May 21 Business Forum at North Central University

The next EDC Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, from 11:30 a.m., to 1:00 p.m., at the North Central University – Trask Worship Center, Small Chapel, 812 E 14th St. Minneapolis, 55404.  Guest parking is available on the street, NCU parking ramps, parking lot A (beside the building), or any other available NCU parking lot on campus.  There is no address on this building, but the door to our meeting is just under the skyway that says “North Central University” and the building has on the top large letters that say “Trask Worship Center.”

The title of this month’s event is, “The HCMC Clinic from Vision to Reality.” The cost to attend the forum is just $20. Attendees can pay by cash or check at the door. Please RSVP for the event by sending an email to by no later than noon on Monday, May 18.


hcmcexpansion1-600Hennepin County Medical Center is redefining healthcare in downtown Minneapolis. The most visible sign will be a new, six-story, 367,000 square foot clinic and same day surgery center to be built directly across the street from the HCMC Emergency Department.

Dr. Jon L. Pryor will share the latest plans for the building and changes happening across the HCMC healthcare system.


1. Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)
2. Stadium Construction Update, Tom Schmall, Mortenson Construction (5 Minutes)
3. Feature Presentation with Dr. Jon Pryor, CEO of Hennepin County Medical Center (30 Minutes)
4. Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (10 Minutes)
5. Preview of the June EDC Forum (5 Minutes)


10-18pryor-jon-hcmc-304Jon Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. Dr. Pryor joined Hennepin Healthcare System as CEO in April, 2013. Before returning to the Twin Cities last year, he was CEO of the Medical College of Physicians, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s clinical practice group of physicians, advanced practice providers and other staff. A urologic surgeon by training, Dr. Pryor was Chair of the Department of Urologic Surgery at the University of Minnesota from 2001-2006. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and was awarded a Bush Medical Fellowship in 2005. His education and training include a medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, an American Foundation of Urologic Disease Fellowship at the University of Minnesota, an MS in surgery from the University of Virginia, a BA in Physics from Carleton College, and two years of residency in the Hennepin County Medical Center Surgery Residency program. Dr Pryor has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals in the area of men’s health and urologic disorders.


EDC Annual Meeting on April 16, 2015

The next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2015. This is the organization’s Annual Meeting.  Elections to the EDC Board will be held.

The theme for this month’s event is, “Celebrate Our Growth…Contribute to Our Vision.” Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the EDC Update and guest presenters starting at Noon. The cost to attend the forum is just $20. You can pay by cash or check at the door.

Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, April 13, at Noon.  


The East Downtown Council Board of Directors invites you to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 16, 11:30 am-1:00 pm at the Normandy Inn. The theme for this year’s annual meeting is “Celebrate our Growth…Contribute to our Vision.” This meeting will be a celebration of this moment in time in which we are experiencing unprecedented growth and feature a presentation about where we are going in the future and how you can be an active part of the unfolding vision of our business association.

EDC Board and staff members will provide a year in review and provide a strategy update for the future along with special Guest Steve Cramer, CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council-DID. The featured presenters for the Annual Meeting will be the entertaining comedy group The Theater for Public Policy. One publication describes T2P2 as, “C-Span being suddenly swarmed by the cast of SNL.”


  1. Call to Order (Paul Mellblom)
  2. Introductions (Dan Collison)
  3. Board Candidate Election (Paul Mellblom)
  4. EDC Strategic Plan Report (Paul Mellblom)
  5. New EDC Video
  6. Review of Business Forum Topics and Potential of Next Season (Christie Hantge)
  7. MDC-DID Partnership Update (Steve Cramer)
  8. Membership and Program Growth (Dan Collison)
  9. Theater for Public Policy
  10. Closing Announcements (Dan Collison)
  11. Adjournment (Paul Mellblom)


603835_752893754788387_6215114847533200387_nThe Theater of Public Policy is an improv comedy show created by Tane Danger and Brandon Boat. T2P2 uses various politically charged issues from the local and national levels as fodder for comedy, but not with the intent of make light of serious issues. T2P2 uses the material for the dual purpose of entertaining their audiences and breaking down politics in an engaging and educational way, all while deftly remaining as nonpartisan as possible. A typical show starts with the actors interviewing someone who’s passionate about a particular aspect of public policy. Then in the second half, the actors use the interview as the fodder for a round of improv theater. To learn more about The Theater of Public Policy, please visit the group’s Web site.

