Mandan News

Ellen Huber: ‘Mandan Tomorrow’ committees to forge ahead

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At a public meeting held Sept. 17, the Mandan City Commission, School Board, Park Board and Morton County Commission formally approved adoption of the “Mandan Tomorrow” strategic plan. Putting the plan into operation is the next step in a continual process of improving Mandan.The plan provides direction for the next five to 10 years with this vision for the future:

“Mandan is a vibrant, growing community known for its pioneering spirit and leadership in blazing the way to a welcoming, supportive and affordable hometown atmosphere and quality education system for families and residents of all ages; an environment for business innovation and success; and a historic, adventurous and exciting destination for visitors. Together we make it happen!”

The Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the strategic planning process for Mandan with contributions from private businesses as well as the city of Mandan, Mandan Public School District and Mandan Park District. Karen Johner, a Mandan resident, business representative and Chamber board member, is leading the implementation committee.

Subcommittees will be tackling numerous strategies and actions in four main areas:

* Leadership, Pride and Image – Chair Laurie Leingang, Tim Helbling, Kristi Entzi, Damian Huettl, Pam Mack, Kelly Steckler, Dot Frank, Nathan Dvorak and staff liaison Ellen Huber.

* Economic Opportunity and Prosperity – Chair Jay Feil, Wade Bachmeier, Dennis Haider, Niles Hushka, Rob Knoll, Todd Porter, Bruce Strinden, and staff liaison Richard Mower.

* Quality Places and Destinations – Co Chairs Norm Clark and Lee Pierce, Terry Kraft, Annette Behm Caldwell, Lisa Quintus, Matt Schanandore, Del Wetsch, and staff liaison Cole Higlin.

* Education and Workforce – Co-Chairs Kirsten Baesler and Dave Clark, Tom Conlon, Phil Davis, Kevin Fishbeck, Melissa Hellman, Jeff Moser and staff liaison Wilfred Volesky.

The committees will hold meetings this fall to review the plan and determine first year priorities so they can hit the ground running in 2010. Updates will be provided as needed or approximately quarterly to the elected bodies and the public through a website, press releases, and other reports.

The plan is based on community input received through 20 one-on-one interviews, seven focus group sessions, 870 responses to an online survey and a community assessment looking at Mandan’s competitive position as compared to local market area, state and nationwide averages. A steering committee of nearly 30 citizens, business representatives, and elected officials shaped the plan with help from Market Street Services of Atlanta, Georgia, which also providing research services and facilitated public input for the process. A big thank you goes to all who participated.

The detailed plan is posted at along with other project documents. If you have questions or input regarding the plan, or if you would like to serve on one of the implementation subcommittees, please contact the Chamber at 223-5660.