DATE:   January 26, 2021
CONTACT:  Deb Powers, Executive Director

20 Regional Participants Begin Leadership Northwest Missouri Program

Twenty women and men make up the 2021 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.

COVID-19 continues to throw curve balls at leadership programs all over the country. We believe it is important for our program to Model the Way by creating an exceptional experience while also following current safety guidelines and allowing for a level playing field for all participants, so the 2021 class began with a two-day virtual retreat, January 20 and 21 instead of meeting in person. The participants will continue to gather monthly for day-long sessions either virtually or in varied locations throughout the region. The series concludes with a July 15th graduation celebration in Caldwell County.

Members of the 2021 class and the counties they represent are: Jennifer Jarvis, Andrew County; Megan Atha, Becky Kendrick, Buchanan County; Lesley Delaney, Kate Lyons, Carroll County; Kyle Pittman, Clinton County; Jake Forsythe, Daviess County; Tammy Sparks, Gentry County; Melissa King, Shane Lynch, Jenna Stevens, Grundy County; Katelyn Addison, Harrison County; David Lucas, Holt County; Tiffany Berndt, Marcia Cox, Mercer County; Brooke Byland, Samantha Cole, Dr. Bob Machovsky, Heather Shumake, Mike Stolte, Nodaway County.

Leadership Northwest Missouri has become the catalyst for identifying, training and connecting the leaders of our region and is a pathway for effective leadership for generations to come. There is a deliberate focus on fostering a sense of ownership for the region – that we have interdependent roles and we depend on each other for the progress and success of Northwest Missouri. Two members of the 2021 class share their experience thus far:

“Thrilled to have this opportunity to grow and learn with such an amazing group of talented and smart individuals. Leadership Northwest Missouri is by far exceeding my expectations on what I thought it could do for me personally and professionally!” Dr. Bob Machovsky, Nodaway County

“I feel honored to be part of a group of individuals who not only want to better themselves but also our communities. I am excited to see where this year takes us.” Tammy Sparks, Gentry County

Sessions incorporate a blend of classroom presentations and experiential exercises; in-depth examinations of such regional issues as education, recreation, youth development, healthcare, quality of life, entrepreneurship, agriculture, regional awareness/vitality, infrastructure, workforce development 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,” said Dr. Tim Crowley, a local leadership expert who is one of the program’s facilitators. “Participants develop leadership best practices, establish strong networks, increase ability to solve complex problems and deepen their understanding of regional needs and assets.”

DATE: December 15, 2020
CONTACT: Deb Powers, Executive Director

Leadership Northwest Missouri Class of 2020 Graduates 21 from the Region

Leadership Northwest Missouri recently held their 2020 graduation ceremony in Gower at Backwoods Venue 222. The celebration began with a welcome by Master of Ceremonies, Ashlee Driskell, Past Board President and 2018 LNWMO alum. Chip Holman, 2019 LNWMO alum, blessed the group with an invocation prior to dinner. Kaylee Gibson, Julie Robertson and Tim Wymes, members of the Class of 2020, reflected on their class year sharing memorable moments, followed by a video presentation created by Cindy Wells, Class of 2020. Rachel Davidson, Board President and 2019 LNWMO alum, presented a token of appreciation to Program Sponsors-Affiliate: Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri; Silver: BTC Bank, Farmers State Bank, Mosaic Life Care, Nodaway Valley Bank, Northwest Health Services, Northwest Missouri State University, Union State Bank; Bronze: Carroll County Memorial Hospital, Gower Area Chamber of Commerce, Hedrick Medical Center, and St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. Lunch Sponsors were also recognized: Community Hospital-Fairfax, Missouri Star Quilt Company, Mosaic Medical Center-Albany, and Mosaic Medical Center-Maryville. Ashlee Driskell recognized retiring board members: Robert Jandorf, Savannah; Wes Moore, St. Joseph; Jackie Soptic, Trenton and Stephanie Williams, Cameron.

