Epic Leadership Summer

It’s been an epic summer so far.

Founded in FoCo revved up to make a huge splash as we returned from a year of being virtual. Fort Collins Comic Con raised $20,000 for literacy efforts in Northern Colorado, bringing our 8-year total to $120,000 for the Poudre River Public Library District.

I was appointed to the City of Fort Collins Parks + Recreation Board, attended the Confluence Water Conference by BizWest to learn about sustainability and water issues for our community, attended the City’s Small Business Appreciation Celebration and Community Services 101 (a day-long 8-session class featuring highlights from each department in Community Services – Parks, Rec, Natural Areas, Forestry, and more), was chosen to speak at the Sustainable Neighborhoods Network Leadership Summit about our neighborhood’s events and experiences to bring out the community and encourage more sustainable behaviors, and with the help of Gabriel Armstrong and friends at LoCo Food Distribution, launched FTW Hot Sauce into every Colorado Sprouts store. FTW Hot Sauce was also invited to join The Cupboard for their 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Amidst all that, I was accepted into the 2022/2023 class of Leadership Fort Collins. It’s a huge honor, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the lessons learned from this amazing group of talented leaders (still working on doing the same for the non-stop whirlwind that was Leadership Northern Colorado).

An easy early lesson: nobody achieves anything on their own, and the most important thing any leader can do is put an arm or ladder out to bring others up too. Our first gathering was at CSU’s Pingree Park where we worked on teambuilding activities and getting to know each other. Our second gathering was hosted at the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce and focused on getting to know ourselves through our Gallup Clifton Strengths.

My top 5: Strategic (find the best route), Ideation (think outside the box), Activator (create momentum), Individualization (infinite diversity in infinite combinations), and Futuristic (anticipate/imagine what could be). In short: I’m Willy Wonka for new projects.

The Fort Collins Comic Con team was invited to join the Alliance for Suicide Prevention at the Teen Self-Care Fair to put on our Superhero Creator Camp at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery – kids of all ages could create their own superheroes (or villains) while learning from Lee Oaks, Nova Sparks Cosplay, and James Powell. We had the most participants we’ve ever had with nearly 300 new superheroes or supervillains ushered into being!

Our 3rd session in Leadership Fort Collins focused on community support organizations – we toured the Food Bank for Larimer County, conducted a poverty simulation exercise, heard from the director of Pathways Hospice Care, learned about the new Larimer County Longview Behavioral Health Center, and met the organizations behind the new Heartside Hill affordable housing community!

I can’t wait to see what we learn next.

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