HCC Leadership Institute announces 2016 graduates

The 2015-2016 Highland Community College Leadership Institute's graduates were honored during a recent recognition dinner and ceremony held on the HCC campus.

The Leadership Institute is a nine-month development program provided by Highland Community College, which provides opportunities to all segments of the College community to learn more about leadership.

Members of the class were individually recognized for their year's work during a program, which featured speeches from Institute graduates Ron Mattson and Elise Bowling, as well as remarks from Highland President Tim Hood and Executive Vice-President Christina Kuberski.

"The Institute enabled me to take my leadership skills to the next level. More than use of a good text, our interactions with each other pushed each one of us out of our comfort zones, helped us to know ourselves and our community better," said Jennifer Aurand, FHN. "I used several of our exercises with my staff at FHN and was able to share with them the tools and benefits of what I learned. Not only did I come out of this experience with a wider professional network but also made some good friends in the process. You truly get out of it what you put into it. I am grateful that my organization invested this time in me."

Elise Bowling of the Stephenson County State's Attorney's office said, "My participation in the 24th class of Leadership Institute through Highland Community College has been an experience for which there are no words. As a northwest Illinois transplant from Indiana, I came to Freeport not knowing anyone or having any connections. After the opening retreat in September 2015, I came away with not only 17 new classmates, but also 17 new friends. Leadership Institute showed me how much this community has to offer, and I was inspired by the different individuals who are actively committed to building a brighter future on an already strong present, so inspired that I wanted to become one of them. I was genuinely sad when classes ended, but what Leadership Institute has given me, I will take with me for the rest of my life. It gave me a place to be proud of, a place to call home, and a place where I finally felt like I belonged. It put me in touch with local community leaders with whom I can partner to build on what is already strong. So many people want to make a difference, but they are unsure where to start. Leadership Institute provides that starting point."

Founded in 1991 to recruit, develop, and strengthen leadership in the community, the Leadership Institute provides participants each year with an opportunity to learn more about the history of Stephenson County and its communities; to examine and discuss important area issues; and to strengthen individual leadership skills. Since its inception, the Leadership Institute has helped over 500 citizens become more influential in changing and improving lives throughout northwest Illinois.

The following is a list of 2015-2016 graduates and their sponsors:

Jennifer Aurand, FHN

Elise Bowling, Stephenson County State's Attorney

Thomas Chiles, Lena-Winslow School District #202

LeAnn Clark, State Bank of Davis

Melissa Fransen, Agnieszka Watson, US Bank

Michelle Griggs, Highland Community College

Pam Hoffman, MetLife Auto & Home

Dennis Huttenlocher, Citizens State Bank

Brian LeBaron, Lena United Methodist Church

Kelsey Lehman, State Bank

Tammie Evenstad, Ron Mattson, Kevin Soukup, Monroe Clinic

Corey McLaurin, JCWIFI

Taneisha Randle, Amity Society

Lance Roelfs, Furst-McNess

Kayla Scudder, Union Savings Bank

Application forms for the 2016-2017 Leadership Institute are being accepted through July 1, and can be obtained from Jim Phillips or Alan Wenzel, co-facilitators of the Leadership Institute, Highland Community College, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport, IL 61032. For more information call 815.599.3469 or e-mail or or visit

(L to R) Front Row: Kelsey Lehman, Elise Bowling, Kayla Scudder, Pam Hoffman, Melissa Fransen and LeAnn Clark. (Middle Row): Corey McLaurin, Jennifer Aurand, Kevin Soukup, Michelle Griggs, Ron Mattson, Tammie Evenstad, Agnieszka Watson and Taneisha Randle. (Back Row): Ed Finch, Brian LeBaron, Lance Roelfs, Dennis Huttenlocher, Alan Wenzel (co-facilitator) and Tom Chiles. (Inset picture): Jim Phillips (co-facilitator). Photo provided by Hillside Studio

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

© 2018 Highland Community College   Home  |  Contact  |  Search  |  Classes
Facebook Twitter