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Image: Battle Lake Henning and Ottertail Area- Group Photo

Battle Lake, Henning and Ottertail area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Battle Lake, Henning and Ottertail area returned March 13 from a five-day leadership retreat, the first segment of an intense eight-day training provided by the Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP). The team also will participate in three follow-up workshops.

A program of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, BCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 7,000 community leaders from nearly 600 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the first time the three communities have participated together in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

MacKenzie Barry, Brett Burch, Dan Broten, Judah Burlingame, Jane Cook, Dean Damrau, Julia Everts-DeMars, Christie Fleischauer, Tammy Fosse, Dave Haglund, Wayne Hilchen, Molly Johnston, Nikki Lohse, Casey Love, John Olesen, Jack Rosenthal,  Jess Strege, Amanda Thorson, Jerame Tysdal, Sue Tysdal, Joan Vorderbruggen, Casey Ward, Adam Wedde and Holly Weller.

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 through the lens of the 9 dimensions of a healthy community, 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 Kathy Annette, president and CEO of Blandin Foundation. “The leadership demonstrated by these participants reflects their commitment to their community, as well as to the region and to rural Minnesota.”

BCLP training programs are funded entirely by the Blandin Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area.


Photo caption – Battle Lake, Henning, Ottertail area

Participants in BCLP training March 9-13 included:

Back Row: (left to right) Jack Rosenthal, Jane Cook, Amanda Thorson, Nikki Lohse, Tammy Fosse, Holly Weller, Adam Wedde, and Sara Wernick Schonwald (Trainer)

Middle Row: (left to right) John Olesen, Dan Broten, Dave Haglund, Joan Vorderbruggen, MacKenzie Barry, Sue Tysdal, Julia Everts-DeMars, Molly Johnston, Casey Ward, and Doug Allen (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right) Dean Damrau, Wayne Hilchen, Judah Burlingame, Casey Love, Jerame Tysdal, Jess Strege, Christie Fleischauer, and Brett Burch

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