Perfect Day for a Tour of Southern Rock County, Scot Forge and Ironworks

Editor’s note: As a Leadership Development Academy alum (Class of 2013-14), Linda Ross is passionate about the mission of the organization and enjoys working as Executive Director/Program Facilitator. Wisdom acquired at LDA empowers her to continue her success in business. She is excited to work with others to obtain their leadership goals.

A full day of learning and problem-solving

Linda Ross, Executive Director
Linda Ross, Executive Director

Perfect day for a tour of the Beloit Ironworks and Scot Forge in Clinton as part of a Southern Rock County economic development bus tour! The Leadership Development Academy spent the afternoon digging into complex problem solving and project planning. The day ended with a panel on the Top 10 Community Challenges.

2016 Ironworks tour

Touring Ironworks in Beloit

We truly have some top-notch organizations in Southern Rock County. Touring the Ironworks complex shows how to take an old foundry, restore it, put it to use, and consequently, change a community. It was home to Beloit Corp for nearly 150 years; now, it houses Hendricks Commercial Properties, IronTek, Ebates, Comply365, Universal Acoustic & Emission Technologies, AccuLynx, Beloit Regional Hospice, and many others.

The Leadership Development Academy participants enjoyed learning about several of these businesses and the difference they are making in our communities. Soon the YMCA will be opening its doors in the Ironworks Complex, as well. The renovations never seem to stop.

2016 Scot Forge tour

Touring Scot Forge in Clinton

Moving right along, the Leadership Development Academy took a luxury coach from VanGalder over to Clinton to tour Scot Forge.

While the friendly Scot Forge tour guides gave a warm welcome, hard hats and safety glasses were passed out. Most noteworthy is seeing the forge shape heated metal parts, which is truly an amazing process.

Each piece is heated to between 500 to 2400 degrees F, then gradually shaped with skillful hammering and pressing. You would have to see it to believe it. It is something I could look at for hours, as a result, the participants didn’t want to stop watching.  

2016 Beloit Economic Development tour

Economic Development Bus Tour of Beloit

After leaving Scot Forge, we stopped at Corporate Contractors Inc to pick up James Otterstein from the Rock County Development Agency.  James knows everything you would want to know about economic development in Rock County.

Sharing his knowledge with the Leadership Development Academy gave an idea of all the amazing things happening in Beloit. Our heads were spinning with information before we were dropped off at the Beloit Public Library. Great job, James!

2016 Beloit Public Library tour

Visit Beloit and the Beloit Public Library

Visit Beloit provided a delicious lunch for the class, along with materials to highlight Beloit. If you haven’t been to Beloit for awhile, stop by.  Amazing things that are taking place.

During lunch, Nick Dimassis from the Beloit Public Library provided an informative talk. Collaboration is the name of the game at the library, so big things are happening.

2016 Group Project intro

Complex Problem Solving and Project Teams

Working with their Leadership Development Academy project teams, participants put on their thinking caps and looked for ways to help others in Rock County. Board members stopped by to offer suggestions and advice for the projects.

AmyJo Verbeten, from SSM Health, lead our Complex Problem Solving session. Morphing into something different than originally intended, this session became a planning session for the projects for the year.

As a result, participants were excited about learning ways they could help others.  Especially relevant was hearing ideas about their projects from other participants. Great discussion during the session.

2016 Community Challenges panel

Top 10 Community Challenges Panel

Finishing the day with the Top 10 Community Challenges Panel helped give a few more class project ideas. It was refreshing to hear how well Tara Tinder (Stateline Community Foundation), Captain Molland (Beloit Police Department), Ian Haas (Town of Beloit), Ian Hedges (HealthNet) and Emily Pelz (School District of Beloit), work together for our area community. Keep up the great work!

In conclusion, our busy day turned into a day full of things to reflect on. A perfect day for a tour of Southern Rock County and an afternoon filled with creative ways to make our communities better. Keep moving forward, Leadership Development Academy participants; you are doing a fine job!