Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Call Us

NCO’s Leadership Mendocino Program Thanks Community of Supporters

The following is a press release issued by North Coast Opportunities:

John Mayfield with the late Charlie Barra and others [All photographs provided by North Coast Opportunities]

The cultural bedrock of Mendocino County is materialized by innovation and connection. These two principles can not be achieved without the dedication of community members. Leadership Mendocino, a community leadership program stewarded by North Coast Opportunities seeks to strengthen the county by building up the local business community. “

We think of leadership as a set of traits that people can work on. We are not endowed with everything we need to be a good leader; it takes collaboration” says Program Director Holly Madrigal. “Our local business community is the economic engine of Mendocino County. So, there is great importance in investing in our local employees and communities.”

Established in 1992–by community members such as businessman John Mayfield–Leadership Mendocino has graduated over 700 leaders throughout the county all with different backgrounds and perspectives. Hundreds of different businesses and organizations throughout the county have participated to build on their skills and utilize their strategies for improvement–internally and externally. 

Mayfield has immensely shaped the program into what it is today. Mayfield’s recent generous donation helps the program stay well-equipped to educate more business owners and employees. 

“My wife and I view this as a critical part of Mendocino county” Mayfield comments. “We knew that the program was in need of continuation funds, so we immediately helped out.”

Brenda and Lucy partaking in a Leadership Mendocino event

Across the length of August to May, Leadership Mendocino begins with skill-building, transitions into field visits showing leadership in action, includes panel presentations, class discussions, problem-solving workshops, hands-on experiences, and role-playing modes of education. The program frames each class session around current issues as well as bringing in active local leaders and experts in those areas to keep the program fresh and fitting for today’s challenges as a way to plan for tomorrow. 

In addition to furthering participant’s knowledge of leadership, the program offers opportunities for networking to foster connections and support. Diversity is a pivotal proponent in the program. 

“It’s a way to interact with people on a different level”, Madrigal explains. “We work to have participants from all regions of the county, from different professions and ages. The more we interact with each other, the more we can collaborate and grow.” 

The program does not only curate growing mindsets, but it encourages active community betterment by having leaders choose class projects. Alumni have implemented a wide range of changes from promoting the county’s mental healthcare to educating the younger generation in financial literacy and job training. Ben Anderson of Class XXVII, joined the Manzanita Project board to provide behavioral health for local adults; while, SHN engineer Jason Island, has crafted usable, single-unit design plans that can be accessed at the City of Fort Bragg to assist with the housing shortage. 

Leadership Mendocino explores strategies for addressing local issues. Lessons taught by professionals on the county’s natural resources, agriculture, health, political landscape, education, and culture are all topics to be examined in the next year. 

Julie Featherston participates at a Leadership Mendocino retreat

Actively using one’s skills to benefit those around them develops a network of highly engaged citizens.

“We get so involved in our own efforts that we forget about the rest of the county. Leadership Mendocino is a way to bring us back together and get us involved” says Mayfield. Mayfield’s emphasis on the uniting impact of Leadership Mendocino can be extended to its supporters. Consisting of a diverse group of local professionals–including the Mayfield’s, M&M Feed, and SHN Engineering–to the program’s alumni, supporters continue to help Leadership Mendocino educate and connect individuals to pave the way for even more engagement in the future. 

“I encourage everyone to participate whether that be by supporting the program or taking a class,” Mayfield comments. 

To learn more about how to support Leadership Mendocino, reach out to the program director at Additional information can be found at


  1. This would be much more impressive if it documented tangible, visible change in the quality of life of some people somewhere in the county as a result of the efforts of those involved in the leadership program. What kind of impact resulted from the engagement and connections?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Educator🔸Reporter for KMUD/ Redheaded Blackbelt/Founder of Cold Case Mendocino🔹Local News Junkie

Today's News

How Can I Support MendoFever?

News from the Week

%d bloggers like this: