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Fergus Falls area residents complete BCLP training

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grand Rapids, Minn. — In mid-November, 26 local residents from the Fergus Falls area completed a five-day leadership retreat, the first segment of an intense eight-day training that comprises the Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP). The team also will participate in follow-up workshops in February and May 2012.

Since 1985, BCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 6,000 community leaders from more than 425 rural Minnesota communities. This was the fifth cohort focusing on the Fergus Falls area. Most recent BCLP participants were:

Fergus Falls Area cohort

Michele Anderson, Tim Brinkman, Michael Burgraff, Ned Eerdmans, Angela Fiedler, Jim Fish, Karen Hanan, Sheri Holm, Tim Hunt, Denny Johnson, Derrick Jones, Carol Juul, Bob Kandels, Clint Larby, Terry Lejcher, Barb Miller, Laurie Mullen, Mary Phillipe, Rob Rogholt, Tindy Rund, Tom Sippola, Erin Smith, Karen Terry, JoEllen Thacker, Greg Wagner and Tonya Zierden.

The goal of the Blandin Community Leadership Program is to develop and train a broad base of local leaders to build healthy communities. Topics covered during the retreat included: identifying and describing community issues and opportunities, effective interpersonal communication, building social capital, appreciating personality differences, managing interpersonal conflict, understanding community power, mobilizing community resources, and goal setting.

“A healthy community depends on leadership engagement of community members,” said Valerie Shangreaux, director of Blandin leadership programs. “The leadership demonstrated by participants reflects their commitment to rural Minnesota.”

BCLP training programs are supported entirely by the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation whose mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially in the Grand Rapids area. The program is made available free of charge to participants because of an $89,800 Blandin Foundation expenditure that covers all costs for food, lodging and tuition at the retreat and workshops.

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