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DEED Commissioner joins Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board

Grand Rapids, Minn. Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has accepted an invitation to join the Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board.

The 17-member Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board, originally convened by the Foundation in 2003, serves as a forum for public- and private-sector perspectives on the sustainable development of high-speed Internet (broadband) in Minnesota’s rural communities.  The board also advises the Foundation on its statewide broadband initiative.

“We are delighted that Commissioner Phillips has agreed to share his talents, expertise and perspectives with the strategy board,” said Kathy Annette, CEO of the Blandin Foundation. “He is a strong addition to the board and to this important conversation about ensuring that the promise of high-speed Internet reaches Minnesota’s rural communities.” 

Phillips continues a longstanding voice for DEED on the Blandin Foundation strategy board, following previous commissioner Dan McElroy. Phillips’ career bridges public and private industry in both metro and greater Minnesota, including director of community and economic development at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and Director of Business Development for Kraus-Anderson Construction.

Blandin Foundation launched its broadband initiative in 2003 with the following vision: “To ensure a high quality of life and a globally competitive future for its citizens, business and communities, Minnesota is committed to making the necessary investment to become a world leader in the universal deployment and use of ultra high-speed next generation broadband.”  For more information:



Blandin Foundation

Blandin Foundation strengthens rural Minnesota communities by investing in community leaders and working with partners to expand opportunity for all rural residents, especially in the Grand Rapids area.  Located in Grand Rapids, Minn., it is one of only a handful of foundations in the U.S.  focused exclusively on rural communities and the largest rural-based private foundation in Minnesota.  Information on Blandin Foundation grant-making, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives:

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