December 2020 Session Recap

This post was written by LDA Class of 2020-21 Team Team Rock Forward members Jamie Keraka, Geronimo Hospitality: Bessie’s Diner; Kristin Belongia, Batterman; Kaleena Kirkpatrick, Community Action; Xandi Finn, City of Janesville; Dan Riemer, Harris Ace Hardware.

December 2020 Session conducted via Zoom
December 2020 Session conducted via Zoom

Learning Together even when we are apart

The December 2020 LDA session was virtually hosted to ensure the safety of all participants and guest speakers. Although the LDA teams were not able to get together in person, fortunately technology allowed participants to experience the same level of communication and experience through an online Zoom meeting hosted by Mark Borowicz from Blackhawk Technical College.

The mission statement of LDA notes “To inspire leaders to build and strengthen our community” and our December session provided numerous empowering opportunities for class participants to understand how to do just that.

James Otterstein "drives" the virtual bus
James Otterstein “drives” the virtual bus

Virtual bus tour

The day began with a virtual bus tour guided by James Otterstein from Rock County Development Alliance. Clients within public and private sectors are able to utilize the Rock County Development Alliance for consultative and collaboration in economic development with the intention of adding value to the revitalization of our community. James provided a tour of notable businesses and buildings within Rock County. Along the tour LDA participants were able to discover more about the businesses and infrastructures in the Rock County community. 

A few notable stops along the virtual tour included:

  • The Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport
  • Beloit Avenue Industrial Corridor
  • GM/Delavan Drive
  • Palmer Park/ Racine Street/East Side
  • Kennedy Road/USH 14 West
Kara Blue from Hedberg Public Library
Kara Blue from Hedberg Public Library

Business Startup Series

Kara Blue from Hedberg Public Library also spoke on upcoming and exciting leadership opportunities within the community! She is hopeful local business professionals will contact her for presenter information

 Are you, your business, or someone you know an expert resource for small business? Hedberg Public Library is looking for presenters on topics such as: business accounting or taxes, startup financing, business plans, legal structure, and locating a new business.

Contact Business Librarian, Kara Blue, at [email protected] or Adult Programmer, Phil Schomber, at [email protected] for more information.

Emily in her mask
Emily in her mask

Breakout Sessions

Using technology Real Colors Teams were able to attend virtual breakout sessions and give team updates on project progression. The LDA teams are all on a positive path with contacting donors, fundraising options and finalizing ideas of where their induvial projects are headed.

December 2020 Session Case Study
December 2020 Session Case Study



  1. the action of imbuing something with new life and vitality.

“the city has seen revitalization of its economy”

A great attribute of the Rock County community is the diversity of its people and businesses in the area. LDA participants were given a role-playing group exercise to create and present a business case study for securing an investment in Rock County at 200 Innovation Drive.

 The case study exercise permitted LDA participants to really think about what the Rock County community has to offer and how to best communicate that to potential businesses and incoming families. Quality of life, workforce pool, supply chain and business climate are all factors that can determine if a business or person invest in a community.

Knowing what your community can offer is an important tool in being part of the empowering movement to create a better place to work and live.