Audrey Nelsen elected CGMC president; New head is city councilor for Willmar

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

ST. PAUL  — Willmar City Councilor Audrey Nelsen was elected to serve as president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) on July 26 at the Coalition’s three-day summer conference in Bemidji.

As president, Nelsen will help direct efforts to inform state legislators on issues unique to Greater Minnesota, such as Local Government Aid (LGA), economic development, transportation and environmental policy.


Nelsen was elected by fellow city officials from across the state to lead the CGMC, long considered one of the most active, high-profile organizations to represent rural communities at the State Capitol.

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“As one of our most engaged and dedicated members, Audrey brings a smart and insightful leadership approach to our organization,” said Bradley Peterson, executive director of the CGMC. “I have no doubt that she will bring the same deep commitment to helping all Greater Minnesota cities that she brings to the city of Willmar.”

Bemidji City Councilor Ron Johnson, whom Nelsen is replacing as president, echoed Peterson’s comments.

“I’ve gotten to know Audrey through her involvement in the CGMC over the past several years and I’m impressed by her enthusiasm and passion for the issues that impact rural cities,” Johnson said. “I’m confident that she is the right person to lead our organization into the next decade.”

Nelsen, who has served on the CGMC board of directors since 2014, said she is ready to dive in and work hard to help find solutions to the challenges facing Greater Minnesota communities. She noted among the CGMC’s top priorities for 2020 will be to advocate for a robust bonding bill that invests in critical Greater Minnesota projects and programs.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to serve as president of the CGMC,” Nelsen said. “Looking ahead to the upcoming legislative session, I look forward to working with lawmakers and other city leaders across the state to tackle the issues that are important to our communities.”

CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 97 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.