Albert Lea area residents complete Blandin Community Leadership program retreat

Published 10:05 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

Twenty-three residents of the Albert Lea area returned Oct. 12 from a five-day leadership retreat, the first segment of an intense eight-day training provided by the Blandin Community Leadership program. 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. According to a press release, this is the fifth time the community has participated in the BCLP leadership program.

Local residents participating in the training were Heather Benda, DeeAnn Berglund, Patricia Dahl, David Doppelhammer, Melissa Doppelhammer, Richard Finley, Jerry Gabrielatos, Beau Hartman, Lana Howe, Rhonda Jordal, Holly Karsjens, Shane Koepke, Brad Kramer, Belinda Krysan, Benjamin Lares, Abby Leach, Leonel Lopez-Ortiz, Chris Lowe, Daphney Maras, Charlie Newell,  Ehsannah Paw, Wah Paw and Julia Thompson.

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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 nine 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, with the mission to strengthen rural Minnesota communities.