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Image: East Range Area Group Photo

East Range area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. (February 27, 2018) — Twenty-one residents of the Aurora, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes and Town of White areas returned February 16 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 second time these communities have participated together in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Chris Anderson, Curt Anttila, Ashley Berquist, Tiffany Bockelmann, Becky Burich, Christopher Enquist, Cherie Grams, Hillary Hartleben, Adam Heikkila, Amanda Johnson, Tim Kauppi, Jodi Knaus, Maria Maninga, Joe Pugleasa, Chasica Rasmusson, Peter Senarighi, Nate Skelton, Sue Sowers, Mary Sprague, Neal Thornbloom and Patti Wallert.

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 – East Range area

Participants in BCLP training February 12-16 included:

Back Row: (left to right)– Becky Burich, Neal Thornbloom, Joe Pugleasa, Cherie Grams, Adam Heikkila, Christopher Enquist, Tim Kauppi, and Chris Anderson

Middle Row: (left to right)– Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid (Trainer), Mary Sprague, Jodi Knaus, Patti Wallert, Tiffany Bockelmann, Amanda Johnson, Maria Maninga, Ann Glumac (Trainer), and Ed Zabinski (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right)– Curt Anttila, Hillary Hartleben, Chasica Rasmusson, Nate Skelton, Sue Sowers, Ashley Berquist, and Peter Senarighi

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