We welcomed Maria Regan Gonzales who is a candidate for Richfield City Council, Ward 3. Formerly employed by Bloomington Public Health, Maria is “passionate about giving underrepresented people a voice.” She calls Richfield a "beautiful, growing and diverse community" and would like to work as a Council member to build trust with diverse communities.
We also welcomed Joel Barker, Director of Development for Frazier Services. Joel thanked us for our volunteer and monetary contributions to Frazier in the past, and mentioned that Frazier is conducting a development drive to expand into Woodbury.
Program - Patrick Donahue, “James J. Hill Center and The Legacy of James J. Hill”
Patrick Donahue described the story of James J. Hill as the quintessential American Dream. A shipping clerk at age 18, Hill became one the nation’s greatest industrialists, building the first transcontinental railroad. As the railroad was being built, Hill also worked to make sure the communities along the way were economically stable, so the railroad could be stable. As an example, Hill bought and gave away thousands of head of cattle to farmers, so they would diversify the operations to include more than raising wheat.
Donahue told us that Hill’s legacy lives on through the Northwest Area Foundation, the James J. Hill House and Center (Library), and a new initiative, Hill Capital Corporation, which is being formed to “provide small and medium sized businesses with access to “scalable, quality capital” so they can become “the next generation’s Empire Builders.” Loans will generally be “in the $250 - $1 million range, so they can grow until they are "bankable." Donahue stated, ”This is all about economic barn raising" - helping one another in the community.
Dohanue stated that Hill Capital will soon be conducting a direct public offering of common stock to create a regionally focused investment fund. The share price will be $1000. Click here for more information.
Note: The Past President’s Party will be on September 13, 2016, and will include a tour of the James J. Hill House followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant. More details to come!