MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

February 25, 2017 

Community invited to participate in February 28 Leadership Summit


The fourth annual Larson Leadership Program Leadership Summit is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 28. The summit format provides a national keynote speaker and break-out session presenters for the campus community, as well as the Mayville-Portland and Traill County communities. I hope you will make plans to join us at Mayville State for this special opportunity.

Jason Kiesau, author and motivational speaker from Iowa, is the keynote speaker. His presentation will begin at 1 p.m. in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room.

Mr. Kiesau has been studying personal, professional, and leadership development for most of his adult life. Adversity in his early 20s made him rethink his approach to the world. He was motivated to study the characteristics of success. Today, he travels across the country working with leaders in the areas of self-management, relationship building, strategic thinking, and creating high-performing teams. Jason’s purpose is to inspire confidence in everyone with whom he works, and he is passionate about helping these people pursue and achieve meaningful results.

Kiesau’s most recent book, “Focused: Your Future Starts Now!” Will be featured during the leadership summit. Jason advocates that life is about focus. He feels that who you are today is the result of what you focused on in the past and that your future will be the result of what you focus on right now. Copies of his book will be available for Mayville State student leaders, and Jason will also present a break-out session following his keynote.

Mayville State University graduate Dawn Cruff will present in another break-out session. Dawn is also an advocate for maintaining “focus.” She will share this story in her “Full Court Press” presentation. The hour-long break-out sessions will begin at 2:15 p.m.

Dawn Cruff has had an impressive career in real estate, specializing in both existing and new home construction in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Guiding clients throughout the buying and selling process, she keeps their best interests a top priority. Dawn was just presented with the local and state Builder’s Associate of the Year Award for her dedication to the industry and her volunteer efforts behind the scenes.

Dawn continues to stay connected to Mayville State, where she has been inducted into the athletic hall of fame for her focus as a member of the women’s basketball team. She has also been bestowed the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Several Mayville State student leaders will share their “focus” strategies with audience members during the afternoon break-out sessions. In addition, Terry Kemmer, coordinator of the Larson Leadership Program will present some pre-summit leadership workshops during the morning of Feb. 28.

A complete schedule for the leadership summit, as well as the pre-summit workshops, can be obtained by contacting Brittany Stevenson at 701-788-4713 or

The Larson Leadership Program is funded with the assistance of the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation and is designed to promote leadership enhancement on the campus of Mayville State University, as well as in the Mayville-Portland community. For more information, contact Terry Kemmer, coordinator of the Larson Leadership Program, 701-788-4777 or