Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce

Leadership Hastings

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Developing leaders, improving our community

While the next class year is already full, Leadership Hastings begins taking applications in March of each year. The class is limited to only 25 participants and has an application and approval process.

If any businesses would like to be put on our class day agendas, please contact me at:

2022 Class Day Photos

Class Day Summaries:

Each year, the class begins with some sort of strengths finder. This year they each took the Clifton StrenthsFinder and kicked off the class in August 2021 presenting their results and how to use them.

On Ag Day in September, they visited Prairie Loft, learned about crop insurance, toured T & L Irrigation, and then a presentation at Weeks Farm on organic farming.

In October they experienced some of the Health and Human Services Hastings has to offer. Then on to Good Samaritan Village for a tour, where they also learned from just a few of the 93 nonprofit organizations our community has and were able to ask questions to a panel of healthcare professionals.

November was Education Day. They began the day at CCC, and they were able to hear from many in leadership positions in our school systems. Then to tour the Advanced Manufacturing and Technical Sciences Building. Hastings College was the next stop, after touring the campus they were able to ask questions to a panel with all local superintendents and ESU 9 represented.

December brought us Quality of Life Day. The Hastings Museum was the first stop where they were able to tour the facility. On to the YMCA, where they learned about the capital campaign and what the new facility will look like. Next, they learned about the Hastings Community Foundation and how they support our community. Finished the day at Blue Fork Kitchen where they learned about the hospitality industry.

In January was Business/Industry/Media Day. After a tour at Thermo King, they provided the class with Nuts & Bolts training. Then to Centennial Plastics and the Hastings Tribune for tours. They were then able to ask questions to a panel of all of our news resources.

February usually takes them to the state capitol, while this year with restrictions that did not work. It was substituted with an etiquette lunch provided by Lochland Country Club and some further leadership training, extending on the strengths training they received back in August.

March was a busy month for the class, not only learning about Public Infrastructure, they kicked off their class project, which benefited Threads of Grace. At Hastings Utilities, the class learned about the ASR Water Project, then toured Fire Station #1 and even got to witness them leaving for a call. The rest of the day was spent in the City Council Chambers talking with many city officials and the local topics.

In April was Law and Legal Day. They were able to tour the Adams County Sheriff’s office and jail, hear from the Adams County Attorney’s office, sit in on a civil hearing, and talk with Judge Mead. Toured Bristol Station, then spent the rest of the day at the Hastings Police Department. This was probably the top day for most of the class.

May was definitely a busy month for Leadership Hastings, kicked off the month with the Alumni Golf Outing, 11 teams, and many sponsors. To those who sponsored in any way, we Thank You!!

Wrapped up class days with Local Area & Tour Day, they were able to tour the library and heard from the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Economic Development Corporation, and the Hastings Convention & Visitors Bureau. Learned a wealth of knowledge about the Navy & Ammunition Depot. Toured Downtown Hastings and soaked in all the history of the buildings. Lastly, they made their way to MPH Racetrack. Learned about the events and then were able to take a ride around the track.

Each day ended with the class being able to network with each other, where I watched friendships grow, opportunities presented

Our final meeting was for the graduation from the program. To complete the class, each participant couldn’t miss more than 2 class days. We had 21 complete class #34. Their leadership speaker was Lori Hartmann and the nominated class speaker was Janessa Schroeder.



About us

Leadership Hastings is an enrichment program coordinated by volunteers and designed to foster the community's quality of life through leadership development, awareness enhancement, and community involvement.

Leadership Hastings was started by a group of Hastings residents in 1987. During the last 25+ years, the program has seen over 500 graduates. It is governed and class sessions are coordinated by a 22 member advisory board.

Class sessions are coordinated to:

  • Develop an increased awareness of community assets and challenges in the areas of agriculture, business, culture, education, government, health, human services, law, and recreation.
  • Enhance leadership skills and qualities which lead to creative and insightful problem-solving.
  • To encourage involvement and commitment to sharing knowledge and leadership skills in community, work, and family.
  • Foster a diverse leadership base while at the same time creating an alumni network.

Program Basics

The program encompasses 9 class day sessions which are held approximately the second Wednesday of each month between the months of September through May from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Classes are filled each June.

Educational Investment

The Leadership Hastings program is $600 per participant. A limited number of partial scholarships may be available.

Download Application
Download Alumni Directory
Download Outstanding Alumni Nomination Form
Download Scholarship Form

Eric Gawrych, Co-Chair
Chandra Essex, Co-Chair
Cara Beckenhauer, Secretary
Mark Funkey
Carol Harrenstein
Rae Lee VanWinkle
Lindsay Higel
Eric Kennedy
Erica Adams
James Calloway
Valerie Bren
Shaun Fischer
Trent Halbmeier
Adam Primm

Leadership Hastings Alumni Newsletter
Fall 2016  
Winter 2017
Spring 2017
Fall 2017
Spring 2018
For more information please contact:


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