Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Long Prairie area returned March 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 follow-up workshops in June and September.
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 second time residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Joel Anderson, Tamie Barber, Tammy Cebulla, Ben Dehn, David Determan, Dawn Espe, Esmeralda Estrada, Ted Gray, Lilah Gripne, Bryan Haugen, Devin Hines, Michelle Kiley, Bob Klick, Sherry Kutter, Misty Lemke, Jackie Och, Steve Och, Nancy Potter, James Ruiz, Jason Sellnow, Teresa Sorenson, Eric Streed, Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst, Brenda Thomes, Jaime Villalaz and Noah Wehrspann.
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.
Photo caption – Long Prairie area
Participants in BCLP training March 23 – 27 included:
Back Row: (left to right)- Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer), Bob Klick, Misty Lemke, Tammy Cebulla, Jackie Och, Bryan Haugen, Bill Mease (Trainer), and Tyler Zabriskie (Trainer)
Middle Row: (left to right)- Lilah Gripne, Jaime Villalaz, Eric Streed, Nancy Potter, Ben Dehn, Jason Sellnow, Dawn Espe, Brenda Thomes, Ted Gray, James Ruiz, and Devin Hines
Front Row: (left to right)- Noah Wehrspann, Joel Anderson, Teresa Sorenson, Esmeralda Estrada, Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst, Steve Och, Tamie Barber, David Determan, Sherry Kutter, and Michelle Kiley