Mini Institute
June 13
St. Cloud

Fall Conference
September 25-27
Thumper Pond

To register and for more event details, click here.

June 10, 2013

MCCE is pleased to announce Sandy Fostner as the new 2013-2014 MCCE Chair. Sandy is assuming the leadership role ahead of schedule due to the resignation of Ruthe Batulis.

Sandy Forstner has been executive director of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce for 13 years. Located in southern Minnesota, Austin (pop. 25,000) is home to the Hormel Foods Corporation and The Hormel Institute. The Austin Area Chamber actively advocates for its 400 members, and has been a member of the Minnesota Chamber Federation since inception.

This is his second term on the MCCE Board. Prior to joining the Austin Chamber, Forstner was a business owner for 16 years, and an active member of a local chamber.

“MCCE is a great resource for all of us. Whether you have been in the business for a month or decades, join in the discussion. At MCCE we learn from each other. Take the opportunity to learn from your peers and share your ideas as to how we can better serve our members and advance our industry.”
~ Sandy Forstner

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives’ most highly attended conference, Mini Institute, will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites. Mini Institute provides an outstanding training and networking opportunity for chamber professionals from across Minnesota. This one day conference attracts staff members at all levels to learn, share and reenergize

Click here to view the agenda for this one-day conference with a series of break-out sessions covering a variety of topics. The cost of the MCCE Mini Institute is $75 for MCCE members and $100 for non-members. The registration fee includes all speaker costs, lunch, break refreshments, and meeting materials. Hotel reservations may be made at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn & Suites, call 1-800-HOLIDAY to book a room. Contact Leah at ltomasetti@mnchamber.com or (651) 292-4669 for any additional information. Register now!

2013 Legislative Recap and Building the Agenda for 2014
The 2013 Legislative Session convened with a common theme of growing the economy. Its legacy instead is a trail of actions certain to make Minnesota businesses less competitive. The outcome makes our work and your involvement even more important. The Minnesota Chamber is already developing policy priorities for 2014. Our priorities are member-driven, and we want to ensure that we obtain as much input from members and local chambers as possible as we begin to draft legislative policies.

Please join us for a briefing on the 2013 Legislative Session and the impact on your members. More important, we are seeking your input on the critical issues that impact your company as we develop a strategy for 2014. Click here to view the dates and locations of the regional meetings.

If your chamber would like a member of the Minnesota Chamber to provide a legislative recap to your members, contact Jennifer Byers at jbyers@mnchamber.com.

The MCCE Fall Conference will be held September 25 - 27 at Thumper Pond Resort in Ottertail, Minnesota. We hope that you make plans today to join us at this terrific resort for what promises to be highly valuable conference. Take this opportunity to learn, relax and return to your chamber with innovative ideas and lots of energy!

In 2012 the Minnesota Chamber, with the State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), held 57 meetings on the skills gap with employers across Minnesota.  

We held a summit on higher education reform and how to improve the workforce pipeline. We took the message to postsecondary students through career panels at three colleges.

We spread the message—then we created ConnectED.

Our ConnectED resource bank helps you connect with students and schools, so kids know the opportunities in your industry, and colleges have strong curricula. You’ll find local chamber efforts, contacts at higher education institutions, and video clips on critical workforce messages—all online at ConnectED.

Our partners have been busy too. DEED is exploring the skills gap and workforce supply/demand data. MnSCU has documented employer comments in a searchable database and created  industry reports. MnSCU is working to meet future workforce needs, increase internships and apprenticeships, and partner with business to acquire the latest equipment that students will encounter in the workplace.

Thanks to everyone who participated in a workforce assessment or event. Check out ConnectED, and for related legislation, visit our Action Center.

Ruthe Batulis, president, Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and MCCE chair, has moved onto a new career in Spooner, Wisconsin after 9 years at the chamber. She was a terrific ambassador for MCCE and the profession. Thank you Ruthe.

