Writer: Ryan Gandolfo
4 min read June 2023 — The buzz in the MSP area is growing as the region’s public and private sectors enters a new era of collaboration. This was evident throughout the discussions hosted by Invest: Minneapolis-St. Paul 2022-2023 and Capital Analytics, with over 150 business leaders and representatives attending the networking and business conference.
In her opening remarks at the event, Capital Analytics’ President & CEO Abby Melone shared her own perspective on the opportunities that MSP has to offer as well as a personal family accoun that has turned the area into a home away from home. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey delivered the opening keynote address, highlighting the work the city and its partners are doing on the affordable housing front as well as safety, Downtown vibrancy and future investment. “Regarding the work of Invest:, I want to paint a picture of Minneapolis. We’re going to be a city that’s on the cutting edge and an example of other cities throughout the country to follow us,” said Frey.
The first panel, ‘Minnesota Money: How values-based banking can withstand economic headwinds and what that looks like in today’s environment,’ assessed the resilience of the banking sector in the state of Minnesota as well as the focus on serving communities of all shapes and sizes. Panelists included Spire Credit Union President & CEO Dan Stoltz, Bryan Toft, chief revenue officer at Sunrise Banks and Damon Jenkins, SVP & Twin Cities regional market president at First Independence Bank. The panel was moderated by Brandon Koeser, financial services industry senior analyst at RSM US LLP. “More than 60% of our loans go towards low or moderate income-level communities. I think the role of values-based institutions like ours is identifying how we are going to innovate and partner with other organizations,” Toft pointed out during the discussion. The panel was presented by Christine Schmidt, managing director at Trust Point Family Office, who tied in the ‘Minnesota Money’ themes with the firm’s 110-year history serving clients from a wealth management perspective.
The second panel, ‘A Midwest Work Ethic: Creating a qualified workforce for the future in a changing Minnesota,’ was moderated by Jen Swanson, founder & CEO of Tuckpoint Advisory Group and included panelists Sandy Kiddoo, president of Northland Community & Technical College, Jason Morrison, president at Cristo Rey Jesuit School and St. Cloud Technical & Community College President Lori Kloos. Similar to the first panel, partnerships were a key theme as talent, enrollment and the achievement gap came up in conversation. “We are experiencing the same talent shortage and enrollment cliff and know in 2026 we aren’t going to have as many incoming high school graduates. We are really trying to engage our students and need to get more exposure. Last year 50% of high school students were considering going directly into the workforce. One of the things we’re rethinking is how the curriculum is delivered and partnering our companies with students so they can directly pay tuition,” said Kiddo.
The final panel, ‘Sky’s the limit: The changing considerations around development and how that impacts the state’s economic development,’ was presented by Bloomington City Manager Jamie Verbrugge, who tied in the exciting developments in the City with the state’s expected growth in both real estate and construction as well as corporate expansion and relocation. The panel included moderator Jennifer Christiaansen, Managing Director & Principal, Perkins&Will, Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center, Tim Carl, Chief Executive Officer and Design Principal at HGA, Anne Behrendt, CEO & principal of Doran Companies and Steve Cramer, president & CEO of Minneapolis Downtown Council. “Everything from how other regions and cities are approaching large-scale development to design is at our fingertips in this community today. We need to focus on how to foster the right community in the right places,” noted Behrendt.
City of Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter followed up the final panel of the morning with an important message not only for residents in the MSP area but all of Minnesota. “When we get a chance to switch our mindset, I think there’s no shortage of incredible opportunity that exists for this state and the people invested in the state to continue to push forward,” Carter said. The event’s closing remarks were delivered by Capital Analytics’ Senior Writer & Content Manager Joshua Andino, who noted the advances in the region over the past few years is indicative of a promising future.
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About Capital Analytics & Invest: Minneapolis-St. Paul 2022-2023
Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest:Insights.
Invest: Minneapolis-St. Paul 2022-2023 is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing the region’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent regional leaders. Invest: Minneapolis-St. Paul 2022-2023 is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on the Minneapolis-St. Paul and the greater Minnesota region for local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Minneapolis-St. Paul and the greater region as a place to invest and do business.
The report conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the region, including real estate, construction, infrastructure, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.
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