Regional business leaders shape plan for Valley’s economic future

Spurred by the vision and a $100,000 investment from Forum Communications Company Chairman William C. Marcil, the Valley Prosperity Partnership (VPP) has been formed to identify strategic economic opportunities to bring the Red River Valley region of North Dakota and Minnesota together to focus on workforce, job creation, social infrastructure, and economic needs of the region.

Led by business leaders, the Valley Prosperity Partnership initiative brings together higher education, economic development, and industry leaders in the Red River Valley. The VPP promises to deliver a comprehensive strategic plan for the region.

“Through this initiative, the Valley’s private sector will build a roadmap for our region’s economic prosperity,” Marcil said, “and identify actions we can take to augment the resources of our great research universities.”

Leading the initiative are steering committee co-chairs Tammy Miller, CEO of Border States Electric in Fargo, and Steve Burian, CEO of AE2S in Grand Forks.

“Our state’s economic landscape continues to grow and change, due in large part to booming oil and agriculture sectors. For all areas to prosper and grow, Valley communities must be more collaborative and strategic in our planning” said Miller.

“Through this process we will define what communities in the Red River Valley can do together to capitalize on opportunities and strengthen our region’s economic and employment base,” said Burian.

VPP retained Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech, a New Jersey-based firm specializing in comprehensive economic development strategic planning, to evaluate the region and to develop a strategic plan. Work on the plan will begin in this month and is expected to be delivered in September 2013.

Steering committee members have invested at least $20,000 each to support the work of the VPP.  Joining Miller and Burian on the committee are:

  • William C. Marcil, Chairman, Forum Communications Company
  • Dave Anderson, Director of Public Affairs, Sanford Health
  • Barry Batcheller, Chairman & CEO, Appareo Systems
  • David Berg, President & CEO, American Crystal Sugar
  • Karl Bollingberg, Executive Vice President, Alerus Finanical
  • Dean Bresciani, President, North Dakota State University
  • Doug Burgum, Founder, Arthur Ventures
  • John Eickhof, President, Construction Engineers
  • Jim Galloway, Principal, JLG Architects
  • Jim Gartin, President, Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC
  • Hal Gershman, Owner, Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops
  • Robert Kelley, President, University of North Dakota
  • Dennis Millirons, President, Sanford Health
  • Dave Molmen, CEO, Altru Health System
  • Mark Nisbet, North Dakota Principal Manager, Xcel Energy
  • Ronald Offutt, Chairman & CEO, RDO Equipment
  • John Richman, President, North Dakota State College of Science
  • Wes Rydell, Owner, The Rydell Company
  • Thomas Shorma, President & CEO, WCCO Belting
  • Anne Temte, President, Northland Community & Technical College
  • Klaus Thiessen, President & CEO, Grand Forks Region EDC
  • Paul von Ebers, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
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