Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Blooming Prairie, Ellendale and Medford area returned October 23 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 more than 425 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985. This is the first time these communities have participated in the BCLP leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Jackie Berg, Mark Biebighauser, Alissa Blaha, Mary Cronin, Mandy Doocy, Linda Dusek, Donnavon Eaker, Sarah Esplan, Phil Heim, Mark Ihlenfeld, Tamzen Johnson, Rich Kucera, Dan Miner, Tom Monson, Malia Norton, Jerry Paschke, Jaclyn Schlichter, Naomi Smith, Lon Thiele, Nancy Vaillancourt, Waco Vandal, Alan Van Ormer, Jeremy Wangen, and Izzy Wacek.
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 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 – Blooming Prairie Ellendale Medford area
Participants in BCLP training October 19-23 included:
Back Row: (left to right)- Mandy Doocy, Donnavon Eaker, Naomi Smith, Tom Monson, Waco Vandal, Malia Norton, Linda Dusek, Nancy Vaillancourt, and Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer)
Middle Row: (left to right)- Jeremy Wangen, Sarah Esplan, Dan Miner, Jackie Berg, Jaclyn Schlichter, Izzy Wacek, Alissa Blaha, Tamzen Johnson, Lon Thiele, and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)
Front Row: (left to right)- Mark Ihlenfeld, Phil Heim, Julie Steiff (Trainer), Mary Cronin, Alan Van Ormer, Jerry Paschke, Mark Biebighauser, and Rich Kucera