Request for Proposals


Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) is issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) from interested and qualified communications consultants to research, create, and develop strategies for implementing a strategic communication plan for 1) creating key messages to targeted local audiences. 2) identifying the most effective tools and tactics. Responding firms should be experienced in assessing and developing proven, effective strategies for strengthening communications.


Destination Medical Center (DMC) is a unique 20-year economic development initiative. The $5.6 billion plan is the largest in Minnesota’s history. With the expansion of Mayo Clinic and DMC growth, Rochester is a global destination for health and wellness and so much more.

In 2013, state officials determined there was a compelling interest to authorize public investments in Rochester to help support Mayo Clinic in Rochester as a global medical destination center. These leaders worked together to develop DMC and create in statute the financing tools and public governance structure necessary to carry out the global destination vision.

With more than $5 billion in projected private investments over the next 20 years, DMC will provide the public financing necessary to build the public infrastructure and other projects needed to support the vision.

The DMC Initiative serves as a public-private partnership, combining private development by Mayo Clinic and other developers, as well as public funding from the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the State of Minnesota to facilitate and support public infrastructure.  DMC promotes the City of Rochester, and more broadly, the County, and the State as a world destination medical center, to assist the patients, caregivers, residents, employees, and visitors in fully experiencing Rochester as a premier destination medical center while providing extended economic development and opportunities for the city, the region, and the State.

DMC’s Goals

  1. Create a Comprehensive Plan
    Create a comprehensive strategic plan with a compelling vision that harnesses the energy and creativity of the entire region.
  2. Attract Private Investment
    Leverage public investments to attract more than $5 billion in private investments to Rochester.
  3. Create Jobs
    Create more than 30,000 new jobs, with workforce development strategies that support that growth.
  4. Generate Additional Tax Revenue
    Generate approximately $7.5–$8.0 billion in new net tax revenue over 35 years.
  5. Become the Destination of Health and Wellness
    Achieve the highest quality patient, visitor, and community member experience both now and in the future.


The majority of DMC’s communications flow through the Communications Manager. This individual works closely with partners at the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, and other community and state partners to curate unified messaging from our organizations.

DMC EDA typically communicates messages through:

  • Local media
  • DMC website
  • Newsletter
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Live streamed and archived Destination Medical Center Corporation board meetings
  • Events
  • Sponsorships
  • Advertorials
  • Op-Eds
  • Conferences

The goal of this project is to develop and implement a strategic communications program with the primary goal of educating key audiences about DMC. These audiences include but may not be limited to state legislators, Mayo Clinic employees, local government and non-profit leaders, business leaders, and downtown stakeholders. These efforts might be through the use of traditional news media, social media and other communications tools.


The scope of work presented below is an example of what meets the DMC EDA’s goals and objectives. This scope is not final until a consultant is selected, and negotiations are completed. Upon selection, the firm will be expected to propose additions and modifications to the scope of work as deemed necessary or advisable and to incorporate their expertise in the final proposal. The proposal should also include a projected timeline.

General Communication

  • Assess, inventory, and evaluate DMC’s existing communications practices.
  • Identify key target audiences including but not limited to state legislators, Mayo Clinic employees, local government and non-profit leaders, business leaders
  • Review the current use of traditional methods of communication and establish their effectiveness and benchmark these methods with other local/regional/national agency practices.
  • Recommend a unified communication strategy that educates our audiences in ways that are positive, personally relevant, and targeted to key audiences.
  • Propose criteria for evaluating communication and provide an action plan for moving forward.

Social Media

  • Assessment of online tools and social media platforms that should be considered by DMC. Identify programmatic needs for, market reach, and recommendations of usage guidelines by DMC staff.
  • Provide case studies of similar agencies’ communications strategies for utilizing social media highlighting aspects that may be applicable for consideration by DMC EDA and why.
  • Devise a long-term plan to 1) create and sustain a cohesive digital brand for DMC EDA and 2) maximize the digital presence of DMC EDA via websites and social media.
  • Develop and implement processes to promote DMC EDA-related activities by optimizing the use of social media (trends, hashtags, etc.)
  • Analyze (qualitatively and quantitatively) the effectiveness of online engagement campaigns.



