Press Release: Destination Medical Center’s Economic Development Agency Readies for Next Phase of DMC Initiative, Lisa Clarke Named as EDA’s First Executive Director

ROCHESTER, Minn. (April 30, 2015) –The DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) is moving quickly to formalize the operations of the EDA following the final approval of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Development Plan by the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors at its April 23 meeting. This allows the EDA to effectively launch into managing the next phase of the DMC initiative in partnership with the community, the DMCC, Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester and Olmsted County.

The DMC EDA announced four important developments: it has selected Lisa Clarke as its first executive director; it is actively recruiting four other key staff positions; it will be moving into its own office space in downtown Rochester; and it has received a pledge by Mayo Clinic to provide additional financial assistance to support the DMC initiative.

Lisa Clarke Named DMC EDA Executive Director

Clarke has spent 17 years with Mayo Clinic in progressive roles with the past four years focused on providing leadership and strategic direction to bring the DMC vision to life, including serving as DMC EDA’s interim executive director since 2013. In this role, she has organized research, defined the project needs, built relationships throughout the community, managed all aspects of creation of development plan from community engagement to serving as liaison with local government and galvanized the legislation. Prior to Mayo, Clarke worked in leadership roles with the YMCA of the USA, as a national consultant for strategic planning and program development; and in the YMCA of the Twin Cities, where she participated in the development of two major downtown facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In December 2014, Clarke was named the Rochester Post-Bulletin’s Newsmaker of the Year related to her leadership of the DMC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and her MBA from University of St. Thomas.

“I have confidence that Lisa Clarke possesses the strong leadership, relationships and business savvy to take this initiative to the next level as the DMC initiative enters the important implementation phase. She is a well-respected business and community leader with extensive experience in marketing, business development, community relations, and strategic planning,” said Destination Medical Center EDA Board Chair Jeff Bolton. “As we move forward, the focus shifts to creating the Economic Development Agency structure and processes, building the operational systems and finalizing the criteria and documentation required to approve projects.”

Gary Smith, ‎President of Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. (RAEDI) and a member of the DMC EDA Board said, “Lisa’s business acumen along with her knowledge and leadership experience have been a driving force in the Destination Medical Center initiative and the development of its economic development agency. Her strong leadership and understanding of the complexities with DMC are invaluable as we move toward our vision of Rochester as a global destination for health and wellness.”

Recruiting Additional EDA Staff

The EDA is in the process of building additional staff and will be posting for four open positions: Economic Development/Operations Director, Community Relations Manager, Executive Assistant and Finance Manager.

The Economic Development/Operations Director provides economic development and marketing leadership for the EDA, which includes on-going communications and economic development related initiatives with Mayo Clinic; as well as developing and implementing a regional, national and global marketing campaign for the DMC.

Job descriptions and applications can be found at:

Downtown Rochester Office Space Identified for DMC EDA

The EDA has identified street-level office space located downtown to provide visibility and easy access to the public, which supports its mission. The EDA offices will occupy a ground-level location in the Rosa Parks Pavilion at 195 South Broadway. The staff will move to their new location in September.

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rob Miller added, “The DMC EDA office will be a welcome addition to our business community. Its visibility and accessibility within the heart of downtown Rochester is important as the initiative moves forward.”

Mayo Pledges to Underwrite Additional Financial Support

In addition to $8.3 million already invested by Mayo Clinic in DMC, Mayo has also pledged an additional $1.5 million to fund the feasibility study and project plan for Discovery Square. Mayo also committed $585,000 for ongoing support of some EDA staffing costs, the DMC EDA office space and various operational services. DMC’s Discovery Square, which will include the current Minnesota BioBusiness Center, is anticipated to be one of the largest drivers for job growth as it positions Rochester to attract medical innovators and researchers with the ultimate goal of commercializing new medical discovery and businesses throughout the city and the state. Conversations are already happening with organizations such as Epic Systems Corp., which recently earned the contract for Mayo Clinic’s electronic health records, to have a future presence in Discovery Square.

“A sincere thank you to Mayo Clinic for its pledge to help underwrite the DMC EDA costs,” said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede. “The significant investments by Mayo thus far show their dedication and ongoing commitment to the successful implementation of DMC and the positive partnership with the City of Rochester for the economic growth of Rochester.”

The Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency (EDA) is a non-profit agency that contracts with the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors to work with the City of Rochester, the DMCC and other stakeholders to develop and implement the DMC plans and strategy. For more information about DMC, visit