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International Falls area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat


International Falls area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-three residents of the International Falls area returned February 13 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 follow-up workshops in May and August.

A program of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, BCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 6,000 community leaders from more than 425 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the sixth time residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Tyler Borgen, Robin Bjorkquist, Ariana Daniel, Molly Franz, Jackie Glowack, Alysa Hackenmueller, Fr. Ben Hadrich, Perryn Hedlund, Tom Holt, Nancy Lee, Adam Mannausau, Heather McBride, Kelly Millerbernd, Darren Olson, Pam Oveson, Barb Owen-Boerger, Sonja Pelland, Jake Piekarski, Teresa Rom, Ted Saxton, Jason Sjoblom, Jenn Windels and Jim Yount.

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, 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.