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Excellence in Governance Training

Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital & Limestone FCU partner to offer Excellence in Governance Training to local Non-Profit Boards

In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey coined the phrase “take time to sharpen your saw” describing the need for individuals to renew themselves in areas of life that matter most. That’s exactly what more than 40 community volunteers did on Thursday by participating in a non-profit board governance workshop facilitated by Michigan State University Extension.


Hosted by Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and Limestone Federal Credit Union, board members from Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, The Community Foundation, Lake Effect Arts, Upward Community Youth, Munising Memorial Hospital, Eva Burrel Animal Shelter, First United Methodist Church, The UP Film Association, The Hiawatha Trail Association, CBC Schoolcraft County, LFCU, and SMH, participated in a three-hour governance training program specifically designed by Michigan State University Extension for this group.



This workshop, titled “Greater Community Impact Through Extraordinary Board Governance”, focused on the role of a board member, duties that apply to both individual board members and the full board, and the 10 components of working together as an extraordinary board.


“Our communities are fortunate to have so many awesome volunteers who work selflessly in the interest of others by giving and volunteering their time to further our community” said Jim Blanchard, a participant in the program. “This program clearly demonstrated these organizations’ common goal of intentionally planning to govern more effectively. The workshop undoubtably strengthened the governance competence of the participating board members consequently enabling their organization to more effectively achieve their mission.”


One portion of the training included each organization sharing what they are working towards, giving other organizations an opportunity to collaborate and further their progress. “Our non-profit organizations share a common denominator of community well-being and we clearly saw that we are not alone in our passion for community prosperity”, said Blanchard. “This extends beyond the boundaries or our county as demonstrated by the presence of our friends from Alger County’s Munising Memorial Hospital. The more we can work together, the greater our potential.”


“Michigan State University Extension facilitators John Amrhein and Brad Neumann tailored this program specifically for our group, and we look forward to fully utilizing the support that Michigan State University Extension offers. Our next steps include providing ongoing governance training support for these non-profit groups and widening the training opportunities to other non-profit organizations as well as our community’s municipal government. Like these non-profit organizations, governance competency is fundamental to effective government.”


Andy Bertapelle, CEO of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital stated “SMH was pleased to be able to co-sponsor this program. The success of our hospital is dependent upon the success of our community and the success of our community is dependent upon the success of our hospital – this is why it is so important for SMH to support this program.”


Jennifer Watson, CEO of Limestone Federal Credit Union said “Limestone Federal Credit Union’s mission is focused on building a stronger financial future for our community. Events like this generate the collaboration and engagement that will pave the way for success for all participants. We were proud to cohost this with SMH and Michigan State University Extension and look forward to expanding the programming in the future.”


A recent development that furthers this initiative is Limestone Federal Credit Union’s partnership with Michigan State University Extension. LFCU has offered to facilitate additional training for organizations that seek to achieve a better grasp of their financial reports and Michigan State University Extension will be providing a wide range of resources that are available for non-profit and municipal boards to use at no or minimal expense. Blanchard said “these services are supported in part through Schoolcraft County’s budget and now LFCU’s partnership with Michigan State University Extension. We are vested as a community in these programs, and we need to take full advantage of them. We will get out of these programs what we put into them.”


For over 100 years, MSU Extension has provided individuals and communities with educational programs and events that have fostered personal, organizational, and community growth. For further information about how you or your organization can benefit from Michigan State University Extension visit You can find out more about volunteering for any of these organizations by contacting them directly. Your contribution will make a difference in our community.