Mayville State University's Larson Leadership Program is hosting a Leadership Summit Thursday, March 27, 2014. The keynote address, "The Power of Understanding People," will be presented by nationally known author and speaker, Dave Mitchell. Registration begins at 12:00 noon in the MSU Campus Center Foyer. One-hour breakout sessions will begin at 1:00 p.m. in various campus locations. Keynote address will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the MSU Campus Center Lucaksen Room. The public is invited to take part in this event. Cost for the general public is $10.00 per person. All Mayville State faculty, staff, and students will be admitted free of charge. A limited number of Dave Mitchell's book, The Power of Understanding People, will be available for $15.00 each.

Dave Mitchell


Dave_Mitchell.jpgPrior to starting his own organiozation development consulting firm, Dave Mitchell was the vice president of human resources and quality for Buena Vista Hospitality Group, corporate director of training and development for Marshall Field's, and a television reporter/producer for CBS News. He has earned degrees in mass communications and global human resources development.

Since founding the Leadership Difference almost two decades ago, DAve Mitchell has led siminars for more than 250,000 people nationally and internationally. The seminars have included topics on leadership, customer service, selling skills, and personal performance enhancement, with clients from organizations including Allstate Insurance, Bank of America, Universal Studios, Wald Disney World, and the CIA. In July 2013, Meeting Professionals International selected Dave's presentation as the Meeting Madness winner at their World Education Congress in Las Vegas.

See more about Dave Mitchell at The Leadership Difference.

Breakout Sessions Schedule

10:00 a.m.
  Leadership 101
  by Terry Kemmer, MSU Campus Center Heritage Room

1:00 p.m.
  The Leader's Crystal Ball
  by Ellen Chaffee, Education Building, Room 122
  Leadership in Teaching
  by David Braaten, Education Building, Room 102
  Connecting & Communicating in Leadership
  by Terry Kemmer, Campus Center Heritage Room
2:00 p.m.
  Keynote Address - The Power of Understanding People
  by Dave Mitchell, Campus Center Luckasen Room
3:00 p.m.
  Leadership in Teaching
  by David Braaten, Education Building, Room 102
  Understanding People Applied
  by Dave Mitchell, Campus Center Luckasen Room
  Athletic Team Leadership
  by Grant Olson, Campus Center Heritage Room
4:00 p.m.
  The Leader's Crystal Ball
  by Ellen Chaffee, Education Building, room 122
  Women in Leadership
  by Michelle Worner Kommer, Education Building, room 102
  Athletic Team Leadership
  by Grant Olson, Campus Center Heritage Room

Breakout Session Presenter Biographies & Presentation Summaries


Grant Olson. Grant Olson is a senior at North Dakota State University, majoring in industrial engineering. Originally from Plymouth, Minnesota, Grant graduated from Wayzata (Minn.) High School. At NDSU Grant has been a vital player and leader on the three-time national championship football team.  During his football tenure, Grant was a two-time first team all conference as well as all-American.  He also served as team captain during the past two seasons. 

Grant Olson Presentation Summary. Grant will focus on athletic team leadership using real world leadership principles and techniques. He will share how easily those principles and techniques can be implemented. Grant’s faith has been paramount in his life and in his athletic pursuits. He will also share what he has learned from the greatest leader of all time and how to implement those values and examples. 
Grant will present at both 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Heritage Room. All athletes and coaches are encouraged to take advantage of Grant’s involvement in this leadership summit.  

Michelle Kommer. Michelle Kommer is the Chief Administrative Officer at Western State Bank, leading the human resource, information technology, legal, and loan/deposit operations functions. She previously served in executive leadership positions at Noridian/Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, and Otter Tail Corporation, as the senior vice president of human resources responsible for all human resources and leadership development functions for those companies.  Michelle also has prior experience in bank and government auditing. Michelle has been a passionate advocate for child welfare in North Dakota, as a foster and adoptive parent, and in founding the North Dakota Heart Gallery in 2006. The Heart Gallery is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the need for adoptive homes for North Dakota children. She also serves on the board of directors for Churches United for the Homeless and Fraser, Ltd. Kommer received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mayville State University. She earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Mary, Fargo, and a law degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Michelle resides in Fargo with her husband Toby and three daughters: Morgan (13), Mya (11), and Channing (7). Together they enjoy chauffeuring, coaching, and supporting their children’s activities during the school year and their time at the lake in the summer.

Michelle Kommer Presentation Summary. Michelle will share her experience and perspective on finding success as a leader based on lessons she has learned as a wife, mother, volunteer, and senior executive on the (largely male) leadership teams of three of North Dakota’s largest employers. She will include views on the ever-elusive quest for balance as well as conquering challenges unique to women. Michelle will lead an interactive discussion geared toward finding focus and fulfillment in one’s life. 
Students seeking career direction, women starting out in their careers, women who are battling “balance,” and men who care about these women are encouraged to attend Michelle’s session. Her session is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. in room 102 in the Education Building.  

