State of the City
The Chamber hosted the State of the City luncheon on April 4 at the KC Hall in Faribault. The event featured three speakers beginning with Mayor Kevin Voracek, and including Kathi Schaff presenting GROW MN and Liz Templin from the Community Economics division of the U of M Extension Service. Each speaker provided valuable information on the local economy and the status of many local projects and initiatives.
The state of the city luncheon is presented by the chamber every other year – following an election. Mayor Kevin Voracek thinks of himself as the first blue collar mayor of Faribault in “who knows how long” He has worked for Century Link installing phone lines for 17 years. He and his wife Gretchen have two children and are just completing building a new house. Voracek served on the city council for 8 years prior to being elected Mayor last fall. He has been active with the Paradise Center for the Arts – specifically the Blue Collar BBQ and he has been a staunch supporter of downtown Faribault. Kevin is a social media mayor – often posting valuable information, links and clarifications on his Facebook page.
Kevin provided the following presentation at the event.
Kathi Schaff is the Director of Grow Minnesota! and Business Development. She is responsible for the development, management, and training needs of the over 70 local chambers and economic development entities that comprise the Grow Minnesota! partnership The link that follows is the GROW MN presentation.
Liz Templin is an Extension Educator in Community Economics with the University of Minnesota Extension. Prior to joining Extension, Liz worked in public relations for the Green Giant canning facility in Glencoe. She began working in Community Economics in 1990 serving Washington County. When Extension reorganization in 2002, her service area shifted to northeast and east central Minnesota. Rice, Goodhue and LeSueur Counties were added in 2012. Liz specialized in conducting community-based business retention and expansion programs like the one conducted in Faribault in 2002. She has trained over 100 economic developers from throughout the U.S. and Canada in this approach. Liz presented information on the study completed for the EDA by the University of MN Extension Service.