McGregor area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the McGregor area returned October 14 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 first time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Dawn Aubid, Liz Dean, Kim DeMenge, Mark DeMenge, Connor Dargen, Larry Doten,  Nicole Eld, Walt Ford, Ben Gisselman, Paul Grams, Kathy Haugse, Gina Henderson, Rick Herman, Kari Horbacz, Sarah Johnson, Lisa Kruse, Josh Kuha, Dake Olson, Diane Pelto, Bethany Sellers,  Elmo Swedberg, Glory Swedberg, Bill Watson and Janet Watson.

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.

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Photo caption – McGregor area

Participants in BCLP training October 10-14 included:

Back Row: (left to right)- Bill Watson, Dawn Aubid, Gina Henderson, Liz Dean, Kim DeMenge, Kathy Haugse, Walt Ford, and Roxanne DeLille (Trainer)

Middle Row: (left to right)- Janet Watson, Dake Olson, Josh Kuha, Ben Gisselman, Bethany Sellers, Nicole Eld, Sarah Johnson, Diane Pelto, Doug Allen (Trainer), and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right)- Connor Dargen, Mark DeMenge, Rick Herman, Paul Grams, Larry Doten, Elmo Swedberg, Glory Swedberg, Lisa Kruse, and Kari Horbacz