Riverland Community College adds member to its leadership team

Published 10:09 am Monday, November 9, 2015

Riverland Community College has hired Kenneth Johnson as the new director of customized training and education, business solutions and entrepreneurship. Community members have a chance to meet Johnson in Albert Lea, Owatonna and Austin on Tuesday.

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Johnson brings extensive experience to his new role in a variety of fields including manufacturing, agriculture, the public sector, retail management, consulting and higher education. Johnson has more than 14 years of post-secondary teaching experience primarily in management, marketing, entrepreneurship, international business and finance.

Through Johnson’s outreach as a business instructor and lecturer at the University of Minnesota Crookston, he worked extensively with local entrepreneurs, farmers, and businesses throughout the northwest region of the state to provide consulting and customized training solutions as needed. In addition, he coordinated several service learning efforts that allowed students to work directly with local business owners on projects as part of their class requirements. He also advised the enactus team, a student club focused on entrepreneurship that teaches effective and ethical business practices, resulting in nine regional championships.

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Always active in his communities, Johnson has served as the president of the Crookston Rotary Club and as second lieutenant in the Crookston Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol, a position that provides training to cadets as leadership and character development officers. He was a University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service award recipient. Other awards during his university career include Outstanding Educator, Best Advisor, Service Learning Faculty of the Year, Most Supportive of Students and the university’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching award.

Growing up on a farm near Rollag, Johnson developed an appreciation for agriculture and entrepreneurship at a young age. Throughout college he worked on the family farm, raising crops and sheep while also maintaining a successful venture raising, training and selling purebred Border Collies to farmers, ranchers, and families throughout the nation.

Johnson has also worked extensively in Asia. As director and senior consultant in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea, Johnson helped create and develop a successful international education consulting company. He also taught internationally as a professor of business in Qingdao, China, and as a marketing professor in Fuzhou, China.

Johnson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from North Dakota State University.

The college has arranged for opportunities to meet Johnson in all three campus communities on Tuesday. He will be in the commons area from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Owatonna campus,  3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Skylight Room at the Albert Lea campus and 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Business After Hours event in the West Building Cafeteria at the Austin Campus.

“We are excited and fortunate to have Mr. Johnson join our leadership team,” said Riverland President ]Adenuga Atewologun. “He will not only play a key role in the continued growth of our customized training and education program, but will move forward with our strategic goals to establish a business- and Entrepreneurship-related campus identity for Owatonna. His academic preparation and professional experience overseas and in the U.S. provide Riverland an important asset to realize our vision to achieve best in class status in programs through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.”

Johnson’s main office will be at the Owatonna campus, but he will work closely with faculty and staff at all three campus locations including Austin and Albert Lea.