Greetings from beautiful Trefoil Oaks, the Program Center for the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast that was our venue for November’s session. Leadership Kenosha and Leadership Racine joined together at this perfect location, sandwiched between our two communities, to spend a day learning together about nonprofit board service, generations in the workplace, and the results of the city-scoping we did last month.

How can a day go wrong when you start it off with delicious O&H Kringle, provided by Leadership Racine? We quickly jumped into learning all about nonprofits – what they are, how they operate, and their characteristics – from Debra Karp. If we had any questions going into the day about serving as a board member, we certainly do not after her presentation. Later in the morning we learned even more about board membership by hearing from a panel of experts with years of experience serving on these boards: Ginny Finn, Jomarie Coloriano, Alison Hoffman, and James Schatzman. I think we all came away with a desire to serve on a board in the future, if we don’t already, as well as a healthy knowledge of how to ensure we choose the right one and serve effectively.

A special bonus of the morning, we got to tour Trefoil Oaks with Ashley Caruso, from Girl Scouts of SE WI. We all re-lived portions of our childhood as we got to walk through the bunk-bed filled rooms and gaze out on the land, seeing prime places for archery and other outside activities. We learned about Girl Scout membership and the benefits the program offers to school-aged girls.

Over our lunch break we got a chance to visit more with Racine’s class, as well as explore the beautiful grounds of Trefoil Oaks, which exploded with beautiful fall color.

In the afternoon we dove into learning about generations in the workplace with former Leadership Kenosha leader, Tedi Winnett. If you thought generational shaming was a new thing (OK Boomer, Millennial bashing, etc.) guess when this quote is from: “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today.” This is a quote attributed to Hesiod in 8th century B.C.! We learned about how what someone experiences in their formative years, and the political events that happen between the ages of 14 – 24, can have triple the impact on someone than experiences at other ages can have. We learned all about how the political, economic, and technological happenings during our history have shaped and define different generations present in today’s workforce. We got great insight into how different generations view work. From Silents, to Boomers, to Gen Xers, to Millennials, to Gen Zs – we were enlightened as to best practices to use in our multi-generational workplaces. There are marked differences in how things were then, and how they are now, especially when considering leadership, organizational culture/work environment, and communication.

Our last joint activity was a chance to brag about our communities to each other. At the end of last month’s session our teams got a chance to “city scope,” and we presented our results to everyone. Kenoshans got a chance to learn about the places Leadership Racine participants are most proud of (SC Johnson, Racine Zoo), some historic places (Horlick Malt Factory, Horlick Field), where they recommend out-of-towners visit (marina, Well’s Bros. Pizza, North Beach), as well as some things that need to change (where Porters once stood, former Machinery Row site, Walker property, Regency Mall). Where Kenoshans often debate between The Spot and Big Star, the Racine class suggested we give Kewpee burgers a try. The Kenosha class took some time to brag about Mars Cheese Castle, Tenuta’s, the velodrome, our lakefront, Mama P’s HoHo Cakes (and YES, that team shared samples!), the Dream Playground, and even introduced our Racine friends to Carl, the infamous Kenosha turkey.

All in all, it was a day packed with learning that we will all spend the coming months unpacking.

—Laura Ervin

Leadership Kenosha — November 2021