Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2013, 11:33 pm

'Leaders under 40' program ends

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By Leon Lagerstam llagerstam@qconline.com

MOLINE — A "Leaders Under 40" program sponsored by the Black Hawk College Foundation has ended a 10-year run.

"It was a tough decision," said foundation executive director Shelly Wells Cain, a day after announcing her resignation. However, she said the two had nothing to do with each other.

"We made a decision last year that we wanted to look for something with more of an education mission, and maybe focus more on alumni," Ms. Wells Cain said.

"Leaders Under 40 has been an amazing event. The board years ago realized the importance of recognizing young leaders in our community who were doing great things, and I hope that continues in some fashion."

But it will have to be done without her leadership. Ms. Wells Cain's last day at the foundation is Jan. 22. She will next becomevice president of development and marketing for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

"People loved the Leaders Under 40 program, and we made some truly amazing friends," she said, adding some of the 235 previous winners even became foundation board members and college trustees.

It also helped build an incredible network of professionals, she said.

The program honored selected leaders based on their professional accomplishments, community involvement and civic service.