April 2019 Session Recap: The Importance of Community Involvement

This post was written by Team Rockin’ 608, made up of LDA 2018-19 participants: Brad Huber, City of Janesville; Amanda Pellizzi, Prent; Ben Simmons, Clinton School District; Courtney Perakis, Edward Jones; Angie Kablar, Blackhawk Technical College.

Our final LDA session was full of some invaluable experiences, but also bittersweet as it marked the last group session before graduation … how fast time flies! Megan O’Leary, a local photographer, took photos of our entire LDA group and small project teams. These photos will be our reminder of all the wonderful moments we’ve shared together as the LDA class of 2018-19.

Irontek & Stateline YMCA

This community focused session brought us to Irontek in Beloit, a modern-industrial space that embraces the overall architectural integrity of an important historic building within this community. The space provides a unique, collaborative work environment for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. Erin Clausen, Community Manager at Irontek, toured us around the campus, which included office spaces within Irontek, the YMCA and Comply365.

The Stateline YMCA-Beloit location certainly provides something for everyone with its wellness center, activity and lap swim pools, racquetball courts, gymnasiums, spinning, indoor track, child care and many other unique amenities. A few members of our group decided to burn a few calories in the gym and spinning studio before lunch.

Tour of Comply365 offices

Comply365 was our next stop on the tour … and you could feel how the unconventional workspace would stimulate creativity and motivate their employees.

The use of quotes, drawings and art throughout the office on chalkboards/walls foster a feeling of collaborative working. Throughout the area you will find comfy seating, games, food and other ways to de-stress to be more productive throughout the day.

This employee-driven culture has certainly been successful in creating digital transformation solutions in the authoring, mobility and training sectors. We have to agree that we would love working in this type of atmosphere on a daily basis as you can tell from the photos.

Community/Board Involvement & Civic Responsibilities

Our panel group that represented Community/Board Involvement & Civic Responsibilities provided our group insight on the importance of involvement within your community. It’s critical when deciding how you want to be involved that you think about where your drive and passion lie because choosing something you feel strongly about will make your involvement the most successful.

Thank you to the wonderful panel members. Special thanks to Sheriff Troy Knutson of the Rock County Sheriff’s Office; City of Beloit City Manager Lori Luther; Beloit City Council President Kevin Leavy; Jennie Abrahamson Krajeck, representing nonprofits and the Orfordville School Board, Deb Dongarra, representing nonprofits, and School District of Janesville Board of Education President Kevin Murray for sharing their stories and passions that help our communities thrive.

Lunch and afternoon activities

Those activities were only the beginning. We filled our bellies with delicious food provided by the Greater Beloit Chamber, thanks Aimee Thurner! After that, we all bundled up/prepared for our various indoor/outdoor community projects.

Mini-Project Groups For April Session

Team 1 – Nature at the Confluence

Team 1 did some unearthing of some unique items and did a spring clean overhaul. Can you share your time or services? Visit their website to learn more.

  1. John Kaminski
  2. Ethan Lee
  3. Amy Kenyon
  4. Katie Lange
  5. Heidi Van Kirk
  6. Courtney Perakis

Team 2 – Stateline Boys and Girls Club

Team 2 got out the paint brushes and gave the Boys and Girls Club movie room a new look. Can you share your time or services? Visit their website to learn more.

  1. Daniel Jackson
  2. Liane Mills
  3. Amanda Pellizzi
  4. Bobbie Ennocenti
  5. Beth Peters

Team 3 – Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center

This group took on the task of organizing kids and adult clothing shelves. They purchased bins to make organization much easier over time. Can you share your time or services? Visit their website to learn more.

  1. Ben Simmons
  2. Katie Crist
  3. Amy Spoden
  4. Rebecca Veium
  5. Angie Kablar

Team 4 – Community Action Merrill Community Garden

Team 4 put a mulch pathway through the Community Sharing Garden. It is a source of fresh free food, a place for people/kids to gather, and a great learning environment. Can you share your time or services? Visit their website to learn more.

  1. Brad Huber
  2. Jacob Carter
  3. Joann Nupnau
  4. Jodine Saunders
  5. Teresa Riesterer

Team 5 – Caritas

This team helped Caritas by labeling and sorting canned goods to make locating items much easier. Can you share your time or services? Visit their website to learn more.

  1. Stephen Cardwell
  2. Jessica Dobratz
  3. Lamikka James
  4. Erin Goepfert
  5. Dawn Gurney