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Image: Image for News Item: Luverne area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Luverne area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Luverne area returned October 9 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 more than 425 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the fourth time residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Johnna Ahrendt, Mike Davis, Mike DeJong, Lisa Dinger, Judy Fenske, Stacy Gangestad, Tim Gust, Lori Hallstrom, Mike Jarchow, Wanda Jarchow, Ryan Johnson, Jane Lanphere, Tyler LeBrun, Jeremy Lehman, Tammy Loosbrock, Matt Mostad, Mark Opitz, Dianne Ossenfort, Jordan Papik, Phillip Paquette, Dave Riphagen, Craig Rogers, Holly Sammons, Deb Schandelmeier, Sherri Thompson and Caroline Thorson.

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 – Luverne area

Participants in BCLP training October 5-9 included:

Back Row: (left to right) – Tyler LeBrun, Dave Riphagen, Jeremy Lehman, Holly Sammons, Lisa Dinger, Matt Mostad, Jordan Papik, and Mike Jarchow

Middle Row: (left to right) – Ann Glumac (Trainer), Sherri Thompson, Jane Lanphere, Deb Schandelmeier, Dianne Ossenfort, Caroline Thorson, Ryan Johnson, Tammy Loosbrock, Mike DeJong, Lori Hallstrom, Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid (Trainer), and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right) – Johnna Ahrendt, Judy Fenske, Stacy Gangestad, Mike Davis, Mark Opitz, Tim Gust, Phillip Paquette, Craig Rogers, and Wanda Jarchow


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