Ballinger|Leafblad is pleased to conduct the search for President & Chief Executive Officer at Greater Mankato Growth, a nationally-known business growth and economic development organization supporting the Greater Mankato region.
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) exists to intentionally develop the Mankato region by promoting, supporting and serving as a catalyst for economic development. This is done through business growth and development; talent growth, retention and attraction; regional livability and advocacy of the marketplace.
GMG is comprised of four business units; Greater Mankato Growth, the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization; Visit Mankato, the local convention and visitor's bureau; City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization; and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region's extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy.
Greater Mankato Growth is the result of a creative consolidation between Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development organization, and convention and visitor’s bureau. GreenSeam is a new initiative of the organization.
Since 2018, the business units have shared office space, an effort that has resulted in efficiencies and so much more. Staff collaborate across business units to share ideas and provide outstanding service. Greater Mankato Growth is governed by a Board of Directors; individual business units also have focused boards of directors.
On September 11, 1868, forty-three business leaders convened The Mankato Board of Trade, the community’s first business association. As the organization and community evolved, the name was changed to Mankato Commercial Club in 1900 and then to Mankato Chamber of Commerce in 1920. In 1968, the Mankato Chamber of Commerce received national accreditation as the 120th Accredited Chamber in the country.
In 1984, the Convention & Visitors Bureau was established which resulted in a slight name change to the chamber to Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce. By 1993, the Chamber and CVB merged to form Mankato Area Chamber and Convention Bureau (MACCB).
The Greater Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce, and its division know as the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (now Visit Mankato), merged in 2007 with the Greater Mankato Economic Development Corporation (now Greater Mankato Growth) to form Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Later, City Center Partnership and GreenSeam also became LLCs within the corporate umbrella.
GREATER MANKATO GROWTH – BUSINESS UNITS
Greater Mankato Growth is the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization serving the regional marketplace.
Greater Mankato Growth offers eight levels of membership based on what best matches a business’ desired involvement. Currently, there are nearly 1,000 members who connect and engage through GMG.
Members belong to Greater Mankato Growth for the purpose of creating additional and immediate opportunities for business. Others choose to belong because it’s a positive business affiliation and association with a respected and trusted brand in the community. Still others belong because they believe in the mission. They know that the work Greater Mankato Growth engages in and accomplishes simply betters the “business ecosystem”, and that has a positive indirect impact on every business in the region.
Greater Mankato Growth is governed by an engaged board of directors made up of prominent leaders in the region.
Visit Mankato, LLC is the local convention and visitor’s bureau. It leads the development of the visitor economy in greater Mankato by actively promoting greater Mankato as a premier destination for conventions, tournaments and tourism.
Activities such as concerts, sporting events, arts gatherings and more bring a steady flow of visitors and business activity to greater Mankato that benefits local residents and future visitors. The work of Visit Mankato helps strengthen the hospitality industry which provides jobs, a diverse tax base and amenities for everyone to enjoy.
Visit Mankato is governed by an 18-member board of governors made up of shareholders representing the tourism industry and the marketplace.
City Center Partnership, LLC is a downtown development organization. The City Center includes the downtown core of Mankato and North Mankato.
The mission of City Center Mankato, as a private/public partnership, is to be a catalyst for implementation of the City Center Renaissance Plan and to support private and public investment in City Center projects, programs and initiatives that attract a greater number of customers, employees and residents to the City Center.
City Center Mankato holds a vision of a vibrant City Center in Mankato/North Mankato that exemplifies the vitality of the region and attracts visitors, residents, businesses and investment.
As promoters, recruiters and advocates for City Center Mankato, the City Center Partnership works in conjunction with its businesses and citizens to find opportunities and solutions to keep the City Center vibrant and prosperous. These include focusing on increasing business and employees, trade and traffic, residents and housing options, multi-modal connectivity, aesthetics, arts, culture and more!
In 2017, City Center Mankato became the eighth designated Main Street Community in Minnesota, joining Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar and Winona in gaining the designation. The Minnesota Main Street program, part of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, provides Main Street communities with training, tools, information and networking to invigorate their commercial districts.
GreenSeam, LLC builds on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy. Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., along with hundreds of businesses and professionals rooted in agriculture from across the region have been working since 2013 to strategically build on and connect the region’s extensive agricultural business assets in order to develop and position this region to be known nationally and internationally as the place for talent, business, innovation and education in relation to agriculture.
Agriculture is currently the largest business industry segment within this region with more than $15.3 billion in sales annually. A majority of businesses in the region are either part of agriculture’s value stream or indirectly impacted through production, processing, manufacturing, professional services, research, technology, education, transportation, etc. The region boasts nearly 1,000 ag related businesses.
MISSION Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. exists to support and promote the economic growth and vitality of our members and the regional marketplace.
VALUES Greater Mankato Growth believes that the needs of members are best met by growing the regional marketplace. To that end, the organization espouses the following values:
Catalysts – Initiating action for economic growth beneficial to members and congruent with the regional desire and culture.
Stewards – Using resources efficiently and effectively and wisely leveraging strengths.
Collaborative & Inclusive – Cultivating and sustaining relationships, while encouraging the mobilization of the marketplace assets to enhance growth.
Approachable – Being visible and accessible and creating a friendly, vibrant and respectful environment.
Innovative – Embracing change and promoting progressive solutions.
Ethical – Communicating openly and honestly and taking responsibility for actions in all business practices.
