In April of 2017, the GSDC Transportation Summit was attended by over 100 business and industry leaders who were challenged to think beyond the present and create a prioritized plan of action to achieve our region’s preferred future. An action item resulting from the Transportation Summit was to convene CEOs from major corporate interests in our region who are particularly impacted by our transportation infrastructure to work with key elected leaders in creating and taking action to achieve our preferred future.
On January 25th, a Roundtable Discussion on Transportation forum was convened by the GSDC (Brian Myres, Board Chair and Patti Gartland, President) and hosted by Chris Coborn, President/CEO of Coborn’s Inc., a founding investor of the GSDC. Congressmen Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis engaged in a roundtable dialogue with 17 CEOs from the greater St. Cloud region. The forum afforded a group of GSDC investor CEOs an opportunity to discuss in a private, conversational setting, critical transportation issues impacting their businesses and our region.
Following the roundtable discussion, the CEOs have identified three key areas of immediate focus:
1. Advocate for completion of six lanes on I-94 from Rogers to St. Cloud, including construction of an additional bridge crossing connecting I-94 and TH 10 in closer proximity to the St. Cloud metropolitan area.
2. Advocate for federal support and assistance to grow utilization at the St. Cloud Regional Airport upon completion of the Air Transport Optimization study being led by GSDC and funded through MnDOT Aeronautics.
3. Proactively address relief needed from unwarranted and inconsistent regulatory obstacles and impediments for our businesses (e.g. driver age limit minimums, weight and dimension restrictions for tractor-trailers).
A change in the congressional schedule resulted in Senators Klobuchar and Smith being unable to attend the January 25th session. GSDC will be hosting a similar Roundtable Discussion session with the Senators in the near future.
We thank the following GSDC investors for participating in this important conversation and working to increase transportation investment in our region:
- Chris Coborn (President/CEO, Coborn’s Inc)
- Scott Anderson (EVP/Treasurer, ATS)
- Robin Alton (President/CEO, Pan O’ Gold)
- Jason Bernick (Director of Corporate Affairs, Bernick’s)
- Scott Blattner (President, Blattner Energy)
- Joyce Brenny (CEO/Founder, Brenny Transportation, Inc.)
- Tosh Brinkerhoff (President/CEO, Geringhoff)
- Dave Cashman (Corporate Secretary, Spee Dee Delivery Service)
- Chris Clark (President, Xcel Energy MN, ND & SD)
- Jason Ferche (President, J.R. Ferche, Inc.)
- Loran Hall (President, Mathew Hall Lumber)
- Paul Kuhn (EVP/CFO Global Services/Global Platform Organization, Wolters Kluwer)
- Mark Lanctot (President, Sysco MN & Western MN)
- Pat Lynch (President, Granite Logistics)
- John Quade (President- North Central Region, Knife River)
- Dan Rea (EVP-Sales & Marketing, Coldspring)
- Joan Schatz (Co-President, Park Industries)