Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars annual gathering

was held on February 1, 2017 at the

River's Edge Convention Center

St. Cloud, MN

Why we gathered

The Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars Forum is an annual gathering of hundreds of area residents who have a shared interest in working collectively to advance the region’s top priorities.

The goals of the annual forum are to elevate awareness, increase collaboration, leverage resources, and to reinforce a shared vision for the region.

The 7th Annual “Better Together” community forum featured:

  • Don Ness, former mayor of Duluth, who l presented “How to Foster Community Vitality and Inclusion.”
  • Jon Ruis of Central MN United Way presented a snapshot on the poverty in the greater St. Cloud area.
  • Video highlights of each of the nine community pillars were shown

The event was free and open to the public.


The Community Pillars Initiative got its start in 2010 when 40 Greater St. Cloud area leaders took a bus trip to Dubuque, Iowa—a city that was having great success in planning and executing a shared community-wide vision. They learned the secret to Dubuque’s success was not in the assets the community possessed but in the way in which it collectively used its assets to plan for the future.

On the bus ride home, community leaders realized that St. Cloud had the necessary assets. It was a common vision that was missing. And from that inspiration, the Greater St. Cloud Community Priorities initiative was born.

Today, the vision has been refined and renamed to focus on the Greater St. Cloud Area Pillars of arts and entertainment, community engagement, economy, education, green, housing, infrastructure, safety and wellness.

Want to get more engaged with the Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars? Click here to find out how you can support the Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars.

The Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars is sponsored by CentraCare Health Foundation, Central Minnesota Community Foundation, Initiative Foundation, Morgan Family Foundation, St. Cloud State University, Times Media and United Way of Central Minnesota with special thanks to the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation for hosting the website. The primary breakfast sponsor is Feeling Good MN, a community health improvement initiative powered by CentraCare Health, with additional support from Bremer Bank.