The following positions are open in Minnesota Chambers. If you would like more information, or a copy of the job descriptions, click here.

Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce – President/CEO
All interested parties must submit their resume and cover letter to Lori Weyers, Chair, at info@wausauchamber.com. The deadline for submission is Monday, July 1, 2013.

Minnesota Business Owners Gather to Prevent Workplace Violence
Analysts say we all have a role to play in making the office safer. About three dozen businesses gathered at the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to discuss preventing workplace violence. The event was a collaborative effort supported by the Chamber and Bloomington police and featured professionals from Violence Prevention Strategies. Click here to read the full article.

City Devoting $10K to Vision 2020 to Rebrand Community
The council preliminarily approved $10,000 for a Vision 2020 project to rebrand the city of Austin. Vision 2020 organizers have formed a group to work with consultants and create a new identity campaign for the city, to accentuate its positives and attract more people. Organizers plan to raise $70,000 in total, and are requesting funding from the city of Austin, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Development Corporation of Austin, the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and The Hormel Foundation. Click here to read the full article.

Chamber Graduates 35 Business Leaders
Today, 35 regional business leaders will graduate from The Chamber’s Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo program during a graduation ceremony at the Bluestem Center for the Arts at 11:30 a.m. The Chamber’s leadership program is centered on creating leaders through community training and leadership development. The program is designed to expose emerging and existing community leaders to the issues that face the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo region while challenging and engaging participants to strengthen the community through service and leadership. Click here to read the full article

Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learns for 2013
Lunch and Learn will be offered by Waseca Utilities Energy Services, Xcel, and Minnesota Chamber Energy Smart Program. Measures you can take to help your business improve its bottom line by using energy wisely will be held. Click here to view the full article.

N.D. Billboard Campaign Touts Business Climate,
Raises Hackles in Minnesota

North Dakota is promoting its business climate at Minnesota's expense, and some politicians east of the Red River are not happy about it. The Greater North Dakota Chamber has started a campaign that mocks proposals in the Minnesota Legislature, including bills that would raise certain taxes. A chamber release said Minnesota politicians are "making a strong case for business to come across the border to North Dakota." Click here to view the full article.

Editorial: Hard to Knock ND for Targeting Minnesota
That didn’t take long. Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders hadn’t even finished hammering out the details of their taxing and spending plans late last week when Minnesota’s neighbors to the northwest, North Dakota, made a bold play to steal away business and jobs. The Greater North Dakota Chamber put up the first of what it promised would be a series of billboards promoting its friendlier business climate. “NORTH DAKOTA OPEN FOR BUSINESS” read the billboard that went up Thursday along the interstate in Moorhead, Minn., a border city like Duluth. Minnesota shouldn’t be surprised. “In a substantial way, we raised the price of doing business in Minnesota this legislative session,” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Bill Blazar told the News Tribune Opinion page a day after that first billboard was erected. “(What Minnesota lawmakers did) creates, in this economy, opportunities for other locations and other states. Businesses are very cost-conscious … and more mobile now than ever. They know they have choices.” Click here to view the full article.

Commentary, Jim Schiebel: A Blueprint to End Poverty
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is convening a task force to examine and recommend solutions to homelessness in St. Paul. He has tapped two leaders, Carleen Rhodes of the Minnesota Community Foundation and Matt Kramer, president of the Chamber to get things done. They understand that homelessness is not what it was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. We need new strategies, although some of the old ones may still have value. The community stands ready to help them in producing a good plan; one that Kramer says “will not sit on a shelf.” Good decision, Mayor. Click here to view the full article.

Transportation to be Focus of Rochester Chamber Talk
As Rochester continues to develop, some are asking how will people get from "Point A" to Point B" in the future. That's the focus of a Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon talk on Thursday, "Planes, Trains, Automobiles & Buses - What role will these play in Rochester's expanding transportation needs?" Click here to view the full article.