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Leadership Class Projects:

Leadership Shawano County..Making a difference one project at a time.

As part of the curriculum of Leadership Shawano County, participants research, create and facilitate two community service projects.

2019-2020 Community Service Projects

4-H Review & Expansion
Participants: Angela Brown, Meredith Bowers, Jason Grimm, April Stevenson

Our project included an RFP from Megan Suehring, the Positive Youth Educator from UWEX.   The RFP asked for help with identifying aspects of the current 4-H program in Shawano County that could be modified to help meet their goal of doubling enrollment.    The team met with Megan and reviewed the RFP before diving into the tasks for this project.  The team reviewed the written promotional materials and the new member materials currently used in Shawano County.  Suggestions were made to update the recruiting/enrollment brochures as well as revamping the family folder into distinct folders for new families, on-going enrollment opportunities including trips, state competitions and scholarships and a young member folder (Cloverbud).   Several ideas for growth were presented to the group and challenges surrounding them were voiced.  The group created a ten-question survey that was sent to over fifty 4-H leaders and volunteers.  The results of the survey were shared with Megan as a starting point for a new expansion committee for the 4-H program in the county.  The last part of the RFP from Megan was to identify any project members that would be willing to stay involved in the project beyond graduation from LSC and work with the leaders and volunteers in Shawano County to implement some of the recommendations the group has made.  There is at least one member that is willing to continue working on the expansion project.
The group learned about the wide, wide array of opportunities that 4-H can offer to young people.  The program has deep roots in agriculture and land grant universities but has done a lot to stay relevant by offering projects like robotics, shooting sports and visual arts.  4-H is truly more than just animal projects.   Within the group we learned how to work in team and accommodate individual communication skills and styles.   Lastly, we learned that in this world, we cannot control all events and that adapting to the changes that are presented can bring a new level of leadership to each of us. 

Area Resource Center of Shawano

Participants: Patrick Bergner, Alexandria Hartwig, Diane Hartwig, Lucas Hartwig, Megan Lozano Rodriguez, Karli Schreiber, Robyn Shingler
Shawano County is rich in nonprofit and service organizations. Many of these do not have a brick and mortar location to carry out their missions, which are rooted in service to everyone in our area communities. A Request for Proposal was written in the summer of 2019 requesting that a sub-committee of the Leadership Shawano County Class of 2020 group be formed to organize a project proposal to open an area non-profit resource center, which would provide free office space and other supports under one roof.
The RFP was granted and a subcommittee was formed and began meeting monthly in September of 2019. Over the course of the year, the subcommittee toured the proposed facility, now an empty space owned by a 501c3 organization known as the Shawano County Job Center, Inc. (SCJC Inc.) DBA: the Elizabeth Street Business Complex. The SCJC Inc. Board of Directors expressed a genuine interest in providing free office space and resources to area nonprofit agencies, which in turn, would help satisfy their mission to support area employers, job seekers and the community.
In addition to the tour, the nonprofit subcommittee began researching lists of area nonprofit groups, discussed specifics about the offices and what is needed to build capacity as a 501c3 including administrative support, fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Questions were researched and answered about how to market the new organization.  A name was also formed, The Area Resource Center of Shawano or ARC.
Meetings were held with the chairperson of the SCJC Inc. BOD, Ron Stuber, who provided guidance along the process. Due to limited office availability, an application was created to assist with prioritizing need. The group also met with and forged a collaboration with United Way of Shawano County and their new director, Nancy Schultz, who would have an office in the facility and assist with oversight of the facility.
Ultimately, a project proposal was completed and presented to the SCJC Inc. BOD on March 13, 2020. The project proposal included: an overview of the project space, suggested amenities, an application for office space, and a marketing proposal including an online example of what the website and online application might look like. Additionally, four resource lists were compiled and presented, of area nonprofits in Shawano to use as a basis for outreach. Nancy Schultz of United Way of Shawano County was present to speak about her organization’s mission and needs and of her support for the project.
The SCJC Inc. asked several questions and the group offered to make any necessary edits.

Friends of Mountain Bay Trail Shawano County
Participants: Kurt Boldig, Jeffrey Buettner, Doreen Dudek, Sander Flanderijn, Tracy Nelson, Dazha Pidgeon, Alicia Stichman

The Mountain Bay Trail is one of the longest trails in the state, traveling through: Marathon, Shawano, and Brown county. Shawano County is expected to assume upkeep of 51 of the 83 miles. The disparity becomes even more challenging because fewer participants purchase trail passes in
Shawano County and our county parks department budget is much smaller than either Brown or Marathon County.  The need for a “Friends” group to highlight our county’s state trail and enhance its use was proposed to Leadership Shawano County by several Shawano Pathways representatives in 2019. Seven members accepted the challenge and are proud to announce: Shawano County Friends of the Mountain Bay Trail, Inc.

