Register Today: The Keys to Minnesota’s Competitive Future

93rd Annual Meeting of Members and Policy Forum
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
St. Paul River Centre
8:30 am - 1:30 PM

Our MCFE Policy Forum is open to everyone --  both members and non-members.  Invite a colleague and introduce them to the MCFE.

Click for Event Agenda              Click for Registration Form

All Minnesotans share a common vision of a healthy, growing state economy fostering greater prosperity for all its citizens.  But as recent history has shown there are some strong policy disagreements on how best to secure that future.   

Our Annual Meeting Policy Forum this year takes a closer look at a key to realizing this future: Minnesota competitiveness -- where we stand, how the concept itself is evolving, and most importantly what we need to be doing going forward.

Program Overview 

Morning Keynote: Business Site Selection: Location Selection Drivers and Trends

Philip Schneider, Schneider Strategy Consulting, LLC

Economic development policy debates in Minnesota revolve around both old issues and new questions.  How important are state tax design and levels relative to other issues like government services, regulatory matters, government financial health, and general quality of life?  Has the TCJA affected location decision-making?   How is the nature and influence of tax credits and incentives changing?  What policy or non-policy factor(s) have more decision-making influence than people think?  And what’s needed for a traditionally high tax/high service model state like Minnesota to remain attractive and competitive?  

To examine these and other questions we are pleased to have one of the nation’s preeminent location strategy authorities join us to examine how business decision-making with respect to locating and expanding operations has changed and is changing.    

Philip Schneider has over 30 years of management consulting experience in the fields of corporate global location strategy, site selection, incentives negotiation, and economic development strategy.    He has conducted nearly 400 location engagements around the world, across industries and corporate functions, including heavy manufacturing, processing, high technology, headquarters, R&D, call centers, data centers, and shared services.  He has also provided a wide variety of consulting services to countries, states/provinces, cities, chambers of commerce, and utilities regarding economic development and investment promotion.

Prior to establishing his own firm, Philip led the Location Strategy and Global Expansion Optimization practice for Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Operations group.  He is also a current board member and past Chairman of the Board of the Site Selectors Guild, the professional association of the world’s leading site selection consultants.

State Competitiveness and Performance Benchmarking Studies: What Do They Communicate About Minnesota?

MCFE’s 2013 report, Finding our Balance: Taxes, Spending and Minnesota Competitiveness, examined a wide variety of different state competitive benchmarking investigations focusing on quantifiable indicators of both “foundational competitiveness” (workforce, infrastructure, quality of life, etc.) and business cost competitiveness.    We will present an updated and expanded look at these measures, their trends, how Minnesota is positioned relative to other states (supplemented with some in-state regional information) and what all this communicates about Minnesota.

Competitiveness Discussion Panel

Moderated by Star Tribune business columnist Lee Schafer, a distinguished group of panelists representing different disciplines and perspectives will discuss these table-setting presentations, their  policy implications, and offer their own thoughts on state competitiveness.

  • Shawntera Hardy, Founder, PolicyGrounds Consulting and Cofounder, Civic Eagle
  • Patrick Meenan, Partner, Arthur Ventures
  • Tim Penny, President and CEO, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
  • Dr. Myles Shaver, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and author of Headquarters Economy: Managers, Mobility, and Migration.

2019 Luncheon Address

Dr. Devinder Malhotra, Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Minnesota’s higher education system is an essential player and partner in growing the state economy and in ensuring Minnesota’s traditional high quality workforce remains a source of competitive advantage for the state.  But in an environment of rapid and accelerating change, important questions exist about what it means to be a public higher education system,  how the system can contribute to the demands and realities of the coming decades, and how to do it in a way that remains focused on the success of all students and communities in Minnesota while ensuring a strong value proposition to the State.   We are honored to have Chancellor Devinder Malhotra join us to discuss these important issues.

Dr. Malhotra was named Minnesota State chancellor in 2018 after first serving as interim chancellor in 2017.  He leads Minnesota’s system of seven state universities and 30 state community and technical colleges that serve nearly 400,000 students in 47 communities across the state.  Before serving as chancellor, Dr. Malhotra was interim president of Metropolitan State University and provost and vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State University. Prior to that he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Maine. At the University of Akron, he served as chair of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Department of Economics, and associate dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences.