The third session of the exclusive “Leadership MN” program to which RCOC Chamber President, Angie Schaefbauer is a participant was held in the Twin Cities. Topics covered were healthcare, retail and technology.
We received briefings from the Minnesota Chamber which recapped 2014 election results and the Minnesota Retailers Association. Mall of America executives spoke about how technology advancements and changing consumer behavior have impacted the constantly evolving retail industry; they spoke of their future expansion efforts and the presentation culminated with a rooftop tour of the Mall of America.
We visited PaR Systems, Inc. where we toured their operations and talked with leadership about what PaR Systems needs to stay competitive and grow. They produce advanced robotics used at Chernobyl and Fukushima, highly sensitive products used by NASA and automation equipment for the medical device industry.
Later we traveled to Thomson Reuters where we learned how they have evolved over the years and how data is turned into intelligent information. We also toured one of their many world-class data centers and learned about the technologies used.
Day 2 included travel to the University of Minnesota where we heard from the Office of University Economic Development, Office for Technology Commercialization and the Office of University Economic Development during which we learned how important the University of Minnesota is to the economic success of this state and how they commercialize research, ideas and inventions and turn them into products and ultimately Minnesota jobs. We then toured their medical device lab and SimPsee their work up close.
We then traveled to Regions Hospital where incoming CEO Megan Remark, EVP/CMO Andrea Walsh provided an overview on Regions Hospital and HealthPartners and their impact to Minnesota. We also participated in a panel discussion about federal health care reform during which we learned about health care reform and how it will affect Minnesota companies as well as consumers as it continues to be a very complicated issue. We toured Region’s Emergency Department and even “gowned up” for a tour of their surgical services and saw some of their state of the art technology and new developments in hospital care.