The Robert E. Dunker Leadership Lectures examine and discuss examples of leadership displayed in life by prominent people in America, both nationally and locally. This series is sponsored by and named in honor of Dr. Robert E. Dunker, President Emeritus of Western Iowa Tech Community College, founder of The Institute for Lifelong Learning, and one of Western Iowa Tech’s earliest graduates.

This series is about people whose actions have impacted the world. These individuals made national news with perseverance, persistence, and sacrifice. Today the reason behind their fame is obscured by the results. We know they succeeded or failed. How can we learn from their example if we don’t know what they did or why they did it? Historian Russ Gifford will introduce us to the person behind the headlines, their motives, their methods, and what traits allowed them to exercise leadership and achieve their fame!

Dakota Dunes
A Case History of Vision and Leadership on the Local Level

One cannot argue the powerful success Dakota Dunes has achieved in its short life span. But consider that it has not yet reached its 50th birthday. How did this powerful agent of change come into being? Dakota Dunes is the story of individuals with vision and the ability to communicate that vision to others. The result is a major change in everything from housing, entertainment, and business development options. Who were the people behind this achievement, and what motivated them? Did they achieve their goals? Join Russ Gifford as we see an example of local leadership in our lifetime.

Women in Leadership
Achievement and Change

For the first time in History, women oversee 10% of the Fortune 500 companies and hold more seats in Congress than ever before. What about local leaders? Women first leaped across the gender divide in national politics in the last 4 decades – but that started at the local level a decade before. Yet women have long had leadership and ownership in businesses. This talk will examine these changes in people in power – but with an eye to see if we can define the differences this engendered. We will also see what empowered these changes and look at women who have made a difference – locally, and nationally. As always, we are identifying the skills they used to exercise leadership and achieve success.