BEMIDJI - The city of Bemidji will play host next week to a meeting of the economic minds as government officials and private sector luminaries from the northland convene to discuss the best way to drive economic development in the region.

Bemidji has been selected by the leadership of lobbying group Greater Minnesota Partnership to be the site for one of several regional meetings, in accordance with the group’s goal of sparking economic growth in areas outside of the Twin Cities.

Dave Hengel is head of Greater Bemidji, a group with similar goals of economic development around the whole of Beltrami County. Last month, he gained a spot on the board of Greater Minnesota as part of Greater Bemidji’s inception into the statewide organization.

Hengel said Tuesday that Greater Minnesota likely set up the regional meetings to get input from power players in each region’s economy on what was important to them, and then use that information to shape Greater Minnesota’s goals for boosting the statewide economy.

"I think we have things that are unique to northern Minnesota and the Bemidji area that I think we need to share," he said. "And in part, quite honestly…it’s important to share the success we’ve had - because Bemidji’s had quite a bit of success in economic development."

Hengel said the idea behind the meeting next week is also for Greater Minnesota to introduce itself to local drivers of the Bemidji area economy

The meeting is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Beltrami Electric Cooperative’s Community Room.