Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Alexandria area returned April 27 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 fourth time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Andrea Allyn, Tara Bitzan, Tammy Boushek, Tam Bukowski, Dave Christman, Molly Comer, Joel Dahlheimer, Scott Deitz, Kandace Creel Falcón, Nicole Fernholz, Connie Fields, Preeti Yonjon Feist, Matt Gilbertson, Kevin Guenther, Chris Huether, Alan Iverson, Jen Jabas, Todd Jensen, Susan Keehn, Jake Mach, Tyler Notch, Jackie Peters, Nathan Reinbold, Rick Sansted, Sara Stadtherr and Kevin Taylor.
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.
Photo caption – Alexandria area
Participants in BCLP training April 23-27 included:
Back Row: (left to right)– Mary Jo Wimmer (Trainer), Rick Sansted, Andrea Allyn, Connie Fields, Preeti Yonjon Feist, Tam Bukowski, Jen Jabas, Todd Jensen, and Kevin Guenther
Middle Row: (left to right)– Bill Blackwell Jr.(Trainer), Molly Comer, Kevin Taylor, Chris Huether, Tammy Boushek, Tara Bitzan, Nicole Fernholz, Scott Deitz, Kandace Creel Falcón, Susan Keehn, Joel Dahlheimer, and Ed Zabinski (Trainer)
Front Row: (left to right)– Alan Iverson, Nathan Reinbold, Jake Mach, Matt Gilbertson, Tyler Notch, Sara Stadtherr, Jackie Peters, and Dave Christman