So Much to Savor

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President

As the holiday season approaches I find myself reflecting on all that has transpired throughout the year.  At GSDC we are dedicated to supporting our investors – and our greater St. Cloud region - with services and resources that strengthen business growth and economic prosperity for all.

While our founding strategic plan has served us well for the past seven years, our board of directors spent much of 2018 refreshing that plan to reflect our aspirations through 2024. The process included research, analysis, focus groups and your input.  We appreciate the time you took to reflect and comment on our work.  The final, approved version of our 2019 – 2024 Strategic Plan can be found here: Strategic Plan.  We are in the process of aligning our resources with the new plan for 2019 – exciting, indeed!  More on this to come in 2019.

Several new investors and advocates joined us in 2018, including corporate investors Arvig, Blattner Energy, Great River Energy, and St. Cloud ISD 742.  Advocates include Boys & Girls Club of Central MN, Blue Moon Design, Central MN Mental Health Center, Custom Catering, Great North Labs, Hire and Inspire, iiW, ProStaff, Prudential Advisors, RBC Wealth Management, and Spectrum Reach.  And, Granite City Real Estate, Greenfield Communications, REM Central Lakes affirmed our work by increasing their annual investments.  Similarly, founding investor Stearns Bank rejoined at a higher level of investment, as well.  This level of engagement reflects the exceptional commitment of our business community to a vibrant quality of life for our region – and we are grateful.  (click for a complete list of our investors)

Similarly, our Board of Directors has some new faces, including Presidents Robbyn Wacker and Annesa Cheek of St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College, respectively.  Joining them is Willie Jett, superintendent of the St. Cloud Area School District and Caryl Turnow, executive director of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.  In order for our collective impact approach to economic development to be successful, we need thought-leaders from all sectors around the table.  The willingness of these leaders to engage in our work demonstrates their understanding of and commitment to our region’s vitality – for the benefit of all.

In terms of projects, services and partnerships that benefit our investors and the greater community, 2018 has been a productive and satisfying year.  The highlights are many, including the SCSU Winter Institute, our GSDC Well-Being and Talent Summits and webinars, Quarterly Business Report, advancements in and increased utilization of (our regional portal), Select USA Foreign Direct Investment, business retention and expansion visits and assistance, responses to business attraction inquiries, downtown St. Cloud improvement initiative, St. Cloud Regional Airport economic impact and optimization study, our Innovation Awards, Tour of Manufacturing, skilled workers initiative, and TEDxStCloud – to name a few, but certainly not all.  Granted – we’ve got a top-notch GSDC team, but none of this would be possible without the support and engagement of you – our investors and partners.

We’re not a team that rests on our laurels, though – and plans are underway for many great things to come in 2019.  On that note, be sure to save the date of April 11 – our annual meeting.  It will be an evening Octennial celebration.  Watch for invitations to come.  In the meantime, on behalf of our GSDC Team, we wish you a safe and festive holiday season!

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

Community Code Program Offered Through St. Cloud School District

ISD 742 Community Code Program

One of the 2019 – 2024 strategic priorities for the GSDC’s ‘Expand Talent’ imperative is to strengthen the interface of business and education to better meet talent needs in the region. And we’ve identified an excellent opportunity for putting that priority into action!

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 Hour of Code is a world-wide movement that the St. Cloud Area School District 742 is participating in and taking it a step further by offering Community Code. Through community member engagement, the St. Cloud Area School District 742 strives to demystify technology by showing students how technology is powering innovation in Central MN. Students and the broader community are given hands on experience while exploring the power of computer science, starting in kindergarten, through this program.

 At the core of the Community Code program is community engagement. And who better to engage than you and your employees! This is an excellent opportunity to expose and engage with students and their parents to cultivate career path interests that are aligned with your company’s talent needs and opportunities. And, awareness of your company and its powerful brand in and commitment to our region are amplified through your company’s participation.

 Further information about the Community Code program can be found Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist at ISD 742, is leading this wonderful effort and we encourage you to reach out to her to learn more about how you can get engaged in helping shape the hearts, minds and passions of our youth.  Angie can be reached  or 320-370-8123.

 Many of the Community Code events will take place during Computer Science Education Week, December 3-9, 2018. As such, recruitment of community member volunteers needed to make this exciting program happen requires volunteers to sign up as soon as possible. 

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

UPDATE: Exclusive GSDC Investor Event Yields success

We received the following good-news comment about the Professionals In Transition event we held earlier this year. The original blog is below.