Understanding the Scope of Work

A description of how the firm will carry out the scope of services, including the firm’s approach to achieving DMC’s expected goals and outcomes.

Similar Projects

Examples of similar successful projects performed with economic development agencies.

Organization and Credentials

Identify the principal staff who will be assigned to the project and a description of their responsibilities. Provide a work history of these key personnel, including descriptions of their previous projects and responsibilities. Describe the size of the firm and availability to perform the project work that could begin immediately and the availability to perform the work during the next three to six months.


A minimum of three (3) references of current or former clients and representative projects undertaken in the last five years demonstrating experience relevant to this request and which are related to public agency communications, marketing, or public relations. Provide the contact person’s name, title, address, phone number, and email address. Provide a list of current clients, including public agencies.


Firms are required to list past, current, or pending litigation resulting from professional services rendered over the past five years. If a court or an arbitrator rendered a decision, state the results.


Proposed not-to-exceed fee and any related costs over and above the contract fee.

Contact Information

Please send the proposal as a PDF to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 6, 2023.

DMC Announces Second Phase of Main Street Grant Funding

Media Contacts
Geno Palazzari, Communications Manager
Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency
Direct: 307-696-9088 | [email protected]

Megan Moeller, Communications and Engagement Coordinator
City of Rochester
Direct: 507-328-2436 | [email protected]

Molly Schmidt, Director of Marketing & Communications
Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc.
Direct: 507-288-0208 | [email protected]



DMC Announces Second Phase of Main Street Grant Funding

December 21, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency is pleased to announce the beginning of the second phase of grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. In partnership with Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI), this round of grants will be for two business districts outside of the DMC district – Southeast Crossroads to Bear Creek Park area, and the Northwest Design District & Northgate Area.

The Northwest Design District & Northgate Area comprises an area from 4th Ave NW (east), Highway 52 (west), 2nd St NW (south), and 7th St NW (north).

“The Main Street Economic Revitalization Program funding remains critical to Minnesota’s recovery from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon. “These funds – put into the community through local partners like the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency – help create opportunity and energize economic revitalization across Minnesota.”

“These grant dollars are crucial for the businesses affected in these districts in Rochester. We are happy to partner with DMC in administering this grant and serving small businesses who are vital to our economy,” said RAEDI President John Wade.

While downtown Rochester has been severely disrupted by the pandemic, businesses in the surrounding neighborhoods have also experienced significant economic disruption. These neighborhoods tend to be more diverse, include strong BIPOC business ownership, and are highly dependent upon existing commercial establishments in areas that are typically food and service deserts.

Southeast Crossroads to Bear Creek Park area, comprising an area from 3rd Ave SW (east), 17th Ave SE (west), 16th St SE (south), and 9th St SE (north).
Southeast Crossroads to Bear Creek Park area, comprising an area from 3rd Ave SW (east), 17th Ave SE (west), 16th St SE (south), and 9th St SE (north).

DMC EDA and RAEDI seek to strengthen the position of Rochester’s neighborhood-based business centers. Catering to diverse populations, these areas provide unique commercial opportunities to the communities they serve. Walkable and served by transit, these business hubs are key destinations where residents shop, dine, and receive professional services. The typical business building in the two commercial corridors defined in this grant application was built in 1959, highlighting the potential need for capital improvements in these districts.

“The success of the Main Street program in Rochester is a testament to the resiliency of our business community; their desire to thrive and succeed,” said Patrick Seeb, DMC’s executive director. “We will continue to look for other strategic partnerships and opportunities to improve and strengthen Rochester’s economy.”

“I cannot stress enough how important this program has been to Rochester’s continued recovery,” said Rochester Mayor Kim Norton. “And now, through a new partnership, we can share this program with more needed areas in our community”.

The Main Street Grant program kicked off in May 2022. Thus far, the DMC EDA board and the community review team have recommended over $2 million to be distributed to 35 businesses in the downtown core.

