Recharge Mankato: Expanding Innovation, Opportunity & Vitality in Greater Mankato

MANKATO, MN (October 9, 2018) – Over 50 community members came together on a blustery morning to witness the culmination of Recharge Mankato. This past Saturday, October 6, the Olseth Family Foundation, Mankato Area Foundation, and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State University, Mankato hosted a campaign launch and roundtable discussion about Recharge Mankato.

The concept behind Recharge Mankato started in late 2017 when the Olseth Family Foundation approached REACH Strategies out of California about exploring plug-in electric vehicle adoption throughout the Greater Mankato region. Their dream was to engage our community around electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure to position Mankato to lead the state in the emerging clean energy economy. Their audacious goal, by 2030, 40% of the new vehicles in the region would be plug-in electric vehicles.

Soon after, Jon Olseth and his spouse, MaryPat Anderson, reached out to the Mankato Area Foundation. With the foundation's role as a local convener, the aim was to engage community leaders and stakeholders in a broad overall discussion. Both foundations also believed in the importance of involving the local university and found significant value in partnering with Minnesota State University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, especially with their unique automotive engineering program.

“This type of partnership between a private family foundation, local community foundation, and state university is the first of its kind in the nation,” said Tony Frentz, a local business owner and attendee of the event.

Topics of discussion at the event included an overview of electric vehicles and what they can mean for Mankato’s growth and vitality, an emerging strategy aimed at introducing Greater Mankato Area residents to the vehicles, and innovative philanthropic approaches for building electric vehicle awareness, including conducting electric vehicle events in conjunction with our local schools, businesses, and other local organizations.

“The morning was spent sharing with local community leaders what we have been working on, as well as to ask how this initiative can help achieve our shared goals related to innovation, talent attraction, retention, and livability,” said Nancy Zallek of the Mankato Area Foundation.

The breakfast and discussion was immediately followed by a technology showcase and electric vehicle ride and drive featuring participation from leading auto dealers from across Greater Mankato.


About the Mankato Area Foundation

The Mankato Area Foundation is a donor-driven community foundation whose purpose is to improve the livability in Greater Mankato through philanthropy.

For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grantmaker and collaborative partner. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, the Mankato Area Foundation has been able to address key community objectives and convene individuals and organizations to find solutions for local challenges.

To learn more about the Mankato Area Foundation and how the organization makes an impact in the community visit or visit them on Facebook.