The mission:

  • To maintain, promote and sustain the trail for current and future generations.
  • To promote healthy activities.
  • T share cultural and ecological knowledge.
  • To enhance the local economies of interest.

The process included the development of bi-laws, forming a board, creating contacts and resources for future board activities, and applying for 501c3 nonprofit status. When nonprofit status is obtained, this entity qualifies for  state funding which can help in maintaining the trails.  A few from this group will sit on the newly formed board and see this project into the future.

2018-2019 Community Service Projects

Community Information
Participants: Jeff Easter, Morgan Mielke, Kayla Williams

Our Leadership Shawano County Group chose the topic of community information as our 2019 project. We chose this topic because we felt there was somewhat of a “disconnect” between Shawano County’s information providers and the community. 
We chose the topic because we felt that an educated and informed community is a healthy community.  It’s important for citizens to understand what’s going on around them, what’s available to them, and where there are opportunities for involvement.
The first step in the process of our project was to connect with those who provide the community with information on a daily basis, like our local radio station, newspapers, Community Education program and the Chamber of Commerce. We sought to understand how information is fed to them, their process of sharing that information out, and in what format they use.  We discussed which other platforms they used other than their main means of communication such as digital, social media, etc. We asked questions to them about where they thought there were gaps in communication and why they thought this was taking place. Also, we asked if they are receiving timely information from the community when information needs to be delivered. We tried to understand what methods they have already tried to use to reach more people quickly and more effectively.
We then went to the community to ask many of the same questions.  This took the form of a survey. We asked where they seek out information locally, in what format they like to receive information, how often and also what information was important to them.  We also asked in this survey what the community felt they were missing when it comes to community news and information.
We learned that for media sources there were some gaps when it comes to receiving information due to the availability of social media being a readily available source in sharing information directly, and basically putting out their own press releases.  Information is many times scattered and media sources need to look to multiple places to find leads. Media outlets are only as good as the information provided.  Many times, we are missing information on events which may be due to focus being put on putting the event together and not so much promotion.  Also, sometimes social media and rumors will always get information out first even if it’s not always accurate.  Sometimes collecting all of the information to create an accurate, trustworthy story takes time and is not immediate as social media will be.
As far as the community is concerned, people are looking online more than anything as a way to gather information, but many times not all the information that is in the paper or on radio is included in online articles or social media posts. Green Bay television and social media pages also ranked high on the list of where community members are going to get their local information. However, the community is looking for more information about what is going on as far as community events, weather and local government news which is not always covered in the areas where they are looking.  
The final outcome will be communicating back to the local newspapers, radio, the Chamber, and Community Education about what our community survey results are. The hope is that our information providers are given a better understanding of where the community is looking for news and information and where they are going to find it.  Maybe this results in decisions about which articles are shared online and in social media. The outcome of our research will also result in a way to get local groups to share community events in one place that is easily accessible to our information providers and leaders as again, you’re only as good as the information provided to you. We hope this all results in a better informed, involved and healthy Shawano County.

Volunteering &
Participants: Danielle Kakwitch, Teresa Martin, Barbara Mendoza, Liz Selby, Lisa Meisner, Karla Hoffman 

Some within our project group are Mega-Volunteers and understand the need   organizations have attracting and retaining active volunteers. Some in our project group were looking for volunteer opportunities and want to find a perfect fit for their interests and time. We chose this project to close a gap for both organizations looking for volunteers as well as individuals trying to find their niche in a volunteer role.

We started by discussing the needs from both sides, and began to brainstorm ideas on how to meet those needs.  We completed research online and by telephone to see what other communities were doing.  In that research we found a few county websites that had the common theme of United Way connections.  This led us to inviting Chris Marcks from United Way of Shawano County to a meeting to see how we could help. The timing was right as Chris was in the process of developing a web-based database called for organizations to create profiles about their services, but needed help to pull it all together. 

We partnered with United Way and suggested they add volunteer opportunities to the profiles on We gathered contact information from area organizations, sent out emails inviting area non-profit and service organizations to add their profiles to the new webpage and included a “How to Guide” to walk them through the steps. We followed up with phone calls and mailings to those that didn’t respond. Did a radio ad and newspaper press release letting the community know about and where to go to find volunteer opportunities.  Future work needs to be done to promote and make community members aware of the new website.   We hope this project will fill the void for both the volunteers and the organizations who really need their help.

