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Lake County Goes to MN State Chamber Session Priorities Dinner

On January 4th, the Minnesota State Chamber Session Priorities Dinner kicked off the new year. President and CEO of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce Janelle Jones spearheaded Lake County’s participation at this state-wide event.

Janelle Jones, Kiera Wilson of Park State Bank, Commissioner Rick Goutermont, and Bill Olson from Adolfson & Peterson Construction represented Lake County at the dinner. Unfortunately, other representatives from Lake County who intended to come were hindered by the winter weather.

Hosted by the Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce at St. Paul’s River Centre, the event had 1,500 attendees from across Minnesota. The Session Priorities Dinner is the Minnesota Chamber’s highest-profile event of the year. The annual event serves as the unofficial start of the legislative season. Attendees included Governor Walz, bipartisan legislative leaders, and elected officials and business leaders from all corners of the state.

Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce president Doug Loon served as moderator at the event, asking Governor Walz questions of interest to the business community. Attendees learned about various issues that will be addressed this legislative season, as well as pre- dictions for this next season and Governor Walz’s views on housing and childcare issues. Representative Natalie Zeleznikar (District 3B) and Senator Grant Hauschild (District 3) were in attendance, and Janelle Jones and Com- missioner Goutermont were able to meet with Representative Zeleznikar the following morning over breakfast to discuss pertinent issues for Lake County. The Lake County Chamber is trying to “help support local issues brought forth by the county and cities”. At the breakfast session, the Highway 61 project was discussed. Representative Zeleznikar wishes to secure funding resources to get it and other initiatives “across the finish line.”.

The Minnesota State Chamber Session Priorities Dinner is an amazing opportunity for elected officials and business leaders to network with each other. Due to the recent election, the 2023 Chamber Session Priorities Dinner was an especially important opportunity to build relationships among the new representatives and senators.

Janelle Jones, Commissioner Goutermont, and Silver Bay Mayor LeBlanc went to St. Paul on Monday, January 9th. They testified before both the jobs committee and the finance committee, urging for legislation to be passed for benefit extension for Cleveland-Cliffs employees. (See updated press release below.)

On January 17th, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce will be having their annual luncheon. Doug Loon will be the keynote speaker for this event for chamber members.

Thank you to our Lake County leaders for making sure we’re well-represented at our state capital!

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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