Greater Mankato Economic Development Corporation assembled a delegation of 75 key leaders for its second Inter-City Leadership Visit. The group completed an intensive three-day agenda that encompassed interaction with officials from Fort Collins and Larimer County government, industry, economic development, health care, higher education, arts and more.
The regional delegation was a diverse mix of stakeholders that included CEOs, presidents of area colleges and universities, mayors, city and county administrators, elected officials, nonprofit executives, heads of community organizations and foundations, and religious leadership. The delegation included representation from Mankato, St. Peter, Le Sueur, Winnebago, Blue Earth County and Nicollet County, bringing a regional marketplace perspective to the initiative.
The main focus points:
Build social capital by pulling together as a community of leaders for concerted action.
Encourage community business leaders to recognize that they must take a more proactive approach to community growth and development and not abdicate their responsibility in such matters.
Explore our strengths and weaknesses and identify tactics to align assets.
Facilitate a means to better understand our role and responsibilities as a regional center.
Rekindle the entrepreneurial capacity within the community.
The delegates found that Fort Collins faces similar challenges in economic development, managing growth, downtown and riverfront revitalization, health care, regional transportation infrastructure, and embracing diversity.
The group also gained insights on Fort Collins successes, such as use of alternative energy, university-business collaboration, entrepreneurship, intergovernmental relations, and the economic impact of a thriving arts community.
The feedback and knowledge gained will be meshed back into Envision 2020, as that group’s implementation committee proceeds to prioritize goals and oversee the ongoing execution of the action plans.
Said one delegate, “I feel that over time trips like this with the caliber of people in attendance will pay large dividends for Greater Mankato.”