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Chamber program focuses on community leadership

Come Sept. 12, individuals from the area will be part of the first Leadership Hudson program.

Sponsored by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the community leadership program is designed to bring together "current and emerging leaders from all sectors of the Hudson area ... to connect with other leaders, cultivate skills and knowledge ... and contribute to the vitality of the Hudson area."

On the steering committee for the program are chairman Jeff Redmon, Tom Holland, Marian Furlong, Christopher Bye, Kelly Dunn, Kim Heinemann, Ruth Misenko and Samantha Bluhm.

Twelve candidates will be selected from applications to participate in the program beginning in September. The program begins with an orientation and retreat in September followed by full-day sessions on the third Thursday of the month October through May. The tuition for the program is $1,200 for Chamber members and $1,400 for non-members. Applications will be accepted through June 1 with candidate selection by June 15.

The monthly programs are designed to apply leadership skills to all facets of life in the Hudson area. Along with a professional leadership coach, each monthly session will be led by local community leaders and experts on the particular topic for the month. Topics include business and economic development, education, community life, health and human services, government, arts and culture, and environment and natural resources.

Among the Hudson leaders who have agreed to participate are Annette Cook, president of the Hudson Board of Education; Bill Rubin, director of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp.; Tom Holland, YMCA of Greater St. Paul; John Potter, Phipps Center for the Arts; Jeff Redmon, Redmon Law Chartered; Pat Sherley, Hudson Hospital; Kelly Dunn, First National Bank; and Steve Dzubay, publisher of the Hudson Star-Observer.

In addition to the monthly sessions, small groups will work on projects to enhance awareness of issues facing the community and identify ways to effect change.

Bluhm, Chamber communications program director, participated in the program in River Falls and said the experience changed the way she looked at her community and her role in it.

"And it wasn't just me. This experience inspires people, Bluhm said. "When you see the principles of leadership applied to your own experience in your own community and on problems and issues facing it, it makes a difference. The people I went through the program with have gone on to be school board members, city council people and become leaders throughout the community. It expands your mind and increases your awareness of where you live and work. Everything in the program has relevance to the community."

For more information about Leadership Hudson or to apply, contact Bluhm at (715) 386-8411 or

Meg Heaton can be reached at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604