Our new President/CEO, B Kyle, has officially started as of Tuesday, August 1! To help you get to know a little bit about B and her thoughts about current issues and the future of the East Metro we did a Q & A session:
Share a story from your time in Germany
B Kyle: One of my favorite trips was to Amsterdam. Did you know that over 1/3 of that country is actually below sea level? Hence the wooden shoes.... Yes, we saw the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.... But my favorite tour was the Heineken Brewery (what can I say...). We got a fabulous tour and, of course, we spent a great deal of time in the brewhouse sampling. Gotta love the "Red Star" version of the beer! Still my favorite, next to Summit EPA, even today.
How are you planning to approach the $15 minimum wage discussions in Saint Paul?
Very carefully. What we know is the City of Saint Paul and her private partners, the Chamber included, care deeply about ensuring its citizens earn a livable wage. We also know that businesses, if for no other reason than economic imperative, need to pay their workers a competitive wage. What we don't know is the best policy approach - if there is one - to dictate such certainty.
In Seattle, to be sure, the $15 minimum wage mandate already is creating challenges for employers and workers alike. Negative outcomes like these tell me we have more work to do here, thoughtfully considering the unintended consequences of such a policy.
Where do you see Saint Paul in five years?
I love this city. And I love being a part of its future. As I see it, Saint Paul is working to become an equitable innovation economy. A mouthful, to be sure, and yet true. We are striving towards innovation in how we think about business, how we partner on development. And we place the very highest value on executing such innovation under the umbrella of equity. I'm telling you, exciting things are happening - new people are moving here, and new money is being invested.
In the words of the President of the College of St Benedict, Dr. Mary Hinton (a new friend from my alma mater), we are "working towards a colorful and just tomorrow." That's what Saint Paul will look more like in five years.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Back in the day, I was a competitive ballroom dancer. International Latin... a long time ago, so don't ask me to mambo.
We hope you will be able to attend one of our upcoming events to meet B and perhaps share your stories and hopes about the Saint Paul and East Metro with her!