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Mike Gustafson Appointed Interim Vice President

Experienced executive named interim vice president of the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 7-9-2014

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced today that Mike Gustafson has been named interim vice president of the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships.

Gustafson will be responsible for leading a division that engages business/industry and the community in building partnerships that accelerate innovation and enhance economic development, research and cooperative ventures.

Gustafson joins Minnesota State Mankato with 30 years of business experience, including 20 years in senior management and 10 years as an executive. He has led two different services companies that had $150 million in revenues, and he also has 10 years of experience with nonprofit board work.

“Mike Gustafson’s vast experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors is what makes him an outstanding selection for this position,” said Davenport. “He’s a strong leader and has shown himself to be an effective communicator at all levels of an organization. We welcome him to our campus.”

Gustafson’s professional skills are in the areas of strategy, business development, sales, marketing and finance, and he brings with him to the position an extensive business executive network that is based in the Twin Cities.

Gustafson served as a vice president from 2002 to 2009 during a 27-year career at St. Paul, Minn.-based Ecolab, Inc., a company with $13 billion in global revenue that provides cleaning products, pest elimination and equipment repair services to the institutional, hospitality, food and beverage and health care markets.

Most recently, Gustafson served as the vice president of marketing from 2012 to 2013 for Multi-Tech Systems, an international company offering M2M (machine-to-machine) communications products and services that is headquartered in Mounds View, Minn. Gustafson was also a vice president of operations from 2010 to 2011 for Factory Motor Parts, a multimillion business to business auto parts distributor in Eagan, Minn.

Among his various professional and community activities, Gustafson has served since 2007 on the board of directors for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a 3,700-employee, 84,000-member organization. He is currently on the board’s executive committee and chair of its marketing committee.

“I am really looking forward to joining Minnesota State Mankato and the academic community,” said Gustafson. “I look forward to learning the University’s capabilities and taking that significant value proposition to the business world and listening to the business world’s needs and bringing those needs and ideas back to Minnesota State Mankato. The power of matching the University’s capabilities with the outside world’s needs is very exciting.

“The people I have met at Minnesota State Mankato have been fantastic. They’ve been open and welcoming. There has been a natural and engaging dialog with everyone, along with a willingness to help me understand how the University operates, and a mutual sharing of ideas on where my 30-plus years of business experience might be able to generate positive outcomes for the University. I’m absolutely looking forward to this opportunity.”

The son of parents who were educators, Gustafson received a bachelor’s degree in 1981 from Gustavus Adolphus College, where he majored in accounting with a minor in religion. He received a certified management accountant (CMA) certification in 1986.

Gustafson replaces Bob Hoffman, who served as Minnesota State Mankato’s first vice president for strategic business, education and regional partnerships from 2007 until retiring in June. Gustafson’s appointment is effective Thursday, July 10 and runs through June 30, 2015. A formal search for a permanent replacement will be conducted during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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