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Merit’s Don Welch Receives Leadership Excellence Award

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit Network’s President and CEO, Don Welch, has been honored with the Leadership Facilitator Excellence Award from Academy Leadership for 2014. This is the second year in a row that Welch has received this distinguished award. The recognition is given to Academy Leadership instructors who score near perfect ratings on all of their student’s post-course feedback. Welch is an accredited Academy Leadership instructor and began teaching Leadership Excellence courses for the Merit Professional Learning program in 2012.

“Academy Leadership is a great program, and there are some incredible people who facilitate the courses. I really consider it an honor to be recognized among such a group,” said Welch.
Don Welch
The Academy Leadership Excellence and Executive Coaching course, taught by Welch, is an experience in the vital tools of becoming an effective leader. It is a journey of self-discovery, uncovering what kind of leader you want to be. A comprehensive leadership assessment is administered. Course graduates walk away with a personally designed leadership philosophy.

The Ann Arbor-based class sizes are small, allowing for significant one-on-one interaction between the instructor and participants. The response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Welch has received 4.8 out of 5 or above on all of his student ratings.

“It is not the leadership program that you think it is. I have been to many of these, and this one was by far the most informative one I have had the pleasure to participate in,” one attendee commented after completing the Merit course.

Through this training, attendees begin to see themselves as true leaders. As one student commented, “The course will provide you with a look into your own leadership style even if you didn’t think you had one. It is powerful in the realization that leadership can exist in everyone.”

The next course to take is Advanced Leadership & Executive Coaching, which is available through Merit Professional Learning. This course further heightens the skills developed in the first course.

Academy Leadership was developed by an elite group of service academy graduates and ex-military officers turned senior executives. Welch is a natural fit for the Academy Leadership program. He is the former CIO and professor of computer science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He served for 25 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Colonel.

The concepts behind the Academy Leadership program are battle-tested, proven to work in the real world. Improved communication, enhanced creativity, greater collaboration and increased motivation are some of the skills that participants gain by taking these courses.

It doesn’t stop there. The course includes three months of post-course coaching from Welch. As the Leadership Facilitator Excellence Awards indicates, the Academy Leadership courses taught by Welch through the Merit Professional Learning program are successfully developing a wave of creative new leaders.

Register for upcoming courses at

About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations. For more information: