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Thief River Falls area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-four residents of the Thief River Falls area returned September 28 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:

Kiki Anderson, Mike Barry, Jodi Beeson, Melora Bergee, Mark Borseth, Kelsey Brateng, Nicole Gebeck, Cody Hempel, Meg Kolden, Blake Kuznia, Steve Lillestol, Chris McLean, LeeAnn Nelson, Ashley Nerhus, Wayne Nomeland, Angie Philipp, Jake Rantanen, Mark Schmitke, Missy Sletten, Tate Sorvig, Laura Stengrim, John Syvertson, Matty Towse, and Karmon Trontvet.

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 Kathy Annette, president and CEO of Blandin Foundation. “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.


Visit our Partner Directory for more on Blandin Foundation’s support of work in Thief River Falls.

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