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Image: Park Rapids Area- Group Photo

Park Rapids area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat


Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Park Rapids area returned March 31 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 third time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Mark Andersen, Nicole Brandt, Scott Burlingame, Kevin Cederstrom, Lisa Coborn, Michael Dagen, Butch De La Hunt, Kim Donahue, Amanda Gartner, Rick Harding, Clayton Hoyt, Joe Johnson, Danielle Lien, John Martin, Ryan Mathisrud, Sharon Natzel, Elena Niemela, Joe Peterson, Mary Peterson, Maria Pretzer, Esther Simon, Michele Thieman, Kevin Valencia and Jessica Wirth.

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.




Photo caption – Park Rapids area

Participants in BCLP training March 27-31 included:

Back Row: (left to right )– Ann Glumac (Trainer), Kim Donahue, Sharon Natzel, Michele Thieman, Joe Johnson, and Rick Harding

Middle Row: (left to right) – Lisa Coborn, Doug Allen (Trainer), Elena Niemela, Michael Dagen, Kevin Valencia, Jessica Wirth, Nicole Brandt, Amanda Gartner, Esther Simon, Mark Andersen, Maria Pretzer, and John Martin

Front Row: (left to right) – Scott Burlingame, Butch De La Hunt, Ryan Mathisrud, Kevin Cederstrom, Mary Peterson, Danielle Lien, Clayton Hoyt, and Joe Peterson

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