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May 19 Business Forum at the Guthrie Theater – “The Rapid Growth of Housing and Hospitality in East Downtown.”

May 19, 2016 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm


The next East Downtown Council Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, at the Guthrie Theater in the Level 5 Cafe.

Downtown East redevelopmentThe topic for this event is “The Rapid Growth of Housing and Hospitality in East Downtown.” The featured speakers for this event are Melvin Tennant, President and CEO of Meet Minneapolis; Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development with the City of Minneapolis; and Jayne Miller, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Registration, lunch and networking starts at 11:30 a.m., with the program starting at Noon. The cost to attend the forum is just $20. Attendees can purchase lunch tickets in advance (scroll to the bottom of the page), or pay by cash or check at the door. Please RSVP by sending an email to [email protected] by no later than Monday, May 16, at Noon.


The EDC May business forum will feature industry and city leaders discussing the transformation of the housing and hospitality market in East Downtown and what it means for the future of our district. The presentation will include high-level statistics and strategies as well as important analysis for how our district fits into the whole of Minneapolis.

A forum bonus will be Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller discussing recent budget and finding considerations for the future of Minneapolis Parks.


11:30-Noon               Networking

12:00-12:10 pm        Introductions and EDC Update (Paul Mellblom and Dan Collison)

12:10-12:20 pm        Jayne Miller, Superintendent, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

12:20-12:35 pm        Melvin Tennant President and CEO, Meet Minneapolis

12:35-12:40 pm        Dan Collison, Overview of Housing Projects Under Development in District

12:40-12:55 pm        Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development, Minneapolis

12:55-1:00 pm          Closing Announcements (Dan Collison)


Melvin Tennant, President and CEO, Meet Minneapolis

Melvin-Tennant-headshot-1024x682Tennant, CAE, is president and chief executive officer of Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association. He became the organization’s second CEO in 2008. He previously served in similar capacities in Charlotte, N.C., San Antonio, Texas and Oakland, Calif.

Since joining Meet Minneapolis, Tennant has overseen convention sales and marketing programs that bring a direct economic impact of $900 million to the area. With an annual budget of $10 million and a staff of 55, his team played an integral role in laying the groundwork and implementing logistics for Minneapolis Saint Paul’s successful hosting of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Tennant and his team worked closely with the Minnesota Vikings and other organizations as a member of the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Bid Committee to secure the National Football League’s Super Bowl for Minnesota in February 2018. The Meet Minneapolis team also worked alongside the Minnesota Twins to secure the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Tennant and Meet Minneapolis launched an affiliate organization, Sports Minneapolis, in May 2014 to market and sell Minneapolis as a site for amateur and professional sporting events, sports-related conventions and related activities.

Tennant has previously served on the boards of the U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Center for Association Leadership, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the MPI Foundation, and is a past chairman of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). He currently serves locally on the boards of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis Downtown Council and YouthLink, an organization that strives to build healthy relationships with youth and the community to address youths’ urgent needs so that doors of opportunity are opened to futures of empowerment, connectedness and self-reliance.

Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development, City of Minneapolis

Andrea Brennan

Brennan is the City’s new director of Housing Policy and Development. Brennan joined the Community Planning and Economic Development Department in February of 2015.

Brennan brings 17 years of experience in housing policy and development to Minneapolis. She served as the director of Community and Economic Development for the Dakota County Community Development Agency since 2011. Before that, she served as the deputy executive director for the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

In her new role, Brennan leads all housing development activities for the City. She manages and provides leadership to a staff of approximately 35 employees charged with implementing the Community Planning and Economic Development Department’s housing policies to ensure that the housing development mix aligns with desired outcomes.

Brennan has served as a board member of the Minneapolis Development Finance Review Committee and Business Service Committee of the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board. Brennan is a member of the:

  • National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies.
  • National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
  • Sensible Land Use Coalition.
  • Urban Land Institute.
  • Minnesota Brownfields.
  • Economic Development Association of Minnesota.

Jayne Miller, Superintendent, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

jayne_millerPrior to her appointment as Superintendent, I served as Director of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA), a five county regional park system in southeast Michigan; Community Services Area Administrator for the City of Ann Arbor and a number of other positions with the City of Ann Arbor for more than 22 years. Prior to my work in Ann Arbor, I worked as a parks and recreation professional in various organizations throughout the United States.


  • Advisory Reference Group of the World Urban Parks Organization – Member
  • City Parks Alliance – Board Member
  • Minneapolis Parks Foundation Board Member
  • Indiana University Executive Development Program – Board Member
  • Meet Minneapolis – Board Member
  • Minneapolis Urban League – Board Member
  • Anthony Falls Heritage Board – Board Member
  • Rocky Mountain Revenue and Management School – Past Board Member
  • Bolder Options Youth Mentor

Professional Affiliations

  • National Recreation and Parks Association
  • Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association


She holds a Masters Degree in Recreation Administration from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Composite and Physical Education from Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska.


May 19, 2016
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


East Downtown Council
View Organizer Website


Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd Street
Minneapolis, 55415 United States
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