Demonstrating Leadership by Serving Others

Outside of education and fair trade practices, Lemke’s other passion is caring for her family. She and her husband of 35 years started their own business while raising their two children. Her children then pursued careers in education and research. Lemke is also expecting her first grandchild this summer.


Ann LemkeFor Anne Lemke, servant leadership is not only a professional philosophy, but also a way to lead her life. By her own definition, “A servant leader leads by example - guides, supports, mentors, and coaches.  A servant leader focuses on collaboration to connect ideas and people.  A servant leader emphasizes the positive.  A servant leader is humble, yet willing to speak honestly and from the heart.  A servant leader listens to understand.”

As Lemke works toward her Master’s in Organizational Change Leadership degree, she is also dedicated to helping others receive the training needed to find work. Lemke serves as the Grant Manager on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program for Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The grants that Lemke manages benefit veterans, unemployed, under-employed, and low-skilled workers to help them find pathways to careers in Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Dodge, and Washington counties in Wisconsin.

“I’ve helped literally hundreds of students over the past five years in manufacturing, IT, and health care training,” Lemke said. “I really love it because I get to have all the inside and outside collaborations statewide and even nationally. It’s a crazy mix of project management, student recruitment and support, but the best part is enabling student success and getting to shake a student’s hand or give them a hug when they graduate and get a job at the end.”

To advance in the world of grants and to ensure career stability, Lemke began doing research on master’s programs. Organizational Change Leadership was a good fit for her because of the flexibility of the program and because she is already immersed in leadership initiatives at her college and beyond.

“Within each course, everybody is bringing their own unique experiences, backgrounds, and thinking to the online discussions. I have learned so much from fellow classmates!  I’m usually the one emphasizing social justice and fair trade in the discussions.  As a part of our employee engagement plan at Moraine Park, and for my final master’s capstone project, I will be helping lead facilitator training at our college,” Lemke said.

Lemke’s servant leadership continues through her work in the community, where she uses her diverse background of management, leadership, and grant writing to support fair trade initiatives. She volunteers as a grant writer and previously served as the board president at Just Fare Market, a non-profit fair trade market in Fond du Lac. Lemke was also instrumental to Moraine Park Technical College becoming the first official fair trade technical college in the nation in May 2015.

“Fair trade is my passion. It’s a way that you can help from wherever you live to make a little difference in the global village,” Lemke said. “Servant leadership has always been in my heart even though years ago I didn’t know that’s what it was called. It totally makes sense for how I live and work.”

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