Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Fergus Falls area returned March 3 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 community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Erik Anthonisen, Amy Baldwin, Stan Carignan, Lauren Carlson, Jerry Covington, Marsha Erickson, Steve Guttormson, Shelley Hedtke, Missy Hermes, Ant Hicks, Katie Johnson, Natalie Knutson, Theresa Lee, Dennis Lipp, Chad Miller, Ryan Miller, Robbie Olson, Tom Rufer, Kadie Schroeder, Shawna Shale, Mick Siems, Emily Sivertson, Jess Steinbrenner, and Patrick Waletzko.
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 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 – Fergus Falls area
Participants in BCLP training Feb. 27 – March 3 included:
Back Row: (left to right) – Steve Guttormson, Mick Siems, Dennis Lipp, Tom Rufer, Emily Sivertson, Robbie Olson, Shelley Hedtke, and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)
Middle Row: (left to right) – Patrick Waletzko, Shawna Shale, Erik Anthonisen, Jess Steinbrenner, Kadie Schroeder, Stan Carignan, Katie Johnson, Ryan Miller, Marsha Erickson, and Jerry Covington
Front Row: (left to right) – Missy Hermes, Ant Hicks, Lauren Carlson, Theresa Lee, Natalie Knutson, Amy Baldwin, Chad Miller, and Julie Steiff (Trainer)