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Leadership Hudson students graduate

The graduates of Leadership Hudson Class of 2018. Pictured from left are front row, Randi Ruppert, Leanne Van Allen, Jill McNamee, Shelly DeStasio, Leah Bezanson and Betsy Stauss; middle row, leadership coach Melissa Wilson, Maria Schmitt, Courtney Doefler, Amanda Kasay, Michaela Ahasay, Alyson Sauter, Maddie Lund and Kevin Garrard; and back row, Albert Jordon (did not graduate with the class), Melissa Kraemer, Dina Unser, Sheila Peterson, Tom Loonan and William Alms. Submitted photos1 / 2
The Hudson Backpack Program is presented with money raised by the 2018 graduates. Pictured from left are Jeanne Schmidt, Marg Wopat, Alyson Sauter, Courtney Doefler and Betsy Stauss. 2 / 2

Leadership Hudson students celebrated success on the beautiful St. Croix River.

Students completed the program with a graduation cruise, shared a few a-ha moments and last laughs as well.

Presenter Leanne Van Allen, a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Hudson program, reflected on the year and shared the overall sentiment of her class as she reminisced on the growth and development of her peers.

During the Leadership Hudson Program, students had the opportunity to learn about many area organizations. It was out of this new awareness that students formed Valley Voices, an initiative to raise awareness and funds by hosting an event for a deserving organization, giving them a platform to share their message.

The 2018 graduates presented a check to the Hudson Backpack Program for $1,275 on behalf of Valley Voices. These funds were matched by Cardinal Health which recognized the efforts of these Leadership Hudson Community Leaders to further support the Hudson Backpack program.

Sponsors included Xcel Energy. Cardinal Health and the many Community Partners who have contributed expertise to engaging future community leaders.

To learn more about the Hudson Backpack Program. go to

Leadership Hudson is a bi-annual program that will run again in 2019. To learn more contact the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau at 715-386-8411 or