What People Are Saying

Employer Comments

"The YWCA Women's Leadership program helps women organize their thoughts, use their voice, make a plan for life improvement which often includes their work-life and thus balance.  As an employer there really is nothing more important than finding and retaining people with a great sense of balance and direction.  We have found that employees who participate in the Leadership program bring back organized, developed and effective plans that lead to positive change!"

-- Sarah Richards

President/CEO, Jones Metal Products


"As an employer and direct supervisor of a recent participant in the YWCA Leadership Program I find the benefits from our investment in the program and employee as both tangible and rewarding.  Our employee has benefitted with increased self-confidence and direction.   I've seen increased self-confidence and direction.  I've seen her productivity at work increase as well as her decision-making ability improve.  Our company benefits as our employee is able to make more decisions and more projects forward fast and wiht more effectiveness."

--Sue Keithahn

President, ProGrowth Bank



"I've seen the participants we've had in the program gain clarity regarding their purpose...both professionally and personally,  in a very healthy and productive fashion.  It's also been a real treat to observe and be part of their appetite for additional learning and challenge....they and we gain tremendously."

--Jonathan Zierdt

President and CEO, Greater Mankato Growth




What Recent Participants Are Saying

"The Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Program is exceptional!  The program enhanced the leadership skills I already had and taught me new skills that continue to help me in both my personal and professional life.  The program gives you the oportunity to meet so many wonderful leaders in our area and made me more aware of what was going on in our community and how I can be more involved.  I met an amazing group of women from all walks of life that I hope to always remain friends with."

-- Amanda Beavens

Associate Director, Sunrise Cottage



"The Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Development Program has given me the tools and confidence to embrace change and challenge in my life. It's been a game-changer personally and professionally."

-- Sara Vetch

Household Engineer





"What I had hoped to get out of this leadership program was the opportunity and the vehicle to give some intentional throught to who I am, where I'm headed, and what my goals are.  The leadership program provided that vehicle, and so much insight.  Much of what I take away from the program is affirmation of who I am; things that maybe were always present, but I had never thought about or given a  name to.  It gave me the opportunity to pause and consider; sharing this personal journey with the other members of the class as they made their own personal journeys, also helped to deepen my understanding of myself.  I thoroughly enjoyed the class and have recommended it to many other women.  Too often, life is so busy that we float along with taking the time to be intentional with our thoughts and actions.  The heightened awareness that I gained of myself, those around me, and things that I hadn't given enough thought to before this, were invaluable in my personal development."

-- Gwen Donev

Director of Finance and Administration, Greater Mankato Area United Way


"The Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Program certainly wasn't what I was expecting.  I envisioned hours of curriculum lessons, tactics and strategies to LEARN how to become a leader in my home, workplace and community.  Instead, what I found was that everything I needed to be a strong, confident leader was  inside of me all along.  This program was a wonderful opportunity for introspection and personal growth.  Rarely did a session end without an "a-ha" moment.  Identifying, naming and understanding my strengths, values, and fears has made me more confident, focused, and stronger in my leadership roles and abilities."

--Stephanie Miller

Product Planning Editor, Capstone Press


"I started the YWCA leadership program as a way to enhance my professional leadership skills, but it soon became apparent that it was much more than that.  It was a wonderful place to look at my personal side and really find out what I'm passionate about, what I want to do, and how I'm going to achieve new goals.  The program helped me think about what's important in my life and how I can get to where I want to be.   The curriculum was very well rounded; the numerous and diverse speakers brought in each month were amazing. And most importantly, the connections made with other participants were priceless.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity."

-- Jeane McGraw

Grant Specialist, MSU, Mankato


"The Women's Leadership Program was a wonderful opportunity, and I am grateful to have been a part of it. I looked so forward to each Thursday!  We were fortunate to have great speakers or panels each meeting that shared life experiences with us and I went away after each meeting with new inspiration!  It was so much fun meeting and working with these amazing women, hearing their stories and establishing new friendships!  I think someday I might like to go through again!  Thanks so much for the opportunity!"

-- Rita Petrie

Accountant, Jones Metal Products



"The Elizabeth Kearney Leadership Program curriculum taught me how to apply my strengths, while providing me the tools to live mindfully and powerfully by following my passions.  I have a firm grasp of who I am and the skills I offer, which equip me to be readily prepared for opportunities to come. I thank the EK Leadership Program for the friendships I've made, the ideas it ignited, and the momentum to sustain my leadership philosophy.  I am forever grateful for this life-changing class and recommend it to any woman who needs a little clarity in her life."

-- Kelli Hanson

Volunteer Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity


What Past Participants Have Said

"The Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Development Program has transformed the way I view my role as a leader.  The program has taught me how to live in my areas of strength and to be deliberate in how I lead my life.  I feel I have renewed energy to help me make a difference  at my workplace, in the community, and with my family.  The program has provided an exceptional networking opportunity to meet and work with amazing women from diverse backgrounds.  My confidence as a leader has increased exponentially and I know I can lead both a successful and happy life."

--Kari Juni

Director of Customer Relations, HickoryTech


"The Women's Leadership Program has given me a glimpse into my community I didn't have before.  It made me look inside as well as outside myself.  We were a powerful, enthusiastic group of women that has had dormant dreams awakened; internal challenges calling us to a new level.  Each month we heard women share their real-life stories on how they impacted their world.  It made me realize....I'm just like her and if she can change her world, I can too!  Every month we walked away with a new set of tools to use in our lives; things that no one can take away from us.  Now it's our turn to use them to change our world.  What  a great gift that we will keep on giving.  Thanks for this opportunity."

--Julie Hawker

Outsource Training Providers, LLC


"As a stay-at-home-mom contemplating re-entering the workforce, this leadership program was just what I needed.  Every month I looked forward to the information-packed session led by dynamic and impressive women and men from our community.   I also enjoyed meeting and working with the other wonderful women in the program and look forward to continuing these friendships in the long run."

-- Laura Stevens

Greater Mankato Area United Way


"How do you define leadership? Who is a leader? How does one lead effectively?  Why aren't there more recognized women leaders?  My expectations have been blown out of the water by the incredible learning opportunities and actual leadership examples brought to the table during our training sessions.  This is not what I expected!  It is so much more than I could have hoped for.  Layers have been peeled away and new energy, focus, and courage have been brought to the surface."

-- Nancy Pehling


"I had no idea the amount of material and ideas that would be shared that would directly impact my life.  This is truly the most powerful program I have ever attended."

-- Sue McPartland

CEO From the Woods