“We had the great opportunity to participate in the Professionals in Transition event.  Through this event we were able to hire Ann Thelen.  Although Ann had no formal banking experience she did have all the skills and talents needed to be a leader.  We knew we could train the needed banking skills but a true leader has intrinsic skills not as easily trained.  Ann has brought a level of professionalism to our St. Cloud location that has been inspirational the group of relationship bankers she supervisor. “ Paula Capes, Business Development Manager, Falcon National Bank


Professionals in Transition

As much as our region is experiencing exceptional growth unfortunately we have also witnessed some consolidations, business sector changes and simply downsizing.

The people impacted by these changes have established families and careers here.  They have the desire to remain in our region.  We WANT them to stay in our growing region.

To this point, GSDC has created a model that has worked exceptionally well in connecting these talented employees with employers seeking their skill set.  To date GSDC has hosted two events for Pilgrim’s (formerly GNP) and two events for Capital One.  These events are an exclusive opportunity for GSDC Investors to meet and network with these individuals in hopes to secure a potential new career opportunity or obtain some helpful connections in their search for new employment.

GSDC is very proud to coordinate these opportunities and will continue to do so as we are asked to help secure this top talent within our region.

For more information about these networking events please contact Gail Cruikshank.

Posted on May 1, 2018 by Gail Cruikshank.

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

GSDC Innovation Awards Inspire and Awe

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The recipients of the 2018 GSDC Innovation Awards were recognized at our November 1 meeting of all investors and partners.

A strategic focus of the GSDC is to foster and promote innovative thinking among area businesses and organizations. The GSDC Innovation Awards recognize St. Cloud area for-profit and non-profit organizations employing innovation to solve problems and create opportunities.

 Biodapt, Inc. and Brenny Specialized, Inc. each received an award for a for-profit company. The recipients of the two non-profit awards were Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid/CentraCare and Feeding Area Children Together (FACT).  Each awardee received $1,000.  More info and a link to a video of each are below. 

Biodapt, Inc. was selected for the for-profit emerging company award.  The award recognized the company’s prosthetic products for adaptive sports, including Moto Knee, Versa Foot and Alpine Ski Foot.  The company is located in St. Cloud, Minn.  More information can be found at

 View the Biodapt, Inc. video here: BIODAPT VIDEO

Brenny Specialized, Inc.  received the for-profit established company award for creating their own Young Driver Training/Apprentice program in response to an industry shortage in drivers.   It is a progressive training program that introduces prospective drivers to careers in driving and transportation through hands-on experiences. The company is located in St. Joseph, Minn.  See website at

 View the Brenny Transportation video here: BRENNY TRANSPORTATION VIDEO

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and CentraCare was selected for one of two awards for non-profit organizations.  Through their Medical/Legal Partnership medical care providers and lawyers work together to assure that health care outcomes are not negatively impacted by social problems experienced by patients.  For more information contact Ralonda Mason at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, or Paul Schoenberg at CentraCare,

View the Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid/CentraCare video here: MID-MN LEGAL AID/CENTRACARE VIDEO

Feeding Area Children Together (FACT) received an award for a non-profit organization for its FACT Packs food program, which aims to reduce childhood hunger in central Minnesota with a weekend backpack style food program.  Learn more at  FACT is located in St. Cloud, Minn.

View the FACT video here: FACT VIDEO

Congratulations to all!

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

Employers Reach Talent Through EPIC: Exploring Potential, Interests & Careers

The goal of the EPIC event on February 22 is to create a high-quality career exploration event that bridges education and industry for high school students int he St. Cloud region. It is organized by St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud State University, Central Minnesota Manufacturing Association, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, Career Solutions, MN DEED, Junior Achievement, Rasmussen College and the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. More info below.

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Posted on November 12, 2018 .

Potter Global Engagement Forum, "Trade and Tariffs: A Global and Region View”

Curious about the potential effects of trade and tariff policies? Get your questions answered at the upcoming Potter Global Engagement Forum on November 15 at St. Cloud State University. Info and links below. We encourage you to attend!

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Please join us

November 15, 2018

St. Cloud State University

Trade and Tariffs: A Global and Regional View

Schedule of events

WELCOME from St. Cloud State University

9:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center


Timothy Kehoe,

Professor of Economics – University of Minnesota and

The Advisor to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis



Moderated by Dean King Banaian,

Dean of the School of Public Affairs, St. Cloud State University

The panel features Canada Consul General Robert Pengelly,

China Acting Consul General Liu Jun, Mexico Consul General Gerardo Guerrero and

the United Kingdom Deputy Consul General Martin Whalley.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Cascade Room, Atwood Memorial Center


Moderated by Larry Hosch, 

Business Development Director for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

The panel features Brad Goskowicz CEO of Microbiologics, Joe Francis President and CEO of Central McGowan, Bryan Burns CEO of DeZURIK and other business leaders in the St. Cloud area. 

