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Wed, Jan 08, 2003

Minnesota Governor Visits Cirrus Design

Takes SR22 Flight

Alan and Dale Klapmeier have hosted hundreds, if not thousands, of people through ANN Sponsor Cirrus Design headquarters in Duluth (MN). On January 2nd, things were a bit different -- sun-glassed security guards and Minnesota State Troopers showed up, along with an entourage of TV cameras, photographers and reporters.

What was going on? Did somebody make a joke going through airport security? Did a Cirrus employee mistakenly offer a little kid some candy? Was (retired governor) Jesse Ventura looking for a job?

None of the above, but even better: Minnesota's new governor, Tim Pawlenty (top, holding model airplane, facing Alan Klapmeier), stopped in Duluth specifically to visit Cirrus Design. As part of a two-day state tour, the newly-elected Pawlenty was seeking information on businesses he believes to be significant in their contribution in employment potential and the state's economy.

Following a meeting with Governor Pawlenty, Alan Klapmeier, President and Co-Founder commented, "Certainly it was good that we could meet, and have a face to face discussion regarding the impending growth of Cirrus and what the Governor can do to facilitate that growth." 

Governor Pawlenty then toured the facility, including the newly-opened Customer Service Center, and spoke to a large group of employees.

During the speech, he thanked the employees for their good work and efforts that contributed to the success of Cirrus. He also thanked Alan and Dale Klapmeier for their foresight in creating a new aircraft, bringing it to the market, and the associated risks they took to make it happen.

The gov flies...

It was thought the Governor would not have time to fly a Cirrus. However, but upon his arrival and seeing the aircraft on the ramp he was over heard saying, "Cool plane, I hope I can fly one." Much to the surprise of his staff, he managed to do just that (above). It was no surprise to those at Cirrus -- except that he flew it pretty well [and he's not actually a pilot, though there was a CFII in the right seat --ed.]

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com

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