The ultimate goal of this project is to have an updated data base of services and volunteer opportunities in our community in one place.  What is unique about this platform is the ability for the individual organizations to update their profiles as needed.  Looking for services or volunteer opportunities?  Find your connection on

Mentoring (Shawano County Career Exploration)
Participants: Paula Allen, Adam Carroll, Heidi Cartwright, Joel Delzer, Wes Eastman, Samantha Gangl, Ryan LaRock, Dan Schardt, Shawn Thorne      

The Mentor group, as it came known to be, discussed how many students, after graduation, either don't have a clear direction or change that direction repeatedly.  There are a number of reasons for this and we tried to find some solutions.
With the cost of tuition, it's financially beneficial for young adults to get their career choice right the first time.  Expenses pile up each time a college student changes their field of study.  Some students come to the understanding college wasn't for them yet others wish they would have gone.
As we discussed reasons for career path struggles, we decided we could help students better understand what opportunities are available to them.  We learned that exposure to career opportunities is something that is starting to grow within our school systems, but it is still limited.  Students travel to other counties to learn about career options.  We decided to do something for them here.
We are planning The Shawano County Career Exploration event for the fall semester of 2019.  We plan to bring many local companies to the Bonduel High School for a one-day event to show and discuss opportunities right here in Shawano County and surrounding areas.  We hope this will help grow the apprentice program the schools currently have as well.   The intent is to educate the students and build relationships between schools and businesses and students and parents.
As we build these relationships and create these opportunities for our youth, the upside for these young people and our communities grows. 

2017-2018 Community Service Projects

Shop Hop -
Participants: Phil Romback, Mary Wetzel, Kara Skarlupka, Todd Lorbiecki, Rod Watson

The Shawano County Shop Hop is a county wide project to encourage shopping at our local retail stores. The Shop Hop runs for 10 days, May 25 through June 3rd, 2018. 50 businesses will participate in the Shop Hop with a buy-in of $25 cash and a $25 gift certificate from their business. In return they were included in our advertising. Each shopper receives a “passport” that has all of the participating businesses listed, which are available at the Shawano Country Chamber or participating locations. When the shopper visits the participating shops, their passport will be stamped. After June 3rd all passports will be returned to pre-determined drop off locations and be eligible for different prize levels depending on the number of stores visited.

Sundrop Dayz Logistics
Participants: Cerene Rotter, Jenni Beyer, Kerrie Marquardt, Laura Chartraw, Mary Powell, Tony Bisterfeldt, Tyler Marohl, Zachary Pedersen

Every great event starts with an idea and behind every great idea are the pieces and components that are the must haves that many do not think about.  Electricity, garbage, bathroom facilities, water, shelter, layout, safety plans, permits and approvals.  These are the pieces that hopefully nobody at the event notices, nor should they.  As they are the pieces absolutely necessary for a top scale event but are only noticed if not present.  It was the responsibility of our team to ensure that this infrastructure is adequately present for an anticipated 5,000 people.  Team logistics is proud to be the behind the scenes glue of Shawano’s Second Annual SunDrop Dayz.  This signature event will become a mainstay of the Shawano community for years to come.

Participants: Dawn Clark, Erin Berger, Katie Frank, Mike Musolff, Kendra Brusewitz, Miranda Gollnow

This LSC class 2018 project group looked into starting a CAARE (Cops Assisting Addiction Recovery) program for their community service project.  The need was apparent and the program would have forged partnerships with numerous local social service agencies, Shawano area police departments and the Shawano County community, to work collaboratively on intervention and directing those with opiate addiction to treatment programs. The program’s end goal is to reduce the incidence of opiate and heroin related deaths while building trust within the community.  Due to the complexity of this issue and limited resources in our area, this group focused on coordinating multiple databases with listings of counselors and inpatient and outpatient treatment programs into one consolidated document.  The agencies working directly with people dealing with addiction, will have an updated and single document as a reference. Addiction happens to individuals across every socioeconomic level.  It affects families, law enforcement, employers, our healthcare system, schools, local government agencies and funding.  It’s a national epidemic which requires all of us in communities to work together for solutions.

2016-2017 Community Service Projects

Welcome to Shawano
Participants:Kris Bahr, Michelle Gishkowsky, Mike Hammond, Kim Ihrcke, Rob Koepp, Lisa Risen, Travis Schardt, Kris Wondra and Sarah Verg 

Welcome to Shawano is a new group with an old purpose: to welcome new residents to Shawano and surrounding area by providing information and sharing resources. The goal of the program is to improve morale and image of Shawano Country by creating immediate positive impact with new residents. Collaboration between the Mayor of Shawano, City of Shawano, Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, Shawano City County Library, and Leadership Shawano County Class 17 as well as other businesses.  Shawano Municipal Utilities will distribute a postcard to new residents either by sending a separate mailing or given in person when filling out a service application. These postcards will contain information on how to receive a free Welcome Packet filled with information about the City of Shawano and surrounding areas, including local businesses.

These Welcome Packets will be available in a variety of ways:

  • Online, as a link on the City of Shawano’s web page
  • Available for pick-up at Shawano City Hall, Shawano City-County Library, and the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce
  • Personally delivered upon request by a Welcome to Shawano Ambassador

Area businesses are being asked to participate by submitting information about their services and products. We are proud of Shawano and want to showcase all it offers by demonstrating the diversity of our services, range of our industries and businesses and beauty of our natural resources.

