Leadership Austin set to begin 15th year

Published 5:45 pm Friday, August 20, 2021

The 2021-2022 class of Leadership Austin kicked off its 15th year with a social gathering at the Ike’s Cabin in Todd Park, Thursday.

Twenty people have been confirmed to participate in the nine-month community leadership program. The program provides participants with a series of tours and presenters, covering major aspects of our community, including education, quality of life and diversity, government, business and industry, community health services, public safety and agriculture and agribusiness.

Leadership Austin is organized by the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Riverland Community College. It is designed as an educational opportunity that enables participants to learn about this area’s resources, values, strengths, weaknesses and challenges. The intent is to motivate and connect community leaders while developing skills and relationships that will help them be more successful.

Since established in 2006, more than 300 people have participated in Leadership Austin.

This year’s participants

• Steve Barrett, Executive Director, Austin Area Foundation

• Sarah Belden, Director of Business and Facilities, Pacelli Catholic Schools

• Elia Bocanegra, Recruiting and Hiring Specialists, Quality Pork Processors

• Tom Boose, EVS Supervisor, Mayo Clinic Health System-Albert Lea/Austin

• Bill Bumgarner, Electric Distribution Supervisor, Austin Utilities

• Elizabeth Fedie, Chief of Staff, The Hormel Institute

• Jim Halsey, Engineer/Assistant Fire Inspector, Austin Fire Department

• Tanner Lange, Dietician, Austin Public Schools

• Jackie Larson, Career Planner, Workforce Development

• Rene Lazaro, Multimedia Specialist, Hormel Foods

• Travis Martin, Sergeant, Austin Police Department

• Pat McLaren, Senior Business Solutions Architect, Hormel Foods

• Joey Page, Superintendent, Austin Public Schools

• Patty Riedl, Director of Marketing, Hormel Foods

• Rae Dawn Rao, Senior Regulatory Analyst, Hormel Foods

• Jacob Steiner, Marketing and Resource Development, United Way of Mower County

• Heather Vossler, Director of Insights and Innovation, Hormel Foods

• Acacia Wiechmann, Senior Industrial Engineer, Hormel Foods

• Alyssa Williamson, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce

• Angelita Zynda, Executive Administrative Assistant, Hormel Foods