MCLP recognizes three alums with new Alumni Volunteer Service Award

awards - hands with titleMCLP will present a new Alumni Volunteer Service Award to three MCLP alums for their leadership and long-time volunteer service to MCLP on July 20, 2017 at the Class of 2018 opening reception 4-5 pm at Heartland Community­ College Astroth Community Education Center.

Imagine walking into the MLCP class with no direction for the day. Imagine MCLP without a spirit-filled graduation celebration each year. Imagine any contemporary organization without a dependable information technology infrastructure. Thankfully, MCLP has had extraordinary volunteers who have helped us ensure quite the opposite!

Passing on the spirit of MCLP and providing a high quality, sustainable program for future participants requires a core of active volunteers who follow through with impeccable reliability and commitment to serve. As a small nonprofit organization with limited staffing, we rely on the generous service of many individuals who volunteer their time to make this program happen — enabling the MCLP opportunity to continue for the participants who follow in their footsteps. From recruitment to graduation, from public events to behind-the-scenes information management, MCLP depends on teams of volunteers who personally offer dozens of hours each month, working with MCLP staff to make the program possible. Our alumni are at the helm of these volunteer teams, providing invaluable leadership, skill, and commitment.

Beginning this year, MCLP initiated an annual award honoring MCLP Alumni for significant volunteer service to the Multicultural Leadership Program. For this year’s awards, we recognize three unsung heroes who helped to build the organization from its early years. We are pleased to present the three recipients of this year’s Alumni Volunteer Service Award: Carolyn Davis, Leslie Harding, and Craig Luchtefeld.


Carolyn Davis (Class of 2011)

Thanks to Carolyn Davis, MCLP class sessions were coordinated seamlessly from 2013 to 2015 due to her leadership as Curriculum Committee chairperson. Her three-year commitment in this role included annual program improvements and engagement of alumni as event chairs. She also increased outreach to participant supervisors, increasing their awareness of the program and its activities.

Carolyn enjoyed mentoring other committee members and also served multiple terms on the MCLP board, including a period as board secretary. She encourages support for alumni with opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills. Carolyn has personally has shared about MCLP to her coworkers at State Farm, inspiring others to become program candidates. She also helped ensure State Farm is well represented at graduation, and that the value of MCLP was well represented to State Farm. Thanks to Carolyn’s tireless dedication, MCLP built a strong program reputation for excellence.


Leslie Harding (Class of 2011)

 Leslie Harding served as MCLP graduation committee chairperson for five years (2012-2016), organizing food, logistics, registrations, and more to create a meaningful event for graduates and supporters. Leslie’s reliable, no-nonsense, focused leadership style led the graduation teams through a myriad of details, planning and solving problems in a resourceful and timely manner to make each of these ~400-person events a success. She coordinated multiple teams, thoroughly and tirelessly ensuring every detail of the event was collaboratively executed with the highest quality and the necessary multiple-month pacing to bring everything together by graduation day. Her well-coordinated efforts enabled MCLP to offer an inspirational event for each year’s graduating class and all of our supporters. In addition, Leslie served on the MCLP board for six years, has been an active recruiter for new candidates, and a role model for the teams she leads in her career with Compass Group-Eurest Dining Services, many of whom continue to help with graduation each year.


Craig Luchtefeld (Class of 2012)

Thanks to Craig Luchtefeld, MCLP has been steadily building its technological foundation. Using his skills as an IT professional, paired with an exceptional work ethic, generous spirit and humble leadership style, Craig helped plan, select, and implement the MCLP data management system and various other online functions, and continues to help MCLP staff advance and maintain this critical infrastructure. A long-time member of the MCLP board and Marketing and Technology team, Craig’s eye for digital efficiency and organizational sustainability has had a fundamental impact on MCLP.  Now serving his second year as board Secretary, Craig established a regular process for documenting board minutes and archiving documents. He has a keen sense for strategy and sustainability, served on Strategic Planning Committee and Impact project teams and actively participated in all MCLP board retreats since 2012. Craig is a strong ambassador for MCLP in his work at COUNTRY Financial and in his many service roles in the community, recruiting new participants and ever-willing to share his personal MCLP story.