The Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund (JZCF) is deeply saddened to announce our founder, and former CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, Jonathan Zierdt has passed away earlier today after a courageous, five-year battle with prostate cancer. All those involved with the JZCF mourn this tremendous loss. 
 
“On behalf of our Executive Committee, Board of Advisors and Partners, we extend our heartfelt and deepest sympathies to Jonathan’s wife, Ginger and their family,” said Tami Paulsen, Director of the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund. “Jonathan’s important and meaningful work in this community, his faith-filled, energetic personality and passion to make a difference, have impacted so many lives. His legacy of living Fully Alive and changing the cancer journey will continue and thrive through the JZCF.”
 
Zierdt was the founder, and a member of the Executive Committee of the JZCF and served as President and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) since 2007, until announcing on January 8, 2019 that he would be stepping down from that position. Before assuming his current position, Zierdt, served as the Executive Director of the Greater Mankato Economic Development Corporation. GMG was formed in 2007 after a merger of the Mankato Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Mankato Economic Development Corporation. 
 
With Zierdt’s announcement to retire from GMG, he expressed interest in focusing on his health and spending time with his wife Ginger, while also pursuing other personal interests.  He was especially excited to work on the JZCF, and the growth of the Fund’s Caring Box program, which provides items of support, comfort and access to information and resources benefiting to cancer patients, their families and caregivers. 
 
The JZCF is a donor advised fund of the Mankato Area Foundation, established in 2017 by Jonathan and Ginger Zierdt and a guiding coalition of engaged community leaders to build community cancer awareness and support. All operations and efforts of the fund and various programs will continue honoring Zierdt’s legacy including the Caring Box program. To date, the fund has provided nearly 1,000 boxes to support area cancer patients, their families and caregivers.  
 
“The Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund has positively affected so many in our region, specifically with our Caring Box program,” said Paulsen. “Although we are deeply grieving the loss of Jonathan, we want to continue to carry out his legacy and vision to grow the organization and touch more lives, create community cancer awareness and support and to help change the cancer journey. Jonathan’s personal example of living Fully Alive during his journey will continue to inspire others facing a cancer diagnosis.”  
 
Arrangements are pending. Memorial gifts made in Jonathan’s honor are preferred to the Johnathan Zierdt Cancer Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation.