• Engage Leaders: BerganKDV Annual REST Week Brings Awareness to Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Grow Business:
    • Is a vaccine mandate impacting your company? We want to hear from you.
    • Listening Sessions: Our regional economy and workforce
  • Expand Talent: Collaboration Leads to Success
  • Shape Tomorrow: GSDC’s 2021 Innovation Awards
  • Insights & Inspirations: Safe Spaces Conversation

Welcome New GSDC Board Members!

Engage Leaders

BerganKDV Annual REST Week Brings Awareness to Employee Mental Health & Wellbeing

BerganKDV recently wrapped up its annual REST Week on October 18 – 22. REST Week stands for the four key elements of employee wellbeing: Recharge, Energize, Support and Team Health. The firm launched the initiative in 2020 because of the increased mental strain many individuals were feeling due to a combination of the pandemic and the economic and political landscape of late 2020. What started as a way to share helpful resources around mental health and wellbeing turned into a week of openness and support across all levels. The firm decided to make the initiative an annual event to ensure conversations around championing mental health were continued, not just one week out of the year, but every day.

The main goal of REST Week is to press pause from standard work tasks and take time to focus and promote the importance of mental wellbeing. Featured activities were designed around each key element and included interactive training, curated communications, sharing of mental health resources, best practices and exercises to carry forward for the future.

“REST Week was created to help our employees mentally navigate the unprecedented events of 2020, but the need goes beyond that,” shares Brittani Von Roden, Director of the People First Team at BerganKDV. “Openly discussing mental health and emphasizing the idea that it’s okay to be vulnerable in the workplace is crucial to maintaining a healthy work culture. At the end of the day, our goal at BerganKDV is to celebrate and nurture our employee’s whole selves, and mental wellbeing is a huge part of that.”

After a week’s worth of mindful practices, REST Week concludes with Friday being a company-sponsored day off for team members to reflect on what they have learned and enjoy a long weekend. After another successful year in the books and more positive feedback from team members, it’s clear that REST Week has become a flagship event for BerganKDV. The firm plans to continue the initiative for years to come to ensure that employee mental health remains a pinnacle part of the firm’s culture.

Want to learn more about the activities BerganKDV hosted throughout REST Week? Check out this video recap that shares the many highlights of this year’s event.

If your company is interested in starting a similar initiative, we’d love to collaborate! Please contact Paul Radeke at 320-650-0202 or paul.radeke@bergankdv.com.

Brittani Von Roden

BerganKDV Marketing Director

Grow Business

Is a vaccine mandate impacting your company? We want to hear from you.

Do you have employees quitting or planning to quit due to a vaccine mandate? How big of a concern is the mandate for your organization? The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is surveying organizations to learn more regarding the impact of the vaccine mandate. The GSDC is assisting Luke Greiner, DEED’s Regional Analyst for Central and Southwest Minnesota, gather this information for our region.

Please email your thoughts or concerns to Business Development Director Leslie Dingmann at ldingmann@greaterstcloud.com. (We may include responses, without attribution to who made them, in a future eBriefing.)


Listening Sessions – State of our economy 

On Friday, November 12, two virtual events cover the current economy, workforce, and business conditions. Join us for both events on Friday!

1. Regional Economic Conditions
Friday, November 12 | 9 – 9:30am

How are businesses feeling about the current economy and the near future? How do business conditions compare across industries, and what’s their outlook?

The Regional Outreach team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recently surveyed firms across the Ninth District to better understand how businesses are faring in the current economy and to gauge their near-term outlook. Join Ron Wirtz, Regional Outreach director, for this free webinar to learn about results from the mid-October survey. Register here.


2. “State of Our Workforce” virtual listening session
Friday, November 12 | 9:30 – 10am

Representative Wolgamott, Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Robertson, Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Grove, Representative Noor, and Greater St. Cloud residents will gather to conduct a District 14B listening session via Zoom.us and facebook.com/RepWolgy.

Please RSVP to 
Kyle Smith – kyle.smith@house.mn

Expand Talent

Collaboration leads to success

This is an imperative GSDC lives and thrives by.  Sharing ideas, partnership, and challenges among colleagues and partners helps everyone – and many times, confirms our actions.

During the Benton Economic Partnership Quarterly Membership Meeting, GSDC was proud to facilitate a business leader workforce panel. Practical and creative ideas focused on attracting and retaining workforce trends during the midst of a tight employment market were shared with the group. Panel members included: Pat Welty, St. Cloud Refrigeration; Toby Opstedal, Knife River; Mike Jungwirth, Hydrostat; Dena Hagberg, Jimmy’s Pour House; and Jennifer Erickson, SCTCC.

