MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP) today announced the hiring of Kurt Zellers as its next CEO. He was selected following a robust search process led by MBP’s six-member search committee and managed by executive recruitment firm Furst Group. Zellers, who served as Minnesota’s Speaker of the House for the 2011-2012 legislative session, is the Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs for Primacy Strategy Group of Saint Paul. He will begin his new role on September 1. Zellers replaces Charlie Weaver, who is retiring from the Partnership after 20 years of leading the influential public policy and civic engagement organization.
Kurt Zellers has over 25 years of experience in public affairs, policy development, and advocacy. As a specialist in media training, message development, communications and media relations Zellers has successfully guided clients in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, as well as across the U.S., for several public relations and public affairs firms and worked on several state-wide political campaigns. Zellers served in the Minnesota Legislature from 2003 to 2014 and was elected 57th Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives by his colleagues for the 2011-12 legislative session. He had previously served as House Minority Leader. Kurt authored bipartisan legislation on many key initiatives on public safety issues, mental health treatment for adolescents, and building a new hospital for his local community. Kurt graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in political science and lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with his wife Kim and their three children, Reagan, Will and Ben.
Incoming CEO Kurt Zellers said: “I am humbled to be selected to lead the Minnesota Business Partnership. The Partnership’s member companies and their employees are the lifeblood of Minnesota’s economy. Partnership members employ more than 500,000 Minnesotans, pay billions in taxes, and support our schools, arts, and cultural institutions.” Zellers continued: “I come to this role with a problem solving, bipartisan, policy-first mindset. I am committed to working with business leaders and policymakers from across the political spectrum to ensure Minnesota is a state where businesses can start, grow, and flourish.”
Jeff Harmening, Chair of the MBP and Chairman and CEO of General Mills, said: “Throughout his career, Kurt adopted a solutions-first mindset and earned the respect of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. I am confident that he will drive constructive partnership between elected officials and the Minnesota business community to develop sound solutions for business growth to strengthen Minnesota.”
About the Minnesota Business Partnership:
The Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP) is a nonpartisan public policy organization comprised of more than 100 CEOs and top executives from Minnesota’s largest employers, which collectively employ over 500,000 Minnesotans. MBP members represent a broad range of business interests, political perspectives, and personal philosophies, but they are united by the Partnership’s mission: Maintain a high quality of life for all Minnesotans by ensuring that the state’s economy remains strong and globally competitive.