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

Winona area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Winona area returned November 8 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 follow-up workshops in February and April 2014.

A program of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, BCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 6,000 community leaders from more than 425 rural Minnesota communities since it began in 1985.  This is the fourth time local residents have participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in this training were:

Michelle Alexander, Jeni Arnold, Roderick Baker, David Bittner, Chris Callahan, Dave Derks, Carlos Espinosa, Danya Espinosa, Jade Fang, Judie Foster-Lupkin, Erin Gervais, Will Gibson,  Alexander Hines, Suzanne Horstman, Dennis McEntaffer, Karen Moore, Gaby Peterson,  June Reineke, Michelle Rem, Chris Schabow, Jamie Schell, Mike Skroch, Janneke Sobeck, Brian Voerding, Tom Williams and Marsha Yancy.

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 – Winona

Participants in BCLP training  November 4-8 included:

Back Row: (left to right) – Carlos Espinosa, Brian Voerding, David Bittner, Roderick Baker, Dennis McEntaffer, Erin Gervais, Mike Skroch, and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)

Middle Row: (left to right) – Alexander Hines, Jeni Arnold, Dave Derks, Jade Fang, Marsha Yancy, Chris Schabow, Danya Espinosa, Karen Moore, Michelle Rem, Sara Schonwald (Trainer), and Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer)

Front Row: (left to right) – Suzanne Horstman, June Reineke, Tom Williams, Gaby Peterson, Judie Foster-Lupkin, Michelle Alexander, Will Gibson, Jamie Schell, Janneke Sobeck, and Chris Callahan

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