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Professional Staff

Visit MankatoCity Center PartnershipGreenSeam

Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (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. is comprised of four business units;

  • Greater Mankato Growth, the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization serving the regional marketplace
  • Visit Mankato, the local convention and visitor's bureau
  • City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization
  • GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region's extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy

Click here for career opportunities with Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG)

Please contact us at info@greatermankato.com or 507.385.6640.




Jessica Beyer
President & CEO
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

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Jessica has been with Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. since November 2019 when she was appointed as President & Chief Executive Officer. She has a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in organizational leadership, and a bachelor’s degree in business management and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Jessica has 15 years of leadership, government, community development, sales and communications experience. Most recently, she served as Waseca County administrator overseeing county operations and organizational development across 14 departments. Prior to her work at Waseca County, she served as a Communications Manager, Business Analyst and Public Information Director for a combined 11 years at Blue Earth County. Additionally, she has business experience within the publishing industry. Jessica has called Mankato home since 1991. She has been active in the community volunteering and serving on the Boards of the Mankato Area Foundation, Blue Earth County Historical Society and the Greater Mankato Area United Way. In addition to her community involvement, Beyer has completed the Blandin Community Leadership Program, the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute and the Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Program.

Anna Thill

Visit Mankato, LLC

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Anna has been President of Visit Mankato since 2007. Previous to Anna’s role as President with the CVB, she was employed by the Greater Mankato Area United Way as their Director of Community Impact for six years where she worked with volunteers, community leaders and nonprofit leaders to look at community issues and make funding decisions for local programs. Anna earned her B.S. in Local and Urban Affairs from St. Cloud State and then attended graduate school at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she received her Master’s in Urban Planning. In the summer of 2016, Anna received professional recognition as a Certified Destination Management Executive through Destination Marketing Association International. Anna enjoys spending time with her family, especially more so now that her two sons are older and can partake in more activities with her and her husband. Many who know Anna might be surprised to learn she actually has musical talent, initially going to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD as a music major.

Sam Ziegler
GreenSeam, LLC

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Sam Ziegler has a passion for all things related to agriculture. Being a part of providing food, feed, fuel and fiber to families in our area to families abroad is such an amazing profession to be a part of. In this position, Ziegler works with key ag stakeholders building coalitions along with developing and executing key strategic initiatives that are essential components to realize the aspirations of GreenSeam. Sam spent nearly ten years with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and is a fourth generation partner and operator of Ziegler Farms, located near Good Thunder. Sam enjoys being a father and husband, and for fun he likes playing baseball, hanging at the lake or hunting. 






Rebecca Rosier, ABA
Finance & Benefits Manager
Greater Mankato Growth

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Rebecca has been working at Greater Mankato Growth since April 2011 as the Finance & Benefits Manager. This position entails the management of human resource functions within the organization such as payroll and employee benefits, as well as responsibility for the finances and assets of the company. All the previous positions Rebecca has held pertain to some aspect of customer service. She was previously employed by the accounting department at the St. Peter Food Co-op for more than three years. In May of 2011, Rebecca graduated from South Central College with an A.A.S. in Accounting. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband and daughter.

Skyler Carlson
Business & Community Relations Coordinator
Greater Mankato Growth

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Skyler joined Greater Mankato Growth as a Business & Community Relations Coordinator in August 2019. Skyler has five years customer service experience, utilizing it to be the first person to welcome visitors at the GMG Office. She recently graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a bachelor’s degree in Project Management and certifications earned in CRM Software and Lean Management. Outside of work and study, she loves to go skiing, kayaking, and travel to new exciting places. 





John F. Considine III
Director of Regional Business Intelligence
Greater Mankato Growth

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John joined the Greater Mankato Growth team in early 2013 as Business Development Resources Manager. His position entails gathering information and leveraging resources that are useful to existing business in Greater Mankato, as well as those outside the marketplace interested in locating or expanding here. He also helps coordinate the visits to area businesses through the Grow Minnesota! program. Previous to John's employment with Greater Mankato Growth, he provided information to cities and businesses for six years as Community and Economic Development Coordinator for Region 9 Development Corp. John also served as the economic development representative on the south-central Minnesota Workforce Council. John attended Minnesota State University, Mankato acquiring his B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies/Geography and Masters in Urban Planning. John, who played right tackle on the 1999 West State Champion Football team, is a big-time NFL fan. He also enjoys playing basketball, racquetball, chess and camping (even in the winter). 

Ryan Vesey
Economic Development Specialist
Greater Mankato Growth

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Ryan joined the Greater Mankato Growth team in February 2020 as an Economic Development Specialist. His role entails working with existing businesses to help resolve challenges they are facing, engaging new and prospective businesses to establish locations in the Greater Mankato area, and liaising with education and workforce development partners. Ryan graduated from Windom Area High School prior to attending the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with a BA in European History in 2015.





