The Capital City Partnership, an economic development group of heavy hitters in St. Paul for many years, is ending its 15-year run.
Its executive director, Joel Akason, will join the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership on Jan.1, reports the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. That partnership is another local private-public group that tries to stimulate economic development.
The Capital City Partnership was formed in 1996 by then-Mayor Norm Coleman and Doug Leatherdale, then CEO of what was then the St. Paul Cos. and is now Travelers.
St. Paul was attempting an economic resurgence at the time, and the group was formed as a private, nonprofit business association charged with overseeing the marketing, promotion and redevelopment of St. Paul.
At the time, it was considered comparable to the 40-year-old Downtown Council in Minneapolis. St. Paul even hired the Minneapolis council’s former director, John Labosky, to run the Capital City Partnership.
Said Coleman at the time:
“Government cannot fix St. Paul by itself. We need small business to create jobs, but we also need to tap into the tremendous power and resources of the private sector at the highest levels.”
He and Leatherdale pitched other CEOs for money and commitment to the new organization.