Building Local Leadership for a Stronger Community

  2017 HLI at Rowse Rakes  2017 HLI Class 2017 HLI at Wettlaufer Landscapes

HomeTown Leadership Institute (HLI) is a county-wide leadership program in Holt County, NE organized by Holt County Economic Development (HCED). Since 2005, HLI has helped educate participants on different areas of Holt County, NE and further develop personal leadership skills with the intent participants will become more involved in their communities.

As of 2017, 176 participants have completed HomeTown Leadership Institute. HLI classes run from March to October, with participants meeting once per month from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (class times subject to change). Classes are held at the Holt County Economic Development office in O'Neil and different locations throughout Holt County, NE. Previous class topics have included Strengths-based Leadership, Economic Development, Housing, Government, Agriculture, Education, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Nonprofits, and Community Foundations. See the 2017 HLI Schedule below for more information about each class topic. Schedules, speakers, and tours vary somewhat from year to year.

There is a tuition fee of $175.00 for HLI participants. Tuition is non-refundable. Assistance may be available to cover tuition.

The 2018 HomeTown Leadership Institute begins on March 21, 2018 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

If you want to learn more about Holt County, NE, how the wheels turn and how to get more involved in your community, join us for the 2018 HomeTown Leadership Institute. To apply, click the link below for the HLI Application. Applications are due by February 1, 2018.

HomeTown Leadership Application

For more information, call HCED at (402) 336-1504 or email Kristi Peterson, HCED Project Manager, at kristi@growholt.com.


2017 HLI Schedule

Strengths-Based Leadership | March 22 | HCED Office:

The participants discovered their top strengths and themes and learned how to maximize the strengths of those around them by taking Gallup's Clifton StrengthsFinder led by Nicole Sedlacek.


Economic Development / Housing | April 19 | Murphy Theatre & Media Center, Stuart:

What does economic development look like in Holt County?  What housing needs are present in our county? Participants toured Stuart, NE led by Jon Schmaderer as well as heard from Gene Rahn, REAP; Nicole Sedlacek, NPPD; and Tracy Dennis, HCED.


Government in Holt County | May 17 | Holt County Courthouse (Supervisor's Room):

This session provided an overview of how our local government works. Participants toured the Holt County Courthouse and heard from Brent Kelly, Holt County Attorney; Bill Tielke and Steve Boshart, Holt County Supervisors; Scott Menish and Michelle Liewer, O'Neill City Council; and Tim Wallinger, Holt County Assessor.


Agriculture in Holt County | June 21 | HCED Office at the Depot, O'Neill, NE:

Learn and SEE what makes agriculture the #1 industry in Holt County and Nebraska. Tour some of Holt County's ag-related companies: an HLI favorite! Participants toured O'Neill Ventures, Rowse Rakes, and Shamrock Nursery.


Education Systems | July 19 | Northeast Community College, O'Neill, NE:

This session presented information regarding our local education systems and major issues affecting those systems today. Participants toured Northeast Community College and heard from Merri Schneider, NECC Director; Ellen Boshart, O'Neill Public School Board of Education; Amy Scott, Chambers Public School Board of Education; Mike Peterson and Kaye Appleby, O'Neill Public School 8th Grade Entrepreneurship Class; and Connie Krotter, Holt County Treasurer.


Entrepreneurship | August 16 | Atkinson Public Library, Atkinson, NE:

Holt County is FULL of entrepreneurs: large and small. Hear and see what a few of them do. Speakers and tours included: Kim Dobias, Kimberly & Co. Boutique; Shannon Olberding, Corkledings Fitness; Richard Hendricks, Box T Brand Staples; Wettlaufer Landscapes Tour; and Green Plains Tour.


Jon Schallert | September 20 | O'Neill Community Center, O'Neill, NE:

Internationally-recognized speaker and business expert, Jon Schallert is coming to O'Neill. Jon specializes in teaching businesses and communities how to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations.


Health, Wellness, & Human Services | Community Foundations & Non-profits | October 18 | Atkinson Public Library, Atkinson, NE:

Get an inside perspective on different health care systems in Holt County and learn what organizations are available to help your community grow and prosper. Speakers and tours included Kristine Gale, Nebraska Community Foundation; Shannon Olberding, Atkinson Community Foundation Fund; Paula Havranek, O'Neill Community Foundation Fund; Jay Wallinger, Stuart Community Foundation Fund; Andy Hoffman, Andrew Hoffman Law and Team Jack Foundation; Connie Gildersleeve, Holt County Teammates; Atkinson-Stuart Food Pantry Tour; and West Holt Medical Services Tour.


HomeTown Leadership Institute Alumni

Want to hear more great things about HLI?  Check out this video that helped celebrate our 10th year!