Brenda Williams, General Board Member and Class of 2007 alum, presented the Leadership Northwest Missouri Citizenship Award for 2020 to Anna Barlow, Carrollton, MO. Anna, Carroll County Chamber Director, willingly led the charge of area businesses and leaders through one of the most troubling times in recent history, Covid-19. Her leadership was put to the test, but she didn’t fall short of the victory when the community was able to see a light at the end of the tunnel by not stalling out or declining. From serving on various boards to donating time to her church, YMCA, local hospital and city park, Anna has a vision for Carrollton. Her vision is to make everyone she meets a better person, every business in the community successful and to surround herself with like-minded individuals. Anna is also an alum of LNWMO, Class of 2020.

Ashlee Driskell and Rachel Davidson presented each of the 21 graduating class members a plaque for completing the program. Graduates from the 2020 class, Co-VISION-20, represented the following Northwest Missouri Counties-Andrew County: Ashlee Boner; Atchison County: Dave Fast, Nikki Graves, Katrina Lock; Buchanan County: Kaylee Gibson, Rob Honan, Courtney Jimenez; Carroll County: Anna Barlow; Clinton County: Tim Wymes; Gentry County: Jenny Huard, Mackenzie Manring; Grundy County: Megan Taul; Harrison County: Whitney Esry; Holt County: Judy Hood, Randy Mendenhall; Livingston County: Ashley Putnam; Mercer County: Maria Peace; Nodaway County: Debbie Bennett, Julie Robertson, Cindy Wells, Br. David Wilding. Receiving a Certificate of Participation were Julie Burns, Clinton County; Rick Daly, Clay County; and Teresa Mier, Buchanan County.

A special thank you to the Graduation Planning Committee from the Class of 2019: Jenna Carlock, Derrick Gott, Rachel Hunt, Anthony Ishmael, Gina Lucas, Ashley Donnelly Mayall, Susan Stull and photographer, Skye Pournazari.

Leadership Northwest Missouri is a leadership development program designed to bring together participants from throughout a 19-county region to build, strengthen and inspire leaders through training and networking experiences.  This class began in January and continued through November with monthly sessions in various Northwest Missouri communities. Classes during the 2020 class year were held at Conception Abbey, in Hamilton, Maryville, Albany, Rock Port and via several Zoom sessions.  Each session contained instruction on various leadership skills, in-depth examination of various issues facing the region and hands-on exercises.  In addition to entrepreneurship, other regional issues that were addressed included healthcare, agriculture, regional awareness and team empowerment.

LNWMO Board Members joining in December were: Deborah Borchers, Kaylee Gibson, and Courtney Jimenez, St. Joseph; Kari Holdsworth, Agency; and Randy Mendenhall, Oregon.

For additional information, please contact Deb Powers, Executive Director,

DATE:   September 23, 2020
CONTACT:  Deb Powers, Executive Director

Leadership Northwest Missouri is grateful to have recently received two charitable gifts. One from The Harry and Helena Messick Charitable Trust, US Bank, N.A. Trustee and one from The Gary G. Taylor Charitable Trust, US Bank, N.A. Trustee, in the amounts of $4,500 each. These funds will greatly assist with sustaining our mission to build, strengthen and inspire leaders through training and networking experiences.

Leadership Northwest Missouri is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Courtney Nixon, Trust Officer, U.S. Bank Wealth Management, presented checks to members of the Leadership Northwest Missouri Class of 2020 recently at one of their class sessions.

DATE:   September 2, 2020
CONTACT:  Deb Powers, Executive Director

Leadership Northwest Missouri Recruiting For 2021 Class

St. Joseph – 2020 has brought extraordinary challenges. While life is anything but typical right now, we understand the importance of continuing to offer opportunities to lead, connect and grow within the Northwest Missouri region. Leadership Northwest Missouri is looking for the right men and women to fill its 2021 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 November 1, 2020.