All grant awards are subject to final approval from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

About the Main Street Grant Program

The Main Street Grant program provides grants for capital improvement projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value. The grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project costs with applicants securing other sources of funding to match any funds granted by this program. Funding comes from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

For more information on the Main Street Grant program and to apply, visit


About Destination Medical Center

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work, and play in America’s City for Health. Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency is a private non-profit established to provide experience and expertise in developing and marketing on behalf of Destination Medical Center Corporation. For more information, visit

About Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc.

Incorporated in 1985, Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) is a public/private partnership for economic development that serves Olmsted, Dodge, Wabasha, and Fillmore Counties. Our mission is lead and support economic, community, and workforce development initiatives that retain, grow and diversify the greater Rochester area economy. Some of the services provided include financial packaging, business planning, site/location support, and business/community advocacy. For more information, visit

About Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade, and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website.

DMC EDA Announces Appointment of New Board Members

December 14, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency is announcing the appointment of two new board members. Roberta (Bobbie) Dressen, president and CEO of the Medical Alley Association, and Dennis Dahlen, CFO of Mayo Clinic, will begin their 3-year terms on January 1, 2023. They will be replacing Harry Hoffman and Jerry Bell, who will be stepping down at the end of this year.

“We are delighted to welcome Bobbie Dressen and Dennis Dahlen to the DMC EDA board,” said Dr. Clark Otley, president of DMC EDA. “With their incredible accomplishments and breadth of experience, Bobbie and Dennis will be excellent contributors to the success of the Destination Medical Center initiative.”

Roberta (Bobbie) Dressen - DMC EDA Board of Directors Appointee
Roberta Dressen

Roberta (Bobbie) Dressen has been with the Medical Alley Association since 2021. Prior to that, she held leadership roles with Allina Health Systems, UnitedHealth Group, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. Ms. Dressen holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

“As the DMC continues to make huge strides in positioning our region as the epicenter of health innovation and care, it’s an honor to be named to the board to help support our shared objectives,” said Dressen. “In addition to my role at Medical Alley, I feel my background in representing various sectors within health care will contribute to building a global destination for the industry and bring more prosperity to the state.”

Dennis E. Dahlen - DMC EDA Board of Directors Appointee
Dennis E. Dahlen

Dennis Dahlen serves as chief financial officer of Mayo Clinic. Before joining Mayo Clinic in 2017, Mr. Dahlen held the same position at Banner Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system in Phoenix, after serving in several other executive positions with Banner since 1999. Mr. Dahlen earned an M.B.A. in finance from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

“It is an honor to join the DMC EDA at a time when Mayo Clinic is investing in transforming health care,” says Dahlen. “When I came to Mayo in 2017, I was struck by the teamwork and collaboration at Mayo but also the collaboration and thoughtful approach being taken by DMC to secure Rochester, Minnesota as a premier destination for health and wellness now and in the future. We are collectively committing to delivering an unmatched experience for patients, visitors, and residents and that commitment will continue to enhance Rochester’s position as a destination medical center.”

Dressen and Dahlen will be joining current DMC EDA board members Traci Downs, chair of Collider Foundation; Tom Fisher, Director, Minnesota Design Center & Dayton-Hudson Chair in Urban Design, University of Minnesota; Joselyn Raymundo, Founder/President, Rochester Home Infusion; Patrick Seeb, Executive Director, DMC EDA; Mary Jo Williamson, Chief Administrative Officer, Mayo Clinic Collaborative Services; and DMC EDA President Dr. Clark Otley, Chief Medical Officer, Mayo Clinic Platform; Medical Director, Department of Business Development; Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Division of Dermatologic Surgery; Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science; and President, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research


About DMC

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work, and play in America’s City for Health. Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency is a private non-profit established to provide experience and expertise in developing and marketing on behalf of Destination Medical Center Corporation. For more information, visit


About Medical Alley Association

Medical Alley is The Global Epicenter of Health Innovation and Care®, where healthcare leaders call home. In Medical Alley, you will find the world’s leading health technology innovation cluster, the highest ranked hospital, and the globally recognized Destination Medical Center. Medical Alley is also home to the nation’s largest private health insurer and more than 1,000 healthcare companies, employing more than 500,000 Minnesotans and millions more worldwide.


About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing.

