Attendees of this year’s Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild (MNCEG) Annual Conference and Tradeshow participated in hands-on activities to identify the leadership traits necessary to manage a public facility, including workplace politics, culture, retention, recruitment, and training leaders.

And yes, they practiced these skills using duct tape!

Presenters Brad Kramer and Kris Langworthy partnered to share the critical importance of combining safety with leadership skills.

Safety and leadership are so intertwined that you can hardly have one without the other in a workplace.

Rather than just talking leadership, we decided to break out some duct tape to have fun while demonstrating how leadership and safety skills help businesses retain and recruit employees, mentor the next generation, and shine light on how different people are motivated, among other skills.

I knew we’d see some fun bridge designs when we gave a roomful of professionals with strong mechanical skills some materials and a competition!

Brad Kramer

Owner, Provenio Consulting

Attendees were challenged to build a bridge using only popsicle sticks and duct tape.

Each bridge was put to the strength test and correlations were made between the technical skills and leadership building skills.

The teams discussed:

  • What caused your team to “stick together”?
  • Who rose to take the leadership role, and how did they use their “sticky or shiny sides” to communicate in influential ways?
  • Who were the “strings on your team” (like the strings in duct tape) that gave it strength, and how did you leverage their strengths?

Brad, Kris, and Julie were fabulous to work with from start to finish.

I appreciate that they took the time to design a leadership session that really spoke to our public facilities members and incorporated hands-on activities that engaged their building and engineering interests while imparting leadership and teamwork content.

We had great feedback from our participants about their workshop!

Shelby Couch

Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild

It was evident that merging safety training with leadership skills practice resonated with the MNCEG professionals.

We are honored to partner with MNCEG to support their members who serve facilities and teams across the state.

Julie Kiehne

Business Outreach Coordinator, Winona State University

For more information on Safety and Leadership customized training for your team, contact Julie Kiehne at

About Brad Kramer

Brad Kramer owns Provenio Consulting in Albert Lea, MN. Provenio is a safety consulting & training firm that utilizes Brad’s background in manufacturing, industrial maintenance, emergency response, and safety management to help clients achieve their goals in business. Brad enjoys problem solving, networking, and learning about the businesses in his community to find better solutions and collaborative opportunities that help everyone win!


The Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild (MNCEG) mission is to inspire stewardship of public facilities through education, collaboration, and promotion of best management practices. Established in 1943, MNCEG is an association for employees of the State of Minnesota who are actively engaged in the planning, management, and maintenance of public facilities, grounds, equipment, and systems. The association seeks to provide outstanding educational programs for its members, as well as facilitating information sharing and support between its members.

About Kris Langworthy

Kris Langworthy is a Life & Leadership Coach/Consultant and Founder of Impact Zone Strategies. As a former nurse manager, a workplace chaplain, and a mom of a child with cancer, Kris knows the danger of ongoing stress, anxiety and overwhelm. As a coach, she loves helping people understand how they are “wired” so that they can build confidence, ditch overwhelm, and live a life aligned to their dreams, design, and destiny.

About WSU-Adult & Continuing Education

Adult & Continuing Education (ACE) at Winona State University offers a wide range of non-credit and for-credit course offerings to enhance professional development. Whether through online learning, immersive classroom experiences, or hands-on training, Winona State strives to meet student needs so that they can reach their personal and professional goals. For more information on continuing education and workforce customized training opportunities at WSU, contact Julie Kiehne at