• Engage Leaders: DAYTA at 10: Why Small Businesses Still Matter
  • Grow Business: DEED Launches New Marketing and Economic Development Platform
  • Expand Talent: Upskilling your Workforce
  • Shape Tomorrow: 2022 mYALP Nominations
  • Insights & Inspirations: Safe Spaces Conversation

Engage Leaders

DAYTA at 10: Why Small Businesses Still Matter

Eleven years ago, Luke Riordan was an intern at a small family medical practice. Riordan’s internship experience opened his eyes to how social media could help smaller businesses compete with the giants in their industries. With each new call generated by his work, he could see in real-time how marketing made a difference for small businesses. A year later, Riordan’s passion for helping small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) level the marketing playing field led to the creation of DAYTA Marketing. Social media marketing is ubiquitous today, but 10 years ago, it was a largely underutilized tool.

Riordan saw the emergence of social media for what it is: An opportunity for SMBs, as job creators and community advocates, to outshine their larger, less nimble competitors by taking advantage of social media’s firsthand data and highly accessible platforms. Since the social media boom of the 2010s, monopolies have emerged and are becoming increasingly (read: worryingly) common. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix — each of these major players have made kingdoms of their industries, and in turn have made the market hugely unfair for all the smaller businesses who must play a rigged game. Now more than ever, Luke’s original observation about SMBs rings true: To thrive and grow, their marketing must be smarter, more data-driven and less wasteful.

DAYTA Marketing has grown over the last ten years to become a full-service agency and consulting partner. However, the “why” that motivates the business hasn’t changed. “Often, our clients are up against giant competitors with significantly larger budgets,” said Riordan. “We enjoy helping them figure out the smartest way that they can defend and grow their business using fractional marketing. Personally, I love seeing the David vs. Goliath story play out in real life. Small businesses are critical components of our economy. They drive the US GDP in major ways, create more jobs of higher quality when compared to large corporate organizations, and contribute more to philanthropy than their Big Business counterparts.” “What’s more, small businesses often have deep roots in their communities and those long-standing reputations help to keep local dollars circulating through other local businesses,” said Riordan. DAYTA celebrated their 10-year anniversary on October 15th, with an outdoor party with the Pizza Barn food truck serving up pizza to clients and friends. “I’m honored by all of the support we’ve received from this community in the last decade,” said Riordan. “We’re set up to continue growing with our clients and to celebrate many more anniversaries in the future.”



Grow Business

DEED Launches New Marketing and Economic Development Platform

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched a new marketing platform and economic development website, joinusmn.com, designed to promote Minnesota as a world-class destination to build a business and expand careers.

The platform was developed in partnership with business leaders across Minnesota as well as with the input from the Minnesota Marketing Partnership (MMP), a public-private partnership working together to develop initiatives to promote Minnesota and its business economy. GSDC is long time member of the MMP, including representation on the MMP Executive Committee by Leslie Dingmann, GSDC Business Development Director. Partnering with the State and regional economic development organizations in promoting Minnesota is a key priority in GSDC’s business attraction strategy.

We want to hear from you! Business leaders from greater St. Cloud can share their business success story with MN DEED to be featured on the site. Share your story HERE.


Expand Talent

Upskilling Employees & Incumbent Worker Program

Upskilling employees continues to prove to be a successful retention initiative, especially in today’s tight labor market. Many employees find value in knowing they have opportunities to grow and enhance their skill set in their current workplace. In addition, employees feel valued when employers focus on enhancing their skills to deepen the value brought to the company and their future.

To help you coordinate and facilitate this training, consider the Incumbent Worker Training programs provided by a key GSDC partner – Career Solutions.

Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is a business-driven program designed to provide direct financial assistance to train current employees to avert a layoff and/or improve the economic competitiveness of regional businesses. The program is intended to offset a portion, via reimbursement, of the businesses’ costs to train and upgrade the skills of its incumbent workers. Additionally, the program will provide reimbursement to eligible businesses for specific training costs accrued during training.

Career Solutions, a partner in CareerForce St. Cloud, offer IWTP to local employers. According to Angie Dahle, Business Services Manager at Career Solutions, “This is such a generous program for employers! It has been so great to help our local businesses get their workforce to that next level to help with their efficiency and overall productivity within their organizations. The application process is easy. Career Solutions assist businesses and training providers in the development/ approval of IWTP applications and provide on-going technical assistance as needed.”

Angela Mortezaee from St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc – also a GSDC Investor. said, “We used the IWTP to provide additional welding and computer skills training to our workforce. Not only are we able to offer additional skill sets to our customers thanks to the welding training, but our team members are also more efficient on the computer. Thanks to the IWTP, we were able to get assistance with the training costs so we could off the training to more team members and earlier than we might have been able to, had we not had the additional funding”. Learn more here.


Shape Tomorrow

2022 mYALP Nominations

The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is once again proud to serve as the 2022 MYALP selection partner. Together with Anita Archambeau, who is serving as our volunteer manager, the GSDC is taking the lead on identifying leaders in our community to send to the mYALP program in the Spring of 2022 on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Similar to 2019, this program will be bringing together cohorts of young leaders from across the State to discuss pressing regional issues and strengthen their leadership capacity and organizational intent to deliver positive outcomes in our communities.

We are requesting nominations of the inaugural cohort of young leaders from the St. Cloud region. Nominations should be submitted by November 15, 2021 to anita.archambeau@outlook.com with mYALP in the subject line. Learn more here.

Hear from the 2019 cohort.



Insights & Inspirations

St. Cloud Safe Spaces Conversation Project

The St. Cloud Community Safe Spaces Project is a challenge to all in the community to engage in meaningful and intentional conversation with our neighbors. Created in 2021, Safe Spaces is an initiative and website/app designed to help guide and implement the community vision for a just and safe St Cloud. Connections and understanding through conversations are an essential part of making that vision a reality. Go to mnsafespaces.com to learn more about the initiative and to use the pre-made conversation guide.

The article, 5 Good Reasons to Join the St. Cloud Safe Spaces Conversation Project and 7 Steps to Hold a Safe Spaces Conversation, written by Tracy Rittmueller provides a valuable perspective and insight into why investing into safe space conversation is worthwhile for all of us.





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