March 19 EDC Business Forum at the 1010 Building

minneapolis-downtown-east-game-day-low-resThe next EDC Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, from 11:30 a.m., to 1:00 p.m., at the 1010 Building – 1010 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN.

The title of this month’s event is, “How do we get around? The Convergence of Technology and Transportation in East Downtown.” Car sharing, Light rail/transit development, Parking and other District Transit perspectives.”  Guest speakers are Allan Klugman, Senior Professional Engineer, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works – Traffic and Parking Services Division and Dan McLauglin, Executive Director, of the Commuter Connection.

In addition, Al Swintek from CenterPoint Energy will provide an update on the recently announced 2015 construction season projects that will impact the East Downtown starting at the end of the month. For more information, please visit the CenterPoint Energy Web site.

The cost to attend the forum is just $20. You can pay with cash or a check at the door.  Please RSVP by no later than Monday, March 16, at Noon.


How do nearly 180,000 people in the downtown workforce come and go from their jobs? How do downtown residents come and go from their homes on a day-to-day basis? How do millions of downtown visitors come and go from the events and experiences they seek to have here? Answers to these questions range from the philosophical to the pragmatic. This business forum will bring together City of Minneapolis staff, regional transportation specialists, and commercial transit providers in a fast paced conversation about the “transportation ecosystem” that exists in downtown Minneapolis.


  • Allan Klugman, Senior Professional Engineer, City of Minneapolis Department of Public Works – Traffic and Parking Services Division
  • Dan McLauglin, Executive Director, Commuter Connection

Four car share companies, Zipcar · Uber · Car2Go · HourCar, will host information booths and provide attendees with a two minute introduction to their businesses. Three parking lot/ramp companies have been invited to participate too.


1. Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, EDC President and Dan Collison, EDC Executive Director (10 Minutes)
2. CenterPoint Energy 2015 Construction Season Update, Al Swintek, CenterPoint Energy (10 Minutes)
3. Commercial Venders: Zipcar, Uber, Car2go, Hourcar, and Parking Lots (10 Minutes)
4. Mapping all transit perspectives: Allan Klugman, City of Minneapolis (10 Minutes)
5. Understanding commuter options and connections: Dan McLaughlin, Commuter Connection (10 Minutes)
6. Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (5 Minutes)
7. Preview of the January EDC Forum (5 Minutes)
8. Adjourn


Allan Photo

Allan Klugman

Allan Klugman

Allan is a Senior Professional Engineer in the Traffic and Parking Services Division of the Minneapolis Public Works Division.  He works on the planning and design of traffic infrastructure projects with an emphasis on signal systems.  Allan also is involved in multi-modal planning efforts, coordinating City projects with partner agencies and managing the traffic analysis of new developments.  Recent activities include revisions to the Minneapolis signal system to accommodate LRT and providing design input to the revision of the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck area.

Dan_MacLaughlin (1)

Dan MacLaughlin

Dan MacLauglin, Executive Director, Commuter Connection

Dan MacLaughlin is the executive director of the Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Management Organization (TMO). The TMO is a public-priimvate partnership between the City of Minneapolis and the downtown business community. It’s mission is to advocate for and promote a sustainable transit and transportation system that supports a vital and growing downtown Minneapolis.

Dan has a background in managing public education and outreach programs for both public and non-profit agencies; including the Institute for Education and Advocacy, the United States Peace Corps, Bolder Options, and TMO. Dan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a long-time resident of Minneapolis. He currently lives in the Victory Neighborhood with his wife, and two kids. His family chose a neighborhood with excellent bus service and beautiful, protected bikeways into downtown Minneapolis, which allows them to remain a one-car family, save money on transportation expenses, and lead more healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

February 19 EDC Business Forum at Aloft Hotel

The next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, February 19, 2015, and will take place at the Aloft Hotel – 900 Washington Avenue South.

