The past seven months have presented a wide range of trials and tribulations for all, some more than others, but on the flip side it has also shown all of us the strength, leadership, dedication and loyalty that may have been overlooked or forgotten throughout our community. Holly Hovland and Travis Clark of Leavitt Group were recently discussing how the community has pulled together and came up with an idea to recognize the efforts of those who continue to help push Toole County to thrive, no matter what the challenge.

“Over the past year, especially during the COVID-19 shutdown, I worried about our community’s survival and vitality,” said Clark. “But then I realized that Shelby, and every community, go through tough times, and it is the people and leaders in the community who help pull it through and make it stronger.”

He continued, “I appreciated seeing people take on leadership roles during this unsettling time. I was visiting with Holly Hovland, another agent in our office, about the number and variety of people who contribute to our community’s overall culture and success, and the idea for the Leavitt Leadership program started there.”

Recognizing Leaders and Volunteers in Toole County:  All Aboard the Community Train! That is the catchy title of the recognition program that has already gotten underway and will continue over the next year. While Clark and Hovland came up with the idea together, it’s Hovland that Clark credits for doing all the footwork and making the program a reality. 

“Holly has done all of the footwork and made this idea a reality,” said Clark. “We plan to recognize one leader a week during the upcoming year. Holly and I brainstormed people who we noticed making a difference.  Some of them are noticeable political and social leaders, while others work behind-the-scenes, but are indispensable.”

The whole idea behind the program is getting people’s focus on the positive reasons to live and work in our community and to recognize all the possibilities that Toole County has to offer.

“We hope that this sheds a light on causes that others might choose to become a part of, and maybe even inspires some new ideas,” said Clark. “We like to think that what some people consider to be the biggest challenges of living in rural America are actually the forces that bring our people together to continually build a stronger community.”

Clark pointed out, “We also strategically planned to roll this out after the election because we feel that good people and good communities transcend politics. Building the best community that we can is something that all people can get behind.”

And recognizing those who make it happen is something that everyone can contribute to as well. Clark and Hovland are open to suggestions from the community on who deserves some recognition for their efforts and encourage anyone with a suggestion to let them know.

“We have found that with so many things going on in our community, there are leaders and organizations we might miss,” said Clark. “So many people are doing great things without recognition, and we want to give them a platform to toot their own whistle!”

Leavitt Group is looking to recognize folks who all have one thing in common– they believe in and are dedicated to Toole County and have given selflessly to ensuring its success and potential.

“The people we are recognizing for this award have given selflessly to their community, believe that we can all grow and succeed together, and embrace the diversity and potential of Toole County,” concluded Clark.

If you know of someone who fits the description feel free to share who that person is and why they deserve some recognition. Those chosen will be featured each week in the Shelby Promoter and on KSEN. Contact Clark or Hovland at Leavitt Group, (406) 434-5201 to submit your suggestion or for any questions. Watch for recognizing Leaders and Volunteers in Toole County: All Aboard the Community Train!

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