DATE:   September 23, 2020          

CONTACT:  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:  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:   February 10, 2020     

CONTACT:  Contact: Deb Powers, Executive Director,

24 Regional Participants Begin Leadership Northwest Missouri Program – Now Celebrating 20 Years

Twenty-Four women and men make up the 2020 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 2020 class began with a two-day retreat, January 29 and 30, at Conception Abbey. The participants will gather monthly for day-long sessions in varied locations throughout the region. The series concludes with a July 16 graduation celebration in Trenton, Missouri.

Members of the 2020 class and the counties they represent are: Ashlee Boner, Andrew County; Debbie Bennett, Dave Fast, Nikki Graves, Katrina Lock, Atchison County; Kaylee Gibson, Rob Honan, Teresa Linville-Mier, Courtney Nixon, Cindy Wells, Buchanan County; Anna Barlow, Carroll County; Rick Daly, Clay County; Julie Burns, Clinton County; Mackenzie Manring, Daviess County; Tim Wymes, DeKalb County; Jenny Huard, Gentry County; Megan Derry, Grundy County; Whitney Esry, Harrison County; Judy Hood, Randy Mendenhall, Holt County; Ashley Putnam, Livingston County; Maria Peace, Mercer County; Julie Robertson, Br. David Wilding, 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.

“Leadership Northwest has proven to be a beacon of hope for our region. The two-day retreat was so inspiring! It’s an honor to be surrounded by graduates of Leadership Northwest where I work. The positive impact is unsurmountable.” Katrina Lock, Atchison County

“The power and impact of this program in only 2 days is more than I could ever have imagined. I cannot wait to see what the remaining months have to offer.” Cindy Wells, Buchanan and Nodaway County

“My experience with the retreat was more than expected. It was an opportunity to think outside the box and get to meet others from different professional backgrounds. It also was an opportunity to learn that we all shared similar professional experiences.” Tim Wymes, Clinton and DeKalb County

“Great learning experience and amazing group of leaders from NWMO.” Maria Peace, Mercer County

“I truly enjoyed the opening retreat at Conception Abbey. Tim Crowley, Deb Powers and the Leadership NWMO board provided our class with the opportunity to build strong relationships. We entered the retreat as 24 strangers and left as friends. The foundation has been set and I’m excited to grow my leadership skills and to collaborate with one another on local and regional issues.” Courtney Nixon, Buchanan County

Sessions incorporate a blend of classroom presentations and experiential exercises; in-depth examinations of such regional issues as education, youth development, healthcare, quality of life, entrepreneurship, agriculture, economic development, 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:   July 29, 2019         

CONTACT:  Deb Powers, Executive Director, 

Leadership Northwest Missouri Class of 2019 Graduates
29 from the Region

Leadership Northwest Missouri recently held their 2019 graduation ceremony in St. Joseph at the Benton Club.  The celebration began with a welcome by Master of Ceremonies, Robert Jandorf, Board President and 2017 LNWMO graduate from Savannah. Mark Quick, Class of 2015, blessed the group with an invocation prior to dinner.  Jackie Cochenour and Cameron Corbet, members of the Class of 2019, reflected on their class year sharing memorable moments, followed by a video presentation created by Skye Pournazari, Class of 2019.  Dr. Tim Crowley, Leadership Coach from St. Joseph, shared some leadership thoughts.  Wes Moore, Board Finance Member, presented a token of appreciation to our Program Sponsors: Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, BTC Bank, Farmers State Bank, Mosaic Life Care, Nodaway Valley Bank, Northwest Health Services, Northwest Missouri State University, Tara Industries, Hedrick Medical Center, Missouri Western State University and St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. Lunch Sponsors were also recognized: Brookfield Area Growth Partnership and 36/5 Leadership Academy, Community Hospital-Fairfax, Farmers State Bank, Mosaic Life Care, Mosaic Medical Center-Albany, Northwest Missouri Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Signature Psychiatric Hospital and Therapeutic Massage of Maryville. Robert Jandorf recognized retiring board members:  Staci Baker, Meadville; Rodney Hummer, Rosendale; Pat Ryan, Mound City and Crystal Woodring, Fairfax.

Brenda Williams, General Board Member and Class of 2007 alum, presented the Leadership Northwest Missouri Citizenship Award for 2019 to Granville “Chip” Holman, Gower, MO. Chip is the Mayor of Gower, MO and an American Family Insurance Agent. Chip displays his citizenship by spending countless hours improving his community. He has been instrumental in starting many new events and fundraisers in Gower. Chip supports the youth in the community by attending sporting events, fundraisers, and other activities at the school. He worked to have the school mascot added to the water tower and the football field. Chip served his country as a United States Marine. He is also now an alum of LNWMO, Class of 2019.

Robert Jandorf and Staci Baker, past president, presented each of the 29 graduating class members a plaque for completing the program. Graduates from the 2019 class, IGNITING 19, represented 11 Northwest Missouri Counties:  Andrew County, Stephen Goss; Atchison County, Ashley Mayall; Buchanan County, Cameron Corbet, Megan Deppen, Sarah Meierhoffer, Skye Pournazari, Adam Watson; Carroll County, Rachel Davidson, Devin Frazier, Rachel Hunt; Clinton County, Chip Holman, Pam Holman, Alex Spencer; Gentry County, Jordan Eiberger, Debbie Klommhaus, Steven Meyer, Megan Miller; Grundy County, Derrick Gott, Jenna Johnson; Holt County, Samantha Grist, Gina Lucas; Livingston County, Lisa Geiser, Anthony Ishmael, Robert Smith, Susan Stull; Nodaway County, Jackie Cochenour, Annette Deering; Worth County, Adam Downing, Charlotte Green. Receiving a Certificate of Participation was Jacob Oser, Carroll County.

A special thank you to the Graduation Planning Committee from the Class of 2018: Ashley Bugbee, Brendon Clark, Ashlee Driskell, Laura McFadden, and Heather Olson.

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.  The class began in January and continued through July with monthly sessions in various Northwest Missouri communities.  Classes during the 2019 class year were held at Conception Abbey, in Liberty, Brookfield, Fairfax, Osborn, Maryville and Bethany.  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.

New LNWMO Board Members joining in July: Rachel Davidson, Carroll County; Chip Holman, Clinton County; Jenna Johnson, Grundy County; and Darla Shipley, Livingston County.

An application for the 2020 class will soon be available on the website:

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

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.”

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