Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Paynesville area returned January 29 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:
James Anfinson, Nate Bork, Megan Brick, Ann Friederichs, Terri Geers, Robin Gray, Andrew Hendrickson, Bryna Hendrickson, Michelle Karol, Ric Koehn, Kayla Loesch, Logan Louis, Steven Mages, David Oehrlein, Amy Osendorf, Mike Osendorf, Brandon Pietsch, Jared Scheierl, Tami Stanger, Jeff Thompson, Maggie Utsch, Beth Voss, Sheri Wegner and Jolene Zachman
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.