June 30, 2017
Dear GSDC Investors,
With summer in full swing, I hope you are enjoying our beautiful Minnesota landscape. I recently spent a week off the grid in the Boundary Waters with my 15 year old son and we really recharged our batteries. If you haven’t been off the grid in a while, I highly recommend it! Nothing like Minnesota nature to cure what ails you!
As your new Board Chair, I want to let you know a little bit about me and let you know how honored I am to lead the GSDC board of directors. I am a graduate of St Cloud State University and was a banker for 36 years before retiring from Capital One in 2014 to start Myres Consulting. LLC. I was a founder of the GSDC and the Greater St Cloud Public Safety Foundation, and have served on the boards of the Central MN Community Foundation, Boy Scouts, St Cloud Opportunities, JA Wedum Foundation and numerous other organizations. My wife, Karla, and I live in Clear Lake MN with our three sons and believe deeply in the potential of our greater St. Cloud region.
Six years ago when we founded the GSDC, we wanted to create an organization that would lead the advancement of the economic vitality of our region. We knew we needed to work hard to “sell” the region to retain existing companies and to interest prospective companies in locating here. As we developed our business plan, it became increasingly obvious that in order to really make a difference, we needed to do more than pursue economic development in the traditional sense.
This meant digging deep into understanding how to support area businesses and the employees that make them successful. Hence, six strategic initiatives were identified and working groups of executive volunteers were established: Talent Corps, Wellbeing Corps, Innovation Corps, Transportation Corps, Downtown Corps and Business Development Corps. The purpose of each of these strategic initiatives is to support employers and their development and workforce needs. We have accomplished much in GSDC’s first six years. Details of these accomplishments can be found in our 2016 Annual Report, which is downloadable from GreaterStCloud.com.
In 2017 we are taking time to reflect on the work of GSDC thus far and be deliberate in identifying what we will do going forward to not only continue to promote our region, but also to help build a better community to support our economic development efforts.
Our recent endeavors to grow and expand our economy have revealed that the traditional model of economic development, which uses tax and cash incentives to get businesses to expand or locate here, is no longer enough. We also need to promote the many advantages of operating a business in our region. These advantages include the work ethic of our people, our central location in the United States and the education level of our residents. When we combine these attributes with great infrastructure, a great quality of life and innovation, we have a competitive advantage for growing local companies and attracting others.
In upcoming months GSDC investors will be invited to provide input into our new strategic plan as we map out the next 6 years of our GSDC work. As your chair, I look forward to hearing from you and working together with all our partners to create robust economic growth in our region. Should you care to give input on how we are doing or share an idea, please call me at 320-260-6681.
Brian Myres, Chair