Final schedule for the FIFA World Cup™ Viewing Party in downtown Rochester

A 19-foot LED screen in Peace Plaza will broadcast eight games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ from December 9 to December 18.
In collaboration with Destination Medical Center and Mayo Clinic, the Rochester Downtown Alliance will host a World Cup Viewing Party and broadcast the following games in Peace Plaza:

Schedule of games

December 9, 2022
9 a.m. CST: Quarterfinals
1 p.m. CST: Quarterfinals

December 10, 2022
9 a.m. CST: Quarterfinals
1 p.m. CST: Quarterfinals

December 13, 2022
1 p.m. CST: Semifinals

December 14, 2022
1 p.m. CST: Semifinals

December 17, 2022
1 p.m. CST: Third place

December 18, 2022
1 p.m. CST: Finals

Because the World Cup Viewing Party is outdoors in winter, the RDA encourages people attending the free event to come dressed for the weather and to bring their own chairs to enjoy the games. Between games, attendees are encouraged to visit downtown’s shops, restaurants, and service businesses.
Parking is free within the first hour and on weekends in downtown ramps.

Learn more about this event at

November Sustainability Series: Sketchbox – Simplified and Free Energy Modeling Tool

DMC’s November Sustainability Series: Sketchbox – Simplified and Free Energy Modeling Tool


What:           Destination Medical Center (DMC) Monthly Sustainability Series

When:          Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 12-1 p.m.

Where:         Viewable by webinar only. Join the presentation here.

Details:        Join us for an interactive presentation by Slipstream, a mission-driven nonprofit organization, that recently launched a free version of its simplified energy modeling tool—Sketchbox.

If you’re not familiar with energy modeling, it is a software-based tool that architects, engineers and building operators use to make accurate energy-saving decisions on new and existing buildings. A user creates the initial building using an energy code baseline and then re-simulates the building using various energy conservation measures. Sketchbox can also be used to identify energy savings for existing buildings and retrofits.

For more information and to access Sketchbox, please visit

Ben Heymer
Slipstream—Director of Engineering, Chicago
Ben leads a team of energy engineers focused on decarbonizing the built environment.  He is an experienced engineering consultant, designer, researcher, and energy modeler. He leads technical assistance and program design for energy efficiency programs and builds tools to help owners and designers focus on high-impact solutions.

About the DMC Sustainability Series

The DMC Sustainability Series is a monthly seminar sponsored by Destination Medical Center and the City of Rochester. The purpose is to introduce sustainability concepts and best practices for everyone to consider. The series is held virtually the third Wednesday of every month at noon.



Destination Medical Center Corporation Board Applauds Process of Soldiers Field Memorial Park Improvements

At the November 10, 2022 meeting, the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors commended the process the City of Rochester and Rochester City Park Board have undertaken in working toward an equitable, sustainable, inclusive final design. The Rochester Parks Board adopted the Short-Term Soldiers Field Master Plan at their October 4, 2022 meeting.

There are several key features within the 2022 Soldiers Field Master Plan that align with the DMC Development Plan

  • Continues to define Soldiers Field Memorial Park as an anchor and signature public space of the Education and Recreation Sub-district.
  • Equitably designed spaces that are created with the specific needs of users.
  • Provides a welcoming and inclusive park for a growing and diverse community.
  • Incorporating sustainable design practices.

“We have a great opportunity with this project, the Riverfront, and key infrastructure, most notably Discovery Walk to differentiate us from our competitors,” said board member R.T. Rybak. “I strongly support putting funds into this project and making sure the City and Destination Medical Center are in alignment on how this incredible redesigned asset connects to Discovery Walk and the Riverfront.”

An update on the Main Street Economic Revitalization grant program was also provided to the board. To date, funding has been awarded to 36 different projects for a total award of $2.01 million with an average award of $56,000. 42% of the awardees are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC), woman-owned/led, and or/veteran-owned businesses.

The board also received an update on DMC’s equitable economic development strategies. DMC EDA staff members Kevin Bright and Wafa Elkhalifa were joined by Chao Mwatela, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director Chao for the City of Rochester, and Dee Sabol, Executive Director of the Diversity Council to highlight this collaborative effort by the Rochester community toward ensuring that everyone in Rochester is included in the economic prosperity associated with the DMC initiative.

