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Greater Mankato Growth works tirelessly to both advocate for the marketplace and raise the visibility of our region among policy-makers. Here you will find information on a series of policy issues that are of interest to greater Mankato Growth's members and our regional marketplace and learn how you can become engaged on issues critical to your business.


Policy Priorities

Greater Mankato Growth monitors and advocates on a series of policy priorities that are of interest to our members and regional markeplace. These policy priorities were derived from a thorough vetting process, including surveying of members, consideration and discussion by the organization's Public Affairs Steering Committee, and ultimately, approval by the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Board of Directors. These policies focus on key issues that will support the continued growth and vitality of the Greater Mankato area such as business climate, economic and community development, education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Download the 2022 Policy Priorities here.



Protecting Mankato/North Mankato MSA Status

Greater Mankato Growth, Regional Economic Development Alliance (REDA) partners, and our Public Affairs Committee worked diligently to inform, engage, and provide opposition regarding the proposed changes to the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee to eliminate the Mankato/North Mankato region as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The proposal outlines changing the threshold of the urban area population from 50,000 to 100,000 resulting in the elimination of 144 Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the country, including Mankato/North Mankato. Public comment was accepted through March 19, 2021.

A meeting was held on March 16  with Minnesota Federal Delegation representatives and Regional Economic Development Alliance Partners (Mankato, North Mankato, St. Peter, Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) with Congressman Hagedorn and the Offices of Senator Klobuchar and Senator Smith. These offices supported opposition at the Federal level. Congressman Hagedorn has signed this oppositional letter, along with other representatives from across the nation. Senator Klobuchar and Senator Smith, along with other State Senators, also signed on to a letter from Senate members opposing the proposed changes.

All REDA Partners have submitted letters and comments to the Federal Register, which includes a resolution passed by the North Mankato City Council, opposing the changes. Collectively, partners worked with other cities, counties, and associations to draw additional awareness and support.

Greater Mankato Growth and GreenSeam provided information to members/stakeholders and asked for their engagement in opposing the proposed changes. Thank you to all businesses and organizations in our community and region for providing public comments and helping spread awareness regarding this very important issue.

Additionally, Greater Mankato Growth reached out to State officials including the Governor’s Office, Commissioner of DEED, and our local State Representatives. Throughout the State, all Minnesota Chambers were also alerted to the issue with many providing comments through joint efforts between Greater Mankato Growth and East Grand Forks, both which stand to be impacted by proposed changes.

Linked here is the reasoning behind the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee proposal to OMB. You’ll note their reasoning behind the proposed change is that because the U.S. population has doubled since the implementation of the MSA designation, the threshold for an MSA designation should also double (Page 2 Part A, Section 1). This reasoning seems to omit considerable concerns and depth of analysis.

On July 13, 2021, in a press release, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the 2020 Standards of Delineating Core Based Statistical Areas. Consistent with the Standard Review Committee’s revised recommendation, OMB’s 2020 Standards will maintain the threshold of the urban area population of 50,000. This means that the status of Mankato/North Mankato and 143 other Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) across the country will be preserved.

Get Involved In State and Local Government

Greater Mankato Growth would like to encourage the business community to serve as a voice for your business, industry and marketplace by applying to serve on a state or local board, council, commission, task force or agency. Serving at a state and local level can give you the chance to shape the future in areas and fields where you have passion and experience. Let's work together to ensure Greater Mankato businesses continues to be represented in state and local government.

State Involvement

The Minnesota Secretary of State acts as a clearinghouse for public openings on state agencies. The Secretary of State announces vacancies to the public, referes applications to those who make the appointments, and maintains records of the memberships on the various state boards and councils. The Secretary of State publishes a monthly annoucement of vacancies that you can view here.

Public Affairs Advocacy Process


Public Affairs Steering Committee

Our Public Affairs Volunteers provide leadership and expertise to guide and advance Greater Mankato Growth's public affairs initiatives. Volunteers are made up of diverse business and political backgrounds. 

Public Affairs Steering Committee

  • Jay Weir, Arthur J. Gallagher (Chair) 

  • Chad Surprenant, ISG (Vice Chair) 
  • John Harrenstein, City of North Mankato 
  • Randy Berkland 
  • Susan Arntz, City of Mankato 
  • Ryan Spaude, Eide Bailly 
  • Dave Sunderman, BENCO 
  • Geoff Roise, Lindsay Windows 
  • Andy Willaert, Gislason & Hunter 
  • Dr. Richard Davenport, Minnesota State University, Mankato 
  • Andy Wilke, River Hills Mall 
  • Randy Farrow, Mankato Clinic 
  • David Richards, Jones Metal 
  • Jonathan Guentzel, Guentzel Family Farms 
  • Michael Jacobs, Stinson Leonard Street 
  • Trisha Duncan, Community Relations and Economic Development, Xcel Energy 
  • Christine Powers, Abdo, Eick and Meyers 
  • Melissa Bradley, Snell Motors 
  • Ashley Hanley, KTOE (Young Professionals Representative Jan. 2021) 

The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Family: Visit Mankato City Center Partnership