Team members within the Greater Mankato Growth family are professional and committed. They describe the organization’s culture as:
Service oriented and focused on the community
Forward thinking; creative; open to change and improvement
Energized and future-oriented
Collaborative and easy going, with good work-life balance
A changing culture, still integrating together; getting used to working more collaboratively; getting used to “working under one roof”
OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION
The President & CEO of the Greater Mankato Growth is the chief executive officer of the organization which is comprised of four business units, as well as the Greater Mankato Growth Foundation. This is a prominent position with high impact and visibility throughout the region.
The President & CEO supervises a full-time staff of 22 across four business units in the day to day functions of the organization. This role interacts frequently with Greater Mankato Growth members, elected officials, peer organizations, media and the general business community.
This position is open due to the retirement and untimely passing of Jonathan Zierdt, the original President & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth. Long time board member and community leader Bob Hoffman is acting as Interim President & CEO.
Lead, coach, mentor and develop the staff. Lead with optimism and grace; continue Greater Mankato Growth’s positive organizational culture.
Drive the strategic planning process of the organization with an eye toward creative and innovative planning and thoughtful execution of goals.
Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; plan and execute regular meetings, partner with board members to achieve the organization’s objectives.
Oversee the budget, finances, financial reporting and audits to ensure financial integrity and continued financial health.
Identify new and innovative sources of funding for the organization.
Assure proper staffing and organizational structure to meet the needs of the organization’s mission.
Member and External Relations
Proactively build and retain members at GMG.
Encourage participation by board and key business leaders at various events.
Maintain and enhance the organization’s relevance in the community, with members and with regional leaders.
Present to large and small groups on behalf of Greater Mankato Growth. Represent GMG at ribbon cuttings, open houses, special invited events, fund raisers and other events as a highly visible ambassador.
Find new and creative ways to keep GMG vital and influential in the business, civic, agribusiness, non-profit and political landscape.
Policy and Advocacy
Work with board and other key stakeholders to develop the organization’s political objectives and key public policy positions
Meet regularly with appropriate levels of government officials to build relationships and shape / influence Mankato / North Mankato policy. Focus on the partnerships with local government leaders to benefit business interests in Mankato / North Mankato.
When required, act as policy representative, calling on Mayors, City Council Members, State representatives and key thought leaders as needed to further the Greater Mankato Growth agenda.
Operations and Program Management
Participate in member and community activities, including economic development initiatives, member events, and tourism and visitor happenings. With staff, evaluate and assess organizational programs.
Introduce new programs and initiatives to meet member and regional needs.
Oversee and guide special projects that Greater Mankato Growth conducts on behalf of partner organizations and for the good of the Mankato region.
The President & CEO oversees the staff and activities at all four business units of Greater Mankato Growth. A total of 22 professional staff and (and many volunteers!) work in the organization. The leadership team reporting directly to the President & Chief Executive Officer is made up of business unit and functional leaders.
QUALIFICATIONS The ideal candidate for President & CEO will possess a Bachelor’s Degree or other credentials in business administration, public policy or other related subject.
He or she will have organizational leadership experience in diverse sectors that might include small business, entrepreneurial organizations, non-profit organizations and/or Fortune 500 firms. The ideal experience will include a combination of corporate and nonprofit activities, showing fluency with business, government, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Experience working with and for a board of directors is valuable.
The President & CEO will bring a broad understanding of the local, regional and state business and economic environment and the impact of constituent involvement and public policy on business and economy. He or she will have personal interest, passion and/or experience in community, regional civic engagement and economic development.
Demonstrated financial acumen and a proven record of success in a professional environment is required, including experience building and growing an organization. This position requires experience as a generalist, leading seamlessly across the areas of strategic planning, sales/marketing, finance, external relations/communications and human resources. Managerial skills including experience recruiting, developing, motivating, coaching and retaining a strong, diverse staff in a team-oriented environment are essential in this role.
DESIRED LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS The following executive characteristics are sought in the new leader:
Ethical –A commitment and practice to act upon the highest ethical standards at all times. The highest level of integrity; a position and reputation of stature in the community.
Strategic–The vision and judgment to be able to decide when and where to engage to ensure that critical work gets done.
Externally Facing – The ability to be effective in a variety of formal settings: one-on-one, small and large groups, with members, elected officials, peers and the general business community.
Exceptional Communicator – The ability to clearly present ideas, verbally or in writing, within a variety of settings and with multiple stakeholder groups.
Entrepreneurial– Ongoing endeavor to “invent” new solutions, partners and techniques with an eye to creating new sources of revenue and new ways of engaging members.
Trustworthy – The commitment and ability to admit mistakes, keep confidences, and be seen as a trusted, truthful individual.
Genuine – The style of building rapport with others by being easy to approach, warm, pleasant, and gracious.
Inspirational – The tendency and intentionality to create a climate in which people want to do their best; a bent toward encouraging diverse groups of direct reports and team or project members, and empowering others.
Collaborative -- The ability to align diverse interest groups on issues and opportunities that will benefit the overall business community; a consensus builder with a personal style that engenders confidence.
Well-organized -- Judiciously prioritize time and tasks. The successful leader will be efficient and results-focused on daily activities and will frequently participate in evening and weekend activities that support the organization.
Media savvy – Skill in working with the media, social and traditional, to effectively message business issues that affect Mankato area businesses. Develop key media relationships and be able to act as the strategic voice of business in Mankato and North Mankato.
Additional Salary Information: The compensation package for this position is competitive and includes participation in the organization’s benefits plan.
About Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.
Ballinger|Leafblad, Inc. is pleased to present the following position on behalf of our client.