Sundrop Dayz Logistics
Participants: Jodi Anderson, Bob Boda, Karla Braun, Jennifer Christianson, Matt Hendricks, Mandy Kostreva, Lucas McMahon, Stuart Russ, Ashley Zaddack

Every great event starts with an idea and behind every great idea are the pieces and components that are the must haves that many do not think about.  Electricity, garbage, bathroom facilities, water, shelter, layout, safety plans, permits and approvals.  These are the pieces that hopefully nobody at the event notices, nor should they.  As they are the pieces absolutely necessary for a top scale event but are only noticed if not present.  It was the responsibility of our team to ensure that this infrastructure is adequately present for an anticipated 5,000 people.  Team logistics is proud to be the behind the scenes glue of Shawano’s First Annual Sundrop Dayz.  From the foundation that all Sun Drop Dayz committees have built we believe that this event will become a mainstay of the Shawano community and become an opportunity for our citizens, and tourists, to experience that best of what Shawano has to offer. 

2015-2016 Community Service Projects

Career Closet
Participants: Brea Bystol, Danielle Ebert, Gina Patzer, Heather Ritchie, Luana Short, Mark Flunker

After months of brainstorming and meetings, the “basic needs resource” group became the Shawano Career Closet (SCC). Our hope is that we will be able to partner with the Shawano County Job Center to provide free to low-cost professional attire to low-income job seekers. Many people in our community simply cannot afford to purchase the professional attire needed to obtain better jobs. The SCC will work to break that cycle. Volunteers will assist each client in choosing outfits from a large selection of like new business attire and accessories that will be made available through donations made by caring individuals from throughout the Shawano area.

Signature Event-Shawano Sundrop Dayz
Participants: Jason Hietpas, Jeffrey Ballwahn, Jessica VanDerLinden, Karla Duchac, Kenton Olson, Michelle Mahr, Noah Bunt, Rochelle Jahnke

Shawano County Leadership Class 16 is extremely passionate in starting a signature event in Shawano.  The group started out with many goals and ideas in developing a signature event to bring people into the community, enhance current community involvement and showcase area assets all while promoting Shawano.  We researched many internet sites of established signature events in the hopes of finding the much-needed information. 
In addition to website surfing, we threw out ideas as to what the event should offer such as food, activities, entertainment and of course Sundrop soda sampling.  As we progressed, we needed to make decisions in regards to the purpose of the event, how many days the event should run, targeted audience, costs associated with running an event, grant monies available, and available local resources.  Most importantly, we needed a date.  In order to decide on the right time of year, major consideration was given to annual activities that are already in place in Shawano and the surrounding area so not to overlap or be in direct competition.  However, joining forces and collaborating with another established event may be beneficial for a successful outcome.
In order to accomplish our goals, narrow down our ideas, and make sure the event continues for years to come, we partnered with local businesses and other community resources.  A big thank you to Dan Hartwig (Twigs Beverage “Sundrop”), Brian Johnson (Bubba’s BBQ), Paul Bahr (Wolf River Media), Kelly Sufka (Charlies County Market), Patti Peterson (Shawano Country Tourism), Jeff Anderson (Wisconsin Dept of Tourism) and Joy Sams (Appleton Octoberfest) for helping us with these major decisions and concerns.
Moving forward, we still have a long way to go before the first Shawano Sundrop Dayz is a reality.  We encourage and welcome anyone interested in helping to come aboard and help with this event.

Distracted Driving
Participants: Beth McFarlane, Dana Ritchie, Elisha Wagenson, Josh Sortino, Kurt Kitzman, Linda Gehrke, Lori Bricko, Patrick Rau, Traci Sousek

   The mission of this initiative is to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving to our community and to our elected officials.

We met with Sheriff Bieber, City and County officials, Senator Gary Tauchen, and had conversations with, the Dept of Transportation and the AT&T It Can Wait Program.

Currently, there is a state law that bans texting and driving. During our conversations, our group felt the law as it is written is not enough. We would like to have at least a “hand’s free” law in Wisconsin, like so many other states do.  We worked with legal counsel to create a resolution to amend the current law and brought it before the Public Safety Committee. At this meeting, it did not gain the support we had hoped for. It is our intention to bring this forward again to the newly appointed committee in the future.

Bringing awareness to what distracted driving is also an important focus for our group. We all know that texting and using the cell phone is the most common distraction. It also includes grooming, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, daydreaming and having an unrestrained pet in your car.

