Ann Vetter never got to see the sculpture she commissioned for Mankato’s City Center.
But Vetter’s daughters, who helped her design it, flew from their homes in California to unveil it Thursday.
Vetter, who died last year of pancreatic cancer at age 54, was honored at the Greater Mankato Growth annual meeting for her volunteer work with City Center Partnership and the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. Her daughters, Katie Miller of Los Angeles and Patti Miller of San Francisco, accepted the award and unveiled the sculpture that Vetter began designing after she fell ill.
The life-size bronze is of a woman looking to the skies. The “Look Up” sculpture was crafted by Nicholas Legeros of Minneapolis and will be installed in the City Center this spring.
Two other Volunteer of the Year awards were presented during the annual meeting. GMG honored Yvonne Cariveau and Visit Mankato honored Cindra Kamphoff.
Cariveau is owner of VoyageurWeb and earned her Ph.D. from the Carlson School of Management.
Cariveau is a board member for the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Women Executives in Business and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and is an active poet in the Southern Minnesota Poets Society.
Kamphoff is with the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University and earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
She is a competitive marathoner and recently won the Omaha Marathon and twice ran the Boston Marathon.
Kamphoff has delivered more than 40 national and international presentations and is the research and practice division head with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
Vetter was vice president of production for Vetter Stone and served on numerous arts boards and committees, including the Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour and Mankato Symphony Orchestra.
GMG members also elected seven new directors to the board:
Joe Duncan of Bolton & Menk, Rob Else of EI Microcircuits, Julia Corbett of Blethen, Gage & Krause, Jay Weir of James R Weir Insurance, Brian Fowler of Quality 1 Hour Foto/SPX Sports, Tim Tupy of Liv Aveda/Mankato Brewery and Marvin Rhodes of KEYC/FOX 12. They will serve three-year terms.
GMG President and CEO Jonathan Zierdt laid out a series of top honors the Mankato area has earned when it comes to economic development: the top GDP of any Metropolitan Statistical Area in the state. Mankato is 17th in the nation for its rate of job growth in 2014. And Forbes just listed the Mankato MSA as having the lowest unemployment rate of any MSA in the nation.
“If you look around this community, the economic vitality is obvious,” Zierdt said.
Outgoing board chair Corbett said GMG, the area chamber of commerce, can’t take credit for all the good economic news. “But without GMG, this region would be nowhere close to where it is today.”