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Leadership Academy is gearing up to begin

When Julie Beckmann decided to take part in the Dakota County Leadership Academy, she hoped to build on her leadership skills and gain a networking web. What she got out of it was exactly that and more.

"It was very much worth the investment and effort," said Beckmann, who took part in the academy in 2009.

Beckmann, the program manager for the Rosemount MRCI location, said the academy offered a lot of classes that help her manage her business and gave her insight into other businesses.

One piece that Beckmann found particularly helpful was a class on how to communicate with people from different generations.

"We have a wide range of generations here. I found the class helpful because it talked about the different generations and gave helpful hints on how to communicate with people of different ages," said Beckmann.

The Dakota County Leadership Academy is a partnership of Dakota County Chambers of Commerce and Inver Hills Community College. In its sixth year, the aim of the program is to develop leaders in within the county.

Dakota County Regional Chamber president Ruthe Batulis called the program combination of leadership skill training, community awareness and addressing critical issues facing Dakota County. The six-month program aims to educate and motivate budding leaders to get involved in their communities.

Alan Strand, a building inspector for the city of Rosemount, went through the academy in 2008. He said his supervisor felt it would benefit Strand as well as the city to have him go through it. Several years removed, Strand said he's glad he went through the program because it has helped him both professionally and personally.

"It was a good cross section of information and really helped me learn to communicate with different people," said Strand.

Applications for the academy will be accepted through Dec. 31. While in tough times Batulis recognized that the academy may seem like a frivolous expense, she said those who have gone through generally feel the money was well spent.

"The people who go through it are really changed forever," said Batulis. "They are better at their jobs and more prepared to handle what's next."

For more information visit the academy's web site at or call Ruthe Batulis at 651-452-9872.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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