In an effort to educate the public about distracted driving, we put together a survey that went out to 1200 drivers in Shawano County through businesses, schools and social media. We used the results to determine driving habits around the county. The results are as follows:

97% have observed distracted driving
77% have been a passenger in a vehicle driven by a distracted driver
92% do not turn off their cellphone while driving
66% eat while they drive
27% drive with an unrestrained pet in their vehicle
26% utilize their hands-free options in their vehicles over 50% of the time
65.5 agree or strongly agree that distracted driving is a problem in Shawano County
53.6% would support an ordinance or state law that prohibits distracted driving
88% are willing to change their driving habits to make Shawano County a safer place

We zeroed in on April as our month of action since it is National Distracted Driving Awareness month.  During this month we created a Family Safe Driving agreement pledge form that was sent out to the community and to all the schools in Shawano

2014-2015 Community Service Projects

Boys and Girls Club Project
Participants: Matt Hietpas, Jeffrey Lenzner, Tami Zuleger

In 2014, LSC Class 14 conducted a community needs assessment to determine whether our community would benefit from a Boys and Girls Club.  The results were clear, the children in Shawano would benefit from a Boys and Girls Club.  In October 2014, LSC Class 15 agreed to continue where LSC Class 14 left off.
Next steps in this multi-year, multiple-phase process were to create an Advisory Committee with members representing broad business backgrounds and to create a smaller Executive Committee. We joined the Executive Committee and worked on the next two action items, first to decide which age group to target initially, and to choose the location. A Shawano Boys and Girls Club will become a satellite of the Green Bay Boys and Girls Club and it would start out as a “school based site” targeting grades 3-5.
Moving forward, there is a need to raise awareness and educate our community families and businesses about what a Boys and Girls Club can offer the children in the Shawano area.        

The Great Sturgeon Search

Participants:  Ashley Schugel, Christa Hansen, Dana Kriha, Eddie Sheppard, Gary Cumberland, Jakie Sperberg, James Zakula, Kathleen Ciantar, Kimberly Buettner, Kyle Hoffman, Lesley Nemetz, Penny Kuhn, Randy Chevalier, Stacey Eggleston

Community Contributors:  David Aschenbrener-Metal Artist, Jason Eggert& Gereon Methner-Shawano Community High School Trades Department, Randy Brull- AArrowcast

The Great Sturgeon Search developed after significant refining of big ideas.  The participants in this project started out with many goals including showcasing Shawano and what makes it unique, developing a signature event to bring people into the community, and promoting the significance of the sturgeon to the Menominee Indian Tribe.  The final result will be The Great Sturgeon Search (referred to as the Search) which is a scavenger hunt throughout the downtown business district. Recycled brass water meters, donated by the city, were melted at the Shawano High School Trades Department and poured into molds created by Aarrowcast. Artist David Aschenbrener assembled and provided the finish work.

   As part of the Search, brass sculptures of sturgeon will be hidden on the exteriors of buildings and in other areas.  Creative clues will be available to assist sturgeon hunters in finding the sculptures.  The Search will provide free entertainment and culturally rich artwork for local residents and will hopefully attract tourists to the community to support local businesses.  A big thank you for the generosity of the above community contributors for assisting in the physical creation of the sturgeon sculptures. It will be unveiled in downtown Shawano during the Jumpin’ June Jamboree on June 13, 2015. 


Boys and Girls Club Project:
Participants: Jon Aumann, Amie Beyersdorf, Brian Brehm, Donna Everson, Jeannie Jafolla, Idell Johnston, Scott Kroening, Tracie Martin, Jennifer Powers, Beth Schuster and Katie Walker

A task force in our community was formed in the summer of 2013 to discuss the possibility of opening a Boys and Girls Club in our community.  After forming this task force, the next step was to “determine a need “ for a Boys and Girls Club in Shawano.  LSC conducted a Community Needs Assessment.  This involved writing newspaper articles and informational letters to parents and presentations to school district employees to create awareness. Surveys were completed by every Shawano School District student and surveys were sent to their parents/guardians.  Data was collected from these surveys and personal interviews were conducted by Boys and Girls Club administrators with 30 community members. After this data was received and tallied, a recommendation was made to lay out our next steps.

Youth Awareness
Participants:Todd Buettner, Sherri Dessell, Pam Hegewald, Josh Iserloth, Nicole Johnson, Sara Romenesko and Marisa Rycroft

After speaking to the panel of law enforcement officials at the November session, this group was called to action after learning about the increased problem with prescription drug and heroin use in Shawano.  No longer is this someone else’s problem, this is affecting people we know.  As a group, we talked about education and prevention programs and the power of a personal story. Could we find someone in the community to talk about how drugs affected either a family member or themselves personally?  

Through connections, we met two recovering heroin addicts who are going into communities and sharing their stories with schools and businesses and offering hope to those addicted to drugs; this group is called Rise Together.  Their powerful stories bring a voice and face to recovery and offer resources to those afflicted. A funding source was located and presentations to community members and Shawano High School students are schedule for September 2014.



As part of the curriculum of Leadership Shawano County, participants research, create and facilitate two community service projects.  Leadership Class thirteen presents:

United Way 2-1-1
Participants: Anita Kostuch, Dana Usky, Kimberly Timm, Lauri Baranczyk, Michael Fehlhaber, Roger Pescinski
After discovering United Way’s 2-1-1 information line and website were not current, LSC updated and reintroduced United Way’s Shawano County 2-1-1 call center and website.  Call United Way’s 2-2-1 when you need information about community services or volunteering, or are looking to help with a personal or family matter.  They are there any time you don’t know where to turn. 