Information and registration at

Potter Global Engagement Forum in part of St. Cloud State’s International Education Week. Support for the Potter Global Engagement Forum, one of the University’s signature 150th anniversary year events, is made possible in part by our Founding Partners: Chartwells and Granite Equity Partners and their member companies Microbiologics, DeZurik and GeoComm. Thank you for your support!

 St. Cloud State University is committed to legal affirmative action, equal opportunity, access and diversity of its campus community.

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

City of St. Joseph Receives Infrastructure Grant

By Larry Hosch, GSDC Business Development Director

The City of St. Joseph was recently awarded $1,245,000 from MN DEED’s Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program. Funds will be used for the extension of roads, water and sewer services to grow the city’s industrial park to the north and facilitate business expansions in the community. Currently St. Joseph doesn’t have a shovel ready industrial site and the extension of their industrial park will help attract new investment and growth within the community and Greater St. Cloud region. GSDC was proud to support this project by coordinating meetings with the City and DEED, writing a letter of support, and advocating for the project’s merits and needs. We look forward to continuing to support the growth and prosperity of the City of St. Joseph and all communities in our region.


For Immediate Release
October 15, 2018

Contact: Shane Delaney, 651-259-7236

Three Greater Minnesota Cities Awarded Infrastructure Grants

~Funding will support infrastructure improvements in Jackson, St. Joseph, and Faribault~

ST. PAUL – Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded just over $2.35 million in grants to infrastructure projects in the Greater Minnesota area.

The funding awarded from DEED’s Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program (BDPI) was approved for the cities of Jackson, St. Joseph and Faribault. It is expected to create an additional 166 full-time jobs and prepare these cities for future growth.

“These grants demonstrate how state government and the private sector can collaborate to create greater opportunity and continued economic growth throughout Minnesota,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Working together these business expansions will support vibrant communities and create opportunities for growth in Jackson, St. Joseph and Faribault.”

“These cities are laying the groundwork for future economic success while growing their tax base.” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “By utilizing these BDPI grants cities around the state are improving their local economies.”

The BDPI grant program supports counties outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Under the program, DEED awards 50 percent of eligible capital costs for the qualifying public infrastructure projects. These projects include wastewater collection and treatment, drinking water, storm sewers, and more.

The following is a breakdown of the latest funding:

Jackson, $49,328 Jackson was awarded $49,328 for assistance with infrastructure improvements that will supply enough water and water pressure for future expansion of the current industrial park. The future plan is that the new businesses will bring at least 10 full-time jobs.

St. Joseph $1,245,000 The $1,245,000 in BDPI funds awarded to the City of St. Joseph will assist with the extension of roads, water and sewer service to create an industrial park and facilitate two business expansions which will create 24 full-time jobs. Currently St. Joseph doesn’t have a shovel ready industrial site and a new industrial park will help attract new investment and growth within the community and state.

Faribault, $1,057,000 Faribault will use the $1,057,000 in BDPI funds to assist with Daikin Applied’s expansion.  The expansion will provide a sanitary sewer and water main infrastructure. Daikin Applied will retain 500 full-time jobs and create an additional 132 full-time jobs. This project will also help attract additional investment and growth within the community and state.

DEED is the state’s main economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development for more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

 Upon request, the information in this news release can be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Communications Office
Phone 651-259-7149 

 Questions? Contact Us

DEED is an equal opportunity employer and program provider.

Posted on November 12, 2018 .

GSDC 2018 Talent Summit Success!

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By Gail Cruikshank

The 2018 GSDC Talent Summit 2018 was a ½ day event providing employers with educational workshops led by local community leaders sharing ideas, tips and resources on how to gain a competitive edge in the talent market.

Over 190 employers and partners including CEO’s, executives, HR Professionals and Partners left with ideas and suggestions they could implement immediately in their workplace.

In case you missed the event or want to reference the details from one of the presentations, all materials from the event are found on GreaterStCloudJobSpot.

A few comments shared from attendees following the event:

·         The breakout sessions were exceptional!  The topics were so relevant and the speakers were awesome!

·         The morning roundtable discussions were valuable. 

·         Excellent presenter with great networking opportunity with peers to share ideas.

·         Hearing from real, local companies and the ideas and investments they are putting into their business to attract and retain top talent. I love the creativity!

Posted on October 4, 2018 .