When Dana Gillett, joint facilities coordinator at Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin, first joined 4-H, she had no idea it would become a lifelong connection. “I actually started in 4-H as a member when I was in elementary school and stuck with it through high school,” Gillett said.
Later, when her children showed interest in 4-H, Gillett and her family joined a local club. Today she’s one of its leaders.
Kids in 4-H practice leadership and community service as they work on projects that showcase important life skills. Many 4-H members take their projects to local fairs for evaluation and awards. “There are actually thousands of projects to exhibit,” said Gillett. “Those accomplishments [give] our youngsters the ability to learn and experience new vocations to pave their way to opportunities they may not have experienced otherwise.”
As a leader, Gillett helps kids in her club with certain projects, leads monthly meetings and organizes recreational and community service events. “I enjoy the platform to teach them life skills such as public speaking, cooking, sewing, baking, canning, crafts both old and new, photography and animal care,” said Gillett. “I love watching shy children coming out of their shells and becoming responsible citizens civically by serving their communities.”
Alliant Energy often supports 4-H programs as part of its workforce readiness and community engagement efforts – a shared value Gillett notices often.
“The 4H pledge aligns with Alliant’s values and goes like this: I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living – for my club, my community, my country and my world,” said Gillett. “I think this pretty well sums it up and gives me pride every time we recite it at the conclusion of our monthly meetings.”
Alliant Energy recognizes Dana Gillett with a Values in Practice (VIP) award, an honor that celebrates employees who donate time and energy to the communities Alliant Energy serves.
All 2022 VIPs will receive a $500 grant to donate to the nonprofit of their choice. The company thanks Dana and the other VIPs for how they act for tomorrow, do the right thing, make things better and care for others – the very values that shape everything Alliant Energy does.