The title of this month’s forum is “Access and Equality: The Convergences of Economic Vitality and Human Flourishing.”  This will be a panel discussion featuring City and business leaders.

Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the EDC Update and guest presenters starting at Noon. The cost to attend the forum is just $20. You can pay by cash or check at the door. Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, February 16, at Noon.  

Forum Description

In Mayor Betsy Hodges’ 2014 Inaugural and State of the City addresses she set three priorities for Minneapolis: grow the city to 500,000 residents, continue to run it with efficiency, and eliminate the gaps that hold us back.

Regarding the elimination of gaps she said:  “There are and will be many detailed policy prescriptions to come about ending these gaps — about housing and transportation, employment and health, kids before they’re born and kids while they’re in school….

…A recent Met Council study shows that…if Minneapolis–Saint Paul were to eliminate our disparities, we could have 274,000 fewer people in poverty, 171,000 more high school diplomas, and 124,000 more people with jobs. And in terms of economic growth? We would pick up 31.8 billion dollars of personal income that we are otherwise leaving on the table.”

This business forum will feature seasoned voices discussing public policy, education, housing, and equity labor as key means to transform the economic potential of our city. Key questions addressed will be:

  • “In what ways do the City of Minneapolis’ economic policies shape the landscape of business opportunities?
  • “How can quality schools and well-prepared youth create a strong commuinity?”
  • “What is equity labor and why is it needed in this moment of Minneapolis’ history?”
  • “What are the various kinds of affordable housing development options in Minneapolis and how does a diverse housing inventory assist in creating a more stable social fabric?”

Forum Agenda

  • Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President EDC, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)
  • Ryan Companies/Wells Fargo Update, Tony Barranco, Ryan Construction (5 Minutes)
  • Panel Discussion (25 Minutes)
  • Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (5 Minutes)
  • Preview of the March EDC Forum (5 Minutes)

Speaker Biographies

pam-costain-photo_2Pam Costain, President and CEO, Achieve Minneapolis

Pam Costain became the CEO of AchieveMpls in June 2010. Immediately prior to her work at AchieveMpls, she was a director on the Minneapolis Board of Education. She has been a nonprofit executive director for more than thirty years, working in the field of international human rights, civic engagement, grassroots advocacy and urban public education.

Pam has a BA in Urban Studies from Carleton and an MA in Education from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about education equity and our collective responsibility to increase academic achievement and career and college readiness for all children, regardless of income, ethnicity, family background or zip code.

Alan ArthurAlan Arthur, President and CEO, Aeon

Alan has served as the president/chief executive officer of Aeon since 1988. Alan oversees the organization’s 2,106 affordable apartment homes in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and brings 43 years of experience in housing and real estate development, including construction, project development, lending, code enforcement and city planning. He earned a B.A. in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Alan teaches affordable housing development, financing and organizational governance issues to a variety of organizations, and serves on numerous local housing boards and task forces.

Alex TittleAlex Tittle, Equity Director, Minnesota Sports Facility Authority

Tittle’s professional career includes being a company commander in the United States Army, Education manager at Summit Academy, Deputy and Interim Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Eric Garcia LunaErick Garcia Luna, Policy Aide-Economic Development and Opportunity, Mayor Hodges Office

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges chose Erick Garcia Luna to serve on her staff as an aide for economic development and opportunity in 2014. Previously Erick worked for Senator Amy Klobuchar as Outreach Director, covering immigration, education, housing, and children and teen issues. Additionally, he was a key leader regarding revitalization efforts of the Central Avenue commercial corridor in Northeast Minneapolis.



EDC January 15 EDC Business Forum at PadillaCRT

The next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, January 15, 2015, and will take place at PadillaCRT – 1101 West River Parkway, Suite 400.

Downtown Council logoThe title of this month’s forum is “Green Ribbons, Downtown Parks and the Nicollet Mile: Outdoor Urbanism at Its Best: Minneapolis Downtown Council’s 2025 greening initiatives, Park Committee, and 2025 Plan.”

Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the EDC Update and guest presenters starting at Noon. The cost to attend the forum is just $20. You can pay by cash or check at the door. Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, January 12, at Noon.  

