As many of you read recently, 2019 started out with a big change for me. I am leaving the Minnesota High Tech Association to become the next commissioner of transportation and lead the agency most of us know as MnDOT. I want to thank you for your energy and ideas during my time at MHTA.
When I started 8 years ago, our economy was working its way out of the great recession. It was clear building our science and technology workforce would be our greatest challenge. Too often, people were getting the wrong message about their place in our innovation economy.
Together, we built Minnesota’s leading STEM internship program called SciTechsperience placing more than 1300 interns at small businesses in every corner of our state. MHTA helped multiple startups and existing companies through the MN-SBIR program. And Women Leading in Technology became one of our fastest growing programs with a mission to educate and empower more women in technology.
My first official duty at MHTA was stepping on stage at the Tekne Awards in 2010. It has remained one of my favorite events each year. There is nothing quite like standing before a crowd that is fired up to celebrate Minnesota innovations changing lives for the better around our world.
Thank you to the MHTA and MHTA Foundation board members who devoted many hours to these organizations and pushed us to do our very best. We worked hard to make Minnesota a top 10 state for science and technology. The Milken Science and Technology Index just ranked us 8th. It’s my hope MHTA will continue the drive to get us into the top 5.
Science and technology continues to rapidly expand throughout our society. I know I will continue to encounter MHTA people and ideas in my new role at MnDOT. Until then, I wish you nothing but the best.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher served as the President and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association from January 2011 until recently. She was just chosen as the next commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.