United Way’s 2-1-1 is free and confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for non-emergency referral services.  Trained Informational Specialists will answer your questions about where to find community services, who to contact, and how to take the next step toward solving your problems or meeting your needs. 

Shawano County Young Professionals- SAYPro
Participants: Alicia Eggert, Ami Lasecki, Andrea Wallace, Bobbi Jo Ladwig, Debbie Downs, Kate Dillenburg, Laura Warning, Nicole Bergsbaken, Ryan Mueller, Zach linsmeyer

The development of a young professionals group was established as a new chamber program in 2013.  This Young Professionals Group is for ages 21-39 for those living in or working in Shawano County.  saYPro is for those who strive for continued personal and career related growth achieved by experience, education and positive relationships.  Much time will be spent to understand the benefits of an YP program in our community.  YP organizations help connect YP’s to their community.  Generally, when YP’s feel they can make a difference in their community, they are 2-3 times as likely to stay in that community. Understanding the benefits to our community will help us recruit members and encourage businesses to promote it.  YP programs are seen as a job retention tool and a real benefit to employers. An individual, who is an active participant in the practices of social communities, is constructing his/her identity through these communities. The program will be engaging the next generation of leaders and fueling innovation to generate new ventures.

We see a connection either from YP to Leadership Shawano County (LSC) or from LSC to YP.   The YP program will provide peer-to- peer education among LSC graduates and other professionals to create a community of practice.



As part of the curriculum of Leadership Shawano County program, participants research, create and facilitate two community service projects.  LSC class twelve presents:

Participants: Linda Gueths, Michelle Eggers, Courtney Cook, Traci Berry, Bonnie Olson, Kasey Dix, Randy Petrouske, Sandra Wacker
The Main Event - The Main Event was held on May 4, 2011. It featured 6 of our Main Street establishments in a round robin celebration of food, drink, music and fun! Appetizer portions of food were served, music was provided by the Wolf River Harmony Chorus, Shawano Community High School orchestra students and Jazz Band students and raffle prizes were won at the end of the evening. The purpose of this project was to promote downtown Main street restaurants and local cuisine. Tickets were sold in advance at the Shawano County Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to the generosity of our participating restaurants, all proceeds from the ticket sales benefited the Shawano Area Food Center. A check for $1590.00 was presented to the Shawano Area Food Center at the LSC graduation.

Participants: Brenda Sisung, Dawn Knuepple, Josh Neumann, Kristie Sipple, Monica Vick, Ron Lawrence, Scott Zwirschitz

Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program (
In celebration of Earth Day, the 2012 LSC class coordinated the collection of used athletic shoes in collaboration with Nike’s recycling program. Numerous drop-off locations were established, including: Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce,
BMO Harris (formerly M&I Bank), Navarino Nature Center, CoVantage Credit Union, The Cobbler’s Closet, Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, Core Commitment; school districts of Shawano, Bonduel, Tigerton, Bowler and Wittenberg; along with parochial schools in Shawano and Bonduel. Upon collection and shipment to a designated facility, the shoes are divided into three parts, rubber from the outer sole, foam from the middle sole and fabric from the upper, and used to manufacture playgrounds, as well as, running tracks and courts for basketball and tennis. All parts of the shoe are used in the recycling process which means none of it ends up in a landfill. “We chose the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe project because nothing like this had been done previously in the Shawano area,” stated Scott Zwirschitz. “One begins to think of all the tennis shoes a community has from its infants to seniors and the significant contribution which can be made by simply recycling the worn sneakers.” “As a group, we were able to find a project accommodating all our schedules and a beneficial project and applicable to our community. Working with LSC classmates has been a great opportunity to work as a team and to bring a great recycling program to Shawano,” stated Ron Lawrence. Dawn Knueppel agreed and said, “We have the easy task of turning over worn sneakers which eliminates an item from heading to the landfill and ultimately gets turned into an item promoting a healthy life style.” “Typically, athletic shoes are thrown out because their condition does not warrant a donation to Goodwill or elsewhere. We thought this was a good way to raise awareness about recycling and about all the products that a shoe can be made into. It fits in nicely with Earth Day. In fact, we collected shoes and volunteered at Navarino’s 5KRun/Walk which took place April 28 at the Nature Center,” stated Brenda Sisung. Monica Vick added, “For more than 20 years, the Reuse-A-Shoe program has been collecting old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling. To date, the program has salvaged more than 25 million shoes. Our group targeted a minimum of 500 pairs of shoes.” As a runner and shoe contributor to the project herself, Kristy Sipple stated, “What a great benefit and end result a community gains by another’s recycling efforts. She went on to say, “Shawano County helped us reach our goal."