Ellen Chaffee. Dr. Chaffee is a senior fellow for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and past director of its Lumina Foundation funded project on governance for student success. As president of Valley City State University (15 years) and president of Mayville State University (9 years), she focused on innovation, change, and accountability. Other past roles include president in residence at Harvard University and board chair of a $1 billion health care system, guiding its 50/50 merger with another $1 billion health care system. Her work with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges since 2009 has focused on helping trustees and executives understand and pursue new strategic planning, strategic finance, innovation, and monitoring approaches in order to thrive in a constrained resources environment. Dr. Chaffee has held leadership positions in executive, academic, student affairs, research, and equal opportunity in research universities, comprehensive universities, and a state system. She was president of two national professional associations and member of the national accrediting board for pharmacy education and received many state and regional awards. She writes, speaks, and consults on strategic management, governance, quality, innovation, and leadership. Dr. Chaffee earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration and policy analysis at Stanford University. 

Ellen Chaffee Presentation Summary ... The Leader’s Crystal Ball. You may lead and others may follow, but where are you taking them? Imagining the possibilities is an essential leadership quality. In this session, we’ll talk about how to create a destination (vision) and why doing it well is both challenging and necessary.

Dr. Chaffee will present at both 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. in room 122 of the Education Building. She brings a wealth of strategic management, quality, innovation, and leadership experience - why not plan to take advantage of her participation in this leadership summit? 

Terry Kemmer. After teaching high school and college business classes, Terry Kemmer is now professor emeritus of business at Mayville State University. Currently, he is the coordinator of the Larson Leadership Program on the campus. This program started in 2012 and provides a more obvious focus on leadership and the enhancement of leadership for not only Mayville State University students but other students and community members within the region. Kemmer has researched, studied, and practiced leadership. While in Mayville, he was a campus, community, and church leader. He has earned degrees from Valley City State University and the University of North Dakota. Today, Terry and his wife, Sandi, enjoy living in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, but he appreciates the connection with the campus and student body that the Larson Leadership Program provides. 

Terry Kemmer Presentation Summary ... Leadership 101. Leadership is a social influence that leaves a mark.  It is also initiating and guiding with “change” being the result. This and other leadership theory will be presented and discussed in an interactive environment. Leadership is a concept that is both current and timeless—we will try to personalize the subject in hopes that participants will have the opportunity to reflect on effective leadership and leaders.  Thus the goal of this hour long, break-out session will be a better understanding of leadership and what can be done to enhance and develop this understanding. 
Kemmer will present at 10 a.m. in the Campus Center Heritage Room. This will be a highly interactive session, so be prepared to get up and get involved.  
Terry Kemmer Presentation Summary ... Communication and Connection in Leadership. “I know that I have connected with people when they . . . .”  Research shows us that most effective leaders are excellent connectors - so what does that mean? Understanding leadership, communication, and connection will be outcomes of this break-out session. In addition to an overview of the research, we will discuss the role of communication and connection in leadership. Coverage of very applicable things we can do to connect will be shared. Reference to John C. Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, will be made.  
Kemmer will present at 1:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Heritage Room. This will be a highly interactive session, so come prepared to participate.     

David Braaten. David Braaten has been teaching business and marketing education for the past 24 years. Currently employed by the Hopkins School System in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Braaten teaches half time and then serves in the capacity of a master teacher. As a master teacher, he serves as a secondary education teacher leader and instructional coach for the district. He coaches and evaluates tenured teachers as well as mentors new teachers in pedagogy. Braaten also has teaching experience in Griggs County Central, Cooperstown, N.D., Fargo North High School, Fargo, N.D., and a for-profit business college. David has served on several local, state, and national committees as well as having attended numerous state and national conferences relating to business education, curriculum, and instruction. In addition, David is employed as the teacher facilitator for the summer Teacher Workshop Program at the New York Stock Exchange, NYC. David is very passionate about financial education for all students. In the Hopkins system he led the development of a personal finance education curriculum which is now a requirement for graduation. While earning his Bachelor of Science in Education with degrees in business education and social studies at Mayville State University, Braaten was a student leader including senate president. He has also earned a master’s degree in business and marketing from the University of North Dakota.    

David Braaten Presentation Summary. Braaten will lead a discussion on what it takes to be a lead teacher and mentor teachers in pedagogy.    He will share some of the real world requirements of a classroom teacher and the importance of respecting others in this work environment.  Braaten will also share some of the expectations that school administrators have for their new hires. 

David will present at both 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. in room 102 of the Education Building. He brings a wealth of teaching experiences and has an up-front presentation style - telling it like it is. This is an ideal session for soon-to-be first-year teachers.    

More Information


For more information about the Larson Leadership Program Leadership Summit at Mayville State University, contact Larson Leadership Program coordinator Terry Kemmer, 701-788-4777 or

The Larson Leadership Program


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.