• Engage Leaders: Big Brothers Big Sisters Big HEro Campaign
  • Grow Business: Quarterly Business Report (QBR) Review
  • Expand Talent: Workforce Listening Session with Representation Wolgamott and MN Commissioners
  • Shape Tomorrow: St. Cloud Technical and Community College & the College of Saint Benedict Opens Multicultural Centers

Engage Leaders

Big Brothers Big Sisters Big HEro Campaign

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota has been changing lives in our community for over 50 years by pairing youth with caring, positive mentors.

Every child in our program is different, unique, and full of promise. Kids need someone who is there to cheer them on, to listen to their fears and anxieties, and to dream about the future. To inspire them and give them hope. We know that kids’ lives are improved for today and for all their tomorrows when a mentor enters their lives. The rewards are just as meaningful for the mentor as they are for the child.

In addition to the safe, positive, and life-changing mentoring relationships our staff help to develop, we also offer educational and enriching activities each month. We have an extensive college & career readiness program that helps youth prepare for their futures. Each month, we offer a Big Futures workshop. This month’s topics are Paying for College and Tips for Applying to College. We also incorporate career exploration into many of our activities.

This Fall, we launched our Big HEro campaign to aid us in recruiting more men to volunteer. Recruiting male mentors is one of the greatest challenges that mentoring programs face. Boys typically wait longer than girls to be matched. Nationally, 66% of youth on the waiting list for Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations are boys, but only 36% of volunteer mentors are men. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota aspires to impact that statistic.

We currently have over 100 kids on our waiting list and offer many different options and time commitments for mentoring. Some of our mentors meet with their Littles at their schools while others meet in the community. We also have a program called Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus where Littles meet with their Bigs at a local college campus. This program immerses kids into the realities and possibilities of post-secondary education.

Interested in sports? We recently launched Sports Buddies, a site-based program where mentors simply show up to participate in an agency-planned, sports-related activity with their Little 1-2 times a month.

Whatever your schedule or interests, we can find a place for you in our program. Join us today and make a BIG difference in the life of one of our kids.

To learn more or sign up to be a Big, visit www.BigDefenders.org


Ann Matvick

Program Manager, BBBS


Grow Business

Quarterly Business Report (QBR) Review

The Quarterly Business Report (QBR) Review will be presented both in-person at Resource Training & Solutions and virtually on December 16th (7:30 a.m. Welcome / Log-In 8:00 a.m. Presentation). King Banaian, Dean of the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs, will discuss the current and forecasted condition of the local economy as well as review the results of the survey discussing St. Cloud area business’ experience with working from home.

The QBR Review is free to attend but registration is required.

GSDC is a proud sponsor of the QBR Review which presents a quarterly analysis of economic and business conditions in the greater St. Cloud region. Business leaders are encouraged to attend to better understand the state of our local economy and outlook for the future.

QBR Sponsors:








Expand Talent

Workforce Listening Session with Representative Wolgamott and MN Commissioners 

 GSDC investors and community members with a passion for advancing workforce opportunities in our region joined Representative Wolgamott, DEED Commissioner Robertson, DEED Commissioner Grove, and Representative Noor for a Workforce Listening Session on Friday November 12, 2021.

GSDC was thrilled to host Representative Wolgamott at the GSDC offices to bring these impactful and engaged leaders to St. Cloud via zoom. Discussion centered around ideas and recommendations to enhance workforce opportunities and to ensure the economic recovery and vitality of Greater St. Cloud continues to thrive.

A few topics brought forth were:

  • Continued efforts to encourage and allow those out of the workforce to re-engage.
  • Revise childcare operational models such as including support to providers and encourage employers to offer incentives to support current and future employees with childcare needs.
  • Revamp gateways and career exploration through employment for future workforce in key industries that are vital to economic recovery including construction, transportation, and manufacturing.
  • Support area graduates to seek employment in Central MN and equip employers with tools to hire International Students more easily.
  • Offer financial support for career tools and supplies needed to begin employment within an industry – particularly the trade industries.
  • Importance of reskilling our workforce to best align with our region’s job growth areas.
  • Less focus on job growth and more around innovation and automation.

Listen to the conversation here.


Shape Tomorrow

St. Cloud Technical and Community College & the College of Saint Benedict Open Multicultural Centers 

 On Wednesday, November 10, St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) celebrated the grand opening of their new Multicultural Center on campus. The event was celebrated with students and faculty, including President Cheek, who said, “The need to feel a sense of belonging is something we all share. It is part of being human. The SCTCC Multicultural Center is our college’s recognition and acknowledgement of everyone’s need to belong. It is a clear indication, a shining signal, and tangible evidence that everyone is welcome at SCTCC.” Read more details about the grand opening.

 The College of Saint Benedict also opened their own Multicultural Center earlier this fall, on September 23 and 24. A variety of leaders – both consisting of students and faculty came together to make the center a reality. “When you look at the walls of the pictures of the students, underrepresented students should be able to walk in here and see themselves, Bennies and Johnnies, represented physically throughout the space,” Malik Stewart, Director of Multicultural Student Services, said. “That, I think, will help those students in particular feel more at home because it’s really important to see yourself.” Read more here.




Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President
pgartland@greaterstcloud.com | 320-260-2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director
ldingmann@greaterstcloud.com | 320-493-9003

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director 
gcruikshank@greaterstcloud.com | 320-260-6775

Amelia Barkley, Communications & Program Specialist 
abarkley@greaterstcloud.com | 320-292-9296