2010-2011 The Study and Promotion of Shawano

Participants: Amy Fisken, Barbara Palmer, Brent Mallmann, Brian Knapp, Julie Montoure Bottois, Laura Kayser, Linda Gilbert, Todd Pluger, Wendy Boehm

The Main Event-LSC planned the second Main Event on May 2, 2012. The Main Event highlighted downtown restaurants in a dine-around format. The tickets included coupons for businesses in the downtown district. This project was important to the group because they wanted to show case the diverse and unique businesses in downtown Shawano. “For me, The Main Event was important because it encouraged shoppers in downtown Shawano and showcased all that the Main Street businesses had to offer,” states committee member Barb Palmer. “The Main Event brought our community downtown, to socialize and it helped boost Shawano’s economy,” added committee member Amy Fisken. The committee would like to thank the participating restaurants for donating their food items: Angie’s Main Café, Hunan Chinese Restaurant, Lizzie’s, Tom’s Tap, Luigi’s, Bult’s Bakery and Farm Inn’ on Main. Proceeds from this event  benefited the BIDFacade Grant program.

Participants: Steve Sengstock, Tim Mayer, Jodi Tetting, Roger Olson, Misty Jones, Karissa Kunschke
Study and Promotion of Shawano
- The purpose of this project: Shawano County loses millions of dollars annually from the local economy because 45% of workers commute from outside Shawano County to work in Shawano. They return back home and spend their incomes outside the County. LSC participants will survey employees of businesses in Shawano County to understand the reasons for why they “live and work” where they do. Information from the survey will be shared with participating businesses to be used as a recruitment tool and to promote Shawano County as a community to live and work.



Participants: Elaine Gast, Stephanie Selle, Kristi Carlson, Andy Schmidt, Cheryl Seelig, Dawn Gueths
Krazy for K-9 Dog Expo - A family fundraising event was created to bring awareness and raise funds for the Shawano County Sheriff's Department K-9 Program. The Krazy for K-9 Dog Expo was held on April 17, 2010 with main stage acts which demonstrated dog agility, dog obedience, field training and the K-9 unit. Vendors were on hand selling services and merchandise for dogs, an "Ask a Vet" question table, concessions and a bucket raffle. Proceeds from this event were given to "SOS K-9" the fundraising group supporting the Sheriff's K-9 Program.

Participants: Gwen Hoffman, Jenny DeMunck, Chris Onesti, Jill Sharp, Kristie Wilson, Keith Marquardt, Shelly Thorne
Service Learning and Volunteer Guide
- A need was identified to make volunteer opportunities for youth and adults easier to define and simpler for teachers, adult leaders or community members to identify. Service projects are a prerequisite for college applications, required for 4-H participants and many groups alike. This group partnered with Community Education to update a volunteer list and create a user friendly guide in a format where a person can easily indentify a volunteer opportunity and the age appropriateness of the project. This guide will be available under the Shawano School Districts website, on the Community Education page.



Participants: Brigette Pennings-Aarrowcast Inc., Penny Block-Shawano Medical Center, Char Larsen- Thrivant Financial, Bonnie Grulkowski-Cooperative Resources International, Ericka Kowalkowski-Shawano Medical Center, Katie Dorn-Aurora Health Care, Ryan Alexander-CoVantage Credit Union
Safe Haven Resource Guide - An informational brochure was created to provide clients with vital financial information to function in our community outside of Safe Haven. This brochure will include information from local financial institutions on how to open a bank account, where to cash a payroll check if you do not have an account, a comparison of cash stores verses financial institutions on loans and APR, a budgeting format, tax preparation services, information on day care, emergency services and other program that will help an individual become independent.

Participants: Shane Stange-Shawano Police Department, Teresa Hinnefeld-ThedaCare Physicians, Sally Zander-Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce, Angie Kringle-Cooperative Resources Intl., Tammy Breczkowski-Dynamic Designs, Jackie Suhring-Premier Community Bank, Karen Smith-Shawano School District, Melanie White-Gear Up Program
Networking for those in Need-The SAFPARC Project
- This project benefitted the food pantry SAFPARC, by obtaining items needed to run this business effectively. Through networking the group was able to obtain a new office computer from Senzigs, time with a c computer programmer, chairs from Thrivant Financial and a filing cabinet from KI in Green Bay. In addition a children’s book drive was organized for the young customers at SAFPARC and a food drive is being sponsored in July.



Participants: Jeff Brady, Todd Carlson, Tami Goers, Sandy Groth, Lindsay Johnson, Jenni Kroenke, Jennifer Langlois, Liz Lewens, Carol Opgenorth, Mary Raether, Scott Ruen
Saturday Night Out - In response to a discussion with a panel of Shawano High School students who claim “there is nothing to do in Shawano” the idea of “Saturday Night Out” was created. With school functions being offered on Friday nights; it seemed like Saturday night was the night students were looking for a place to go. A group of the Leadership County Class planned three activities for high school students only. They included a “Let it SNO” an extended open skate at the Crawford Center on January 15, 2008, a “Saturday Night Fever” dance at the County Park on April 5th and a “Saturday Night Pin-buster” a bowling event on May 17th. All events included music, food, drinks , prizes and a safe environment to hang out with their friends!

