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 .

Connecting You To Your World: MSP

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President and Metropolitan Airports Commission Vice Chair

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) was created by the MN Legislature in 1943 to promote air navigation and transportation across all levels – international, national, state and local. Now in its 75th year, the MAC owns and operates seven airports including Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation facilities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

 In late September, the 8th annual “State of the Airport Luncheon” was hosted at the newly constructed InterContinental MSP Airport Hotel. More than 600 business and community leaders convened to celebrate MSP – a coveted jewel and economic engine for the State of MN. This claim is easily supported with an impressive slate of facts:

 ·        16th busiest passenger traffic in the nation, serving 38 million travelers and 416,213 takeoffs and landings in 2017

·        Offers direct service to 164 destinations – including the addition of recently announced new destinations of Seoul, South Korea and Dublin, Ireland

·          Generates $15.9 billion in annual economic activity

·        Sustains nearly 87,000 jobs, more than 21,000 of which are directly tied to airport operations

·        Recognized for the second year in a row as Best Airport in North America based on on-premise traveler surveys.

 And, from top to bottom and start to finish, MSP is being reimagined. In the past three years, four gates have been added to Terminal 2/Humphrey, 50 new shops and restaurants have opened, construction of a new 5,000 space parking ramp and 30 additional restaurants is underway, and MSP’s first hotel – InterContinental MSP Airport opened. Of note, Graves Hospitality is the co-developer of the hotel. The father-son duo, Jim Graves and Ben Graves, hail from St. Cloud.

 MSP is a critical gateway and access to global markets for business and industry in our region.  And, one of the key priorities of the MAC is to enhance and optimize the complete travel experience for MSP customers – meaning from the time they book their flight via MSP to their arrival at their destination. For MSP patrons from the greater St. Cloud region, the greatest opportunity for improving their travel experience that is within the realm of the MAC centers on parking and ground transportation.

 In support of efforts to improve total customer experience at MSP, particularly its parking and ground transportation functions, MAC executives recently convened at the GSDC in a CEO roundtable discussion with seven industry leaders from our region. In addition to a range of new technology, pricing and operational options being explored, a variety of helpful insights, observations and suggestions were shared.

 Special thanks and appreciation to our CEO Roundtable participants:

 Joan Schatz, Co-President, Park Industries

Darin Byrne, VP, Wolters Kluwer

Christie Schulte, In House Counsel, Coborn’s Inc.

Aaron Fisk, VP of Human Resources, Microbiologics

Tosh Brinkerhoff, President  & CEO, Geringhoff – North America

John Bryant, President  & CEO, Geo-Comm

Bryan Burns, President & CEO, DeZurik, Inc.



(include a photo – p:MAC:MAC lunch 9 21 18 photos)


Visit or to learn more about MSP. And, stay tuned for the results of an airport optimization study being led by the GSDC for the St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) on schedule for completion later this year.

Posted on October 3, 2018 .

Total Internship Management Workshop

For organizations, a strong intern program can maintain a pipeline of highly qualified candidates for full-time roles.  Internships and other forms of experiential education help students make a seamless transition to the world of work and are a perfect vehicle to increase retention rates, complete short-term projects, and identify future hires.

To promote the value of internships in central Minnesota, Dr. Robert Shindell, President of Intern Bridge, conducted the Total Internship Management Workshop on June 19, 2018. The event was sponsored by Granite Equity Partners, St. Cloud State University, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, the Initiative Foundation, and the Anderson Center, among others.  The workshop helps organizations of all sizes build successful internship programs, and participants learn how to effectively implement an impactful internship program and how to create and maintain a pipeline of highly qualified and educated full-time job candidates.

  Workshop participants networking in the Cascade Room at St. Cloud State University at the beginning of the event

Workshop participants networking in the Cascade Room at St. Cloud State University at the beginning of the event

As an intern at GSDC, I had the opportunity to participate in the workshop and learn some valuable information on how to enhance my internship experience. One of the most important lessons that I took with me is that an internship is not just about completing professional tasks (doing only that would turn it into a part-time job), but also, and most importantly, about establishing a mentoring relationship with your supervisor. The connection that you make with a role model allows you not only to learn the rules of your chosen industry, but also how to successfully transition into the world of work. In that sense, I feel very privileged at GSDC because I get to work with some great people who are helping me develop my professional identity.

For more information about the workshop:

Visit the Intern Bridge website at or contact Dr. Robert Shindell at

To participate in future iterations of this workshop:

Contact Angie Krtnick Complin, Talent Director for Granite Equity Partners, at

Posted on August 28, 2018 .

Announcing GSDC 2018 Innovation Award Recipients

August 15, 2018

A strategic focus of the GSDC is to foster and promote innovative thinking among area businesses and organizations. The GSDC 2018 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. will each receive an award for a for-profit company. The recipients of the two non-profit awards are Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid/CentraCare and Feeding Area Children Together (FACT).  Each awardee will receive $1,000. The organizations will be recognized at the upcoming meeting of all GSDC investors on November 1. 

