Fairmont area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-three residents of the Fairmont areas returned October 25 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 third time the communities have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Stephanie Busiahn, Brandon Edmundson, Tony Fink, Anna Garbers, Chris Gerhardt, Katy Gonzalez, Bryan Gregor, Adam Hinz, Jen Kahler, Kate Kallenbach, Ned Koppen, Logan Peymann, Sara Pierce, Linsey Preuss, Kylie Saari, Kris Seifert, Kathy Smith, Jason Subbert, Suzanne Sukalski, Dustin Tino, Andy Traetow, Sam Viesselman and Liz Wheeler.

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.

 

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Photo caption – Fairmont area

Participants in BCLP training October 21-25 included:

Back Row: (left to right)– Liz Wheeler, Brandon Edmundson, Bryan Gregor, Andy Traetow, Kate Kallenbach, Kris Seifert, Chris Gerhardt, and Tyler Zabriskie (Trainer)  

Middle Row: (left to right)– Dustin Tino, Kathy Smith, Sara Pierce, Stephanie Busiahn, Jen Kahler, Kylie Saari, Katy Gonzalez, Anna Garbers, and Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right)– Tony Fink, Adam Hinz, Logan Peymann, Sam Viesselman, Ned Koppen, Linsey Preuss, Suzanne Sukalski, and Jason Subbert