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


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


Patrick Hogan

Feb. 21, 2017   


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 .


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 .

Webinar: How small Minnesota companies can connect to Ca$h for STEM Internships

Employers, is your company interested in hiring a STEM intern? SciTechsperience, a state-funded internship program, is currently offering to match 50 percent of the intern’s wages (up to $2,500) for participating companies.

SciTechsperience will be hosting a free hour long webinar on February 23 at 1:30 p.m. CST. The webinar will explain how small to mid-sized companies can take advantage of SciTechsperience. Webinar participants will also learn about:

  • Who can participate
  • What a SciTechsperience internship looks like – stories from the field
  • Where and when to apply
  • Why STEM is important to Minnesota's economic future
  • How to help companies in your community take advantage of this FREE program

The SciTechsperience internship program aims to connect both small and medium-sized Minnesota businesses with college STEM students. SciTechsperience provides a low-cost solution for companies that may not otherwise have access to qualified interns. The internships benefit both the employers and the students by helping employers develop solutions to challenges and providing hands-on learning experience opportunities for students.

Click here to register for this free webinar.

For more information, please contact Becky Siekmeier at or call 952-230-4241.

Posted on February 16, 2017 .

New U of MN REPORT: Immigrants and Minnesota's Workforce

 A new report, Immigrants and Minnesota's Workforce, highlights demographic trends that “paint a troubling picture for the growth of Minnesota’s economy,” and it notes that “a focus on attracting more immigrants is an imperative for Minnesota in order to address the challenges linked to the slowing growth of the state’s population and labor force.”

Maura Donovan, Executive Director of University Economic Development at the University of Minnesota, and Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz  led the Committee on Minnesota Workforce and Immigrants in this endeavor. That committee included representatives from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Greater MSP, Governor’s Workforce Development Board, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), MN Dept. of Human Services, and the Greater St Cloud Development Corporation, among others.

The report, as well as the additional related documents, are a resource to begin conversations statewide about workforce issues and immigrants. 

  A news release about the report went out in late January.


Posted on February 3, 2017 .

MN Ranks 9th of 50 in 2016 Well-Being Ranking!

The 2016 Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series, examines
well-being across the nation, including how well-being varies by state and which
states lead and lag across the five elements of well-being. The five elements include:
• Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
• Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
• Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
• Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
• Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

The GSDC Workplace Well-Being Initiative makes the Well-Being 5 Assessment available to regional employers and conducts the survey every other year.

Link to 2016 Gallup-Healthways Report

Link to GSDC Workplace Well-Being Initiative:

Posted on February 2, 2017 .

Community Pillars: Our Continuing Call to Action by Patti Gartland

Earlier this week several hundred community and business leaders gathered at the River’s Edge Convention Center for the 7th annual “Better Together” Greater St. Cloud Community Pillars Forum. For the GSDC, this gathering carries an extraordinary level of relevance and importance. Not only is the GSDC a Pillars sponsor, but our very existence is an early product of the work of the Community Pillars initiative!  

At this year’s gathering, we were first entertained and inspired by Marque Morris, the Eastside Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year. We then celebrated progress made and learned of opportunities to advance the work of each of the nine “pillars” that form the foundation for community vitality. Jon Ruis of the Central MN United Way shared compelling information about the growth of poverty, and its stunning implications, in our region.

Don Ness, former Mayor of Duluth, delivered the key note address.  He offered his insights and suggestions for fostering community vitality and inclusion. He advocated three essential elements for creating positive change: Pride – because it breeds positivity, participation & investment. Vulnerability – because including divergent opinions yields the most positive results.  Courage – because every participant needs to take ownership of challenges in pursuit of effective solutions.

So, our call to action continues. We reflect with pride on the many accomplishments and progress made through the collective efforts of our region. And, may we forge ahead as a proud community that embraces differences and navigates our challenges with courage and tenacity. With certainty, we are “Better Together”. 

More info at:

Posted on February 2, 2017 .