Tag Archives: rural learning center

First Day

photo by chrisinplymouth on Flickr.

This was my first day as President at the Rural Learning Center. I was late, thanks to our friend Winter, and once I got there it was a skeleton crew (yay for snow days!). The past month has been the speediest ever for me (hence a full month between bartblog noise, besides, I gained an iPad addiction). Despite all the anticipation (here’s some front page buzz from Mitchell and Madison) and sleepless nights getting to today, it was really quite an ordinary day. And that feels really refreshing. There is a ton of work to be done, gigantic shoes to be filled, and plenty of magic to be made. And it feels like it will work out somehow.

Thanks to my family and friends for all the love. Let’s rock and roll.

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Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Work


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Maroney Rural Learning Center

Well, that was fun. Jumping out there as a full time consultant, I mean. It’s been great helping several non-profits, companies and communities to think and talk things through. I made enough money to get by, learned some valuable insight, made some new friends, and got a lot of good hiking in. (I also often didn’t shower or put on a clean shirt until lunch time.)

Now I’m back in the land of the employed. This week I went back to work at the Rural Learning Center in Howard, SD, where I’ll become President in February (here’s a blast from the past). Ultimately I’ll be responsible for running a team dedicated to helping rural communities reimagine and thrive, along with operating a green hotel, restaurant and conference/training center being built in Howard. And we’ll also be managing the South Dakota chapter of American Institute of Architects, and a few other related non-profits. It’s the biggest job I’ve ever had, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m as nervous as I am excited. Thank the universe I’m re-joining an awesome and smart team I can rely on.

On the outside, Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on December 18, 2010 in rural, Work


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If you hurry

I gave a talk yesterday at the Women In Blue Jeans conference in Mitchell, SD about small town community development, called “Turning Your Small Town Around.” Then I got an email this morning from Slideshare saying this: “Congratulations! Your presentation ‘Turning Your Small Town Around’ is currently being showcased on the ‘How-to & DIY’ page on SlideShare.” It’s for today only. Kind of cool. I put my slideshow up on that site so I could share it with the folks who out up with listening to me for 45 minutes. All 8 of them.

If you hurry, you can see my show on the How-to feature. Or, you can see it forever here. Or, like most ladies at the conference yesterday, you can spend your time watching something else…

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Posted by on January 17, 2009 in Work


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I pretend it’s work

And they even pay me for it… “Black Hills Pioneer: Bridging Lead’s Future presented to community.”

Black Hills Pioneer photo by Aaron Nelson

Black Hills Pioneer photo by Aaron Nelson

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Posted by on January 13, 2009 in Work


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In Little Howard, South Dakota?!

Here’s a video of a news story KSFY TV (the local ABC affiliate) did Sunday night. It’s on the green conference and training center project we’ve been working on at the Rural Learning Center in Howard.

Watch the video here.


Posted by on December 29, 2008 in Work


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I [Heart] RLC.

CB030097One thing I love about this blog is that I can just throw shit up here–thoughts and ideas and commentary, real and raw. And, since I’m writing to my family and friends, I don’t filter. Sometimes I forget that my audience isn’t just my family and friends.  I wrote a post this past weekend about taking on an exciting new project in my work. Since putting it up on Friday afternoon, nearly 1500 people have visited bartblog. An average of almost 400 a day. A normal day is somewhere between 80 and 150. What gives? (I have no idea.)

And, sometimes, things don’t spit out right.  A couple of my friends have told me that post the other day sounded like I was saying I’m glad to leave the Rural Learning Center behind. I’m not.

So, just to clear things up: I’ve had nothing but love for the RLC.  I really love my work there. Always have. And the friendrlc-new-logos and colleagues I’ve had a chance to work with are amazing (and much smarter than me). I’m forever grateful for all I’ve learned and shared with them. My boss and co-workers have been totally supportive of my most recent experiment, and have put up with a boatlod of others over the past 3 years. It’s been super swell of them. And I’m not disappearing.

I see now that the word ‘quit’ is strong. I overdramatize my headlines, I guess (and it works, case in point). This has been a super difficult decision for me, and not one I’ve made by weighing pros and cons. It’s been a gut check–a calling that I’m following. Not anything I’m getting away from. I believe this new opportunity was brought to me for a reason (thanks again for being the messenger Nicole).

So here’s the low down, for anyone interested. For the next few months (beginning in December) I’ll be working on the Green Project a few days a week and on RLC projects a couple days a week.  It’s a way for me to jump into the pool but keep my hands on the deck. We’ve all agreed to go with it this way until we don’t. And it’s pretty amazing for both parties to allow me to do that. Sincere thanks for that.

So that’s the scoop. Thanks for reading.

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Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Work


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I quit my job this week

For real. I resigned from the Rural Learning Center on Monday afternoon. As of Friday, I’m the first Executive Director of a cool new non-profit start-up called Sioux Falls Green Project (though I won’t hit full swing until December). It’ll be a part time gig to start out. My last full-time day at the Rural Learning Center is November 26. I’ll still be helping out with some RLC projects part time, and blogging at

So, I’ve been really busy pulling all this together, and taking in another Art of Hosting training last week (see some AoH pics here). I forgot my computer while on the road for four days. It was a wonderful thing to forget. Sorry about the little unplanned break on bartblog. Stay tuned…


Oh, and I almost forgot. Thank you Nikki. I do owe you a green beer.

UPDATE/ADD ON (11.17.2008):

I wanted to add a little something to this post. This is kind of a scary time to be leaving a meaningful, secure, full-time job with benefits. A job that I like. With people that I love.

It seems the world is falling down all around us right now. Who knows what kind of economy we’ll be living in. I’ve taken plenty of leaps before, and I’ve never done it with fear–always with the confidence that comes from following a call from deep inside. This is no different, except that the constraints and container have changed.  It means I’ve lost a lot of sleep, and can’t seem to meditate as well as normal lately. So I guess that’s fear.

A good friend taught me something about fear recently. She told me how she’s come to recognize fear as a signal. Just like the leaves changing color and falling to the ground is a signal that something is coming. So, not something bad, per se, but something big. This is something big and important enough to risk it.

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Posted by on November 14, 2008 in going green, Work


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