Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the Twin Cities, Local Leaders Wield Influence Behind the Scenes

A weekly meeting of the Itasca Project's so-called Working Team in Minneapolis. Credit Mark Kegans for The New York Times

By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ, NYT
DEC. 28, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — A nondescript conference room on the 38th floor of Minneapolis’s tallest skyscraper bears little resemblance to the brick clubhouse a few blocks away where members of the local elite have gathered for more than a century.

But swap out the Oriental rugs and dark wood for a granite table and Aeron-style chairs, and it serves much the same function as the Minneapolis Club once did.

Every Friday morning, 14 men and women who oversee some of the biggest companies, philanthropies and other institutions in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding area gather here over breakfast to quietly shape the region’s economic agenda.

They form the so-called Working Team of the Itasca Project, a private civic initiative by 60 or so local leaders to further growth and development in the Twin Cities. Even more challenging, they also take on thorny issues that executives elsewhere tend to avoid, like economic disparities and racial discrimination.

(More here.)

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