Gary Ray: DCA members should play active role in Vision 2020

Published 6:59 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Business, industry and community leaders should step up to make Vision 2020’s projects become a reality, Hormel Foundation Chairman Gary Ray told Development Corporation of Austin members at their annual meeting on Tuesday.

Vision 2020, which has drawn participation from thousands in the Austin area, has identified 10 major projects designed to make Austin a great place to live and to make the city a popular destination.

“This is what I call a game-changer,” Ray told the 72 DCA members present. “This is a game-changer for Austin, Minn.”

Email newsletter signup

Winnowed from a list of more than 4,000 submitted ideas, the 10 projects are in the early phases of development. A committee of community volunteers has begun the detailed planning for each.

“If we only do half [of the projects], we’ll have done a tremendous service for generations to come,” Ray said. “But we want to do it all — 10 projects that will keep Austin and Mower County on the path of success for decades to come.”

DCA members, Ray said, are ideally suited to serve as player-coaches for the idea development committees, making a personal contribution while also providing guidance and advice.

Beyond the immediate boost that would give Vision 2020, Ray said, having many community leaders involved will give them an opportunity to teach and demonstrate leadership to a future generation of community leaders. “I’m asking all of you, today, to get off the bench,” Ray said. “This one is worth it.”

Noting that many in his audience were already busy with other projects, Ray urged them to nevertheless make time for Vision 2020. “If not us, who?” he said. “Who knows more about the community than those in this room? Who cares more?”

“If not now, when?” he said.

DCA members also carried out annual business, including:

—Re-electing Dave Clasen, Dan DeBoest, Kevin Kestner, Jeff Kritzer, Jim Krueger, Rod Nordeng, Jeff Thatcher and Steve Thorson to new terms on the board, and electing Mark Nibaur to a first term.

—Recognizing Dave Crandall, Craig Johnson and Thatcher for their service on the board’s executive committee; and recognizing retiring staff member Chris Jensen for her contributions.