Making Connections
by Laurie Gungel

I am leaving Highland on Friday, September 28, 2007 after 16 years of working with the employers and employees in businesses in northwest Illinois. I have accepted a position of Executive Director of the Carroll County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC), with its Savanna office as my home base in October 2007.

My passion is learning. That’s why this job of working with business owners, managers, and directors has been so rewarding for me. As I look at my new role in “Economic Development,” I recognize that the work I did in coordinating the Local Workforce Investment Board HCC Boot Camp last summer, meeting with Freeport Area Midsize Manufacturers Council, and offering “Blueprint Reading” for area employers are all one part of our area’s economic development: making connections to provide a better trained workforce.

Savvy business owners like you know that training employees does more than just upgrade their skills. Study after study tells us that people who are engaged in learning outside as well as on the job are more involved in their workplace and more likely to remain with the same employer.

Here are some of my parting thoughts on human motivation, in the words of others, far wiser than I.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Zigler

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” - Tom Peters

Three individuals are laboring at a construction site, doing the same work. When each was asked what his job was, answers were very different.

“I’m breaking rocks.”

“I’m earning a living.”

The third man paused, smiled and said, “I’m helping to build a cathedral.”

Without bridges, the best-built roads lead nowhere, the most impressive visions remain invisible, and the best-laid plans fail. In life and in work, connection is everything. You build the bridges. Make the connections. Bring us on to success.

Thanks for the memories and experiences.

Laurie Gungel


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September 2007