Keeping business strong

MSU Extension helps Gladwin County businesses strengthen their management to ensure longevity.

In 2005, three local business people attended a workshop called Developing Community Leadership sponsored by Michigan State University Extension. A steering committee was formed to develop a county-wide leadership program. The first class was offered in September of 2006 with 12 local individuals, male and female, ranging in all ages, various jobs and organizations. Later, a grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation was
received for program implementation. The interest continued the following year and has been ongoing ever since. Michigan State University Extension had taken the lead as coordinator and other volunteers from the community were on the committee. As the program grew and new ideas formed, the
committee took a year off, regrouped, and formed a 501(c)3 non-profit leadership board.

The tenth year started in the fall of 2016 with 13 participants. Over 120 county leaders have graduated from this program since its inception. A community service piece has been incorporated so the participants are able to give back to the community in various ways throughout the year long program. At the end of the year, the participants enhance their public speaking skills by providing a presentation about something they like in Gladwin County and want to share with others. 

The program begins in September and runs monthly through May with day-long meetings shared between Gladwin and Beaverton, using local businesses, schools, and offices. For more information on the leadership program, the contact is Diana Mella, program coordinator at

Gladwin County Youth Leadership

In its seventh year, ten high school students from both Gladwin and Beaverton were selected to be a part of the county youth leadership program. They attend five-day long modules over five months which include education, county history tour, Real Colors personality test, career prep, law and law enforcement. The youth join the adult leadership group on the last day and share presentations with each other on some aspect of Gladwin County. Beverly Przystas, MSU Extension Educator, provides leadership activities using Life Skills, while assisting with the overall coordination of the youth program. Michelle Neff, Extension Educator leads both the youth and adults in the Real Colors presentation to help participants understand communication styles related to personality types.

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