Emerging Leaders Academy
Feedback from Supervisors of ELA Participants
"I have been a first-hand witness of the benefits of the Emerging Leaders Academy. I sent a team member from KU Information Technology through the program. She has brought back and shared a renewed dedication to public service and a commitment to her team’s growth. She has a greater willingness to take risks and utilize her strengths in team dynamics; the program has added many tools to her toolbox. I highly recommend other supervisors making this investment for members of their teams."
--Paul Farran, Chief of Staff, KU Information Technology
“When I send staff to ELA, they come back transformed. They are better able to recognize the leadership opportunities that are part of their current roles and identify new ways to contribute to the betterment of the organization. I will continue to send a sworn member of my staff to ELA every session as training funding allows."
--Sheriff Don Ash, Wyandotte County, KS
"We recognized that we would be facing a leadership transition. Lori had impressed us with her potential to move into that role. We identified the ELA program as we looked for opportunities for Lori to take the next steps. As her supervisor, I was impressed with the curriculum which offered an individual development plan as well as exposure to a broad range of managerial topics. The program gave Lori a model to explore her strengths and preferences and gain insights into options for her career development. The investment Lori and our department made in ELA has been worthwhile and we are certainly enthusiastic about recommending to others."
--Priscilla Reckling, Director, Office of Organizational Improvement, KU Medical Center
Feedback from ELA Participants
“ELA has given me the tools to enable me to be an effective leader and has given me many opportunities to be introspective about who I am currently, who I’d like to become, and how I can bring the best out of others.”
--Jeanene Lathrom, Cottonwood, Inc.
“ELA has been a wonderful experience but one of the best parts is the opportunity to network and meet others working in government. Comparing experiences and looking ahead to the challenges of leadership for the public good has helped reinvigorate me in my daily work life.”
--Kent Canady, Johnson County Government, Department of Technology and Innovation
"ELA has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Whether it was taking the Strength Finder or our class on ethics I have learned more about my leadership style, what strengths I bring into a team environment, how to overcome my weaknesses. Overall it was an enlightening experience one I will cherish always."
--Rhonda Green, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS
"It’s just a fantastic program! In addition to all the networking opportunities, there are real-world skills that translate well into any position. The speakers, the leadership strategies, the techniques, the small group interactions – all of it fueled a way for me to formulate new goals and work smarter and sharper. Learning about my strengths, and finding new ways to use and apply them, was especially helpful to me. I know I’ll be using everything I gained from ELA for a long, productive time."
--Sharon Riley, Human Resource, KU Libraries
“The fact I was nominated for the leadership program by my supervisors made me feel really good. I learned a lot that I could apply in my role at Bert Nash. It helped prepare me for my current position." (Read more from Amy here.)
--Amy Warren, Outpatient Team Leader, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center
It has been several years now since I completed ELA but I still utilize and refer to many of the principles I learned. Thank you for your work to strengthen public service and public servants in Kansas."
--Jason Goeckler, Environmental Scientist II, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
"ELA has taught me that leadership is a verb. It's about listening, learning, and focusing your strengths to be an inspirational force for positive change."
--Amanda Halstead, Program Analyst, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7
"I think ELA is a great program and has been helpful in many aspects of my career.The portfolio forced me to define goals for the next 5 years; this has helped give me some direction in my current position and define what experiences I still need to seek out in order to succeed."
--Kelly Hovey, Engineering Associate II, Kansas Department of Transportation
"ELA was marvelous! Listening to the speakers and participating in the activities helped me learn the newest models and trends of how to be an effective leader in today’s work environment. Not only was it an engaging way to network with other government professionals, but I was able to start applying leadership strategies and techniques in my current position after the first session."
--Nicole Tuckness, City of Olathe
"Learning about my top strengths was a huge benefit of participating in ELA. That knowledge has provided wonderful insights for my professional and personal life and will continue to be beneficial to me for years to come."
--Linda Bruce, Accounting Services, KU Center for Research
"During ELA I served as the facilities maintenance supervisor for the Kansas Soldiers' Home. I am now the physical plant supervisor specialist. I know I couldn’t have accomplished this move without the knowledge I gained in ELA.When we hire my replacement for my previous position I plan to send them to ELA."
--Josh Bemiss, Kansas Soldiers' Home, Dodge City, KS
"I loved the mentor-shadowing experience. It just gave me a good look at how a successful leader conducts him/herself and what traits you need to possess to be successful."
--Daniel Holmes, Systems Software Analyst, Kansas Division of Information Systems and Administration
"The mentor shadowing was an eye opener.I chose a high level city manager, and it really put things in perspective as I plan for my future in city government."
--Tony Zell, Wastewater Utility Director, City of Lansing , KS
"The portfolio project has helped me to become more organized with my professional accomplishments and has helped me to lay out goals/objectives for myself and my career."
--Therese Mersmann, City of Olathe
"Overall, I had a fantastic experience. I am truly grateful for the program. I learned about how others learn and work, and I learned a great deal about myself."
--Marisol Romo, City of Topeka