Mitchell County Hosts Strategic Doing Part II


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The second Strategic Doing event for Mitchell County was held on Wednesday evening at NCK Tech in Beloit. The purpose of the event was to elaborate on ideas for community development projects proposed at the initial event held in September.

Strategic Doing is a community improvement planning process focused on action and not just ideas. It guides people in how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes, and make needed adjustments along the way. In today’s world, collaboration is essential in meeting the complex challenges communities face. Particularly in rural areas.

Strategic Doing events are being held in each of the 26 counties which receive funding assistance from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. The organization has made Strategic Doing a requirement for entities to continue to receive grant funding for local projects. The initial event in Mitchell County was the highest attending of any of the county events in the Hansen Foundation network area.

Strategic Doing enables people to design and guide new networks that generate innovative solutions. It is a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile and fast. To help provide what organizations, communities and regions need to survive and thrive.

About 80 people in attendance broke-out into groups based on what development projects they had a particular interest in. The task of the groups was to consolidate ideas and strategies on how take their projects from the drawing board to reality. The groups were asked what they were specifically trying to accomplish, and to identify issues which would need to be solved in-order to make their projects a reality. Physical assets and other assets in terms of people and the different benefits they could bring to the table were determined as well.

Some of the proposed projects include a large scale conference and educational center, the Little Red Schoolhouse project, a multi-purpose community performing arts center, a handicap accessible park, a splash pad in Cawker City, a community building at the fairgrounds in Beloit, an expanded math and technology center at St. John’s High School, children’s afterschool and summer programs, and controlling the feral cat population.

Solomon Valley Community Foundation Chairman Curt Frasier opened the meeting by reminding attendees that the month of November has been a period of fundraising for the Community Impact Fund. The matching fund drive, made possible by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and other entities, provided an overall five-dollar match for every donated dollar.

Local resident Waleigh LePon showed an impressive level of dedication to the potential performing arts center project as he spent over 800 hours preparing a scale model of the proposed center. The intricately detailed rendering was on display at the event. Pictured below is an inside shot of the rendering.

It’s never too late to get involved. If you have interest or something to offer to any of these local community improvement projects, contact Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman in Beloit at 738-7336.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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