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From the Editor
Like many women, I suspect, I don't think of myself as a leader. I don't hold a "leadership" title, like manager or chair or CEO, and I'm fine with that. I'm very content hunkering down behind the scenes, getting my work done and doing it well, getting others what they need on time and encouraging, empowering and cheering them on to do their own good work as well. I think of a leader as the person in the spotlight, the one taking charge and enjoying the attention granted to a person holding a particular title. Me a leader? Not so much.
When I first contacted Maureen Freedland about appearing on the cover of our leadership issue, I got a similar response. "Me?" she asked. "I don't really think of myself as a leader. Have you considered ." and she ticked off a list of highly qualified and well-known women leaders in town.
I assured her it was she who we wanted, and I ticked off my own list of reasons why. It looked a lot like the list of qualities I wrote above: Someone who, quietly or not-so-quietly, works behind the scenes for the betterment of a community. Someone who does her work well, with others benefiting from it. Someone who stands up for others with less of a voice, who encourages and empowers and cheers others on so they, too, can do the good work they were meant to do. Maureen Freedland's life is a long litany of examples of just this type of work. In my mind, I told her, that made her a leader.
"My hope," I added, "is that other women read your story and realize that they are leaders, too." And then I had to laugh, because it had just dawned on me, right there on the phone with Maureen, that my own description of a leader defined me as one as well.
If so, I'll take that title. And so have all the women featured in this issue of Coulee Region Women, who are making change and cheering others on all over the region, for the betterment of our business communities, educational institutions, shops and restaurants, and for the betterment of all, no matter who they are or how much of a voice they have. You'll meet business leaders like Lisa Herr and millennial professionals, all of whom strive to establish and maintain a strong workforce in the Coulee Region. You'll meet leaders of the heart and soul, like the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, who tackle some of the deepest social issues of our area. And "everywomen" like Glena Temple, Viterbo's new president, combine skills and personality to be true servant leaders.
You'll meet the educators who train our local chefs, learn you're not alone navigating difficult journeys such as divorce, enjoy "leading" fashion and much more in this issue. And as you do, take a moment to reflect on the important ways you are a leader-a mentor, a role model-to others, perhaps as a mother, a grandmother, a coworker or a friend.
What is inside this month's issue:
Personal & Professional
Women in the Region