Blandin Foundation CEO named to Walz’s Council on Economic Expansion

The head of a northern Minnesota non-profit group will be one 15 members of a new Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion, which was established Tuesday.

Gov. Tim Walz says the group will bring together labor, business, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders to provide recommendations on expanding Minnesota’s economy.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, the group will first make recommendations for using federal funding from the American Rescue Plan. After that, it will work to develop "a long-term roadmap to achieve a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient Minnesota through public, private, and nonprofit systemic change."

"The Council on Economic Expansion brings together the brightest minds in Minnesota to create a strong economic future that includes every Minnesotan. I am grateful to each of these leaders, and I look forward to their work on this Council," Walz said in a news release.

The group’s members include Tuleah Palmer, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation.

The council will be co-chaired by former Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger and Project for Pride and Living President and CEO Paul Williams. The group also incudes Neel Kashkari, the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The council will hold its first meeting Wednesday and will then meet each Monday for the next few months, with membership terms continuing until July 1, 2022. More information is available at

Click here for the full Executive Order and a list of those involved in this council.