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Fourth Inter-City Leadership Visit Destination Announced

(May 21, 2015) MANKATO, MINN. – Columbia, Missouri has been selected as the destination for this year’s Greater Mankato Leadership Delegation Inter-City Leadership Visit (ICLV), an initiative of Greater Mankato Growth (GMG).

A delegation of business and community leaders will travel to Columbia, Missouri November 8-11, 2015 to study innovative ideas and best practices that may be adapted to the Greater Mankato region. Of particular interest will be the way Columbia has addressed top priorities identified by the Envision 2020 community plan that includes focuses on:

  • Business and Economic Development
  • Workforce Development & Education
  • Affordable Housing
  • Downtown Revitalization and Development
  • Sports Facilities

Research has confirmed that Columbia has assets and experiences that the Greater Mankato region can identify with and emulate, including:

  • a highly educated workforce with phenomenal Town & Gown relationships
  • diversity of key industry sectors that mirrors Greater Mankato’s such as agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing and many entrepreneurial start-ups
  • a vibrant and bustling downtown core bordered by universities (University of Missouri, Columbia College and Stephens College)
  • multiple sports facilities - recognized by “Sporting News” as one of the Top 100 Best Sports Cities in the U.S.  
  • an outstanding statewide trail system featuring wineries bordering the river
  • a strong emphasis on parks and recreation
  • numerous and varied energetic and colorful arts festivals

Trudie Gustafson, Vice President of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., concurred that Columbia is an ideal choice for the ICLV. “Intercity Leadership Visits yield new ideas, opportunities and strengthened connections that can translate into big gains for our community’s quality of life and quality of place. Rarely will we have the level or breadth of leadership in the same room as we will on an intercity visit. These trips provide an opportunity for interaction among city, business and civic leaders and facilitates exchange of best practices and lessons learned between two cities. Columbia, Missouri has numerous assets, amenities and opportunities as a thriving community that the Greater Mankato region can identify with and learn from and we are excited they are willing to share their story and experiences with our leadership delegation in early November.”

“My first ICLV trip to Charlottesville, Virginia was a great experience. The city visit was comprehensive and thought provoking with many applications to our (Greater Mankato) community” said Brian Benshoof, CEO of MRCI WorkSource. “Personally, it was also a unique opportunity to forge new relationships with local leaders that have greatly benefited my organization.” 

The planning committee and staff at GMG did extensive research and surveyed past delegates to pick the best city that has experienced challenges and success on a number of key initiatives that align closely with those of our Greater Mankato community. 

The Greater Mankato Leadership Delegation was last called together four years ago in 2011 for a visit to Charlottesville, Virginia. Preceding that experience was a visit to Fort Collins, Colorado in 2006 and a visit to Bellingham, Washington in 2005. This first ICLV visit helped shape the beginnings of Envision 2020 in Greater Mankato. 

The 2015 delegation will again include diverse representation from the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors.

About Greater Mankato Growth
Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) is committed to advancing business for a stronger community. As the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization serving the regional marketplace, GMG exists to intentionally develop the regional center by promoting, supporting and serving as a catalyst for economic development through business growth, retention and attraction, talent growth retention and attraction, regional livability and advocacy of the marketplace. Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. includes two LLCs: Visit Mankato, LLC, which focuses on visitor attraction and servicing, and the City Center Partnership, LLC, which focuses on development in the City Center.



Contact: Amy Linde, 507.385.6647 or alinde@greatermankato.com

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