2017 Leadership Bend Impact Summit recap

Healthy Beginnings wins top prize

Healthy Beginnings was chosen as the 2017 winner of the Leadership Bend Impact Summit, earning this local non-profit organization a Grand Prize of $12,000 for the best “pitch” before an esteemed panel of judges. The “Audience Choice” winner was the Human Dignity Coalition, earning that organization $2,500.


The five finalists for the 2017 Leadership Bend Impact Summit (LBIS) included Campfire Central Oregon, Deschutes Children’s Foundation, Healthy Beginnings, Human Dignity Coalition and Oregon Adaptive Sports.  Thursday’s event was the culmination of a multi-month process that invited non-profits who met the criteria to apply for the opportunity to be involved. Through a rigorous evaluation process, ten non-profit organizations were ultimately chosen to participate in a series of workshops designed to further their skills and acumen in areas such as Finance, Strategic Planning, Board Governance, Marketing and, finally, effective persuasive “pitching.”

At the Leadership Bend Impact Summit, each organization had six minutes to speak, and another six minutes to field questions from a panel of judges that included Dennis Lynn, Senior Instructor of Human Development and Family Sciences at OSU-Cascades;  Connie Druliner, President and CEO of Express Employment Professionals; Adrienne Graham, Central Oregon Regional Director for the Non-Profit Association of Oregon (NAO), Chuck Horne, General Manager for La Pine Community Kitchen; Jim Lee, InvitExcellence and Director Emeritus for Abilitree. The winning pitches were delivered by Kelli Neumann, Regional Outreach Coordinator for Healthy Beginnings, and Aaron Rook, Secretary for the Human Dignity Coalition.

To date, with the help of generous sponsors, the LBIS has awarded $38,500 to local non-profit organizations including previous winners Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center (2015), and La Pine Community Kitchen (2016). The Leadership Bend Impact Summit was launched in 2015 by Leadership Bend, a prestigious nine-month program facilitated by the Bend Chamber designed to identify, educate, train and connect willing and committed citizens to leadership. For more information about Leadership Bend and next year’s Leadership Bend Impact Summit, visit bendchamber.org/about/leadership-bend/

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