Ted Mondale looked into a crowd of Woodbury business leaders last week and extended his finger.
"There is nobody more aggressive in calling us and working with us than the lady over there," he said as he pointed at Woodbury's Economic Development Manager Janelle Schmitz.
Mondale and Schmitz were among a group of city leaders, business people and regional developers who gathered Thursday, Sept. 29 for Woodbury's seventh annual Business Classic at the Eagle Valley Clubhouse.
The topic of discussion: economic development.
Delivering a speech on how to continue economic development in Woodbury was Mondale, consultant for Greater MSP, a nonprofit group created to stimulate the economy in the state.
"This is a tough place to do business because we don't have a message," Mondale said of what Greater MSP leaders said while putting together a plan. He later joked and said, "Don't we love to talk about how bad the weather is, don't we love to talk about how bad traffic is?"
About 100 people filled a room at the Eagle Valley Clubhouse where Mondale was the keynote speaker at this year's Business Classic.
He talked about Greater MSP's efforts to partner with big corporations like Ecolab and Cargill, but said the organization would like to work with leaders from 3M and others as well.
Especially developers, he said, because they are the ones who will ultimately benefit from stimulating the economy and job growth in the Twin Cities.
Greater MSP is 70 percent funded by private companies and the rest is publicly funded, Mondale said. The organization's role is to create a strategic vision for regional economic development, brand and market the region, attract new businesses and connect them with local resources and incentives.
"There is strengths and weaknesses on all parts of the region, but together we're strongest," Mondale said.