Series: Center of Everywhere Podcast

Ep 10: CRPD Research – Volunteer Drivers

On today’s episode, we stay in-house to discuss our most recent research brief. Julie talks with our research intern Whitney Oachs and Director of Research Marnie Werner about volunteer drivers,  a little-known but essential program in rural Minnesota that helps the elderly and handicapped stay in their homes. We’ll discuss who these volunteer drivers are, ...

Ep 9: David Unmacht – League of Minnesota Cities

In this episode, we’ll be talking with Dave Unmacht, the executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities.  He’ll be sharing his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota’s small towns, how uncertainty will be the defining characteristic of the next five years, and why getting involved in local government may just be the ...

Ep 8: Amanda Koonjbeharry – Citizens League

We wanted to get to know more about the Citizens League, a Twin Cities nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that has led discussions and developed solutions to policy questions in areas like transportation, education, and infrastructure for more than sixty years. Now they would like to expand their volunteer-based model for solving problems into rural Minnesota, too, ...

Ep 7: Cynthia Messer – U of MN Extension | Tourism Center

Tourism makes up a significant piece of rural Minnesota’s economic pie. Our guest on this episode is Cynthia Messer, the director of the Tourism Center at the University of Minnesota Extension. She talked with CRPD president Julie Tesch about the research they do at the Tourism Center, the role tourism spending plays in Greater MN, ...
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Ep 5: Neela Mollgaard on LaunchMN and helping entrepreneurs get started

Neela Mollgaard has spent the last twenty years helping entrepreneurs in Greater Minnesota get their business ideas off the ground, first with Red Wing Ignite and now with LaunchMN, a new effort from the state to foster high-tech startups. We talk about what worked with Red Wing Ignite and now what LaunchMN is doing with ...
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Ep 4: CRPD researcher Kelly Asche on our new healthcare report

Access to healthcare services has been an issue in rural areas for years. Our upcoming report takes a big dive into the reasons why, from the policies to the business models that cause services to be offered in one location but disappear from others.  CRPD research associate and project lead Kelly Asche joins Marnie and ...
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Ep. 3: Interview with Santo Cruz, CentraCare Health System

In episode 3, research associate Kelly Asche and CRPD CEO Julie Tesch talk with another CRPD board member, Santo Cruz, Vice President for Government & Community Relations and Associate General Counsel for CentraCare Health Systems. CentraCare is headquartered in St. Cloud and provides medical care to a large chunk of central Minnesota. We talked with ...
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Ep. 2: Interview with Sue Grafstrom, Roseau County Emergency Manager

In episode 2, Marnie and Julie talk with CRPD board member Sue Grafstrom, who serves Roseau County as both Emergency Manager and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness Consultant for northwest Minnesota, a region that covers twelve counties and three tribes. We discuss the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in northwestern Minnesota.