Skip to content

Walker Methodist team members graduate from leadership development program

Amy Weiss | Mar 30, 2021

LDP screenshot

Recently, 11 Walker Methodist team members graduated from a year-long leadership development program. Kim Johnson, director of organizational effectiveness, was instrumental in the launch of the program in 2017. But this year’s program was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic (for example, Zoom meetings replaced in-person discussions), but the goals stayed the same. Empowering leaders, giving a framework for growth, and building relationships—all contributing to creating a culture of servant leadership, one of Walker Methodist’s core principles.

“The participants worked so hard, still focusing and growing—even in a year like 2020,” said Kim. “There have been five promotions within this group and even more lateral moves.”

Each participant worked with a mentor to create a personal success plan, develop goals, and follow action steps with accountability checkpoints. Team members also attended virtual sessions and discussions, receiving training on topics like active listening, team management, personal and professional growth, and more.

The program helped team member Haley Engler, life enrichment assistant at Care Suites of Edina, learn to challenge herself and gain valuable skills. “I see myself using the skills I learned in my career—and to help me advance,” she explained. “Walker Methodist shows genuine appreciation for team members and helps us reach our goals.”

According to Sarah Wandschneider, chief human resources officer, empowering leaders to transform and grow will help Walker Methodist reach its vision of being the best place to live and work. Walker Methodist is committed to growing leaders to continue to serve residents, families, and team members through a culture of care, respect, and service, she said.

Another participant, Melissa Brown, assistant director of culinary services at the Health Center, said, “This program was worth every minute. The tools and resources I now have equip me to move forward, and stepping outside of my comfort zone proved to be a huge benefit.” Lakia Gordon, resident services manager at Walker Place, said, "This program gave me tools and confidence to become a better person and leader. I appreciate Walker’s dedication to their team members' futures."

At the end of the program, team members usually present their goals and share about their experiences. This year, the ceremony was held virtually, but there was plenty to celebrate, thanks to these dedicated, inspiring leaders.

Congratulations to the 2020 leadership development program graduates:

  • Melissa Brown
  • Haley Engler
  • Stacy Flink
  • Lakia Gordon
  • Kasey Gray
  • Madeline Kinn
  • Beth Nelson
  • Mindy Roth
  • Nicole Suave
  • Teresa Wittmann
  • Andy Zabel
Interested in joining our passionate, dynamic team? Explore career openings today.