Cambria CEO urges Gov. Walz to reopen economy

Tom Hauser
Updated: April 28, 2020 07:47 PM
Created: April 28, 2020 07:11 PM

Cambria CEO Marty Davis has generally been supportive of the actions Gov. Tim Walz has taken to fight COVID-19 even though he was forced to idle his countertop manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters, idling more than 1,000 workers. Now he says it's time to "dial-up" much more of the Minnesota economy.

"I'm hopeful the governor will open up Minnesota," Davis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "He's done a good job of getting us to this place...I hope the dial isn't too slow."


Davis sent a letter to the governor expressing opposition to his decision to close schools the rest of the year. Now he's focused on urging the governor to open up more of the economy.

"Now that the state has achieved increased hospital supplies and capacity, it's time to open back up," Davis wrote in his letter.

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Walz is likely to announce a decision Thursday on whether to extend his latest 'stay at home' order that is now set to expire May 4.

"We're waiting to see what the governor's going to do next and we're looking at what the marketplace is doing," Davis said.

Cambria has only brought back 40% of workers at its LeSueur plant while waiting to see when consumer demand will pick back up. The corporate office in Eden Prairie remains closed even though it could reopen under new work rules that took effect Monday.

Davis says he supports bipartisan efforts to open up more of the economy. That's why he helped facilitate a phone call between Republican President Trump and Democratic Gov. Walz last week. The call came a couple of days after the president tweeted "Liberate Minnesota," referring to opening up the economy.

"The day before I made contact with the White House the governor had opened up golf courses and marinas and was moving toward what he calls a dialed opening," Davis said. "So I just didn't want the president to think Minnesota was in a different state of affairs than it was. I wanted to give our governor great credit for what he had done."

Now Davis says it's time to do more, including opening up many more businesses, elective medical procedures and other moves to spark consumer spending.

Davis says the Cambria plant is a good example of how businesses can safely reopen, with strict social distancing and cleaning rules and taking temperatures of employees and visitors as they enter the building.

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