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Cook County residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Cook County area returned February 28 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 follow-up workshops in June and August 2014.

A program of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, BCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 6,000 community leaders from more than 425 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the fourth time local residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Jeanne Anderson, Rick Anderson, Tracy Benson, Jim Boyd, Pat Campanaro, Amy Demmer, David Demmer, Heidi Doo-Kirk, Jessa Frost, Woody Gilk, Duane Hasegawa, Pete James, Linda Jurek Kratt, Patrick Knight, Leif Lunde, Emily Marshall, Dave Mills, Ann Possis, Amber Pratt, Kelsey Rogers Kennedy, Mike Roth, Jan Sivertson, Steve Surbaugh, Dave Tersteeg, Abby Tofte, and Rowan Watkins.

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.

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Photo caption – Cook County

Participants in BCLP training  February 24-28 included:

Back Row: (left to right)– Rowan Watkins, Dave Mills, Heidi Doo-Kirk, Steve Surbaugh, Linda Jurek Kratt, Rick Anderson, Leif Lunde, and David Demmer

Middle Row: (left to right)– Amy Demmer, Woody Gilk, Pete James, Mike Roth, Kelsey Rogers Kennedy, Amber Pratt, Emily Marshall, Patrick Knight, Abby Tofte, Vic Klimoski (Trainer), and Tracy Benson

Front Row: (left to right)– Ann Possis, Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer), Duane Hasegawa, Jan Sivertson, Dave Tersteeg, Jeanne Anderson, Jim Boyd, Jessa Frost, and Pat Campanaro