“This is what sets DMC apart from many other economic development initiatives; the buy-in from the DMC team and our partners,” said board member Brooke Carlson. “This is a collective community responsibility. It takes engagement and partnership across so many different sectors and representatives and leaders in our community as well as those living and breathing and experiencing the inequities in our community to come together. Thank you for setting the gold standard for how we do our work at the City and DMC through this co-design process and being the catalyst for how this work can be done across the state and across the country.”

The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.


About DMC

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work and play in America’s City for Health. For more information, visit

Meet the Link Rapid Transit station artists at two public events, November 2 & 3

The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency are holding two in-person “Meet the Station Artists” events on Wednesday, November 2 and Thursday, November 3. The in-person events will provide basic information on Link Rapid Transit and will introduce the community to plans for integrating public art into the transit stations. The six artists will highlight their respective conceptual designs based on input collected during previously held community stakeholder sessions.

The events will be an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions of the project staff and artists, as well as share their concerns and aspirations for their neighborhood and for how the art will be represented in transit.

The two events are:

Meet the Station Artists – Open House #1
Wednesday, November 2, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Riverside Central Elementary School, inside the cafeteria
506 5th Ave. SE, Rochester, MN
Poster boards with project details and artists’ conceptual designs will be available.
Light refreshments will be provided. Parking is available.

Meet the Station Artists – Open House #2
Thursday, November 3, 11 am-1 pm
Café Aquí
1811 2nd St SW Suite B, Rochester, MN 55902
Poster boards with project details and artists’ conceptual designs will be available.
Light refreshments will be provided. Parking is available.

For more information, view the event flier or visit the Link BRT webpage.

Link Rapid Transit is a generational investment in Rochester’s public transit infrastructure, which promises to deliver an entirely new level of service and rider experience to the Rochester Community. The 2.6-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line will provide high-capacity transit along 2nd Street and 3rd Avenue SE, and is expected to begin service in 2026.

Reasons for Optimism: DMC leaders talk about the vision for the future

With the newly unveiled mural Sol Flowers by local artist Jenna Whiting on display, the Rochester community gathered in a most unlikely spot for Destination Medical Center’s 2022 AnnualBand True North performing Meeting. At the corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street Southeast, guests enjoyed music from local duo True North, food from The Duck Truck and Infuzn, and a perfect southeast Minnesota evening. DMC partner organizations lined the tunnel next to the railroad tracks, showcasing the myriad ideas and activities that make downtown Rochester a vibrant, welcoming environment.

The location may have seemed unusual at first – located next to three parking ramps and an undeveloped city block – but, as DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb described, it’s at the nexus of several potential development sites, as well as a future extension of the Heart of the City, connecting Peace Plaza with the Mayo Civic Center and the Zumbro River. “That is the conversation we want to begin tonight is thinking about the future of this site, thinking about the public realm potential of 1st Street connecting the downtown to Mayo Civic Center,” said Seeb.

Reasons for Optimism

DMC EDA President Dr. Clark Otley spoke about the continued optimism for the future of DMC and Rochester. He pointed to the continued expansion of the Mayo Clinic Downtown campus with the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building and Proton Beam facility expansion, as well as the completion of Two Discovery Square as reasons for enthusiasm. “When we think of facilities, we think about building world-class facilities for world-class doctors and researchers and nurses and technicians for patients from across the world who have the toughest diseases in the world,” stated Otley.

Dr. Otley shined a spotlight on another significant project. “Earlier this year, we opened up the Peace Plaza to a renewed, beautiful state,” he noted. “Those of you that made it down through the summer saw little kids stomping in water, families having fun… It’s a really beautiful space.” He also prefaced the excitement of Discovery Walk construction as it will connect Peace Plaza to Soldiers Field Memorial Park.

The Riverfront presents another area for optimism. “It’s going to be an opportunity to be a legacy for our community,” he continued. “DMC has been a very good partner with the City, the County, and lots of other agencies, to do a community discovery process to really get input. What does that mean for us? What can we make that space into really speaks to our vision as a community? A community that is focused on health and equity and diversity and sustainability moving forward.”

