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Minot Women Leaders Give Back to Community in a Big Way

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MINOT – May 7 was a “Day of Giving” for participants of the Center for Technology & Business Women’s Leadership Program. Armed with $100 in seed money each, this group of 18 women was challenged to grow the funds in a philanthropic project of their choice for the Minot area community. They broke off into smaller teams and had eight weeks to find a cause and determine the best way to give back.

On May 7 many of the groups headed out to deliver their surprise donations to a variety of organizations. Recipients included Backpack Buddies, Junior Achievement, Independence Inc., 4her ND, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, and Dakota Hope Clinic. In total, the groups gave $15,616.30 in cash donations and in-kind contributions to area organizations.

Each team took a different approach and used their own unique methods to pay it forward in the Magic City. Nancy Andersen, Kolette McDonald, and Shawna Myers decided the best strategy for them was to leverage their co-workers at IRET Properties and through Jeans Days and special lunches they were able to collect enough funds to provide 555 weekend meal packs for Backpack Buddies. The organization provides non-perishable food items to students grades K-5 who are at risk of missing meals on the weekends.

Jordan Rumsey and Emily Schroeder wanted to show their support for Independence Inc., which provides services to maximize the independence of individuals with disabilities. The team secured donations for Independence Inc.’s annual summer picnic with everything from food to two commercial sized grills and also lined up sponsored PSA’s for the organization from Midcontinent.

“This is my favorite part of the program and I’m always so impressed with what the women are able to do for their communities in such a short amount of time.” Stated Deb Eslinger, executive director of Center for Technology & Business. “The participants of the Women’s Leadership Program have already proven to others that they are tremendous leaders and this project just gives them the opportunity to prove that to themselves. Sometimes we don’t realize how capable we are of making a big difference in the lives of others, kudos to these women for going above and beyond!”

The Women’s Leadership Program is a six month program dedicated to expanding the professional, personal, community and health leadership skills for women of all ages. The program will wrap up with a luncheon and graduation ceremony on June 11 with keynote speaker Missy Ohe, owner of The Ohepen Mind out of Grand Forks. Missy will explore the world of “possibilities” and potential during her keynote. The public is invited to attend and can purchase tickets to the luncheon at or call 701-223-0707.

Center for Technology & Business serves as the women’s business center for North Dakota and grows North Dakota’s economy by helping small business owners succeed through training, technology and business development. Their programming develops leaders, builds rural communities and mentors women business owners.