Minnesotans celebrate opportunities for outdoor activities in every season of the year. Hot or cold–we adapt our clothing to the weather and live as much outdoors as we do indoors. But, how does this take place in a dense urban setting such as Downtown Minneapolis? This forum is focused on how cities envision, create, and program parks, greening, and place-making in outdoor spaces. Guest presenters Steve Cramer, CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and project consultant Peter Brown will present leading concepts and actual projects that are transforming how people experience life outdoors in downtown Minneapolis.


  1. Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President EDC, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)
  2. Stadium Construction Update, Lynn Littlejohn, Director of Community Affairs, Mortenson Construction (5 Minutes)
  3. Feature Presentation with Steve Cramer and Peter Brown (30 Minutes)
  4. Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (10 Minutes)
  5. Preview of the February EDC Business Forum (5 Minutes)


Steve_Cramer_new_President_and_CEOSteve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) and Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID)

A proven organizational and community leader, Cramer has worked at the intersection of public, private, and nonprofit sectors: as a Mayoral appointee; as the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (known today as CPED); Director of the Hennepin County Department of Housing, Community Works, and Transit; and service at PPL as their Director of Housing, Chief Operating Officer, and President. Currently, Cramer

serves as the Chair of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and serves on the Boards of the Minneapolis Consortium of Community Developers, the Twin Cities Community Land Bank, the Twin Cities LISC Local Advisory Committee, and the Northside Achievement Zone.

In addition to his previous experience, Cramer has served as a Minneapolis City Council Member from 1984-1993. Cramer, his wife, and their two children, live in the City of Minneapolis where he runs daily on the Mississippi Parkway. With a B.S. in Urban Planning from the University of Tulsa, Cramer went on to receive a M.A. in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota. Past volunteer work includes: the Minnesota House Advisory Committee; Fannie Mae National Housing Impact Advisory Committee; Minnesota Task Force to End Homelessness; Minnesota Multi Housing Association Board of Directors; Greater Twin Cities United Way Housing Impact and Basic Needs Committee; the Sustainable Resource Center; Catholic Charities Board of Directors; St. Joseph’s Home for Children Advisory Board; and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Peter Hendee Brown, Consultant
Peter Brown
Peter is an architect, planner, and urban development consultant based in the Twin Cities. He teaches private sector real estate development at the University of Minnesota and is the author of America’s Waterfront Revival: Port Authorities and Urban Redevelopment.  His second book, How Real Estate Developers Think: Design, Profits and Community, will be coming out in April.  Before moving to Minneapolis in 2003, he lived for seventeen years in Philadelphia, where he practiced architecture and worked in Philadelphia city government, serving in the administration of Mayor Edward G. Rendell.



EDC December 18 Business Forum at the Guthrie Theater

The next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, December 18. This month’s event will take place at the Guthrie Theater, in the Level 5 Cafe.

The title of this month’s forum is “Connecting East Downtown to all of Minnesota:  Elected Leaders discussing pressing issues for the next legislative session,”and will feature a panel of Minnesota Legislators.

Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the EDC Update and guest presenters starting at Noon. The cost to attend the forum is just $20. You can pay by cash or check at the door. Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, December 15, at Noon.  

The midterm elections are now complete and the Minnesota Legislature will head into 2015 in a new power sharing mode. Will post election commitments to bi-partisanship hold in the 2015 session? What are the emerging priorities for both parties? How will these priorities effect those who work and live in Downtown Minneapolis? Please join the member businesses of the East Downtown Council as our December Business forum will feature a panel of the elected officials connected to or adjoining the East Downtown district speaking to these important questions.

Invited Speakers include the following:

  • Representative Raymond Dehn (59b: North Minneapolis and Downtown)
  • Representative Frank Hornstein (61A: Elliot Park and South Minneapolis)
  • Representative Kahn (Marcie Holmes, East Bank and Cedar Riverside)
  • Senator Bobby Joe Champion (District 59-Downtown through North Minneapolis)
  • Senator Scott Dibble (District 60-Northeast to Cedar Riverside)


  1. Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President EDC, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)
  2. Ryan/Wells Fargo Construction Update, Tony Barranco, VP of Development, Ryan Construction (5 Minutes)
  3. Minnesota State Legislature Panel Discussion (30 Minutes)
  4. Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (10 Minutes)
  5. Preview of the January EDC Forum (5 Minutes)
  6. Adjourn


Representative Raymond Dehn
Representative Dehn and his partner Joan moved to the Willard-Hay Neighborhood in 2001. They chose the north side of Minneapolis due to the vibrant diversity that makes it such a rich community. They purchased their home in 2004, and, like many others have been working ever since to keep our community a wonderful place.

