VHEDC 2019 Initiatives

This year has been a year of change and growth for VHEDC. A new Executive Director Liz Moscatelli is in place, and a two new board members are working together to develop a strategic plan for 2020 and beyond. Nancy Hoglund, owner of Hoglund Coaching and a Certified Effectiveness Coach, ASQ Certified Manager, and Baldrige & AQIP Trainer and Consultant, is helping VHEDC with the strategic vision.

In partnership with the City of Vadnais Heights, the VHEDC conducted a Business Retention & Expansion Survey Project with technical assistance from the University of Minnesota. See Summary Report.

The VHEDC sponsored City Center Task Force was instrumental in launching a Farmers Market in the City of Vadnais Heights with the support of the St. Paul Growers Association.  The Market operates on Wednesdays from 2 to 6 pm behind the Helene Houle Medical Center through end of September.

Initiative of the VHEDC Workforce Action Committee include hosting a series of Community Conversation about local workforce development, sponsoring interns at area businesses each summer, and launching a marketing initiative called Success Stories to highlight employees at local manufacturing businesses.

VHEDC Investing in Your Business and the Community for over 30 years!

VHEDC Milestones Over the Years

First Strategic Planning Session of the Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC)

On a cold, wintry afternoon, early 1985–soon after the VHEDC was incorporated (November 1984)–the VHEDC Board organized a strategic planning session and recommended the following (in order of importance) for the City of Vadnais Heights:

City Center:

Plan for the creation of an upgraded business area of the approximately 140 acres of undeveloped/underdeveloped land that centered around the intersection of County Road E and I-35E. Over time, “City Center” was incorporated, quadrant-by-quadrant.


It was necessary to have a place of lodging nearby for business travelers. Representatives of the VHEDC met with hotel developers, visited several hotels in the area, and paid for a hotel market study to assess what was needed and what the community could support. The VHEDC then purchased an option on three acres of the Bibeau property…where the Holiday Inn Express & Suites stands today.

Grocery store:

In 1985, Tom Thumb Grocery (located at County Road E and Hoffman Road East) and Garceau’s “Little Store”(on Centerville Road, near intersection of Edgerton Road) were the City’s only grocers. That year, VHEDC began making inquiries with larger chains. Eventually, when Vadnais Square was being developed, Festival Foods became a major anchor in 1999.

Open for Business

“Open for Business” signage was proudly erected along I-35E by the VHEDC after gaining Star City Status for Vadnais Heights. It was a two-fold advertising message to the“ then”50,000 daily interstate travelers…(1) The City of Vadnais Heights offered land ready for development with zonings and utilities in place; and, (2) The City had a cooperative city government and nonprofit development corporation ready to assist businesses that wanted to locate to Vadnais Heights.

Marketing Campaign

One “Star City”program requirement was that communities prepare a video presentation to showcase their accomplishments. The VHEDC slide-show presentation–a new business recruitment tool–highlighted the City’s economic development and included testimonies from many local business leaders.

Fast Forward…

The VHEDC is comprised of eight standing committees and supported by a membership of nearly 100 businesses, residents, and community leaders. The standing committees are membership, real estate, finance, marketing/public relations, planning/program, business retention, revolving loan program, and website. An intensive business survey and retention program is initiated.

Twenty years earlier, the VHEDC was organized with a strategy/mission of “orderly growth” for not only the City of Vadnais but also for a larger community that comprised School Districts 621 and 624 (the cities of Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, and White Bear Township).

In 2004, the City’s solid commercial tax base was supported by Reell Precision Manufacturing, Vadnais Technologies, IC System Inc., Dynamic Air, GML, H.B. Fuller, SEH and Festival Foods. The City Center developments at the intersection of I-35E and County Road E included national retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, Community National Bank, Sidney’s Restaurant (now, Mad Jack’s), Jimmy’s Restaurant and Conference Center, and the Holiday Inn Express. New office complexes, such as the City Center Office Park (19,000 square feet), Willow Lake Offices (42,000 square feet), and Overton Office Park (14,000 square feet) were currently under construction. The community was nearly at full development, and the VHEDC’s emphasis became one of redevelopment. Hank Tessier, then VHEDC executive vice president, said, “Our organization is ready for future challenges, and we invite those interested in supporting the business community to join us.”

Now, more than 10 years later…

The VHEDC is not content to rest on past milestones…It remains firmly focused on present challenges and continues to plan for future accomplishments.

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