By Patti Gartland, GSDC President
Despite a second valiant attempt by Mother Nature to derail our GSDC Octennial Gala held on May 8th, we prevailed and our #StCloudShines theme was radiant on a stormy evening. Our guests ranged from young professionals to seasoned executives and retirees, and everything in between. Thanks to several generous investors who purchased additional tickets, 18 emerging leaders from the Jugaad Leadership Program and Rotaract were able to join us, as well.
Our unique setting added the fun element we were aiming for. Cold Spring Brewing Company’s latest warehouse expansion, in the former Creative Memories distribution facility, provided a perfect “economic progress” setting for our gala. Where else would you be able to enjoy dinner and entertainment while surrounded by thousands of pallets of White Claw?
It’s always a pleasure to acknowledge people who have been instrumental in our success. At the gala we recognized the people listed below. Please be sure to congratulate Caryl and the entire CMCF team, Tom and Tim when you see them.
· Loran Hall was recognized posthumously with a Community Pillar tribute.
· The Central MN Community Foundation received the 2019 GSDC Community Catalyst Award.
· Tom Grones and Tim Wensman each received a 2019 GSDC Leadership Award.
The evening’s program also included a celebration of what we’ve accomplished over the past 8 years (video links in margin), as well as the innovative ways we are creating success in our region in 2019 and beyond. Specifically, in 2019 we have launched two exciting initiatives that support the new strategic imperatives developed to guide our work going forward. Both are destined to be real game changers for our region!
#StCloudShines is a new placemaking and social media campaign of the GSDC. Its purpose is to build our region’s brand into one that’s positive, strong and dynamic. Special thanks to Lacey Schirmers, GSDC executive volunteer/GREAT Theatre and Katie Virnig, GSDC’s independent contract service provider for the inspiration for - and realization and ongoing management of - this campaign. Check out this video, #StCloudShines, and then follow the “Greater St. Cloud” campaign on Face Book and Instagram.
Additionally, we’re supporting a robust local start-up ecosystem by partnering to bring start-up accelerator programs by gener8tor - gBETA Greater MN St. Cloud and gALPHA Greater MN St. Cloud - to our region. The accelerator programming provides intense development, guidance, and support to local entrepreneurs and startups over the course of four- and seven-week programs. This includes assisting with locating and growing their business enterprises in the greater St. Cloud region. Special thanks to Shannon Wiger, GSDC executive volunteer/Moss & Barnett and Ryan Weber, GSDC executive volunteer/Great North Labs, whose contributions have been pivotal to this endeavor. Shannon convened key regional business leaders to learn about the gener8tor programs and meet those folks. Ryan’s vast experience and expertise in the startup industry have been invaluable to our ability to seize this opportunity. The article at this link provides additional information and a listing of the sponsoring partners for the gBETA and gALPHA Greater MN St. Cloud initiative.
A celebration like this is only possible with the generosity of investor sponsors. We thank those of you who assisted us in providing a celebratory evening:
Event Sponsors: ATS, Microbiologics, Stearns Bank, US Bank
Beer Sponsor: Third Street Brewhouse
Wine Sponsor: BergenKDV
Soft Drinks/Water Sponsor: Bernick’s
Communication Sponsor: Greenfield Communications and Lacey Jean Photography & Design
Partial Donation Sponsors: Custom Catering and Palmer Printing
Site Host: Cold Spring Brewing Company
Emerging Leader Sponsors: Blattner Energy, Brenny Transportation, Richard Ginsburg (MAC Commissioner), Granite Logistics, Lorrain Griffin Johnson, Brian Hart
Event/Entertainment Producer: GREAT Theatre
Our biggest thanks go to our hundreds of investors, partners and advocates in action. Together, we are expanding the economic capacity for our community, providing new opportunities for GSDC investors, and enhancing everyone’s productivity, growth and quality of life!
With gratitude and in partnership,
Patti Gartland, GSDC President