Dehn spent much of his early life living in Brooklyn Park. He attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School and went on to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture at the University of Minnesota. While in architecture school, he was elected by architecture students across the country to represent them as the National President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). He moved to Washington DC for nearly a year and a half, during which time he traveled the country and advocated for the interests of 30,000 architecture students across the United States. Upon returning to Minneapolis in 1997, he began working for a respected Minneapolis-based architecture firm. His design experience has ranged from small affordable housing to large site Master plans and always focused on sustainable design.

In 2002, Dehn volunteered on Paul Wellstone’s third campaign for Senate and learned firsthand what grassroots politics and organizing is about, working to engage all people in the process of politics and government. Everyone close to Sen. Wellstone was impacted by the loss on that October day in 2002, and like many he continues to be inspired by his work and his words. Dehn ran for the House of Representatives as a continuation of this commitment to putting people before politics.

His involvement in the community has taken many forms, including participating in his neighborhood block club, volunteering with the Senate District 58-DFL, participating in his neighborhood association, and serving on the city of Minneapolis Capitol Long Range Improvement Committee. For the past several years, he has been co-facilitating the Northside Transportation Network with Rep. Bobby Joe Champion and engaging the north side community around the proposed Bottineau LRT that maybe connection our community to the larger regional rail system. He has volunteered with many local, state and national campaigns, and continues to reach out and actively engage those who feel disenfranchised by the political process.

On November 6th, 2012, he was elected to represent the people of his district in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He is humbled and honored by this responsibility and pledge to always put the needs of the district and the state before politics and special interests. Representative Dehn lives by a philosophy, that if you want to see change you have to work for that change.  It is only through working together that we will be able to build upon our communities’ assets and continue to move in a positive direction.

Representative Phyllis Kahn
Representative Kahn is a member of the Minnesota Legislature serving her 21st term. She has a B.A. in physics from Cornell, a Ph.D. in biophysics from Yale and a M.P.A. from the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard.

Rep. Kahn currently serves as Chair of the Legacy Committee. In addition, she is a member of the Ways and Means, Government Operations, State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs, and Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committees. She is also a member of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement.

Her legislative interests include issues dealing with pension and investment policy, science and technology (most recently DNA testing and the role of biotechnology in agriculture) information policy, natural resources and women’s rights.

Prior to her election to the legislature, Rep. Kahn was a research associate at the University of Minnesota in the College of Biological Sciences and also taught some classes in microbial genetics.

She was the chief author of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (controlling smoking in public places), the computer crime and computer virus laws, and legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste disposal, field tests of genetically modified crops and infectious waste disposal. She also authored laws to require gender equity in athletics and laws prohibiting discrimination based on age or disability.

Rep. Kahn has been instrumental in obtaining funding for parks, trails, historic preservation, art-enhancement of State buildings, and the expansion of community and urban forests. She has served on many national committees, particularly in the field of Science and Public Policy. She has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and served as the Chair of the AAAS Section on General Interest in Science and Engineering.

Phyllis was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is married to Donald Kahn, a professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota. They have two adult children and six grandchildren. In her spare time she runs, bikes, plays ice hockey with a co-ed group and has won first prize at the State Fair for her “guiltless” cheesecake recipe and two second prizes for an “industrial strength” chocolate pie.

Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Senator Champion was born on December 17, 1963, graduated from North High School and is a life long resident of North Minneapolis. Bobby lives in the Lyn Park neighborhood along with his wife Angela, who is a pharmacist and their 2 sons.

While growing up Bobby loved to watch Perry Mason, and after graduating from high school Bobby knew that he wanted to become a lawyer. What type of lawyer he wante…d to be was unclear until his exposure to the entertainment business.

