Faribault area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Faribault areas returned September 27 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 communities have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Faysel Ali, Laura Bock, Josh Carlson, Edel Fernandez, Becky Ford, Claudia Garcia, Natalie Ginter, Kurt Halverson, Megan Horton, Tyler Jakes, Cheri Johnson, Mark Johnson, Nort Johnson, Tony Langerud, Todd Markman, Kelly Nygaard, Kevin O’Brien, Isabell O’Connor, Cassie Ohnstad, Amy Selly, Erica Staab-Absher, Sonny Wasilowski, Cheryl Wendt and Kelsy Willison.

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 – Faribault area

Participants in BCLP training September 23-27 included:

Back Row: (left to right) Kurt Halverson, Natalie Ginter, Edel Fernandez, Mark Johnson, Josh Carlson, Tyler Jakes, Tony Langerud, and Isabell O’Connor

Middle Row: (left to right) Nort Johnson, Kelly Nygaard, Megan Horton, Cheryl Wendt, Kevin O’Brien, Cassie Ohnstad, Becky Ford, Laura Bock, Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer), and Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right) Erica Staab-Absher, Cheri Johnson, Todd Markman, Claudia Garcia, Faysel Ali, Kelsy Willison, Amy Selly, and Sonny Wasilowski