Patti Gartland and Brian Myres make the case for funding infrastructure in April 1 Your Turn submission to the St. Cloud Times.

March 27, 2017

To The Editor of the St. Cloud Times:

We are writing on behalf of the investors of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.  Our organization leads economic development for the greater St. Cloud community and has six strategic initiatives, one of which is multimodal transportation infrastructure expansion.

This year, for the first time since 2008, the Minnesota legislature is expected to fund a significant, multimodal transportation maintenance and new construction bill. But, will it be enough?  Experts say that at least a $600 million, 10-year investment is needed simply to maintain the safety of our current transportation system.  Local governments, safety advocates, agricultural organizations, the business community and labor organizations have raised a united concern - we cannot wait any longer.

Funding our state’s roads, bridges, rail, air and transit systems is one of the core – and most basic – functions of state government. The 2017 legislature has the opportunity to succeed where others have failed and end the cycle of unsuccessful attempts to deliver on one of the most basic expectations of voters. 

Minnesota has not had a transportation bill since 2008 and the citizens of Minnesota are bearing the cost of inaction. The investors of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation comprise more than 250 community and business leaders.   They incur unnecessary costs every day when their products and services are hampered by congestion on I-94, Highway 10 and beyond.  We also feel the impact of political gridlock in terms of:

o   Lives lost on roads in need of safety upgrades – the number one cause of death for people ages 2-34 is traffic crashes.

o   The cost of inflation to local governments and road builders who otherwise could lock in lower prices, saving taxpayer dollars.

o   The inefficiency of wasted time in slow and stopped traffic.  The population of the state is projected to increase by almost 1 million people over the next 20 years, which will generate thousands of additional trips on the transportation system every day.

o   With current funding, key corridors will NOT be improved for the next 20 years: I-94, Highways 10, 14, 23, 169, 212, and 610.   Additionally, hundreds of miles of county and city roadways are known to need substantive improvements but no funding is available to complete them.  

o   The 2017 Legislature can leave a positive legacy by funding a meaningful transportation bill, this session, which will help to solve the crises of our roadways.

There are 5,303,925 Minnesotans who rely on our transportation system every day.  It is in the interest of every citizen that our political leaders work together to solve our transportation infrastructure problems and risks. If not funded our transportation systems will be increasingly unsafe and more expensive with each year the legislature fails to act.

The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is hosting a Transportation Summit on April 11 at the Kelly Inn in downtown St. Cloud.  This half day event will convene business leaders, elected and appointed officials, and transportation enthusiasts to discuss regional transportation challenges and solutions.  The event is open to the public but registration is needed at www.GreaterStCloud.com, see Events.

Sincerely,

Brian Myres

GSDC Board Vice Chair and Transportation Corps Chair

Patti Gartland

GSDC President

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

GSDC Hosts Successful Transportation Summit

We had a terrific turnout at our GSDC Transportation Summit on April 11. Our keynote speaker was futurist Glen Hiemstra, who led us in visualizing the future of transportation in the Greater St. Cloud region. Great people with great ideas. Thanks to all who attended!

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

GSDC Receives Campus Compact MN Presidents' Community Partner Award

We were honored to be nominated by founding investor Saint John's University for a Campus Compact MN Presidents' Community Partner Award. GSDC Business Development Director Larry Hosch accepted the award for GSDC at the April 5th Summit and Awards Luncheon. Larry also spoke in the "This I Believe..." segment of the program. And, we congratulate GSDC founding investor and partner, Initiative Foundation, who received the award, as well!

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

GSDC News Release: Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation Announces Tribute and Awards Recipients

St. Cloud, MN, April 25, 2017 – At its annual meeting on May 4, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation (GSDC) will make two tributes and present two awards. The tributes acknowledge individuals who have made outstanding contributions, over their lifetimes, to our community through business success, service and philanthropy.  The awards recognize organizations and individuals who have been a source of inspiration, leadership and support in advancing the mission of the GSDC.

Richard Bernick and Daniel Coborn will be recognized with posthumous GSDC Community Pillar Tributes.  Each led and grew their respective family business, The Bernick Companies and Coborn’s, over many decades.  Throughout their lives they were loyal and generous in their advocacy and support for the Greater St. Cloud community and its people. 

The GSDC Community Catalyst Award recognizes a company or organization that is a leader in initiating and supporting economic and community development in the Greater St. Cloud region.   The 2017 recipient is CentraCare Health (CCH), a founding investor in the GSDC.  CentraCare Health is recognized for its commitment to improving community health through its successful BLEND (Better Living: Exercise and Nutrition Daily) program, the newly launched Feeling Good Minnesota initiative, and its major sponsorship of the GSDC Workplace Well-Being Initiative.

The GSDC Leadership Award recognizes an individual who is actively engaged in the work of GSDC and has made exceptional personal contributions to advancing its mission and the growth of the regional economy.  Marty Moran, chief executive officer of Clear Path, LLC will receive the GSDC 2017 Leadership Award.  Moran was instrumental in the founding of GSDC in 2011 and served as interim CEO during that time.  He has been a member of the board of directors since the corporation’s inception, which has included serving on the Governance Committee and leading the Talent Corps. 