Bobby’s passion for music grew from directing his church choir as a teenager for many years. He had no idea that eventually his own choir, Excelsior, would develop into a Stellar Award winning and Grammy nominated choir and receive nationwide exposure.

After leading the choir for 33 years, Excelsior is a 30 member group along with backup musicians, which has produced over 7 CD’s. In his career, he has worked for Flyte Tyme Productions and Flyte Tyme’s Grammy Award winning producers Terry Lewis and James “Jimmy Jam” Harris.

Outside of his passion for music, Bobby also went on to graduate from Macalester College and William Mitchell College of Law. Bobby is now a practicing attorney with a skill set of negotiation, extensive legal and business analysis, and advocacy.

His past involvement includes serving as Program Director of Social Spaces with Stairstep Initiative and Executive Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors, Midwest Chapter, the organization that promotes inclusion of people of color and women in the construction industry. He has also served with Congressman Keith Ellison as an attorney with the Legal Rights Center and as an Assistant Attorney General under both Skip Humphrey and Mike Hatch.

Bobby was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2008 and State Senator in 2012.

Senator Scott Dibble
Senator Dibble first became involved in politics in the mid-1980’s working on issues concerning the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities including HIV/AIDS.  His involvement led to organizing on issues of social and economic justice—especially in the areas of neighborhood livability, transportation, housing, energy and the environment.

He later worked as aide to Minneapolis City Councilmember Doré Mead for about 6 years.  In 2000, Dibble ran for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, becoming the third openly gay legislator to serve in the Minnesota Legislature.  After serving one term in the House, Dibble ran for State Senate in 2002 where he is now serving in his third term.

Senator Dibble has played a key role in a number of legislative successes.  They include passage of an historic transportation funding measure, enactment of the Freedom to Breathe Act (ensuring clean indoor air for all workers) and approval of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. As the Chair of the Senate’s Transit Subdivision, Senator Dibble played a pivotal role in the override of Governor Pawlenty’s veto of a vital transportation improvement bill that will allow the Twin Cities to build a transit system for the 21st century. He was also asked to serve on a special investigative committee that looked into the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge.  Senator Dibble continues to be a leader in the Minnesota Senate on legislation relating to transportation and transit, energy efficiency, the environment, housing and economic development.

Senator Dibble has helped position Minnesota as a leader among the states that are working to solve critical clean air, global warming, and economic challenges. Senator Dibble has served as chief author or as a lead negotiator on groundbreaking energy efficiency standards, implementation of a nation-leading renewable energy standard, establishment of a carbon dioxide reduction mandate, instituting the nation’s most stringent mercury emission reduction requirements for coal-fired energy, the first legislation in the country on hybrid plug in electric cars, programs to aid the construction of green buildings and to assist local governments in building more energy efficient facilities. Senator Dibble helped author and served on the state’s Green Jobs Task Force charged with developing a comprehensive economic development policy charged with shaping Minnesota’s participation in the Green Economy for generations to come.

In his spare time, Senator Dibble is an avid runner, triathlete and has run in several marathons.  He loves theater, reading, cooking, and travel.

November 20, EDC Business Forum at Meet Minneapolis

DIDThe next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, November 20.  This month’s event will take place at Meet Minneapolis – 250 Marquette Avenue South. The title of this month’s forum is “Beautiful and Safe: Urban Design and Programming in the Built Environment.”  Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the EDC Update and guest presenters starting at Noon. The cost to attend the lunch is just $20. Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, November 17, at Noon.  


Urbanism studies show that greening and safety catalyze local investment, visitor spending, environmental cost-savings, and increased public health vitality.  As East Downtown becomes increasingly redeveloped it is important that all of the stakeholders in our district become aware of best practices for urban design and safety in the built environment such that we engage these important benefits. One key existing partner that is already doing this work in Downtown is the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (the “DID”).

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) is a non-profit entity that maintains a higher standard of care and behavior throughout downtown. It was formed in early 2009 after 5+ years of formative planning and advocacy by the Minneapolis Downtown Business Community.

