In May, Nic Cullen graduated from the highly sought-after Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC Leadership
Program. This 8-month program is comprised of 18 hand-selected up and coming leaders to strengthen their leadership skills, broaden their understanding of issues impacting their local community, and build relationships with current leaders.
“Leadership is necessary for communities and businesses to thrive and grow,” states Nic.
Q&A with Nic
Can you summarize what it was like participating in this program?
This program is something I will never forget. We learned about the [Bismarck/Mandan] community ins and outs and how it all comes together to make this working entity. There were days that focused on agriculture, energy and natural resources, human services, education, legislative and political involvement, and so many more. It really opened our minds to a whole new world even though many of us are lifelong residents of the Bismarck/Mandan area.
What did you learn from this experience?
There are so many working parts/gears within a community, and it requires strong leaders to keep those individual gears turning. I was amazed to learn of the individual sectors that create a community and how they all are heavily reliant on each other to operate.
What did you enjoy about this program?
I enjoyed everything about this program. Our cohort was able to have in-depth, difficult discussions with differing viewpoints, but at the same time had a significant amount of respect for each other's views without becoming argumentative.
Photo credit: Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC Leadership Program
Would you recommend the program to others? Why?
Absolutely! It does not matter if you are at the start of your career, in the middle of your career, or near retirement; this program is for all adult ages and backgrounds. There is an application process where you need to prove to the Leadership Committee that you are a leader and are invested in the community.
My best piece of advice for future participants is to come in with an open mind and soak up all the information like a sponge. There is so much to learn and not much time to learn it in.
Finally, I want to give a big shout out to Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI)! I cannot thank them enough for their support throughout the program and their investment in me as a leader at HEI and in the Bismarck/Mandan community.