Biodapt, Inc. has been selected for the for-profit emerging company award.  The award recognizes 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

Brenny Specialized, Inc.  will receive 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

 Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and CentraCare have been 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,

 Feeding Area Children Together (FACT) will receive 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.

The GSDC Innovation Awards are led by the GSDC Innovation Corps, the focus of which is to support progress and developments the greater St. Cloud, Minn. region.

Posted on August 27, 2018 .

All Aboard Minnesota Event on September 26

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Get on Board!  YOU ARE INVITED!

All Aboard Minnesota is inviting you learn about how new rail service through St. Cloud, connecting to the Twin Cities and Chicago, will benefit you and the community!


Great River Regional Library-St Cloud, Mississippi Community Room 106, 1300 W. St. Germain Street, St Cloud, MN 56301

Date and Time?

Wednesday September 26, 2018

 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Overview - Roundtable forum for civic, business, and government leaders

·         Learn about the proposed plans for a second train frequency between the Twin Cities and Chicago, with a possible extension through St. Cloud

·         The potential economic impact for St. Cloud

·         How the citizens of St. Cloud and you personally benefit

·         What you can do to make these proposed plans happen!

·         Ample time for Q & A!

For more information, call 612-781-2894, email:, or visit our site:

About All Aboard Minnesota.

All Aboard Minnesota is a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit advocacy and education organization focused on the expansion and development of more long distance rail passenger service as part of a balanced transportation system. We are dedicated to the development of fast, comfortable, frequent intercity passenger train services within and connecting Minnesota to the upper Midwest.


Posted on August 27, 2018 .

From GSDC President Patti Gartland

August 27, 2018

Growing the Greater St. Cloud Economy Ecosystem: Act Local First.

All that we do and how we do it matters. How we interact with where we live matters. Who we do business with matters. How we connect with people, other life, and the land matters. Meaning, our everyday decisions have a ripple effect. And that effect has incredible power.

According to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), for every $10 million in spending at a local business, 57 jobs are created. That compares to 14 jobs created for the same amount spent through Amazon. Every dollar that is spent with a local business has a multiplier effect as it recirculates within our community - creating more quality jobs and greater stability as more of our family, friends, colleagues, employees and neighbors benefit. It defines why localism is a practice we should all subscribe to and prioritize in our procurement practices.

Localism is about building communities that are healthy, equitable and regenerative - backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient than would be otherwise. It’s about using regional resources to meet our needs - reconnecting eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with communities and natural places on which they depend. It recognizes that we’re all in this together, and that we are all better off, when we are all better off. If you’re curiosity is being piqued, learn more at

Being a “localist” and a practitioner of “localism” is in our economic self-interest. And while we have an abundance of profound examples of localism in play in the Greater St. Cloud region (think Granite Equity Partners, GSDC), our potential is so much greater.

GSDC puts localism in play through our procurement practices. Our first priority is to patronize a GSDC investor enterprise in meeting the needs of the organization. If we’re not able to sufficiently meet our needs through a GSDC investor, our next priority is to patronize local. For example, our recently produced 2019-2024 Strategic Imperatives and Priorities publication was designed, written and printed via GSDC investor companies (Blue Moon Design, Greenfield Communication and Palmer Printing).

All that we do and how we do it matters. So, please, act local first.

Patti Gartland, GSDC President


Posted on August 27, 2018 .

Message from Brian Myres, GSDC Board Chair

August, 2018

 Dr. Annesa Cheek, President  St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Dr. Annesa Cheek, President

St. Cloud Technical and Community College

 Dr. Robbyn Wacker, President  St. Cloud State University

Dr. Robbyn Wacker, President

St. Cloud State University

Dear GSDC Investors, Partners and Friends,

Education is an essential foundation of our region’s past, current and future prosperity.  In our work at GSDC our relationships within the higher education community have never been more important.  To this end it is my pleasure to welcome two new leaders to our board of directors and our community: Dr. Robbyn Wacker, president of St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and Dr. Anessa Cheek, president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC).

Both of these leaders are passionate about and dedicated to building connections within our community that will provide relevant education and a robust workforce for the future.  Current workforce challenges have brought attention to the importance of clear 2-way communication between employers and educators at all levels.  These partnership are essential to our ability to ensure that area students are prepared for today’s workforce and take advantage of opportunities for fulfilling employment and career advancement in our region.

Please join me in welcoming Presidents Wacker and Cheek to our community!

Over the summer we have continued progress on our project to refresh the GSDC strategic plan.  Please know we appreciate your responses to our requests for input.  We are moving forward in building out the final elements of the plan and look forward to sharing with you ways to engage in our “refreshed” strategic imperatives.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the GSDC staff for their dedication to the GSDC mission, and all GSDC investors and partners who continue to advance our shared vision for community well-being and prosperity.


Brian Myres

Chair, GSDC Board of Directors

Posted on August 27, 2018 .