Leadership Aberdeen

With Gov and Lt Gov

Moving Forward Together

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business, and the way we live our daily lives.  Here at the Chamber, many of our events, programs and meetings have been postponed, cancelled or modified for the past year. One of our key programs, Leadership Aberdeen, was postponed from January and is rescheduled to start in April. We know that positive, effective leadership is what has helped us to navigate through this crisis, and is what will ultimately help rebuild our community. That’s why, now more than ever, we are committed to offering this program to our businesses. 

Leadership Aberdeen is a comprehensive leadership training program that provides participants with the opportunity to sharpen their skills, share their experiences, and make life-long connections with fellow participants. Participants follow a 12-week Positive Leadership curriculum which focuses on growing their individual skills by focusing on leadership attributes including: Community Building, Advocacy, Resilience, Purpose, Reason, Gratitude, etc. The class also gains broader knowledge of the businesses, opportunities and challenges in our community through tours of local businesses and hearing from local leaders on company philosophies, goals, and success stories. Plus the class gives back to the community by facilitating a local project or event that will have a positive impact on the Aberdeen community.

A big part of the program's success is due to the partnerships we have with local businesses who help offset program costs. Special thanks to the 2021 Business Partners which include: 3M Company of Aberdeen, Avera St. Luke's, Dacotah Bank, Glacial Lakes Energy,  Northern State University, Sanford Health, Agtegra, and Molded Fiber Glass. We couldn't do it without you!

Tuition is $750.00 for Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce members and $900.00 for non-members, payable in advance of program start date. Tuition covers all program costs, including materials, meals, Aberdeen attire, and any necessary transportation. Participants are expected to attend all sessions in the belief that everyone brings their unique experience to the program. This year the class will meet from April 8th through June 15th and we are accepting applications now.  For an application click on the upper left of this page or call the Chamber at (605) 225-2860.

Thursday, April 8 (9:00 am – 7:00 pm)  - Topic: Authenticity  

The program kicks off with a very full day! Participants will get an overview of sessions to come, get acquainted with each other and hear from community development organizations about their missions and goals. Dr. Thom Flamboe will take participants through a self-assessment process and discuss being your authentic self through self knowledge, self acceptance, self development and self assertion. At 5:00 pm, the class will join other community leaders and Leadership at a Business After Hours Mixer.

Tuesday, April 13 (5:00 pm –9:00 pm) - Topic: Community Building

We hear about Agtegra and their role in building up the communities they serve. The class discusses the various communities each of us “serve” and how these connections create better versions of ourselves. The class will then get started discussing our community and a project the class will focus on in the coming weeks.


Tuesday, April 20 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) Topic: Community Building/Class Project

We continue our discussion on the communities we each serve and hear from Sanford Health CEO Ashley Erickson and staff on the importance of community building. The class continues project discussion.

Tuesday, April 27 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) -Topic: Resilience

Participants will tour Molded Fiber Glass and hear how the company used resiliency to keep the doors open after changes in their industry almost caused a plant closure. Participants will be discuss fixed vs. growth mindset and what drains or charges them personally and professionally.


Tuesday, May 4 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) -  Topic:  Advocacy

Participants will tour Glacial Lakes Energy and  hear from Director of Operations Pat Hogan about the company and their advocacy efforts to promote the ethanol industry. Participants will be challenged to discover what they advocate for in their personal and professional lives.

Tuesday, May 11 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) -Topic: Purpose

We will take a tour of the 3M plant and hear from 3M management on how they define their purpose and determine best methods for favorable outcomes.  Participants discuss how defining your purpose, personally and professionally,  keeps you focused on your goals.


Monday, May 17  (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) - Topic: City Government and History

Participants meet with the Aberdeen City Council and have the opportunity to discuss community issues before attending the council meeting. They will also hear from Mayor Travis Schaunaman on civic leadership and tour the Dacotah Prairie Museum.

Tuesday, May 25 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm) – Topic: Reason

Staff and Leadership alumni of Dacotah Bank discuss reason in leadership and how to determine which positive actions will produce the positive we reactions we want. Participants work through two paths—reason and avoidance which puts their communication and team skills to the test.

June 1 (5:00—9:00 pm) - Topic: Gratitude

Staff of Avera St. Luke’s will take us on a tour of their facilities. We will also hear from Avera management and alumni on Gratitude and how they believe experiencing and expressing gratitude transforms an organization and community. The class will discuss the importance of gratitude and how to watch for gratitude inhibitors.

June 8 (5:00—9:00 pm) - Topic: Positive Leadership Wrap-Up

Staff of Northern State University will take us on a tour of their campus and we will hear from Dr. Tim Downs, NSU President on how to weave together all the Positive Leadership concepts/skills developed through the 2020 program.

June 15 (5:00 pm) - Topic:  Graduation Celebration

The graduation ceremony and dinner will be held at 5:00 pm at the Best Western Ramkota. Employers, family and friends are invited to attend.