Staples, Minn.,
19:25 PM

Local Leaders Learn, Collaborate at R5 Summit

NJPA hosts 120 leaders for one-day conference on education and local leadership

Over 120 leaders from Region 5 cities, counties, and schools return to their offices this week with a better understanding of their organization's most important assets: people.

“Training for the Ages: Creating an Effective Multi-Generation Team,” was the title of the keynote address, delivered by Lori A. Hoffner of Supporting CommUnity, at National Joint Powers Alliance's fifth annual R5 Summit, held on Wednesday, October 25.

Hoffner, an expert in positive youth development, community networking, and organization relationship development, noted that for the first time in history, we have four generations working alongside one another: Silent or Traditionalists (b. 1930-1945), Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1964), Generation X (b. 1965-1979), and Millennials/Gen Y (b. 1980-1996). Because of this, Hoffner says it's important for each generation to have a high-level understanding of the others' outlook, work ethic, view of authority, and preferences for leadership style. She walked through each during her address, often drawing on audience participation, real-life examples, and shared experiences.

Courtney Roatch, who's in her first year as a school counselor at Bertha-Hewitt School District found Hoffner's message helpful.

“Her talk gave us an awareness of how your generation affects a team and how it relates to authority and work ethic,” Roatch said. “You can see the differences in the workplace and they can cause conflict. With this awareness and knowledge, we can better understand each other and reach resolutions.”

Following the keynote address, R5 Summit attendees dove into specifics with breakout sessions on topics in education and community leadership, plus updates from the State Capitol delivered by Ron Kresha, MN State Representative-Little Falls, Sam Walseth, Lobbyist, and Dan Listug, NJPA Government Relations Associate.

The goal of the mini, one-day conference is to serve Region 5 communities by providing professional development and educational opportunities.

“I've been to NJPA functions before and always take away helpful information,” said Danny Noss, Mayor of Randall. “This event, like others, is a chance to meet with people from other area cities and reconnect with acquaintances. To me, networking is almost more important than knowledge because you know who you can call when you've got a problem.”

The crowd of 120 was the largest NJPA has hosted for its R5 Summit, doubling the number of participants from last year.

“Providing our local community leaders with new ideas and an opportunity for collaborative face time better equips them to address their daily work and manage relationships,” said Paul Drange, NJPA Director of Regional Programs. “We all benefit from our leaders'time and investment in professional growth.”

About NJPA

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with over 200 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.