2021 Local Government Leadership Academy Graduates

John F Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” This year’s graduates of the Wisconsin Local Government Leadership Academy certainly embody this quote, dedicating their time over the past 9 months to learn and to enhance their leadership skills. Nineteen participants from across the state and serving in a variety of local government positions graduated from the Academy.

The Local Government Leadership Academy focuses on four primary skills of being an effective local government leader: relationship-building, communication, decision-making and vision. Each of these four topics is grounded in the idea that we lead in service of the community and can accomplish more when we work together.

“I really enjoyed it and learned/was reminded of many things that make a person a good leader, especially in the often challenging public service,” said Kasia Norgaard, Portage County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Services Manager. 

The graduates, who work in a variety of local government positions, gathered from across the state and gained skills they can apply immediately. 

We congratulate all of them for their achievement. 

The Local Government Leadership Academy is a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Counties Association, Leadership Wisconsin, and UW-Madison Division of Extension. The Academy serves:

  • elected officials who understand the basics of their role and are ready to take on new leadership challenges.
  • department heads, directors and managers who are new to leadership roles, as well as those aspiring to or preparing for leadership roles.
  • anyone interested in becoming a more effective leader in local government.

Registration for the 2022 Academy is now available. Learn more about the curriculum and schedule.

For more information, contact Jeremy Solin, Leadership Project Specialist, Community Development Institute, UW-Madison Division of Extension

2021 Local Government Leadership Academy Graduates

Valese Adams, Board of Public Works Board Member, City of Madison

Dan Bowers, Assistant Director Planning and Zoning Department, Portage County

Elizabeth Chilsen, Public Health Manager, Jefferson County

Kayla Filen, County Clerk, Portage County

Rebecca Fry, Paternity and Enforcement Specialist, Jefferson County

Donna Haugom, Emergency Management Director, Jefferson County

Patti Hauser-Kassner, Town Clerk, Lewiston Township

Alexis Heim Peter, Door County Supervisor

Kaela Hutter, Register Of Deeds – Deputy II, Jefferson County

April Kigeya, Middleton Police Commission; Dane County Equal Opportunities Commission

Melanie Krause, Utility General Manager, City of Menasha

Katarina Liptrot-Ploch, Child Protective Services Social Worker, Rock County

Owen Mergen, Clerk/Treasurer, Village of West Baraboo

Katarzyna Norgaard, Sheriff’s Office Administrative Services Manager, Portage County

Idowu Odedosu, Executive Director, Stevens Point Housing Authority

Elizabeth Skulan, Director Department of Human Services, Bayfield County

Kelly Stade, Deputy County Treasurer, Jefferson County

Sarana Stolar, Corporation Counsel Paralegal, Jefferson County

Tom Strachan, Commissioner, Camp and Center Lakes Reclamation District


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