Friday’s announcement of the official launch of the St. Cloud Regional Airport Authority was gratifying news for longtime GSDC investors whose major contributions helped make the Authority a reality.

Reestablishing and optimizing air service at the St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) has been a high priority and significant source of investment for the GSDC since we began in 2011. Your engagement, commitment to the vision and financial support were vital to getting the Airport Authority established, which positions STC well for expanding various forms of air service. Congratulations – and thank you – to all of you!

You may recall that the GSDC’s efforts began when retired business executive and founding GSDC Board Member Al Kremers led the crusade to engage business leaders to help the City successfully attract leisure service to Mesa, AZ via Allegiant Airlines. That service continues yet today and has been expanded to include seasonal service to Punta Gorda, FL. We later celebrated the introduction of scheduled service to Chicago with United Airlines, but headwinds prevailed and the Chicago service wasn’t sustained.

The GSDC also led efforts to secure a $250,000 State of Minnesota grant for the City of St. Cloud, working closely with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and STC Airport Director Bill Towle, to fund a comprehensive Air Optimization Study for STC. The GSDC created a stakeholder committee to assist with implementation of that study, one of the recommendations from which was to create a regional Airport Authority.

The counties of Benton, Sherburne and Stearns were also crucial to making the Authority a reality, and we were pleased to work closely with them for several years to bring this to fruition. The agreement to transition governance of the St. Cloud Regional Airport from the City of St. Cloud to a Regional Airport Authority has been a long time in the coming, but well worth the wait.

The Authority is comprised of these Commissioners, listed by the body that appointed each: Chair Brian Myres (Sherburne County), Vice Chair Ryan Daniel (City of St. Cloud), Secretary John Quade (Benton County), Treasurer Marshall Grams (Stearns County), King Banaian (City of St. Cloud), Jami Bestgen (Sherburne County), Kurt Hunstiger (Benton County), Angela Olson (At-Large Appointee) and David Weeres (Stearns County).

Going from the St. Cloud Regional Airport to the St. Cloud Regional Airport Authority is much more than a name change. It’s another step up for our community, so please take a moment to remember the role you and others played in making it happen!

More information about the transition can be found in news stories from the St. Cloud Times, KNSI and WJON.


As the tight labor market continues, quality recruitment and retention efforts are crucial. Listen to Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director, provide recruitment and retention strategies that are proving to be successful in the greater St. Cloud region. Listen to the full radio interview on GSDC’s monthly “Get a Job” segment on WJON with Jay Caldwell.


Recruiting tips our local employers have found successful:

  1. Ensure all employees from top to bottom are involved in the hiring process; Recruiting is not just a function of HR.
  2. Employee referrals work more effectively than sign on bonuses
  3. Word of mouth gets applicants – what kind of reputation does your company have?
  4. Ensure your Recruiting/Hiring process is simple and efficient. Is your application process easy, intuitive and job seeker friendly?
  5. Offer the benefits that matter.  Ask your current employees what benefits are the valuable. Some to keep in mind – flexible scheduling, childcare benefits, encourage volunteer opportunities, etc.
  6. Try something new.  If one recruitment initiative doesn’t work for your company, try something different.  Job seekers are changing, you need to also.
  7. Ensure your job descriptions are attractive, concise, and simple. Think of your posted job descriptions as advertisements – informative yet enticing.
  8. Job seekers and employees want to see growth potential and a future at your company.  Ensure your company has a clear succession planning in place to show opportunities for growth.
  9. Recognize and reward your current team. They are the face of your organization.
  10. Use our community resources.  We are blessed in this market with several helpful resources to assist employers with connecting you to candidates.  A few include Career Force, Career Solutions, our local colleges and universities and our local high schools are very open to providing opportunities to engage with students to explore career opportunities.

Listen to the full radio interview on GSDC’s monthly Get a Job segment on WJON with Jay Caldwell.

GSDC is here to help your business succeed. View our website for all the ways we can support you.


The Central Minnesota Community Foundation and Filsan Talent Partners are hosting “Building Equity Through Dialogue,” a series of roundtable community convenings designed to identify and address existing conditions of racial disparity related to health, education, housing, employment, economy and community engagement in the St. Cloud area.





Newport Healthcare, a national network of evidence-based healing centers for teens and young adults with primary mental health disorders, has opened in St. Cloud!

Newport, a has found great success in other communities around the country as the need for mental health services has grown. We are thrilled to open a new residential treatment facility in St. Cloud to expand our reach to three residential treatment locations in Minnesota: St. Cloud, Monticello and Buffalo. Newport also offers outpatient treatment in Minneapolis. We are thrilled to be a newer member of the GSDC as this in an important partnership to us. The GSDC has a proven track record of building and connecting businesses in the St. Cloud area, and we look forward to being a part of that growth to help the families in our community.

Newport believes in sustainable healing, bringing young people from self-destruction to self-esteem by treating primary mental health issues and addressing the underlying causes of high-risk behavior. Newport treats individuals ages 12–27 who are struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety, and/or co-occurring issues such as eating disorders and substance abuse. Through clinical expertise and integrated care, Newport strives to empower lives and restore families while also helping to alleviate the stigma surrounding teen and young adult mental health issues.

Newport Healthcare’s Minnesota locations offer a family-centric approach that encompass clinical therapy, academic or career support, and experiential practices. Nationwide treatment settings include residential treatment centers, Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs), and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) that nurture the physical, psychological, social, and educational needs of individuals. Newport’s programs are in-network with many major insurances, reducing out-of-pocket costs for families, and increasing mental health treatment accessibility and affordability which is so crucial during our country’s current mental health crisis.

Read more about Newport Health’s expansion.

Jenna Binsfeld, HR Manager, who has recently joined the organization, is focused on recruitment and retention of employees to help in Newport’s growth.





Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President | 320-260-2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director | 320-493-9003

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director | 320-260-6775

Amelia Barkley, Communications & Program Specialist | 320-292-9296