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Goal 4: Develop Next-Gen Leaders 

Goal Captains: Melissa Sorenson

Volunteer Force: 36

Goal Progress Reports:   Click Here


This group focused on developing leaders in a variety of ways. In order to achieve this, Goal Four focused their energy on achieving four objectives:

  • Launching a Boot Camp for Aspiring Leaders
  • Utilizing the Region's Retirees and Elder Population
  • Encouraging Latinos, East Africans, and members of neXt to serve
  • Creating a Formal, Community Wide Mentoring Program


To achieve these objectives, the Goal 4 group has developed the following projects:


Vision 2040: Leadership WeLead

Vision 2040 Leadership

Vision 2040 Leadership is a small cohort leadership program designed to help people prepare to answer the call of community service within the Willmar Lakes Area and Kandiyohi County. Participants engage in hands on learning and doing within communities throughout Kandiyohi County.


Learn more about Vision 2040 Leadership...



WeLEAD is a women's mentoring and leadership group initatied through the Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 Next Generation Leaders task team. WeLEAD is about empowering all women to discover and maximize their unique talents, one leader at a time. 


Learn more about WeLEAD...


Developing Projects

Newcomer Dinners One Million Cups Non-Profit Networking Event World Cafe Training


Newcomer Dinners

This initative is currently in progress and hopes to launch in the Fall of 2016. It hopes to pair local leaders with newcomers and is a collaborative effort between Goal 1: Attract & Retain and Goal 4: Next-Gen Leaders. 


1 Million Cups

This initiative has been approved by the Kaufmann Foundation and will be recognized on the national level. The group is in the developmental stage and is looking to kick off in Fall of 2016.

Non-Profit Networking Event

This initative is in progress and the event will highlight the neees of local non-profits as well as give its participants a glimpse of community leadership through speakers, a toolkit with information and a meet & greet with local non-profits. 


World Cafe Training

This event is to be hosted in early August 2016. This is a session designed to equip community members with the tools to host and facilitate thoughtful World Cafe events. 


Past Projects

Brain Gain

Brain Gain

The population of rural America has changed significantly over the past 40 years, which is commonly referred to as the rural rebound. The "Brain Gain" conversation was hosted by rural sociologist and research fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension's Center for Community Vitality and took place on August 15th, 2014. This was a joint effort between Goal 1: Attract & Retain and Goal 4: Next-Gen Leaders. They explored the migration of 30-49 year olds to small towns and their social and economic impact on rural Minnesota. Specific trends for the new urbanity of the Willmar Lakes Area were featured.


Learn more about Brain Gain...

Inter-City Leadership Tour

Inter-City Leadership TourA group of 23 people from the Willmar Lakes Area spent two days visiting the Fargo area to learn some tips on achieving our goals from this successful community. They explored the downtown growth of the Fargo community as well as took a bus tour of West Fargo, Moorhead and Fargo to see and discuss their universities, industrial park, downtown and housing. 

Learn more about the Inter-City Leadership Tour...

Get Involved

Help us make the Willmar Lakes Area a better place! Join your neighbors, friends and coworkers as we work together to develop the next generation of leaders. Click here to Get Involved!

From our community volunteers

“I'm honored to be part of Vision 2040 and the team that is forging the future of the Willmar Lakes Area community. We are a strong vibrant community that works hard and works together through partnerships and collaborative efforts. This spark of leadership for this is caused by people willing to risk failure to reach for success. We have seen there's no limit to what a group can do if the individuals don't care who gets the credit.”

Ken Warner, Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

“We are proud to be part of the Vision 2040 effort here at the community foundation because it aligns with our core mission to engage people, connect resources and build community. It was an easy choice to invest not only financial resources to support Vision 2040 but also to lend significat board and staff time to help drive this effort forward. It's transforming our communities for the future our residents dream about-using their ideas and energies to make good things happen organically in real time and for years to come-and we want to be part of making that possible!”

Sara Carlson, Willmar Area Community Foundation

“I'm proud to volunteer and support the efforts of Vision 2040 because creating a healthy community takes a collabortive effort. No one person or entity can create a community where people want to live and work and play, but working together we can create it. Vision 2040 started with an inclusive effort to bring together people from across our region to articulate their vision of the future of our region's communities. The goals that emerged from that vision offer everyone the opportunity to share in the collaborative work necessary to create a healthy and vibrant region--and that's a good thing for all of us.”

Dr. Douglas Allen, Ridgewater College
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