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PLS Program Selects RDO Equipment Co.'s Adam Gilbertson

Wed March 04, 2020 - Midwest Edition #5
RDO Equipment Company

Adam Gilbertson, vice president, has been selected as one of 
the 60 scholars chosen for the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program’s sixth annual class.
Adam Gilbertson, vice president, has been selected as one of the 60 scholars chosen for the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program’s sixth annual class.

RDO Equipment Co. announces Adam Gilbertson, vice president, has been selected as one of the 60 scholars chosen for the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program's sixth annual class.

PLS serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The sixth class was selected after a rigorous application and review process. Scholars were selected based on their leadership growth potential and their personal leadership projects aimed at improving civic engagement or social good by addressing a problem or need in their community.

Over the course of six months, scholars will travel to each participating presidential center to learn from former presidents, key former administration officials, business and civic leaders, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership and exchange ideas to help strengthen their impact in their communities. The program kicked off in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 28.

"It's an honor to be selected to participate in such an incredible program," Gilbertson said. "This is a unique opportunity to work with brilliant minds across the country. I look forward to continuing my focus on improving the pathway to great careers in the equipment industry through partnerships with our local high schools.

Gilbertson has been with RDO Equipment Co. since 2003 and has worked in varying roles from agricultural equipment sales, general management of RDO's Montana John Deere stores, and as the leader of RDO Integrated Controls, the technology positioning division of the company. In addition to his work at RDO, Adam is the president of the Montana Equipment Dealers Association and served in the United States Army and Minnesota Army National Guard for nine years.

"We are proud of Adam's leadership in workforce development in Montana and are extremely excited about the opportunity the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program provides to further his efforts in acquiring and sustaining new talent to the construction and equipment industries," Daryl Shelton, RDO executive vice president said. "Adam has demonstrated a passion to positively impact the communities and customers we serve, leveraging Montana high school intern programs. With this involvement, and a sustaining commitment to partner with other stakeholders, a broader and skilled labor pool is developed for industry."

The latest class joins an active network of 298 scholars who are applying lessons learned through the program to make a difference in the United States and around the world. Examples of these scholar-led efforts include providing employment and mentorship to veterans, helping adjudicated youth to improve job skills and attain a positive self-image, empowering clinicians to speak with patients about safe storage of firearms and deploying much needed resources in the wake of natural disasters.

Since the program began in 2015, scholars have consistently reported remarkable growth in leadership skills, responsibilities, and opportunities for impact. For example, 91 percent of scholars reported their sense of confidence or purpose as a leader changed since beginning PLS, and 96 percent of scholars indicated their exposure to and appreciation of a wider variety of perspectives increased since beginning PLS.

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