The DID’s mission is to support, preserve, create and enhance a vibrant, competitive and thriving downtown that attracts and retains businesses, employees, residents and visitors. To that end, the DID pursues several goals: to create/support a competitive and thriving downtown through effective provision of clean, green, safe and better services; to pool resources and bring more effective implementation of services and initiatives; to bring a sustainable funding source to long-term initiatives; and to create and sustain an ecosystem that encourages a thriving public space in support of retailers, businesses, employees, visitors and residents.

At this month’s business forum, Ben Shardlow, the Director of Public Realm Initiatives for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Downtown Improvement District, will discuss the overall work of the DID, specialized work of the Tactical Urbanism Initiative, and ways that EDC constituents can be aware and promote beauty and safety on our streets and in our open spaces.

In addition to Ben’s presentation, we will hear from three other guest speakers.  We will get an overall crime and safety report from The Minneapolis Police Department’s First Precinct Inspector Medaria Arradondo; Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant will give us an overview of how Minnesota won the Super Bowl bid for 2018; and Mortenson Construction will provide a Viking’s Stadium construction update.


  • Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President EDC, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)
  • Stadium Construction Update, Michele Kelm-Helgen, MSFA (5 Minutes)
  • Winning the Super Bowl Bid, Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis (5 Minutes)
  • Crime and Safety Update, Inspector Rondo, Minneapolis Police Department (5 Minutes)
  • Urban Design and Programming in the Built Environment, Ben Shardlow, Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Downtown improvement District (25 Minutes)
  • Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (5 Minutes)
  • Preview of the October EDC Forum (5 Minutes)


Ben Shardlow, Director of Public Realm Initiatives for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Downtown Improvement District

Ben Shardlow has been the Director of Public Realm Initiatives for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District since January 2014. He is an urban planner with a focus on public space and urban design. He received a bachelor degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree with a concentration in Land Use and Urban Design from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining the MDC/DID, Shardlow gained seven years of professional experience in commercial real estate development and management and three years of experience in applied social science research, with additional work in placemaking, urban planning consulting, and community engagement.

After 16 months as a project manager for the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District on a contract basis, Shardlow was brought on to the MDC/DID staff to focus on implementing the public space goals in the MDC’s 2025 Plan and to direct strategic projects for DID. He is the staff lead for the MDC Greening & Public Realm Committee, the Green Streetscape Task Force, the Meaningful Daytime Activities Subcommittee of the MDC Homelessness Committee, and the DID Tactical Urbanism Initiative.

Medaria Arradondo, Inspector of the First Precinct

Inspector Arradondo received his bachelor degree in Criminal Justice from Metropolitan State University and holds a master’s degree in Human Services from Concordia University. He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston, Massachusetts as well as the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Inspector Arradondo is a 24-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department. He started his career with the MPD in 1989 working as a Public Housing Enforcement officer and School Liaison Officer. In 1997, he was promoted to Sergeant and worked in investigations, Internal Affairs and served as the assistant to the Chief of Police. In 2003, he was promoted to Lieutenant and oversaw the Federal Mediation Agreement, served as Public Information Officer, acting Inspector of the Second Precinct and worked many years in the Fourth Precinct.

In December 2012, Arradondo was appointed as Commander of the Internal Affairs Unit. He has been an active member in the community serving as a Board Member on the State Council on Black Minnesotans; African American Men’s Project; Police Community Relations Council; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Minnesota Criminal Justice Project. Inspector Arradondo also serves on the accountability sub-committee for the Chief’s Advisory Council.

Melvin Tennant, CEO and President of Meet Minneapolis

Melvin Tennant has been Chief Executive Officer and President of Meet Minneapolis since April 2008. Mr. Tennant served for more than 25 years in leadership positions for destination-marketing organizations, including the San Antonio, Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mr.

Since arriving in Minneapolis, Mr. Tennant serves as a Member of the Board of Directors at the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council and HIRED, a leading Twin Cities area provider of job-skills training and employment training. Previously, Board Chair & Executive Committee Member of Destination Marketing Association International; Board of Trustees Members at Meeting Professionals International Foundation; International Executive Committee Member of Meeting Professionals International; Board Member of ASAE/Center for Association Leadership, Travel Industry Association of America, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, City of Charlotte Mayor’s International Cabinet (chair), March of Dimes (Charlotte Chapter), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council, San Antonio Christian Business Chamber of Commerce.



