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Two of Minnesota’s largest regional chambers of commerce plan to consolidate

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May 21, 2020

New organization formed by Minneapolis and TwinWest chambers will focus on helping
businesses thrive in a new economy in wake of COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – May 21, 2020 – The Minneapolis Regional Chamber and the TwinWest Chamber
of Commerce today announce that they plan to consolidate their two organizations into one unified
chamber to better serve members and the business community in a new economy. The boards of
directors for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber and the TwinWest Chamber approved joint resolutions
this morning that formally state their intent to consolidate.

While this consolidation was being seriously considered before the COVID-19 pandemic, the current
business environment has increased the need for innovation and partnership. The chambers have
complementary strategic initiatives and programming, and this consolidation will allow them to work
together on their shared goals of helping businesses prepare for a changed economy and strengthening
the region’s workforce.

The president and CEO of the merged chamber will be Jonathan Weinhagen, the current president and
CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. TwinWest Chamber President Shannon Full will assume the
role of executive vice president for the new organization.

“The Minneapolis Regional Chamber and TwinWest Chamber deliver value in different ways and
combining our strengths and building on them is a win for the business community,” said Weinhagen. “I
have long admired Shannon’s leadership of the TwinWest Chamber and look forward to what we can
accomplish together with a strong, shared voice.”

Chambers across the country are restructuring or consolidating to ensure they are delivering top value
to member businesses. The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives states that 25-30% of U.S.
chambers will not be operating in the same form post-pandemic. Weinhagen and Full believe this new
chamber will deliver improved member experiences, increased connections and better outcomes that
benefit our region’s business community.

“By leveraging collective resources and relationships, together we can bring forward innovative
programs for our members and solution-based strategies for the region,” said Full. “We are excited to
increase the value that we bring to members and stakeholders at a time when it is most needed.”

The new combined chamber will now represent more than 2,000 businesses – large and small, urban
and suburban – across the greater Twin Cities metro area, making it the largest regional chamber in
Minnesota. The Minneapolis Regional Chamber currently serves the 11-county metro area (Hennepin, 
Ramsey, Scott, Carver, Wright, Sherburne, Isanti, Anoka, Chisago, Washington and Dakota counties). The TwinWest Chamber serves the cities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, Minnetonka, New Hope, Plymouth and St. Louis Park.

“Times like these require new thinking and innovation. As a member of both of these chambers, we at
General Mills are excited to see two of Minnesota’s most reputable chambers come together to support
businesses in this new economy,” said Lee Anderson, director of global issues management and public
affairs for General Mills.

“As a longtime TwinWest member, we are thrilled about what this consolidation means for our
business,” said Dave Meyer, president of BizzyWeb, a small marketing business in Champlin. “With
membership growing to more than 2,000 businesses, BizzyWeb will be able to connect with a much
wider network of businesses and offer ways to help them grow online.”

A joint subcommittee will be formed that will prepare recommendations regarding the consolidation for
the consideration and approval of the boards of directors. Their work will include developing the new
chamber’s core values, mission, governance model, bylaws and board composition. It is anticipated that
the consolidation will take about 30-60 days.

Chris Duffy