Capacity BuildingVendor speaking with attendee

Mayor Kim Norton spoke about the importance of ensuring all members of our community participate in the prosperity of the DMC initiative. “Not only are we designing and building the infrastructure necessary for Rochester’s successful growth,” Mayor Norton said, “we are also designing and building the systems necessary to ensure that how we build is just as important as what we build.”

Mayor Norton spoke about the goals that the City of Rochester and DMC share to make sure that women and minorities have opportunities to participate in publicly funded projects. She also spoke about the community co-design process which is an approach to encourage, compensate, and prioritize the inclusion of diverse populations throughout the design and development process. Community Co-Design has become a valued and effective community-centric approach to developing healthy and equitable projects, policies, and practices in the Rochester region. It has been used for projects like Discovery Walk, LINK Bus Rapid Transit, and Riverfront Small Area Plan development. Norton stated, “We use co-design to ensure that there would be inclusive, accessible, and welcoming spaces that encourage health and cultural belonging.”

Attention was also brought to collaborations with the local business community including the Business Forward strategy that has been employed on several recent construction projects like Heart of the City Phase I and Discovery Walk. Business Forward is meant to mitigate the impact of construction by prioritizing the needs of businesses and other stakeholders in the construction process.

The Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Program was also highlighted. It is a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development designed to help our downtown businesses recover from the pandemic, as well as elevate opportunities for BIPOC, veteran, and disabled business and property owners. “To date, 30 organizations have been recommended for funding totaling over $1.6 million,” announced Mayor Norton. “These funds will help to leverage over $48 million in private investment into Rochester’s downtown. Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our community. We are eager to support them in whatever ways we can.”

Picture of DMC Leadership

Vision for the Future

DMC Corporation Chair Pam Wheelock pointed to the “persistence, resilience and spirit that is woven into the very fabric of this community” for an optimistic view of the future. She called attention to the way Rochester’s business community responded to the pandemic by pivoting to find new ways to safely reach their customers and to those that caught the entrepreneurial spirit and brought their ideas to life.

“The persistence, resilience, and community spirit already in evidence in Rochester bodes well for achieving Destination Medical Center’s vision of making Rochester America’s City for Health,” said Wheelock. “We are already attracting new investment from outside the area, including new commercial development and new life science and technology companies.”

She referenced the significant infrastructure improvements in the past and on the horizon, as well as a continued focus on community engagement as reasons why Rochester has a bright future. She also stressed the importance of telling Rochester’s story to the world as not only a destination for the world’s best medical care but also a great place to live, work and raise a family.

“On behalf of the Destination Medical Center Corporation’s board of directors, I want to express profound thanks and gratitude for the myriad partnerships and collaborations that have enabled the progress we have seen through DMC’s first years,” Wheelock avowed. “I firmly believe that what we have accomplished together so far grants us the right to think very boldly and optimistically about Rochester’s future and to fulfill our ambition to be America’s City for Health.”

Final Surprise

Patrick Seeb again took the stage to introduce the evening’s final speaker, one that was not on the agenda when the Annual Meeting was being planned. As part of the “leave behind” to continue bringing attention to the meeting space, a mural was painted on the blank wall of the Civic Center Ramp. There were many amazing artists that submitted ideas but none of them wMural on parking ramp wallere better than Jenna Whiting. “I would like to give the last words to Jenna Whiting to describe this piece of art that will now be permanently part of our community,” said Seeb. “Perhaps it will be an inspiration for how we can use other blank walls in our community, to start enlivening and connecting.”

Jenna Whiting was born and raised in Rochester, MN. As a self-taught artist, she specializes in mural work, digital design, children’s book illustrations, and acrylic painting. Her designs reflect a sense of whimsy and childlike wonder but are also balanced with simplistic and sophisticated methods.

Here is Jenna Whiting’s description of her piece in her own words. “My inspiration for Sol Flowers literally came out of thin air. As I was reaching for my drawing tools to sketch out some ideas, three sun prints I had recently created fell to my feet in a perfect layout. I’m pretty sure a beacon of light was shining somewhere. I immediately imagined the facade of this building covered in botanical images on a vivid cyan background. The images are inspired by native grasses and flowers growing throughout our city – which are just as captivating to see on the ground as they are five stories up.”

