By Dr. Scott Taylor, Small Business Management

Father's Day, June 17, we received the tragic news that fellow instructor Chad Oudekerk was killed in an accident while repairing his car. We were stunned to read the brief account in the Mankato Free Press:

Chad R. Oudekerk, an instructor at South Central College, died Sunday when a vehicle he was working on fell. Police received a call at 3 p.m. about a person trapped under a vehicle in a parking lot of NAPA Auto Parts at 2000 North Riverfront Drive. Police determined a jack holding the vehicle up had fallen. Police say Oudekerk, 42, was dead at the scene. Oudekerk had been an instructor in Small Business Management at SCC for five years and worked with area business owners to improve the management of their enterprises.

Chad left behind Mary, his wife, and two teenage children. He was a kind and generous man who was a skilled instructor, was passionate about his work, and found multiple ways to give back to our communities. We will miss his presence and dedication to students.

Good News Going Forward
Dan Sprague has secured the largest teaching contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in SCC's history. "We're very pleased and honored to be invited back for our 10th year to teach MnDOT's Business Development classes," said Dan. These classes are designed to improve the business skills of contractors that work on highway heavy projects in Minnesota.

Scott Taylor announced collaboration with Arts Midwest in helping teach their ArtsLab project. Participants are fifteen regional arts organizations in an intensive training and mentorship program. "To excel as community leaders, artists and artist-led organizations need to maximize their resources," said Kate Wolford, president of The McKnight Foundation (a lead supporter of ArtsLab). "ArtsLab's peer learning will help these 15 nonprofits boost skills and relationships for adapting to new economic and operational challenges, while emphasizing smart ways to make even better use of current resources."

ArtsLab was launched in 1999 by six major foundations seeking to learn better approaches to building leadership and management skills in community-based arts organizations. The project has been lauded for strengthening the skills and resiliency of Minnesota arts leaders and organizations, growing budgets, and fostering new community relationships.

Support for ArtsLab is generously provided by The McKnight Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, Bush Foundation, and the United Arts Fund.