Marisa Gullicksrud is making the most of her connections, thanks to The Network, an online community just for Leadership Foundation alumni.

Gullicksrud, a current Leadership Denver participant and Impact Denver ’15 alum, is The Networker of the Quarter. The program director of community-based services for Denver Children’s Home has shared reflections as a LD participant from her perspective on inclusivity and diversity to .

Get to know Gullicksrud and connect with her more alums on The Network. Login to The Network to get started!

Elizabeth Prutch: Why are you active on The Network?  

Gullicksrud: The Network provides me with the opportunity to stay connected, not only to my LD class, but also to access the resources of the larger Leadership Foundation community.

Prutch: What have you gained from being active on The Network?  

Gullicksrud: In addition to staying aware of the opportunities to connect with LD outside of our monthly session, I have gained a wider appreciation for both the good work of Leadership Foundation alumni, as well as an opportunity to engage with that larger community.

I have found both resources (i.e. free meeting space for an upcoming retreat), and the ability to be a resource (i.e. recruiting alumni for volunteer opportunities) by utilizing the power of the Network.

Prutch: Why should other alumni join The Network?

Gullicksrud: I enjoy The Network because I can tailor the access I have and give. It allows your engagement to be customized to your needs and availability. Staying connected to the Leadership Foundation allows for connections to remain strong. I have found that alumni who choose to be engaged on The Network are incredibly giving of their knowledge, their resources, their opportunities and their time.

Prutch: What is your leadership style?

Gullicksrud: I operate from a democratic leadership/servant leadership style. Democratically, I find that I like to lead teams that value the contribution of the group members, encouraging them to participate in decision making and guiding the process along the way. The servant leadership style incorporates my approach in ensuring the needs of my team members are satisfied so they can use their energy to work towards our group goals. I work to empower my employees to make solid, independent decisions for our clients, while being a constant source of information and support.

Prutch: What advice do you have for others regarding leadership?

Gullicksrud: The best advice that I ever received is the reminder that “leaders are always leading.”  When I keep this in focus, I recognize that even small interactions offer opportunities for learning and growth – both for the people around me as well as myself.

Prutch: What does civic engagement mean to you? 

Gullicksrud: Civic engagement is being actively involved in the community you surround yourself with. My favorite way to be civically engaged is through volunteerism. I love to learn about other local nonprofit organizations and to give my time to them. Working for a local nonprofit organization, I have found that my civic engagement has shifted to being involved with my registered neighborhood association, the Clayton Neighborhood Association. I have enjoyed learning about issues that affect my community and finding ways to support or work against initiatives that affect my neighbors.