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  • 27 Mar 2020 8:51 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    We on the Northern Lights Committee hope that you find this among all the other emails that are flying in and out of your inbox.

    With the additional work load and general chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to delay any Northern Lights ceremony that would have taken place this spring.

    The good news is that your entries came in, and they are being judged. There is a contest. The trophies will be made, and you will be honored if you are a winner.

    Later in the spring, and when everything has settled down, we will reassess, and determine whether to reschedule an event for later in the summer, or simply mail the trophies, and publish the names of those who win awards.

    We extend appreciation to all of you who have entered the contest, and to those of you who spent time and expertise judging the North Carolina entries. Thank you, and be safe.

  • 13 Mar 2020 12:24 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    The Minnesota governor is announcing a plan to help communities fight the spread of COVID-19 around the state.

    Gov. Tim Walz held a news conference at the state capitol Friday with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm. They are announcing "community mitigation" strategies for Minnesotans, and Walz has declared a peacetime state of emergency.

    On Friday, the MDH announced that there are now 14 presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the state. The counties affected so far are Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Stearns and Wright.

    Wisconsin has also announced a total of seven cases, with one positive case listed as "recovered."

    As part of the community mitigation strategy, the MDH is recommending postponing or canceling:

    • Large events where 250 people or more would gather, including but not limited to:
      • Concerts.
      • Conferences.
      • Professional, college, and school performances or sporting events.
    • Smaller events (fewer than 250 people) that are held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person.
    • This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms or other venues.
    • Events with more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including gatherings such as those at:
      • Retirement facilities.
      • Assisted living facilities.
      • Developmental homes.
      • Support groups for people with health conditions.

    MDH is also recommending:

    • People and families at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
    • Employers making telework arrangements for workers whose duties can be done remotely.
    • Employers staggering work schedules and limiting non-essential work travel.
    • Health care facilities and assisted-living facilities more strictly limiting visitors.
    • Faith-based organizations offering video or audio events.
    • Hospitals and other health care facilities implementing triage before entering facilities (for example, parking lot triage, phone triage, and telemedicine to limit unnecessary visits).

    The full plan of action is available online.

    The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920. The hotline will be open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this week (March 9-13).

    MDH maintains a regularly updated webpage with "Situation Updates," including the status of "persons under investigation" who are being tested. MDH also has a larger COVID-19 coronavirus information page, with links to additional facts and resources about coronavirus.

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also keeps this page updated with numbers of tested cases, and those that tested positive, along with more information for Wisconsin residents.

    Minnesota has issued some "social distancing" guidelines for schools as well, but did not recommend schools closing as of March 13.

  • 13 Mar 2020 9:49 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Dear MAGC Members and Colleagues:

    The MAGC staff and board members have been diligently monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) daily and have been meeting regularly to assess its impact on our upcoming events.

    As this is an unprecedented turn of events and a very fluid challenge, we’ve been busy researching all of our options in order to ensure the well-being of our individual members as well as the association as a whole.

    While plans are still set for our upcoming events, we respectfully ask for your patience while we continue to weigh all options. We are informed by and in touch with members daily, each of whom has their own unique context in their community. Please continue to check the MAGC website for the latest updates as information is changing fast.

    We hope that each individual is making preparations for their own health and well-being. As a reminder, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified older adults and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions as high risk populations, who should take actions to reduce the risk of getting sick by staying home, limiting non-essential air travel, and avoiding crowds.

    Please reference our updated online messages, visit the CDC website and MDH website for COVID-19 resources, and reach out directly to any of our Board Members or Christine for questions and guidance regarding event registration or if you are among a high-risk population as defined by the CDC.

    The Board is working to ensure that every effort has been made to explore every option regarding the delivery of our upcoming events. The health and safety of our members and event attendees is paramount, which guides all of our decisions and processes.

    And a heartfelt thank you to all of our colleagues across every line of government working tirelessly on COVID-19. A special thanks to government communicators whose role is critical during such an epic event. Their role is essential for both internal and external communication. Our thoughts are with all our residents and those on the front lines and at the forefront of battling COVID-19.

    Thank you.
    Your MAGC Board of Directors

  • 5 Mar 2020 10:24 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    This year’s event will provide an opportunity to see award-winning projects from around the state and find out who the 2020 Communicator of the Year will be. 


    5 - 6 p.m. | Networking and social hour, including heavy appetizers and a cash bar
    6 p.m. | Northern Lights Awards program


    The cost to attend is $30 per ticket.

    Judges of the Northern Lights contest and NL20 Committee members may attend the event for a discounted rate of $20. Please use the discount code provided when registering.

    Click here for additional event and registration information.

  • 24 Feb 2020 7:06 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Start your entries now and get recognized for your best work from the last year. Deadline is Monday, March 2, at 8 a.m. See contest rules and more information.

  • 5 Nov 2019 5:34 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Thank you to the following members who have offered to serve on the MAGC board:

    • Kaili Braa
    • Jordan Gilgenbach
    • Ashley Klemer
    • Yvonne Klinnert
    • Mike Lindsay
    • Alyssa MacLeod
    • Dan Nowicki
    • Mary Zimmerman

    All members with a current, paid membership may vote for up to six candidates. Voting is now open and will close at 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2019.

    Please visit our 2020 Board Election page to view the candidate information and access the ballot.

  • 25 Oct 2019 5:08 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Join us at Burnsville City Hall’s Community Room November 21 for tips and tricks from the folks who produced some of the highest-scoring entries in this year’s Northern Lights Contest. Morning is the Showcase of non-video entries, then there’s a box lunch, and afternoon is the Film Festival (video entries). 

    Event details and registration information.

  • 25 Oct 2019 5:06 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Six seats on the MAGC board are up for people to the MAGC board in this fall’s elections. Members who are interested in serving on the board should fill out the MAGC board candidate interest form by 4 p.m. November 1. Voting will take place November 4 – 15.

    More information about board elections.

  • 5 Sep 2019 1:07 PM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    It will be a day of Fun, which happens to be this year’s theme. The conference will help you achieve a greater understanding of communication FUNdamentals.  Starting off with our keynote speaker will be Mike Veeck, owner of the St. Paul Saints and co-founder of the organization Fun is Good.  We are thrilled to have him share how to incorporate fun into everything we do.

    Full day sessions topics include:  The fun and un-fun part of social media, crisis communication, photography, and much more including networking, learning, prizes, and food.  – That’s a good and FUN day.

  • 16 Jul 2019 9:29 AM | Christine Strak (Administrator)

    Save the Date! MAGC’s largest professional development event of the year, the Fall Conference, is planned for Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at the Earle Brown Event Center in Brooklyn Center. A full day of sessions are planned, with topics based on feedback from membership.

    The theme this year revolves around connecting with audiences using humor. While it can be a touchy path to navigate for government agencies, when it’s done well it drives engagement and is fun! 

    Our keynote speaker is Mike Veeck, owner of the St. Paul Saints and co-founder of Fun is Good, a Twin Cities-based organization that specializes in employee engagement. Mike is an amazing storyteller who will inspire us to achieve success by redefining rules, cultivating creativity and having fun. More details to come, but reserve the date now so you don’t miss out!

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