In August of this year, Holly Lesko was selected to participate in the Community Heart and Soul Coaching cohort with the Orton Foundation. She completed the 12-week course of weekly training modules and on-line engagement in November and is now a Certified Heart and Soul Coach. The Community Heart & Soul training is designed to support community residents in small cities and towns across the U.S. identify what they love most about their community, the future they want for it, and how to achieve it. Community Heart & Soul has been field tested for over a decade in partnership with over 90 small cities and towns across the US. It is based on 3 principles: Involve everyone, Focus on what matters most, and Play the long game.

This certification allows Holly to access the Orton Foundation Community engagement toolkit and for our regional communities to apply for Heart & Soul funding to engage this multi-year program to highlight community assets, assess needs and set attainable goals with support from the commission through Holly's certification. If you want to learn more about this program, please visit or contact Holly ( about becoming a regional Heart and Soul Community.