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Image: Image for News Item: Bemidji area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Bemidji area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat


Grand Rapids, Minn. (February 21, 2017) — Twenty-five residents of the Bemidji area returned February 17 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 500 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the fourth time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Denae Alamano, Erika Bailey-Johnson, Cate Belleveau, Anna Carlson, Paul Diehl, Megan FitzGerald  Kathryn Gonzalez, Jeff Haack, Andy Haskell, Sandy Hennum, Drew Hildenbrand, Carl Johnson, Bud Kaney, Scott Knudson, Phil Knutson, Mike Mastin, Erin Messer, Samantha Nienow, Andrea Ohnstad, Carolyn Olson, Diane Pittman, Mark Stodola, JoDee Treat, Shawn Whiting and Ryan Zemek.  

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 Valerie Shangreaux, director of Blandin leadership programs. “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 – Bemidji area

Participants in BCLP training February 13-17 included:

Back Row: (left to right) – Andrea Ohnstad, Phil Knutson, Jeff Haack, Shawn Whiting, Drew Hildenbrand, Scott Knudson, Ryan Zemek, and Paul Diehl  

Middle Row: (left to right) – Ann Glumac (Trainer), Mike Mastin, Andy Haskell, Carl Johnson, Bud Kaney, Kathryn Gonzalez, Denae Alamano, Carolyn Olson, Mark Stodola, Diane Pittman, and Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid (Trainer)   

Front Row: (left to right) – Cate Belleveau, Samantha Nienow, Erika Bailey-Johnson, Anna Carlson, JoDee Treat, Erin Messer, Sandy Hennum, and Megan FitzGerald


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