October 16, Business Forum will feature GreaterMSP

Michael Langley #2The October 16, Business Forum is titled “The Leading Edge of East Downtown Development,” and will feature GREATER MSP CEO Michael Langley. Langley will review GREATER MSP’s Strategic Vision for the East Downtown Business District.

This month’s business forum is FREE to attend. The Hyatt Place Hotel is offering a complementary lunch to all attendees. In lieu of paying for lunch; however, the EDC Board invites attendees to make a voluntary contribution to the newly established EDC Community Advocacy Fund. Registration is still required. Please RSVP by sending an email to by no later than Monday, October 13, at Noon.


1. Welcome and Introductions, Paul Mellblom, President EDC, Dan Collison, Executive Director EDC (10 Minutes)

2. Ryan-Wells Fargo Construction Update, Mike Ryan, Director of Architecture and Engineering, Ryan Companies (5 Minutes)

3. Greater MSP Presentation, Michael Langley (30 Minutes)

4. Q & A Moderated by Dan Collison (10 Minutes)

5. Preview of the November EDC Forum (5 Minutes)

Click here to review a PowerPoint presentation regarding GreaterMSP’s Downtown East District Strategic Vision.


GREATER MSP  (Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership) is a private non-profit organization (501C3) dedicated to providing public and private sector leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 16-County Minneapolis Saint Paul region. With its economic development partners throughout the region, GREATER MSP is advancing a coordinated regional economic development strategy, a coordinated regional brand to promote the region’s assets, and a coordinated regional business retention, expansion, and recruitment program to stimulate capital investment and job creation in the region. For more information on Greater MSP please visit the organization’s Web site.


join-today-concept-23103815 (2)“Building Our Economic Future Together”

The East Downtown Council is a business association whose economic development work is funded by membership dues from organizations within the Downtown East and Elliot Park neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

Now is the time to join the East Downtown Council as significant investment and attention will be placed on the Downtown East and Elliot Park neighborhoods over the next several years with the construction of the new Vikings stadium, and the redevelopment of the Star Tribune properties by Ryan Companies.

Please visit the new East Downtown Council Web site to RENEW or BECOME A MEMBER online. You can paying using your credit or debit card, or request to be invoiced.

The East Downtown Council provides its members with the following benefits:

Connection and Collaboration
We bring business and civic leaders together to catalyze economic opportunities that benefit everyone.

Advocacy and Resourcing
We advocate on your behalf with the City of Minneapolis, Downtown East and Elliot Park neighborhoods (The DEEP District) to facilitate business grants and strategic 21st century urban development.

Leadership and Voice
We integrate the thinking and leadership expertise of our small, medium and large organizations into a cohesive representation of our collective economic growth goals.

There are six tiers of membership proportioned at affordable options for organizations of all sizes:

Individual ($50)
Offered to individuals seeking to invest in the district and network with business and civic leaders.

Bronze ($150)
Offered to home-based and emerging businesses with 1 or 2 employees.

Silver ($250)
Supporters who value the networking opportunities and recognition received through membership benefits. This level is suggested for companies with between 3 and 10 employees.

Gold ($350)
Supporters who give added support for ongoing membership benefits such as database development, website and administrative services. This level is suggested for companies with between 10 and 35 employees.

Leader ($750)
Leading businesses that seek to enhance development goals and promote a safe and productive environment for our business community. This level is suggested for companies with over 35 employees.

Platinum ($1,000)
Leading businesses that contribute and receive recognition as our highest level of supporters. Membership includes complimentary registration for one person to attend the 10 monthly business forums, mention and logo recognition at all business forums, and priority placement on the EDC website.

Prepaid Luncheon Coupons for Colleagues and Guests ($20)
Prepaid luncheon coupons for the September 2014 through June 2015 business forums may also be purchased with your membership for $20 each. Coupons will be delivered to you when you attend your first lunch, and may be used for other members of your organization or guests who attend with you.

Please RENEW or BECOME A MEMBER of the East Downtown Council online. You can pay using a credit or debit card, or request to be invoiced.