Northwestern leadership development program accepts applications for 2023-24

A graduate of Accelerate Siouxland's 2022-23 cohort explains the group's practical project to Northwestern professorsApplications are now being accepted for Accelerate Siouxland, a regional leadership development program offered by Northwestern College’s Center for Innovation and Leadership.

The program seeks to familiarize participants with Siouxland’s resources to spark new connections and ideas that enhance the well-being of area residents and their communities. Members engage award-winning materials such as Franklin Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team,” and “Unconscious Bias”; network with northwest Iowa organizational leaders; and complete a practical project designed to benefit the region.

This year’s cohort will be led by three local business professionals: Stephen Stiles, brewmaster at Late Harvest Brewery, Sioux Center, Iowa; Jorge Arreola, contract marking business manager at Vogel Traffic Services, Orange City; and Laura Jeltema, co-owner of KinderZone, Orange City. Josh Van Es, owner of Crafts Central in Orange City, will also help facilitate the Franklin Covey training content.

“This is an excellent opportunity for area professionals to become informed citizens of Siouxland while discovering their leadership potential,” says Dr. Erica Vonk, director of Northwestern’s Center for Innovation and Leadership. “Whether you are an experienced leader or new to the working world, Accelerate Siouxland offers well-rounded training and resources for professional and personal growth.”

“Accelerate Siouxland helped increase my confidence as a leader in a new managerial role,” says Arreola, who was a graduate of the 2022–23 cohort. “I learned to develop a win-win culture with open communication, while also understanding how to balance life and work with a busy schedule.” 

Accelerate Siouxland will meet on the second Thursday of each month from September through April in various locations throughout Siouxland. Topics for discussion will include government, community development, business/industry, health care, education, agriculture, nonprofits, and faith/values.

Cost of the program, all materials and micro-credentials to showcase participants’ personal development is $925. Registration for the 2023–24 cohort is open until Aug. 7 at