Joel Doepker and Mardy Leathers received the Missouri Community College Association’s Arena Award at the association’s Fifty-Second Annual Convention, November 4 at the Hilton Convention Center in Branson, Missouri.
Doepker and Leathers are being recognized by their peers for their efforts in workforce development. Both have demonstrated leadership both within their college and at the state level on various workforce development and training programs.
Doepker currently serves as vice president of external relations for the college, where he serves as a member of the college president’s leadership team. He is responsible for college-wide communication and marketing strategies, and he oversees the center for workforce development, adult education and literacy, web development and grants departments.
Leathers is executive director of East Central’s Center for Workforce Development, where he plans, manages, and implements business and industry training, community education, healthcare career certification, and WIOA programs. He also supports academic career and technical education programs, college grant programs, and other strategic projects related to external relations.
The Arena Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the association. It is named for Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech given on April 23, 1910, and recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to take on worthy challenges in spite of the risk of failure. Doepker and Leathers are honored to receive the award.
“The award speaks to the work all 12 of Missouri’s community colleges are doing to enhance workforce training for the state’s business and industry”, says Doepker.
“Workforce training is crucial to keeping the state’s economy viable and competitive”, says Leathers, “We’re seeing a change in our workforce training programs as a result of this effort.”
The Missouri Community College Association is a statewide organization through which Missouri’s community colleges work together to advance common agendas. MCCA brings the state’s 12 colleges together for advocacy, professional development, information, and collaboration.