Our Team

Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) exists to intentionally develop the regional center

This is achieved 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 destination management organization
  • 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.
Jessica Beyer Headshot
Jessica Beyer
President & CEO, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

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.

[email protected]

Andy Wilke Headshot
Andy Wilke
Executive Vice President, Greater Mankato Growth

Andy joined Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. in August of 2021 as Director of Business Development and Public Affairs. Andy worked for Brookfield Properties for nearly 10 years at shopping centers in Iowa and Georgia, before returning to his hometown for 5 years as General Manager at River Hills Mall. Before Brookfield, Andy worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives, the city of Mankato, and his family were the franchise owners of Toppers Pizza in Mankato before selling the business in 2012. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with degrees in Urban Planning, Public Administration, Political Science, and Business Administration. Outside of work, Andy is married with 2 children. He enjoys running, reading, cooking, and live music. Andy is a former chair of Visit Mankato and the GMG Public Affairs Task Force. Andy is currently serving on the city of Mankato Planning Commission.

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Visit Mankato Director
Ashlee White
Visit Mankato Director

Ashlee White joined the organization as the Visit Mankato Director in February 2023. She has more than a decade of public relations and marketing experience, which includes work on travel and tourism campaigns for domestic and international destinations such as Visit Tucson, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Visit Wales, Visit South Walton and Los Cabos Tourism. She has also led comprehensive communications efforts for countless hotels, restaurants, events, and attractions around the globe. She holds a bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in mass communications with a minor in marketing. After graduating, she spent close to a decade working in New York City, before moving back to Mankato in 2019.

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Sam Ziegler Headshot
Sam Ziegler
Director of GreenSeam

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.

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Joelle Baumann
Special Events Manager, Visit Mankato

Joelle 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.

[email protected]

Holly Callaghan GreenSeam
Holly Callaghan
Economic Development Coordinator, GreenSeam

Holly is a Minnesota native, born and raised in the suburbs of St. Paul. She grew up around the University of Minnesota Extension campus where she grew to love our lush, productive Minnesota soil. She moved to Mankato in 2020 after graduating from North Central University with a degree in Business. After working in local finance and developing a knowledge of the businesses that proudly call our region home, Holly became passionate about the Greater Mankato economy—particularly agriculture. In her free time, she enjoys trail running, playing in her band, and spending time with her husband & black lab.

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Business Engagement Director Laura Doyen
Laura Doyen
Business Engagement Director, Greater Mankato Growth

Laura is a Mankato native. She has been an active member of Greater Mankato Growth, serving as a Cavalier and participating in this year’s Greater Mankato Leadership Institute class. She worked in the legal field for 15 years, as a legal assistant, and was a small business owner, having founded Design & Wine. Laura is an active volunteer within our community. Laura received the Greater Mankato Rotary Service Above Self Award earlier this year. In her free time, she enjoys being with her husband and their children. They spend a lot of time at their family cabins, vacationing, and skiing in the winter months.

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Darcy Enter Headshot
Darcy Enter
Finance & Benefits Manager, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Darcy joined Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. in January 2022 as Finance and Benefits Manager. Darcy worked for Taylor Corporation for 23 years, beginning her career in the accounting department and served in a variety of leadership roles for the organization, most recently as purchasing manager. Darcy is a graduate of University of Minnesota, Morris, with a degree in Business Management and Economics. Outside of work, Darcy has 1 daughter. She enjoys traveling, and spending times with friends and family.

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Shannon Gullickson Headshot
Shannon Gullickson
Leadership Programs Director, Greater Mankato Growth

Shannon is responsible for overseeing Greater Mankato Leadership Institute, Greater Mankato Executive Sounding Board and Greater Mankato Diversity and Equity Collaborative. Shannon has had more than 30 years of leadership experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Kiwanis Holiday Lights and is president of Camp Patterson, Inc. . In addition, she is a past Chair of the Greater Mankato United Way. Shannon graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Speech Communications. Outside of the workplace, Shannon enjoys golfing, cooking, baking, entertaining, traveling, and volunteering.

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Joy Leafblad
Sports & Special Events Director, Visit Mankato

Joy 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.

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Tanner Meredith
Marketing Assistant, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Bio coming soon.

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Marketing Coordinator GreenSeam
Benjamin Muehlenhardt
Marketing Coordinator, GreenSeam

Ben’s hometown is Little Falls, Minnesota, but for the last five years, he has come to love and call the Mankato area home. In a few short months, he will complete his Marketing Management degree at South Central College. He has a passion for graphic design as he is self-taught in Adobe Illustrator and is incredibly excited to refine his skills within this position. Ben likes to cook and bake in his spare time, which comes from spending weekends with his grandmother as a child. He also likes to play the guitar, spend time with his girlfriend of four years and their dog, and watch the Minnesota Vikings.

Bmuehlenhardt
@greatermankato.com

Crystal Olson
Program & Events Manager, Greater Mankato Growth, City Center Partnership

Crystal joined the Visit Mankato team in 2017 first as a marketing and convention sales intern, then as the interim special events coordinator, and was hired full-time that summer. Currently, she serves as the Programs & Events Manager, managing talent development and downtown development programs. Crystal graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in May of 2017 with a degree in English and minors in Business Administration and Sociology and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Development. As a fourth generation Mankato resident, Crystal is excited to share everything this beautiful community has to offer. Outside of work, she enjoys being outdoors, walking her dog, attending community events, and reading.

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Annabelle Raske
Marketing Assistant, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Annabelle joined the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. team in May of 2023 as a Marketing Assistant supporting Visit Mankato, City Center Partnership, and GreenSeam. She grew up just 30 minutes south of Mankato, and graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2021 with a degree in Business Management. You can find her in outside of work on the lake, baking, gardening, or any chance she has to host friends and family gatherings.

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Liz Sharp Headshot
Liz Sharp
Director of Business Event & Sales; Director of Office Operations, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Liz 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.

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Beth Smith
Administrative Coordinator, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Bio coming soon.

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Ryan Vesey Headshot
Ryan Vesey
Economic Development & Research Manager, Greater Mankato Growth, REDA

Ryan joined the Greater Mankato Growth team in February 2020 as an Economic Development Specialist and has now moved to the Economic Development & Research Manager. 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.

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Ines Wingert
Business Development Marketing Manager, Greater Mankato Growth

Ines has a Master of Arts in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations, and Mass Communications from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Ines has over a decade of experience developing and executing marketing strategies, managing external and internal communication, brand development, and more. Prior to her joining Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., Ines was a Marketing & Communications Manager at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota, where she worked from its infancy to the established organization it is today. She is a graduate of the YMCA Mankato's Elizabeth Kearney's Women's Leadership Ines, and an active volunteer through various organizations, including the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic and La Leche League International. Ines also serves on multiple committees at Mankato Area Public Schools. As a native of Croatia, Ines brings a unique perspective to our organization and is excited to apply her international life experiences to the work of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. and the community as a whole.

[email protected]

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