By Patti Gartland
This past month has been filled with significant events that warrant reflection and gratitude.
On June 13 we learned of SCSU president, Dr. Earl Potter, III’s death in an automobile accident. Our community lost a dedicated and influential leader on that day. Dr. Potter was instrumental in the founding of the GSDC and served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors since our inception. As we go about our work we feel his absence every day. We are profoundly grateful for his contributions and remain committed to advancing his legacy through the work of GSDC and beyond.
On a lighter note, our GSDC office has relocated to the historic First National Bank Building of St. Cloud. We reopened for business in the beautifully restored first floor at 501 West St. Germain Street on Monday, June 6th.
We are grateful that this exciting move has enabled us to…
· Assume a leadership role as co-developer and anchor tenant in a distinctive historic building in the heart of downtown. The building is being restored and renovated by GSDC founding investors Doug Boser and Brian Schoenborn, aka Inventure Properties.
· Increase our meeting room facilities to better accommodate our growing investor base and pool of partners.
· Upgrade our meeting room technology through an exceedingly generous donation of state-of-the-art technology by GSDC founding investor Marco. Thank you, Jeff Gau!
· Continue our support for and collaboration with the Downtown Council by hosting its operation in our new space.
· Grow our partnership with the Initiative Foundation by welcoming its newly established satellite office in our new space through a sublease arrangement.
· Welcome GSDC investor Kensington Bank as our new neighbor in the near-complete restoration of 2nd and 3rd floors.
We look forward to hosting our investors, partners and initiative contributors in an open house in our GSDC suite sometime in the next several weeks. Invitations will be sent. And, to continue the celebrating, building owners, Inventure Properties, will be hosting a public open house for the entire building in early fall.
This month I also had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D. C. as part of a 10-member delegation from the MN Trade Office attending the third SelectUSA Investment Summit. The purpose of the summit is to promote Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S., Minnesota and our region. This event brought together international companies, domestic economic development organizations (EDOs), and a range of other stakeholders to explore job-creating investment opportunities throughout the country.
This two-day Summit was attended by more than 2,500 participants from 70 foreign markets and the U.S. Additionally, more than 22 U.S. Chiefs of Mission and their investment delegations joined President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other administration officials to promote the United States as the premier destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Our delegation was pleased with the number of credible development leads, several specific to our region, and important progress in building and growing the type of relationships necessary to expand our global footprint.
While in Washington, D.C. I obtained a private meeting with Congressman Emmer to hear his first-hand account of issues important to our region. He was equally interested in being updated on our regional matters of concern and to gain insight on how he might be of assistance.
My time in D. C. also afforded me an opportunity to walk the National Mall and to visit the World War II Memorial. It was a little more than two years ago that I had the privilege of accompanying my dad, a World War II veteran, and about 99 other WWI and Korean War veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. We visited each of the war memorials during a marathon 16-hour day. The WWII memorial was his favorite. My dad’s ashes were laid to rest with my mother’s at the MN State Veterans Cemetery on June 10th, the date of their wedding anniversary.
So, with our national 4th of July holiday just a few days away, I look forward to joining other patriotic citizens (including my family) in celebrating with a grateful heart our nation’s independence and our many blessings. In closing, I wish you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day!