Participants: Tim Barthel, Stephanie Erdmann, Bill Hamann, Diane Heikes, Brian Kolwakowski, Jenn Quinn, Mike Van Rite, Ruth Winter.
Shawano Food and Culture Fest
- the Shawano Food and Culture Fest celebrated “Unity in our Community”. The family-friendly event educated, entertained and encouraged development of cultural awareness by featuring food, art, music and entertainment from the various ethnic groups that make up our community. This event was held on Monday, March 17, 2008. This event exists today under the direction of Junior Achievement as the "Taste of Shawano".



Participants: Jill Flink- Coordinator, Jo Grover, Jaime Gajewski, Becky Henn, Dawn Kelley, Paul Kersten.
League of Women Voters – Researched and promoted the possibility of bringing a Chapter of the League of Women Voters to Shawano.

Participants: Lena Klosterman-Coordinator, Rae Vogt, Troy Edwards, Tricia Milis, Debby Kaczorowski, Gale Blum, Alan Natachu, Greg Reimer, Scott Davis, Tara Fermanich, Judy Rank.
Shawano Community Athletic and Recreation Foundation (SCARF) -
raised over 3600.00 to improve athletic fields at the Shawano Community Middle School.



Participants: Matthew Laha, Cindy Teschke, Pat Romuald, Rhonda Strebel, John Powers, Kathy Peters, Katie Sloma
Farm Family Resource Guide - Resource guide with farm and family information was printed for use throughout Shawano County.

Participants: David Schmidt, Barbara Heins, Claudia Arvey, Ken Zade and Ted Foste
Habitat for Humanity -
Did several fund raisers; one at the Folk Music Festival and another by selling building salvage materials which raised over $9000.00 for Habitat for Humanity.



Participants:  Sandi Giese, Steve Schenk, Diane Lohff and Kris Vomastic
Anti Bullying Project - The Leadership Shawano County group decided to create a survey for the Elementary, Middle and High School students, to learn from them how they perceive bullying in their schools.  They wanted to understand the depth of the problem and to determine if their school offered the support needed in dealing with this issue.

A survey was obtained from the Howard-Suamico School District and used as a guideline to develop this survey.  Student Council members from the Shawano Community High School helped convert the Middle School survey into an appropriate survey for the High School students.

Results from the survey were shared with the Shawano-Gresham School District administration.  In turn social workers and guidance counselors helped distribute the surveys and formulate the results.

The valuable information obtained, will help our school district determine the need for future programs or curriculum changes.

Participants:  Colleen Weishoff, Todd Malueg, Kay Kristoff, Flo Ninham, Diane Lamich, Laura Braatz, Dick Beversdorf, Kathi Beyer and Gregg Duffek 
Shawano County Veteran’s Cookbook Fundraiser
- The Leadership Shawano County group members wanted to choose a project that involved area veterans.  After a meeting on Veterans Day, they decided to create a cookbook with recipes collected from area veteran’s families, friends and co-workers.  The proceeds from the $10.00 cookbook will benefit local veteran’s organizations.

Members from this committee attended meetings of local veterans in the Shawano, Cecil, Bowler, Tigerton and Wittenberg areas to promote this project.

In addition to collecting recipes for the book, places for advertising and dedication lines were sold in the cookbook. 

Individual strengths from the Leadership group came together to realize this project.  The cookbooks are now on sale at the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce and M & I Bank.



Youth Leadership Conference & Shawano Skateboard Park



Participants:  Bonnie Welch, Denise Pommer, Leah Miller, Herb Rycroft, Maureen Unger, Linda Beversdorf
Cultural Awareness -

Participants:  Chris Spieth, Nathan Falk, Lori Sherman, Sherrie Peterson, Diane Wasmund, Beth Hoffman



Participants: Keith Wendlandt, Barb McKeefry, Aaron Wallrich
Shawano Wired -

Participants: Jeanne Cronce, Amy Jensen, Steve Peterson, Steven Stromberg, Dennis Wengelski, Debra White
Youth Leadership Workshop

Participants: Jim Darling, Angela Gast, Dr. Brian Grieves, Herbert W Lehman Jr, Sharon Woiak-Meisner, Randy Young
Family Resource Guid
e -



Participants: Dennis Bennett, Charles Buchert, Walberto Colon, Judy Hohn, Vicky Jones, Debbie Kuhn, Gail Moesch, Jennifer Schenk
NWTC Expansion -

Participants: Donna Cook, Jean Darling
Fun Run -

Participants: Jan Taylor, DuWayne Federwitz
Teen Court -

Participants: Doreen Korbisch
Take a Step Back in Time (T.A.S.B.I.T.) -


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