Often, seminars offer tips on leadership and networking, but Leadership Northwest Missouri is different. This program 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 2020 class participants have to say about their experience:

“Leadership Northwest Missouri has been amazing due to the unforeseen circumstances in the world. The knowledge we have gained as a unit has taught us how to adapt, learn, and grow. The experiences have taught us to understand and appreciate others’ struggles. That everyone may look different, but share some of the same struggles.”
Tim Wymes, Cameron/Clinton County

“My experience with Leadership Northwest was truly life-changing. Our class had challenges related to COVID-19 and still was able to remain engaged in-person and virtually. I can’t imagine navigating the last year without the guidance, support, positivity and wisdom of my classmates.”
Anna Barlow, Carrollton/Carroll County

“Leadership Northwest has been a fun and challenging experience of connecting with and learning from a diverse group of leaders from all over northwest Missouri. It has challenged me to grow in many ways, to think about issues outside my normal scope, and to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.”
Br. David Wilding, Conception/Nodaway County

“Being a part of Leadership Northwest Missouri this year has been a unique experience to say the least. Not being able to visit all the vibrant communities in Northwest Missouri due to Covid-19 restrictions has been disappointing. But at the same time, it has been rewarding to continue to connect to this group via Zoom. At a time when stress and uncertainty are running high related to Covid-19 and the death of George Floyd, it has been so valuable to connect to a group of leaders and study leadership through the lens of trying times. The Leadership Northwest Missouri organizers have done an excellent job of providing opportunities to learn and grow through it all. I will certainly look back upon my year with this group with admiration and gratitude for having been a part of it.”
Debbie Bennett, Rock Port/Atchison County

“LNWMO has provided excellent opportunities to grow, both as a leader and as a person, and to network with other leaders throughout the northwest region. When presented with the challenges faced in 2020, the organization continuously adapted to provide alternate methods for delivering an outstanding experience.”
Randy Mendenhall, Oregon/Holt County

“Leadership Northwest 2020 has been an amazing experience. I never dreamed that so much learning could take place and such a close bond would be formed with one group of people. Even with the trials of COVID-19, this group has bonded and continued to support each other in more ways than I can express. I wish everyone could go through this experience. I am a better person and have grown so much as an individual and as a team. I have increased my circle of lifelong friends with an amazing group of diverse individuals and look forward to continuing this work as an alumni.”
Cindy Wells, St. Joseph/Buchanan County

“This is a great program to help future leaders learn, motivate and push themselves to become a better leader. The program helps you with stepping outside of your comfort zone to fully engage in the program and your day to day leadership to help benefit your future.”
Dave Fast, Fairfax/Atchison County

The 2021 class will begin with a two-day retreat at Conception Abbey, January 20 and 21, 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 July 15, 2021.

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 will limit the number of class participants. The deadline to apply is November 1. Please contact Deb Powers if you have questions, An application is available to download at:

DATE:   October 22, 2018
CONTACT:  Alicia Endicott,

Leadership Summit Held at NCMC

Trenton, MO – North Central Missouri College hosted Leadership Northwest Missouri on Thursday, October 18, 2018, for a “Fill Your Cup” summit.  Eighty-five alumni of Leadership Northwest Missouri and their guests had a day of professional development and leadership building exercises.  The seminar was organized by the 2018 Leadership Northwest Missouri class to “Recharge, Re-engage and Recruit”.  Dr. Tim Crowley facilitated the discussions and a leadership panel Q&A with regional leaders that included,  Marcia Cunningham – Brookfield Area Growth Partnership, Program Coordinator; Greg McDanel – Maryville, City Manager; Phillip Ray – Grundy County Presiding Commissioner – Elect, & NCMDA Board of Directors; Steve Schieber – CEO of Hedrick Medical Center, Chillicothe and Interim CEO of Wright Memorial Hospital, Trenton; Annette Weeks – Director of Center for Entrepreneurship, Craig School of Business & Technology, MWSU.

Leadership Northwest Missouri is a program for community leaders interested in the regional growth of Northwest Missouri through high-quality training and networking opportunities.  Participants are selected from the nineteen counties of Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Sullivan and Worth.

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.”