By Kelley Atherton
Triplicate staff writer
CRESCENT CITY Action Del Norte will present its first speaker in the New Ideas! Speaker Series at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
C.Y. Allen, a professional motivational speaker, will address community members in the Cultural Center at 1001 Front St. The event is open to everyone in Del Norte and is free of charge.
Allen is a professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and owns Professional Communication Services.
Reweti Wiki, executive director of the Crescent City-Del Norte Chamber of Commerce and the community initiative Action Del Norte, said the speaker series is meant to invigorate the community. He said they will have a new lecturer every four to six months.
Wiki said the initiative wanted a national speaker and decided on Allen because of Wisconsin's connection to Del Norte. Action Del Norte was modeled after the Community Progress Initiative in the heart of Wisconsin. Its purpose is to create a vibrant community and prosperous economy.
"We're bringing outside people into the community to say, Here's what other communities and people have done and here's what you can do,'" Wiki said. "His message is, Community change must be the community's responsibility.'"
Essentially to take responsibility means that the community doesn't need anyone's permission to reinvent itself, he said.
The session will last about an hour depending on the crowd size, he said. Afterwards there will be a question and answer portion.
"We want it to be as interactive as possible," Wiki said.
He expounded on how in a small area it always seems like the same few people are doing everything and Action Del Norte is trying to get more people involved with the area's issues.
"The perfect person (to attend) is someone who wants to get involved and doesn't know where to start and hasn't considered themselves an able leader," Wiki said.
A lot of people have these perceived boundaries and don't think they have the skills to be more active, he explained. Allen's point is to tell people that they can be a leader, no matter what their abilities are; all they need is that psychological push.
Action Del Norte has had a positive response since its inception in late August, he mentioned. Soon, he said the initiative wants local people to be speakers.
"People have great stories to tell," Wiki said. "I'm starting to see far more local flavor, what works and where we can branch offit's pretty exciting."
Allen has stories that this area can learn from, Wiki said, that's how he can help Del Norte.
"Anything we can learn from a national model and make it local," Wiki said. "If they can do it then we can too."