RuralX sponsor Ballinger Leafblad believes in leadership development

Posted on June 20, 2018

Paula Jensen
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When Dakota Resources conducted a national search to help in the recruitment of a new President, they turned to executive search firm Ballinger Leafblad.

Ballinger Leafblad is located in St. Paul and partners with civic organizations across the Midwest, particularly northern Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Their deep knowledge of this region, combined with their ability to scout qualified candidates from all over the nation, makes them a great fit for higher education institutions, foundations, non-profits and other civic-minded organizations.

“We often find that rural communities just don’t have the connections needed to help find exceptional candidates for these vital leadership positions. We can help introduce them to new networks, tell their stories and spread the word about great rural leadership opportunities,” says Marcia Ballinger, Co-Founder of Ballinger Leafblad. “We talk to talented people all over the world, and it is encouraging to see the growing number of civic-minded leaders with a real passion for rural.”

Through a robust search process, Ballinger Leafblad became very familiar with the mission, values and staff at Dakota Resources.

“We always try to give back to our partner organizations if we can, especially in areas of leadership development,” explains Marcia. “We have a unique interest in holding up our clients as leaders in their communities. For Dakota Resources, it just made sense for us to support an event like ruralX.”

What does the future of rural look like from the perspective of an executive search firm?

“When we are asked to help a rural organization find a president, we don’t hesitate,” she says. “We don’t worry that qualified people won’t want to live and work in a rural location. Those people are out there. It’s especially refreshing to see younger people interested in bringing their skills and talents to rural places. From that perspective, we feel very good about the future of rural.”

For more information about Ballinger Leafblad, visit their website at

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