Learning Link Steering Committee and Teams

Collectively we can improve the quality of life in DeKalb County by creating a community that values learning.
Learning Link chart

Focus and Collaboration

One of the keys to the success of Learning Link is engaging our community around the shared vision of inspiring lifelong learning across DeKalb County. Our Learning Teams are continually seeking individuals with an eagerness to learn and a genuine interest in affecting the issues.

Guiding Principles


  • Pushing toward high performance – This is a long obstacle-filled journey. Direction and continuous improvement are more important than distance.
  • Power of cohort work – Our community is strengthened by the system of implementers, working together and learning together.
  • Relationships – Change happens at the speed of trust and our relationships are the essential connective tissue of community.
  • Open minds – How we engage is as important as what we produce. We create a safe space for sharing successes, challenges and obstacles with candor.
  • Respect – We respect the leaders and doers in this effort who have worked tirelessly and are learning to work toward results and high performance; we seek collaboration, not competition to advance quality of life in our community.
  • Accountability – The decisions we make together affect the potential of us collectively achieving the Learning Link mission. We will approach collaboration and the use of data and information delicately yet with a sense of individual accountability.
  • Reflective practice – We strive to allow the time for reflection and feedback, so there is both real learning and meaningful and lasting forward movement.

DBN & Associates, L3C adapted from ‘The Leap Ambassadors Community Model,’ Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, licensed under CC BY ND

Learning Link Steering Committee

Led by a member of the Community Foundation Board of Directors, Learning Link Steering Committee members work to ensure that Learning Link Teams have access to the tools and resources to move forward and achieve their identified targets. Committee members value the importance of community engagement by hosting two community meetings annually at various DeKalb County (Indiana) locations. Members communicate within and across Teams to promote transparency and maintain alignment across the initiative, maintaining the focus on the vision – inspiring a community of lifelong learners throughout DeKalb County to improve quality of life.

  • Matthew Bechdol *, GeoSilos
  • Jeffrey Burns, Campbell & Fetter Bank
  • Melissa Eshbach, Star technology
  • Wayne Funk, WLF Packaging
  • Judy Hey *, Community Volunteer
  • Mark Franke, Community Volunteer
  • Zachary Lightner *, Mefford, Weber and Blythe, LLC
  • Steve Teders, DeKalb County Central United School District
  • Susan Whittington, Community Foundation DeKalb County
  • Norm Yoder, Mayor of Auburn

Steering Committee Calendar