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Fosston area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Fosston area returned February 14 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 the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Andrea Anderson, Joan Berntson, Brittany Bohland, Brook Burggraf, Nick Carlin, Heidi Danos, Evan Fonder, Nikki Gutterud, Cassie Heide, Holly Lenes, Tami LePier, Shane Linehan, Sarah Manecke, Justin Marquis, Kristi Noel, Mike Norland, Ryan Paulson, Paul Peltier, Randy Rue, Jason Steinbrenner, Dean Vikan, Jake Vossler, Sara Wolfe and Mark Worshek.

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 – Fosston area

Participants in BCLP training February 10-14 included:

Back Row: (left to right) Jason Anderson (Trainer), Ann Glumac (Trainer), Andrea Anderson, Sarah Manecke, Sara Wolfe, Mark Worshek, Holly Lenes, and Cassie Heide

Middle Row: (left to right) Jason Steinbrenner, Heidi Danos, Nikki Gutterud, Tami LePier, Brook Burggraf, Brittany Bohland, Kristi Noel, Nick Carlin, Bill Mease (Trainer), Joan Berntson, and Evan Fonder  

Front Row: (left to right)– Shane Linehan, Mike Norland, Paul Peltier, Jake Vossler, Randy Rue, Justin Marquis, Ryan Paulson, and Dean Vikan