Grand Rapids, Minn. (March 18, 2013) — Twenty-three residents of the Lake City area returned March 15 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 June and August 2013.
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 first time local residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Peter Anderson, Casey Barnes, Jan Bruce, Larry Foster, Cris Gastner, Barb Gunderson, Larry Himanga, Scott Jensen, Craig Junker, Tommy Keller, Gina Lynch, Emma Onawa, Anne Pflaum, Michael Plante, Kathy Jo Rodester, Marcia Savela, Megan Smith, Erin Sparks, Jake Suckow, Pat Swanson, Robyn Udenberg, Jennifer White and Luke Yotter
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.