The first annual Community Tree Leadership Forum reached 110 participants representing 93 nonprofit and urban & community forestry groups from 35 states.
Attendees included leaders representing nonprofit organizations, academia, government agencies, and local municipalities. From passing comments, we heard many highlights:
* Fundraising expert Andy Robinson guided us on how to be assertive, humble, respectful, and- of course- schmooze. His choice of language was so good that participants asked him to repeat some phrases two and three times. No one will forget his simple approach of “ask, then shut up and listen.”
* Elizabeth McCance helped participants design collaborative solutions to real problems. Often we just needed to ask the right questions. Through open learning and sharing, collaborators helped project owners dispel difficulties and expand possibilities. The give-and-take dialogue not only reinforced the purpose of the session, but also yielded take home solutions for participants.
* Kim Robak, former Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, presented a comprehensive framework for engaging in the political process. Her honest, positive, and assertive style was so inspiring that several participants asked if she could lead a three-hour session at the next Community Tree Leadership Forum.
The launch of the Community Tree Leadership Forum was made possible with generous financial assistance from the USDA Forest Service.