Marian College: holds second annual Summer Institute for nonprofits

Fond du Lac, Wis. — Marian College held its second annual Summer Institute for Board and Leader Development in Marian’s Stayer Center for Technology & Executive Learning June 15.

More than 100 people participated in the day, attending workshops designed to help individuals employ practical and spiritual aspects of leadership into their workplace.

Keynote speaker Dr. Don Frick, communication consultant and author of Robert K. Greenleaf: A Life of Servant Leadership, provided attendees with five guidelines for using servant leadership as a board member. For the servant leader, everything begins with the individual. Frick believes in giving each individual accountability, and practicing congruence and consensus decision-making rather than forcing “right and wrong” votes.  

Lunchtime speaker Dr. Peter Jonas, author of Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning with Humor, shared his secrets of learning with humor.  Jonas said listeners often drift off within the first 10 minutes of a speech, but if humor is used, research shows that learners will remember more of the material, especially if they have a joke with which to connect it. He also encouraged attendees to keep a database of their jokes, stories and puns to punch up their own leadership skills, and to not be afraid to laugh at their mistakes.

Afternoon speaker Judy Goldsmith, retired dean of the University of Wisconsin–Fond du Lac, presented a workshop, “Not for Women Only: New Leadership Strategies for a Changing World.” Goldsmith led the crowd in a discussion of good leaders versus bad leaders, communication barriers and ways to overcome them, and the use of power and praise in leadership positions.

Three women who know how to use media effectively, presented their findings to a rapt audience. Valerie Graczyk, director of communications for the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Marian’s sponsoring organization, shared her “Six Ps of a Marketing Audit,” beginning with knowing your product and ending with promotion. Lani Dorlack, publisher of The Reporter in Fond du Lac, stressed the importance of building marketing and sponsorship plans, and offered several examples of successful partnerships that are working in our community. Anne Schaefer, operations manager of Mountain Dog Media, instructed the audience on creative ways to stretch your marketing and advertising budget, and how to avoid marketing mistakes.

Dick Schlim, executive director of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association, provided an introductory session for new board members. He discussed their duties and responsibilities as well as key mandates and laws governing not-for-profit boards. Peter Kelly, executive director of United Way Fox Cities, focused a workshop on recruiting and retaining skilled members of your not-for-profit board of directors. Other workshop facilitators included Audrey Baird of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Maggie McCullough of McCullough Consulting, Marian College Prof. Mary Klein, Stan Kocos of the Boys & Girls Club, Fond du Lac superintendent of schools Gregory Maass, and Dr. George Kliminski of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The Summer Institute was sponsored by the Fond du Lac Area Human Resources Association, Fond du Lac Area United Way, and the Marian College Center for Spirituality & Leadership. Grants of support were received from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Fond du Lac Area Foundation, the Sophia Foundation, and the United Way. The summer institute planning team included representatives from Fond du Lac Area Boys & Girls Club, Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality & Healing, Fond du Lac Area YMCA, Families Aware of Violent Relationships, Marian College, and Young Professionals of Fond du Lac.

“The conference was very successful,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reed, co-executive director of the Marian College Center for Spirituality & Leadership and one of the conference organizers. “I was especially pleased with the sessions that I observed. Many participants told us that they really benefited from this day of learning. We are following up with “Servant Leadership and Self,” a continuing education program for those who would like to learn more about servant leadership, starting on July 12.”

For more information on related classes, contact the Marian College Center for Spirituality and Leadership at Marian College at (920) 926-6717.

Marian College is a Catholic applied liberal arts college located in Fond du Lac, Wis. The college, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs at its main campus, and a variety of adult accelerated-degree programs in facilities throughout Wisconsin. The size of the College permits a very favorable student–faculty ratio, one of the lowest among Wisconsin colleges. Marian’s academic divisions offer programs of study designed to meet a full range of pre-professional and professional academic needs. The primary divisions and programs include business, education, the arts, sciences, nursing and technology. Marian College is a community committed to learning, dedicated to service and social justice, and joined together by spiritual traditions.