Nine Rising Leaders from Greater Mankato to Attend Statewide Leadership Conference

February 19, 2024 (Mankato, MN) – Greater Mankato Growth is proud to announce a cohort of nine outstanding individuals who will be participating in the Minnesota Young American Leaders Program (MYALP). This prestigious program, hosted by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, brings together rising leaders from diverse sectors who are committed to driving positive change in our communities.

The MYALP experience goes beyond traditional leadership training. It equips participants with the knowledge, networks, and inspiration needed to address critical challenges and create a more vibrant and resilient community. By fostering cross-sector collaboration, MYALP empowers rising leaders to shape the future of our region and state. MYALP grew out of a partnership between the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership, the Itasca Project, and the Harvard Business School. It shares many themes, as well as some faculty and content with the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.

In May, our cohort will join rising leaders from other communities, including Greater Fargo-Moorhead, Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Greater Rochester, Greater St. Cloud, and Northeast Minnesota for this transformative program. Together, they will deepen their understanding of economic development, learn from innovative cross-sector collaborations, and explore ways to bridge divides within their communities.

Ryan Vesey, Business Development Director at Greater Mankato Growth, emphasizes the significance of this opportunity: “MYALP is a catalyst for personal growth and community impact. Our rising leaders will gain insights, forge connections, and return with fresh perspectives that will benefit not only their organizations but also the entire Greater Mankato community.”

This marks the fourth cohort that Greater Mankato Growth has sent to MYALP, reinforcing our commitment to developing leaders who will shape a brighter future for our region.

The nine individuals representing Greater Mankato are:

  1. Kuldeep Agarwal, Professor at Minnesota State University
  2. Collin Bennett, Project Manager at Knutson Construction
  3. Sabri Fair, Environment and Sustainability Planner at Region Nine Development Commission
  4. Amanda Hird, Mental Health Professional – Psychotherapy and Case Management Clinical
    Supervision at Blue Earth County
  5. Tricia Lewis, Operations & Governance Director at Mankato Area Foundation
  6. Garrett Lieffring, Associate Director of Employer Relations at Kivu Immigration Law PLLC
  7. Adam Massmann, Program Director at VINE Faith in Action
  8. Ryan Marti, Director of Supply Chain at Taylor Corporation
  9. Sam Schirmers, Program Coordinator at Mankato Area Public Schools & Community Education

For more information about MYALP, visit the official program page.


About Greater Mankato Growth
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) is comprised of four business units: Greater Mankato Growth, the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization; Visit Mankato, the local destination management organization; City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization; and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy.

About the Regional Economic Development Alliance
In 2009, the Regional Economic Development Alliance (REDA) began with a progressive group of communities and counties joining together with Greater Mankato Growth in business attraction and development efforts. REDA participants include Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Madison Lake, Mankato, North Mankato, Saint Peter, Blue Earth County, and Nicollet County. By working together, the group is able to efficiently provide regional and individual city and county information to businesses interested in the Greater Mankato marketplace. As a result of promoting the individual strengths of each community, along with the combined assets of the regional marketplace, all experience collective success.


Ryan Vesey
Business Development Director
[email protected]