Rod Armstrong, Secretary-Treasurer
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for the AIM Institute.
Rod Armstrong is the vice president of strategic partnerships for the AIM Institute. AIM is a non-profit information technology membership organization formed in 1992 by a group of business, education and government leaders in Nebraska. AIM’s mission is to provide information technology leadership to Nebraska and the surrounding region. In his position, Rod is responsible for building strategic partnerships throughout AIM’s service area with businesses, economic development organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and other non-profit organizations. Many of these partnerships leverage Careerlink.com, the AIM Institute’s online workforce recruitment system.
Prior to joining AIM, Rod served as general manager of Nebraska.gov, the State of Nebraska’s official Web portal. Rod also spent 20 years in the public policy field in Nebraska’s executive and legislative branches, and was the principal architect of legislation that created the Nebraska Information Technology Commission. Rod is a native of Broken Bow, Nebraska, attended Kearney State College and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
James Calvin, Ph.D.
Professor, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
James R. Calvin, Ph.D., is currently professor of Management and Organizational Systems at the Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as an Executive Board Member in the Center for Africana Studies in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
James has consulted in the areas of executive leadership development, executive coaching and organizational development with Fannie Mae, Verizon, KPMG, GENCO Corporation, QVC, Xerox Quality Services, the Brookings Institution, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), General Accounting Office (GAO), NASA/Goddard and other organizations. He is currently the Moderator of the Mid-Level Managers Symposium at the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).
James is a reviewer for Human Resources (in Executive Coaching) and Advanced Management Journal (AMJ). He is engaged in leadership and management research and has published articles in a number of referred journal articles and authored book chapters. He is currently pursuing research in the areas of global leadership practice, learning organizations and on knowledge transfers and cultures in organizational systems. James has taught at New York University and Marymount Manhattan College. He serves as chair of the Academy of Management Membership Committee (AoM), the International Association for Community Development (IACD) and he is a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Advancement of Management (SAM).
James earned a B.F.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology. His M.A. and Ph.D. (with distinction) with a concentration in phenomenology, culture and communication are from New York University.
Sam Cordes, Ph.D.
Purdue University Extension (Retired)
Dr. Cordes’ spent approximately four decades at major land-grant universities before retiring from full-time employment, from Purdue University. While at Purdue he served in several capacities including (a) Associate Vice Provost for Engagement (b) Founder and Co-Director, Center for Regional Development (c) Assistant Director and Program Leader, Cooperative Extension and (d) Professor of Agricultural Economics. Subsequent to his retirement from Purdue, Cordes has been involved in a variety of consulting roles and has been a featured speaker at a number of conferences.
His career in higher education focused on rural policy and community and economic development. He is a native of South Dakota and received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University (SDSU) and his PhD in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University (WSU). Prior to joining Purdue University, he held faculty and various administrative roles at the University of Nebraska and the University of Wyoming; and was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin. He began his academic career as a faculty member at Penn State University.
Cordes has been the recipient of a number of awards and honors including: the Distinguished Researcher Award from the National Rural Health Association, the Founders Award from the Rural Policy Research Institute, the first recipient of its Graduate Alumni Achievement Award from WSU, and the Distinguished Alumni award from SDSU.
Mary Emery, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head
Brookings, South Dakota
Mary Emery is the department head for Sociology and Rural Studies at South Dakota State University. Previously Dr. Emery was the associate director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames IA. Before that she directed the Institute for Community Development at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. Mary has worked in rural economic and community development for more than 30 years. Currently, Dr. Mary Emery works on a variety of initiatives related to rural development including co-managing a Coaching for Community Change Initiative, conducting listening sessions on entrepreneurship, and using the Community Capitals Framework in evaluation and program planning. Other ongoing programs include chairing the Great Plains IDEA transdisciplinary multi-university distance degree in Community Development.
She is a former president of the international Community Development Society and is the new editor of the Rural Studies Series sponsored by the Rural Sociological Society. Mary received her Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers University.
Lindsay Hastings, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Community Leadership Development
Director, Nebraska Human Resources Institute
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
Dr. Lindsay Hastings serves as an Assistant Professor of Community Leadership Development and the Director of Nebraska Human Resources Institute, a leadership development organization at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln that pairs outstanding college student leaders with outstanding K – 12 student leaders in one-to-one leadership mentoring relationships. Her research interests include generative leadership and social responsibility, examining what factors influence a leader's ability to promote and establish the well-being of future generations. Hastings' most recent research examined generativity in college student leaders as a result of engaging in a mentoring relationship, which received the 2012 Dr. Ron Joekel Research Award.
Reshell D Ray
Associate Director, East Campus Programs
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Reshell Ray serves as the Associate Director for Student Involvement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Student Involvement creates and models inclusive environments where students find opportunities for personal and professional development. She works to integrate in-class and out-of-class learning to provide positive experiences through programs, services, and events. Reshell holds a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska. She served as the Management Analyst for the City of Pacific, Missouri. In that capacity, she worked closely with the Planning and Economic Development Commissions. Reshell has served as a Community Development Consultant for over 25 years in Urban and Rural communities throughout the nation. Currently, she is the Associate Director for Student Involvement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She works to create and model inclusive environments where students find opportunities for personal and professional development. She works to integrate in-class and out-of-class learning to provide positive experiences through programs, services, and events.
Craig Schroeder, President
Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Craig Schroeder is Senior Fellow with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, where he works primarily on entrepreneurial community development and youth entrepreneurship. Of particular note is Craig’s work in creating the Youth Attraction Formula, a tool for rural communities to recognize persistent population decline largely due to significant youth out-migration.
For three years Craig was the Executive Director at the Nebraska Rural Development Commission. In 1998, Mr. Schroeder established the Nebraska Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce Initiative, or NTEC, which assisted rural communities in expanding economic development and career opportunities via the Web. Craig has also worked as an appointee of Governor Ben Nelson and for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as Ag Promotion Specialist.
Craig holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics with emphasis in Rural Community Economics and Marketing from the University of Nebraska.
Executive Director (Retired), Rural Development Initiatives
Craig Smith was executive director of Rural Development Initiatives from 2009-2016. Prior to joining RDI, Craig was a small business owner, manager of the Portland Saturday Market, and director of the Rural Oregon Marketing Project at Eastern Oregon University. He has an undergraduate degree from Sonoma State University and an MBA from Portland State University.
RDI is a nonprofit dedicated to helping rural communities and people achieve the visions and goals they set for themselves. It has worked with leaders from more than 300 rural communities as neutral conveners, facilitators, trainers and advisors. RDI builds leadership networks and communities by working with individuals, organizations, and groups in the rural Northwest under five service areas: Community Building, Leadership Development, Economic Vitality, Networking, and Organizational Development. To learn more about the work of RDI, visit www.rdiinc.org
(c) 2020 Heartland Center for Leadership Development