 2016 recently held their graduation ceremony in St. Joseph.  The celebration began with a welcome by Donald Werner, Board Chair and 2014 LNWMO graduate from Trenton and Ben White, Board Chair Elect and 2015 graduate from Chillicothe.  Retiring board members were recognized:  Daniel Savage, Chillicothe; Jill Clair, Albany; Vanessa Culver, St. Joseph.  Deb Powers, 2001 graduate, presented a token of appreciation to all sponsors: MERIL, Commerce Bank-St. Joseph, Farmers State Bank-Cameron, Missouri Western State University, Mosaic Life Care, Northwest Missouri State University, St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, BTC Bank, Community Hospital-Fairfax, Hedrick Medical Center and Wells Bank.  Dr. Tim Crowley, Leadership Coach from St. Joseph, shared some insight about the class year.  The program for the evening consisted of each class member briefly sharing experiences and memories they have of a selected fellow class member over the last six months.  Jeremy Hunter, class of 2016 graduate, and his two daughters, Allisen and Katrin, entertained those in attendance with some beautiful singing and guitar playing.

The Leadership Northwest Missouri Citizenship Award for 2016 was presented to Blake Riley of Carrollton.  After pharmacy school, Blake and his wife Amanda, both 2000 graduates of Carrollton High School, moved back to Carrollton in August 2008 and purchased a local independent pharmacy.  Blake has taken a small pharmacy that was suffering and turned it into a thriving business that now employs over ten employees.

Donald and Ben then presented each of the twenty-two graduating class members a plaque for completing the program. Graduates from the 2016 class represented 11 Northwest Missouri Counties:  Andrew County, Jeremy Hunter; Atchison County, Jill Kingery, Crystal Woodring; Buchanan County, Malinda Grant, Jennifer Kendel, Lyndsey Knadler, Renita Neville, Andi Ramsey, Ashley Strueby; Caldwell County, Sean Beaver; DeKalb County, Michelle Fagerstone; Gentry County, Shawn Gregory, Karri Phillips; Grundy County, Brent Stevens; Holt County, Becky Poe, Pat Ryan; Linn County, Staci Baker, Darrell Gardner; Livingston County, Jenny Moss, Darla Shipley, Sherry Thomas; Nodaway County, Ashlee Hendrix.

Leadership Northwest Missouri is a leadership development program designed to bring together participants from throughout a 19-county region to sharpen their leadership skills, explore regional issues and gain a network of contacts throughout the region.  The class began in January and continued through July with monthly sessions in various Northwest Missouri communities.  Classes were held at Conception Abbey, in King City, Fairfax, Chillicothe, Bethany, Maryville, and Trenton.  Each session contained instruction on various leadership skills, in-depth examination of various issues facing the region and hands-on exercises.  In addition to community betterment, other regional issues that were addressed included healthcare, education, agriculture, youth empowerment, and team empowerment.

An application for the 2017 class is now available on the LNWMO website.




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