Citizens Bank & Trust Co. in Hutchinson encourages its employees to be active in the community, and McLeod For Tomorrow has been fortunate to have several of its employees attend over the years. Carol Stark is Senior Vice President of Real Estate at Citizens Bank & Trust Co., and she not only went through the leadership program but also continued her involvement as a board member of McLeod For Tomorrow. Carol remembers, “I heard about McLeod For Tomorrow from Connie Kurtzweg who is a County employee that went through the program the year before. I thought it sounded interesting!” Carol was in the Leadership Program in 2015-2016. While she attended the program, she also became treasurer on the board of McLeod For Tomorrow. She served with the board until 2019. During her time with McLeod For Tomorrow, she connected with a lot of great people and enjoyed partnering with them on Winterfest and other community events.
U of M Extension Partnership for Success
Since McLeod for Tomorrow is facilitated by the University of Minnesota Extension, the speakers include both local leaders and leadership experts from the University of Minnesota. “I was excited to see that the Leadership Program itself was in conjunction with U of M Extension. I was pretty confident that the content would be top-notch” Carol said.
“I was excited to see that the Leadership Program itself was in conjunction with U of M Extension. I was pretty confident that the content would be top-notch.”
Leadership for All Levels & Industries
Carol has been with Citizens Bank & Trust for 42 years, but she doesn’t let that stop her from continuous learning: “Sometimes when you’ve been in a job or industry for a long time, you don’t think there is anything else you can learn, but the Extension portion really pushed me outside of my box. The exercises we went through are very valid for all types of jobs, and I find them useful to this day.”
McLeod County Tours & History
When Carol went through the McLeod For Tomorrow Leadership Program, one thing that was unexpected was how much she learned at the tours. “Little did I know that the tour portion of the program would be outstanding! I had no idea what goes on in our County as far as industry and history!” Carol said. Some of the places that Carol’s group toured were United Farmers Cooperative in Brownton, Rite Way Manufacturing in Lester Prairie, DS Smith Worldwide in Lester Prairie, and Midwest Machinery in Glencoe. Carol said one of her favorite sessions was the historic tour of Hutchinson where Jim Fahey was the presenter. Community members also gave talks on things they remember that no longer exist in the community. Carol took her passion for history and put it to work. “The year after we attend the program, we are in charge of organizing and leading the next year’s sessions. I chose to be involved with the community history session because I love history,” Carol said.
“The year after we attend the program, we are in charge of organizing and leading the next year’s sessions. I chose to be involved with the community history session because I love history.”
McLeod County Pride
McLeod For Tomorrow’s Leadership program makes a lasting impact on participants and beyond. As Carol explained, “I feel proud that I attended this program and took the time to learn more about our county, and not just the city I live in. The McLeod For Tomorrow Leadership program gives you such a neat connection to the area in which you live and work. It introduces you to people and work environments that you might not step out of your box to find out about.” This is where McLeod For Tomorrow’s focus on using bridging capital to bring leaders together makes a difference.
“The McLeod for Tomorrow Leadership program gives you such a neat connection to the area in which you live and work. It introduces you to people and work environments that you might not step out of your box to find out about.”
Sponsoring an Employee
Citizens Bank & Trust Co. has continued to be a generous annual sponsor of the McLeod for Tomorrow Program and has encouraged and sponsored employees like Carol Stark to attend. Registration is open if you are interested in applying for the next leadership program or sponsoring an employee. Other ways to get involved include joining our Board of Directors or giving to McLeod for Tomorrow through an online donation or sponsorship.