Below are a few comments shared regarding key recruitment tools and strategies that have proved to be the most successful:

  • Increase the organization’s social media presence to promote the company and employment opportunities
  • Word of mouth from customers and employers can be impactful
  • Focus on opportunities for growth within the organization (i.e. professional development)
  • Competitive wages/benefits are important to current and future employees
  • Create a strong, positive workplace culture
  • Offer scholarship programs

Most important benefits/perks that can make an organization an employer of choice:

  • Visually show staff appreciation
  • Flexible work week/work environment
  • Incentives for extra efforts
  • Healthy company culture focused on key values aligned with employees


Pieces of advice:

  • Hire for attitude. Train for skill.
  • Share about your business and industry with as many people and highlight the benefits it brings to our community
  • Recruitment and retention of talent is the responsibility of all people in the organization – from the executive team to the newest part time employee.
  • Engage with our region’s education partners at both the high schools and post-secondary level. Your expertise and advise are valuable to ensure the future workforce is being prepped with the skills your organization needs to be successful.

Thank you to Benton Economic Partnership for providing this platform to allow employers and community partners to learn from one another.

GSDC is here to connect you with key resources and navigate your recruitment and retention initiatives.  Find helpful information on our GSDC website or contact our team for support.


Shape Tomorrow

GSDC’s 2021 Innovation Award Winners

Since the Innovation Awards’ inception in 2012, the GSDC has honored for-profit and non-profit organizations that developed new products or approaches to benefit the Greater St. Cloud region and beyond.

“Our region is filled with innovators who quietly create solutions to make our lives better, but the public often doesn’t know they were developed right here,” said Leslie Dingmann, EDFP, GSDC Business Development Director and coordinator of the Innovation Awards. “These annual Innovation Awards help remind everyone of the great minds and dedication we have in Greater St. Cloud.”

Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation – Category: Non-profit/Established (operating 3+ years)

The Foundation created the St. Cloud Rotary Community Outpost (COP House), which opened in 2017 with the goal of implementing an innovative approach to community policing. Located on property that had generated over 200 calls for service by public safety in the three years prior to 2017, at 600 13th St. S., the COP House continues to help stabilize the neighborhood by building relationships with diverse community members, reducing crime, providing youth development and enrichment activities, providing access to on-site social and medical services and empowering citizens to be more engaged.

In addition to being staffed by St. Cloud Police Department personnel, the COP House is home to Stearns County social services resources; medical resources from CentraCare; and a Mayo Medical 24/7/365 paramedic ambulance.

Additional information is at www.gscsafety.org/community-outpost.

MK1 Engineering – Category: For-profit/Emerging (operating 3 years or fewer)

MK1 Engineering created the world’s first system to orient corn seed during planting, to precisely optimize and increase yield. Called AeroTube, the technology uses innovative aerodynamics to orient a corn seed tip down with the germ facing the adjacent row to optimize the plant-to-plant relationship.

During Spring 2021, the MK1 team put in over 100 acres of test plots with the AeroTube system across the Midwest. In formal university studies, orienting seed has increased yield by 9 to 29 percent.

With extremely tight margins in farming, AeroTube could potentially double a grower’s income in an environmentally responsible manner, since the technology does not employ the use of harmful chemicals or complex mechanical systems.

Additional information is at www.mk1eng.com.

City of Waite Park – Category: Non-profit/Established (operating 3+ years)

The City’s creation of The Ledge Amphitheater was selected for an Innovation Award because of its creative reuse of a former quarry and an excellent public-private partnership that allowed the venue to be developed in an affordable manner.

The City started with the land donated by Martin Marietta, and worked with many local contractors to reduce costs associated with the project. In addition, the City also found innovative ways to reach out to some of the local nonprofit agencies for assistance in return for financial support of their organizations. All of these efforts assisted in reducing the construction costs of the site.

The result is a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater that includes walking trails and a unique pocket park that offers opportunities for smaller events. The City of Waite Park estimates that The Ledge, opened in July 2021, will bring 60,000 – 80,000 visitors to the venue each year.

Additional information is at www.theLedgeAmp.com.

Wolters Kluwer – Category: For-profit/Established (operating 3+ years)

The St. Cloud-based technology team of Wolters Kluwer, a global provider of information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors, helped the company launch its TSoftPlus Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offering near the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

TSoftPlus supports lender efforts to help small business customers get access to critical stimulus funding, helping retain more than one million U.S. workers’ jobs and thereby helping save many small businesses. Wolters Kluwer’s St. Cloud team delivered nine separate releases of TSoftPlus software upgrades over the course of 18 days when the product launched, working long hours to quickly add servers and optimize code to reduce performance bottlenecks. That’s an incredible timeline, because Wolters Kluwer normally issues software updates about once per quarter.

Additional information is at www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/tsoftplus.

Insights & Inspirations

St. Cloud Safe Spaces Conversation Project

The St. Cloud Community Safe Spaces Conversation 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