Emerging Leadership banquet set for March 25

Contributed photo
Neil and Amanda Aho will be recognized for their commitment to leadership and their community during the University of Minnesota Extension’s Emerging Leadership banquet on Saturday, March 25, in Crookston.

Neil and Amanda Aho of Menahga are Becker County’s participants in the 2023 Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program. They, along with individuals from 15 other counties in northwestern and west central Minnesota, have taken part in educational sessions since October 2022. 

Neil works as a technician at a local cooperative telephone company. He installs services such as internet video and phone. He also splices fiber optics and installs security cameras. Amanda is the MARSS Coordinator at the Menahga Public School and she co-owns an embroidery and heat press business. Neil and Amanda also have a small beef cattle hobby farm. They make hay in the summer for their herd and sell the extra hay that they do not use.

During the educational sessions, Neil and Amanda have networked with leaders from across the region and gained insight on personal leadership styles, communication, rural issues, and facilitating effective meetings. The group will gather once more in Crookston to focus on setting goals for how they will lead and follow in their work and community roles, and to celebrate their completion of the program. 

The theme for the Class of 2023, “Legacy” encouraged participants to think about what it takes to learn from, live with and grow their personal legacy. 

“I am so excited for these leaders to inspire everyone around them with the amazing legacies they are building,” said Jody Horntvedt, Extension Educator with the program.

University of Minnesota Extension coordinates the Emerging Leadership Program and provides educational content. The program is funded by many donors from across the region including the Red River Valley Development Association, ag producer groups, electric cooperatives, community businesses, financial institutions and individuals in counties throughout northwest and west central Minnesota who contribute each year. A regional partner, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, has provided fund management for the program since 1998.

Neil and Amanda will be recognized for their commitment to leadership and their community during the Emerging Leadership Program’s annual banquet on Saturday, March 25 in Crookston. Family and friends and are invited to join program alumni at the event.