Liz Sharp
Director of Business Events & Sales and Director of Office Operations, GMG™
Greater Mankato Growth

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Liz has been working for Greater Mankato Growth since the organizations' inception in 2007 as the Business Events & Sales Director. Prior to that, she has held multiple positions with the organization's predecessors, the Greater Mankato Chamber of Commerce from 1994 - 2007. She is responsible for overseeing the implementation and success of all special events for the organization (Business Before & After Hours; Annual Meeting; Business Showcase; Songs on the Lawn; Greater Mankato on the Green; Business Reception at Vikings Training Camp; Tour of Manufacturing; and the Business Awards & Hall of Fame...to name a few). Liz attended the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany. Liz is also a graduate of the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute and the YWCA's Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership. Outside of work, Liz loves spending time with family and friends, gardening and traveling. 

Shannon Gullickson
Leadership Programs Director
Greater Mankato Growth

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Shannon joined Greater Mankato Growth in October 2012 as the Talent Programs Director. She is primarily responsible for overseeing the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute and The Greater Mankato Young Professionals programs. Shannon has had more than 20 years of leadership experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Mankato Area Foundation, Kiwanis Holiday Lights, Camp Patterson, Inc. and the Mankato Kiwanis Education Foundation. In addition, she is a past Chair of the Greater Mankato United Way.  Prior to joining Greater Mankato Growth, she was the Director of Business Development for Coldwell Banker Commercial Fisher Group of Mankato. She also worked for the Greater Mankato Chamber of Commerce for 13 years, serving in a number of capacities, including Vice President. Shannon graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Mass Communications with a minor in Speech Communications. Outside of the workplace, Shannon enjoys skiing, golfing, cooking, baking, entertaining, traveling, and volunteering. 



Jaci Sprague
Director of Business & Community Relations
Greater Mankato Growth

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Jaci joined Greater Mankato Growth in February 2019. Previous to her role as the Director of Business and Community Relationships, she was employed by Junior Achievement of Greater Mankato as the Senior District Manager. There she worked with donors, educators and volunteers to support preparing the future workforce to succeed through relevant hands-on programming supporting entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and workforce readiness. Greater Mankato Growth has proven to be a natural fit with her passion for community and making connections. Jaci was born and raised on a family hobby farm in Hastings Minnesota. She attended Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2005 and has been establishing her roots in the Greater Mankato community ever since. Jaci was recently named the 2019 Greater Mankato Growth Young Professional of the year.

Jaci enjoys spending time with her husband, Dan and two children Raegan and Gordy, especially enjoying the lake activities in our community.

Crystal Olson
Programs & Events Manager
Greater Mankato Growth

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Crystal joined the Visit Mankato team in 2017 first as a marketing and convention sales intern, then as the interim special events coordinator and finally found a permanent home in the organization as the visitor services specialist in June. As a fourth generation Mankato resident, Crystal is excited to share everything this beautiful community has to offer. Crystal graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in May of 2017 with a degree in English and minors in Business Administration and Sociology. While in college, she had the opportunity to escort 23 Chinese exchange students and their chaperone to popular Minnesota/Mankato attractions which kickstarted her interest in hospitality and tourism. Outside of work she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, walking her dog and reading with a cup of coffee.

Joy Leafblad
Sports Commission Director
Visit Mankato

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Joy is the Sports Commission Director for Visit Mankato. She graduated with a bachelors degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Physical Education and from Baylor University with a Masters in Physical Education & Wellness Promotions. She has lived and worked in Mankato since 2007. Joy worked with the Mankato Family YMCA and the Regional Fitness Center in Morris, Minnesota, focusing on community involvement and event and program development. Joy enjoys working in the community as a volunteer and spending time with her daughter and family.


Joelle Baumann
Special Events Manager
Visit Mankato

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Joelle has been with Greater Mankato Growth since 2010 and currently serves as the Special Events Manager for Visit Mankato. She is a graduate of the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute. Joelle attended Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, where she played on the volleyball team, graduating with a degree in Biology in 2008. Then she attended Minnesota State University, Mankato and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Foods and Nutrition and a minor in Corporate & Community Fitness. Outside of work you can find her enjoying time with her daughter, son and husband, being with family and friends, playing volleyball and being outdoors. 


Garrett Lieffring
Program Manager,
Lead For MN Fellow
GreenSeam, LLC

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GreenSeam has partnered with Lead For Minnesota and is hosting a Fellow, Garrett Lieffring, who has been placed with GreenSeam for the next two years. In this fellowship, Garrett will be organizing and managing programs for GreenSeam based in Greater Mankato. Garrett is from Truman, MN where he recalls helping on his grandfather's farm. After graduation he went to Winona for college and graduated in Business Marketing. Since college, Garrett has been working in the medical supply business. He is excited to get back into agriculture and economic development as well as being closer to his home town.




Brittany Junck
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Visit Mankato

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Brittany is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator with Visit Mankato. She initially joined Greater Mankato Growth in February of 2015 where she served as the Marketing Assistant for Greater Mankato Growth for just under two years. In January of 2019, Brittany rejoined the organization as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Visit Mankato. Brittany grew up just over three hours southwest of Mankato in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa before obtaining her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time on the lake with her family and friends, playing softball and photography.








Jonathan Zierdt
Former President & CEO
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

August 18, 1966 - March 27, 2019

Trudie Gustafson
Former Executive Vice President


Thomas G. Riley,
Honorary Emeritus
Former Business Development Director

July 18, 1953 - March 5, 2017

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