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

GARTLAND PARTICIPATES AS A VOLUNTEER JUDGE FOR THE AAFCM 12-Hour Student Design Challenge

Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation president Patti Gartland acted as a judge for the 4th annual AAFCM 12-Hour Student Design Challenge. The event took place Saturday, February 25 and was hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota. The event’s purpose was to give students a taste of what agency life is like.

Eight teams, comprised of four students each, participated in the 12-hour challenge. During the 12-hour time period, the teams worked to develop a complete marketing strategy based off the brief they were given. Teams had access to advisors representing several different agencies and creative organizations in the area.

At the end of the challenge, the teams presented their designs and working strategy to a panel of judges also tied to the local industry. St. Cloud State University students Emily Jenson, Alec Voigt, Urshana Ismayilova and Jashmin Nakarmi (pictured above) were named the top team.

Posted on March 1, 2017 .

Lyft Enters the St. Cloud Market

Lyft_PressKit_01.jpg

On-demand ride hailing service Lyft is planning to expand into 100 new markets in 2017. 54 of the 100 new locations were launched February 23, increasing its presence to nearly 300 cities nationwide.

Lyft’s newest wave of expansion includes entering into three new cities in Minnesota: Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud. Lyft previously launched its operations in St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2013/2014, respectively.

Lyft now operates in most U.S. states. In 2016, it reported nearly 163 million rides given. To learn more about Lyft and the cities it operates in, click here.

 

Posted on March 1, 2017 .

MAC News Release: Gartland Named Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Patrick Hogan

Feb. 21, 2017   

612-726-5335

patrick.hogan@mspmac.org

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL – The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board today voted to confirm Commissioner Patti Gartland as the board’s new vice chair. Gartland was nominated for the position by MAC Chair Dan Boivin.

“Patti Gartland’s expertise in public administration and economic development are invaluable to our discussions and decision-making process,” Boivin said. “I look forward to working closely with Patti in her new role as we continue to explore new air service opportunities and efforts to improve the air travel experience in Minnesota.”

Gartland was appointed to the MAC board by Gov. Mark Dayton in March 2014 as one of four commissioners representing greater Minnesota. On the board, she has served as vice chair of the Management and Operations Committee. That committee focuses on issues related to the operation of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and the MAC’s six general aviation airports located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

“It is truly an honor to serve as vice chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission and to help ensure the air transportation experience in Minnesota is second to none,” Gartland said. “I am very fortunate to be part of a board of commissioners with such extensive and diverse experience. Through dedication and innovation, the MAC’s 600 employees have built an organization with a strong reputation for leadership throughout the airport industry. I look forward to working with fellow commissioners, MAC staff and the people who use our airports as the industry and our airports continue to evolve.”

A public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the MAC generates more than $350 million in annual revenues through operation of its airports. Those revenues are used to operate, maintain and improve the MAC’s airport system.

MSP International is the nation’s 16th busiest airport, serving more than 37.5 million travelers in 2016. The airport is the largest economic generator in Minnesota, spurring more than $10 billion in annual economic activity and supporting 76,000 area jobs. Fourteen airlines provide direct service to a total 155 locations from MSP.

In addition to her service to the MAC, Gartland, serves as president of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation. Previously, she was city administrator of Sartell for nearly 12 years. She is vice chair for the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership and also has served on the boards of the Minnesota Land Trust and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. In addition, she is past chair of the St. Cloud Area Wastewater Advisory Commission and past board member and chair for the United Way of Central Minnesota.

Gartland resides in St. Cloud.

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Posted on February 22, 2017 .

GSDC HOSTS Networking Event FOR GNP EMPLOYEES

On February 2, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation hosted an informal event where GSDC investors and partners could meet high caliber job seekers whose positions were recently eliminated due to GNP restructuring. The consolidation of executive, management and professional positions by the new owners has resulted in some talented individuals looking for new opportunities in the region. Areas affected by the initial layoffs included Information Technology, Finance/Accounting, Human Resources and Public Relations/Communication. 

Over 20 job seekers were able to connect and network with the 20 GSDC investors and partners who attended the event. Companies who participated in the networking event included:

  • Alltran Health Inc.
  • Anderson Trucking Service (ATS)
  • Capital ONE
  • Centra Care
  • Coborns
  • DeZurik
  • Geo-Comm
  • Granite Equity Partners
  • Initiative Foundation
  • Marco
  • Merrill Corporation
  • Microbiologics
  • Park Industries
  • Preferred Credit Inc.
  • Rinke Noonan
  • SpeeDee Delivery Service, Inc.
  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College
  • Stearns Benton Employment and Training Council
  • Stearns Electric
  • DCI, Inc.
  • St. Cloud Industrial Products
Posted on February 17, 2017 .