Vicki Leaderbrand to Retire May 26th; Celebrating a Legacy of Adaptability
20 Apr 2023
On May 26th, 2023, Vicki Leaderbrand will retire as Executive Director of Rural MN CEP. Serving as Executive Director from 2019 to 2023, Leaderbrand’s time was partially defined by a global pandemic and a changing economic landscape. Despite the social and economic turbulence, Leaderbrand was able to expand Rural MN CEP’s capabilities during her time as Executive Director.
Leaderbrand worked at Rural MN CEP for 14 years before assuming the role of Executive Director. As a result, she felt a deep sense of honor, purpose, and connection with the organization when she first stepped up to the position. She stated, “Everyone needs a purpose in life, and the power of work to individuals, family, businesses and the communities is exponentially amazing! I am honored to be part of an agency that helps people become self-sufficient, the by-product of which is not only a productive and happy citizen but also a stronger community.”
Leadership in a Changing Job Landscape; Leaderbrand’s Commitment to Responsiveness and Relevance
At the beginning of her time as Executive Director, Leaderbrand’s goal was to ensure that Rural MN CEP stayed a strong, useful resource for local employers and workers. Once the world was struck by a global pandemic, however, that goal became much more of a moving target. In the face of a changing landscape of the job market, Leaderbrand acknowledged and encouraged that companies and workplaces adapt.
In an article with The Grand Forks Herald, Leaderbrand states, “Employers are challenged with offering more flexible schedules, better benefits, (and) better pay because the demand for the workers is so high, and the supply is simply not there to make a great match for that job. So employers are having to look at different ways to be an employer, frankly. It's no longer ‘Here’s your pay, here's your benefits, that’s it.’ It’s, ‘Can I work from home, can I work a flexible schedule,’ and those kinds of things, and so employers have to change their own operations to be able to meet that need.”
Under her guidance, Rural MN CEP has not only stayed informed on relevant workforce demands, but encouraged that they be met. In order to address workforce desires like remote work options, increased wages, and equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives, the company made internal changes to better serve clients.
Leaderbrand’s Legacy; The Power of Work
At the core of Leaderbrand’s philosophy and leadership was a belief in the power of work. She states, “I’ve seen first-hand what work can do, and that’s what we’re all about. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in this industry, to lead RMCEP and to be a customer-focused resource for all of our clients, business partners and stakeholders.”
Leaderbrand’s personal philosophy guided Rural MN CEP’s progress, and facilitated adaptation. As Rural MN CEP celebrates Leaderbrand and her contribution, the organization is sure to continue as a trusted resource for workers and employers in rural Minnesota. To learn more about our brilliant staff here at Rural MN CEP and their impact, click here.