If you read my column in the spring issue of Connect, you learned about SWIF’s Think Days. Today is our last quarterly Think Day for Fiscal Year 2013. I find myself thinking a lot about our board meeting and retreat held last week.
Every two years, all six Minnesota Initiative Foundations bring together our boards to connect, learn and be inspired. We had a great line up of speakers, including keynote Jack Schultz, author of Boomtown USA: 7 ½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns. He brought with him Craig Lindvahl to talk about a youth entrepreneurship program called CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities).
Connecting with colleagues from around the state was a highlight for all of us. But it was so special to spend time between our board meeting and the retreat to recognize Gary Geiger, Cris Remucal and Sandy Ludeman for their years of service to SWIF. It was incredible to hear these three share words of wisdom and welcome three new board members—Mary Maertens of Marshall, Bob Taubert of Pipestone and Patricia Dols of Willmar. And, Bill McCormack passed the torch to Rob Saunders, who will continue the line of outstanding board chairs.
Sandy shared two quotes that have really stuck with me. The first is by T.S. Eliot who said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
The second is Steve Jobs saying, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Some may think I have rose-colored glasses and crazy ideas about what SWIF and our rural region can do. But I see a lot of things others don’t get to see—and it starts with the incredible people. Thanks to all those who are helping us leave a trail that leads to our region!