La Crescent area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-three residents of the La Crescent area returned January 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 second time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Jerry Berns, Ruth Berns, Deana Caron, Joe Caron, Jen Conroy, Jeff Copp, Abby Dean, Mike Dohnalik, David Ebner, Mike Ernster, Jen Etrheim, Chris Fortsch, Cherryl Jostad, Brett Kemmer, Angel Klankowski, Michelle McLellan, Travis Minegar, Susan Oddsen, Teresa O’Donnell-Ebner, Lynn Reynolds, Beth Theede, Paul Theede and Brooke White.

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.

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Photo caption – La Crescent area

Participants in BCLP training January 23-27 included:

Back Row: (left to right)– Bill Mease (Trainer), Travis Minegar, Mike Ernster, Abby Dean, Jeff Copp, Jen Conroy, Lynn Reynolds, and Teresa O’Donnell-Ebner

Middle Row: (left to right)– Jerry Berns, Brett Kemmer, Joe Caron, Cherryl Jostad, Chris Fortsch, Brooke White, Michelle McLellan, and Sara Schonwald (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right)– David Ebner, Deana Caron, Jen Etrheim, Angel Klankowski, Paul Theede,  Beth Theede, Susan Oddsen, Mike Dohnalik, and Ruth Berns