A perfect end to a perfect southeast Minnesota evening.

Thanks to our sponsors

Gold Sponsors




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Bronze Sponsors

Alatus LLC, Home Federal Savings Bank, SRF Consulting Group, Inc., Knutson Construction, Premier Banks, Benike Construction, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Mortenson, Camegaran, Ryan Companies US, Inc., RSP Architects

DMC Celebrates Community Co-Design Toolkit

Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester celebrated the culmination of over two years of work with the publication of the Community Co-Design Toolkit. It is a booklet of tools and tactics for “equitable community engagement and action”.Co-design booklets on a table

“This is a celebration of an approach that has been used to help create new places and programs, answer particularly difficult questions, and open up opportunities for many community members to participate in public decision-making processes,” said DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb.

Ten local community co-design pilots have been completed over the last two years to help guide local projects. One of those pilots led to Rochester winning a $1 million grant as a 2021 Global Mayor’s Challenge Champion City. This project created a set of programs to address the challenges encountered by workplaces and members of the BIPOC community in the construction industry. It combined the experiences of industry, educators, and the experiences of BIPOC women to develop ideas to increase the chance of successful and meaningful employment.

Mayor Kim Norton added, “One of the reasons we were selected for this award was the use of the co-design process and forming solutions in collaboration with the community to increase their likelihood of success.”

Other co-design pilots include:

  • Discovery Walk
  • Channel One Food Bank
  • Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities & Colleges (GRAUC) Healthcare Simulation Center
  • 6th Street Bridge
  • Riverfront Reimagined
  • Link BRT Station Design
  • Senior Housing (with Rochester Area Foundation)
  • BIPOC Home Ownership (with Rochester Area Foundation)
  • Rochester Public Schools Students Belonging

What is Community Co-Design

Community Co-Design is an approach to encourage, compensate, and prioritize the inclusion of diverse populations throughout the design and development process. Community Co-Design hasFatuma Ahmed speaking at podium become a valued and effective community-centric approach to developing healthy and equitable projects, policies, and practices in the Rochester region.

This process was developed as an alternative to traditional engagement practices that limited participation and focused on short-term relationships. Co-design seeks to focus on challenges and the people impacted by them by prioritizing lived experiences and investing in long-term relationships, trust building, and networking.

The Community Co-Design Toolkit was authored by Jess Roberts (Culture of Health, LLC & University of Minnesota), Kevin Bright (DMC EDA & City of Rochester), and Wafa Elkhalifa (DMC EDA).

For more Co-Design information and resources, please contact DMC Equitable Development Coordinator Wafa Elkhalifa.

Community Co-Design Toolkit download

DMCC Board Approves Funding of Soldiers Field Memorial Park Improvements

The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors conditionally approved $10 million for improvements at Soldiers Field Memorial Park. This request will help to fund proposed uses north of the golf course, which falls within the DMC District. Soldiers Field Golf Course is outside the district.

“We look forward to partnering with the community to make their vision for Soldiers Field become a reality,” said DMC Board Chair Pamela Wheelock. “It is a critical piece of community infrastructure and a great asset to downtown Rochester.”

The improvements will be based on the Soldiers Field Master plan update that is currently being reviewed by the Rochester City Council.

Additionally, the board approved funding for the continued support of LINK Bus Rapid Transit, the construction of the final two blocks of Discovery Walk, and funding the advancement of the Riverfront Small Area Plan that was approved by the Rochester City Council in July of 2022.

The board also received an update on DMC’s strategies to develop new community housing in the downtown core with the support of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing, a collaborative community program to create and preserve affordable and workforce-priced housing in the Rochester area. One of the successful strategies has been the introduction of new housing developers to the Rochester market.

“It has been a long road getting everyone to the table,” said DMC Board Secretary Paul Williams. “This is exciting to see. We want to have a community where there is competition to build affordable housing.”

Additionally, the DMCC board approved the DMC Economic Development Agency’s (EDA) 2023 workplan and budgets. Strategic direction from the board as well as DMC goals, guiding principles and priorities helped shape the request. It will be presented in October to Rochester City Council for approval.

See the full video below:

The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.