I’m not one to lend much weight to titles.
If you spend time on our website or peruse any of our printed publications, you’ll see that we bill ourselves as a “Conference and Retreat Center”. Those words are absolutely true, but The Leadership Center was not born as such.
In 1968, three agriculture educators (known as “vo-ag teachers” in the 60s) jumped on an opportunity to purchase a 27-acre tract of land east of Aurora with the intention of building a camp. It was to be a place for members of Nebraska’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapters to come together, share in activities, and explore the concepts of leadership development. The “FFA Camp” happened. The land was transferred to a non-profit foundation and dubbed “The Nebraska Youth Leadership Development Center”.
The “camp” grew–and transformed into a “Conference and Retreat Center”. Its named changed by deleting a few words. “Vo-ag teachers” now call themselves “Agricultural Educators” or “Agriscience Teachers”.
The titles don’t matter.
I first spent time at The Leadership Center in the early 80s while accompanying my father to meetings. (He served on the Board of Directors for TLC for more years than I can count.) In the early 90s, I attended FFA leadership conferences at TLC. For a good portion of the 2000s, I brought students to leadership activities here. I also ended up serving on the board of directors (for more years than I can count).
I have a unique perspective on this place. I’ve been the kid of a board member, a guest, a sponsor of youth guests, a board member, and now a TLC employee. Since I have this perspective, I believe I have the ability, and the obligation, to sum up what makes The Leadership Center different and special.
We care. Yeah, I know that every hotel, convention center, summer camp, and dance hall “cares” to some extent. However, they don’t have the roots of caring like TLC. The Leadership Center was born a non-
profit, with the mission of providing a place where people come can come together to learn and make memories. Our staff has learned this mission and develops a culture of caring; not for profit, wealth, or an increase in a corporate stock price, but for serving our clients. It was the same when we were a “camp”.
I’m proud to be a team member at The Leadership Center. I have a title, but that’s not what I care about.
Have a great day.
(A note inserted by Kurt’s boss, Maile. His title as a staff member is Conference & Curriculum Manager, but really Kurt, like all us, don’t give much to titles, we’re just happy to be here to serve and incredible proud to do so).