From the President: I Had No Idea!

“I Had No Idea!” That was a recurrent comment from so many who attended our GSDC annual meeting on May 4th. The comment was in reference to all we have accomplished since our inception in 2011.  Over the course of 90 minutes, more than 150 GSDC investors and community partners gathered at the River’s Edge Convention Center to hear from our volunteer executive leaders and celebrate the phenomenal progress we have made in advancing the GSDC mission in the past 6 years.

Our annual report (2011 – 2016 edition) was also distributed at the event (electronic format:  GSDC Annual Report).  It showcases the results of our collective impact approach to leading economic development for the benefit of the Greater St. Cloud community – results that were made possible by nearly 37,000 executive hours volunteered and collaboration with more than 100 partner organizations.
Two key indicators are used in measuring our progress:  Job Growth and Wage Gains.  We are delighted to report that our Greater St. Cloud region has outpaced the state and nation in both job and wage gains from 2010 through 2016 (find details HERE ).
The gathering also included updates on each of our six strategic initiatives, the launch of a “strategic plan refresh” for the organization as it plans for 2018 and beyond, the introduction of a regional marketing initiative and electronic gateway to the region and its vast resources, a presentation of awards and tributes, and the transition of leadership for the GSDC Board of Directors. The ‘business feature’ segment was provided by Teresa Mogensen, Sr. VP, Xcel Energy and President, Xcel Energy Transco. Visit Annual Meeting 2017 for photos, videos and a more detailed recap of the annual meeting.
With the year not yet half over,  we have also hosted three additional large events in 2017. The GSDC Workplace Well-Being Summit (February 15th) provided information about and resources for how to create and sustain a culture of well-being in the workplace.  More than 425 attendees heard from 10 area executives on ways they are advancing policy, system and environment changes to support the well-being of their workforce. More information about the event is found here: Workplace Well-Being Summit 2017
Similarly, more than 500 people attended our GSDC Talent Summit (April 6th). This summit provided a place for job-seekers and area businesses to connect.   Visit Talent Summit 2017 for a more detailed recap of the Talent Summit. And, the GSDC Transportation Summit (April 11th) was a gathering of business leaders, elected and appointed officials, and transportation enthusiasts who heard from transportation industry leaders and an internationally known futurist, Glen Hiemstra.   Glen challenged us to think beyond the present and create a prioritized plan of action that will enable us to achieve our preferred future for regional transportation. A more complete summary of the event is found here: 2017 Transportation Summit.
Of note, the Events section showcases upcoming events and provides summaries of past events, so check it often.
On a personal note, June 1 marks my 4 year anniversary at GSDC.  It is truly an honor and privilege to serve this great organization as its President. I invite you to help me celebrate by stopping by the GSDC office anytime on June 1st for a piece of cake or a juicy piece of fruit.
Patti Gartland
GSDC President  

Posted on May 26, 2017 .