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February 19, Business Forum at Aloft Hotel

February 19, 2015 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

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 [email protected] 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.


February 19, 2015
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


East Downtown Council
View Organizer Website


Unnamed Venue
Minneapolis, MN United States + Google Map