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Jeff Andrews works at two levels in the early child care and education field at First Children’s Finance.  He works directly with family child care providers and child care center leadership with consultation around general and strategic business practices.  He also works at the community level on projects related to improving local child care conditions.  Prior to joining First Children’s Finance, Jeff was a Director of Business Development at Rasmussen College where he led launch of national education partnerships with child care providers and supporting organizations such as MNAEYC, and regional Head Start programs.  Previous to Rasmussen College, he worked in business management in different roles over the past 20 years.

Rob Barse is Director of Development at McShane Development, and has over 10 years of experience providing real estate and project advisory consulting services. He has been instrumental in the development of nearly 250,000 SF of retail, medical, student housing and fitness properties. At McShane Development, his responsibilities range from business development and site acquisition to project leasing and development execution.

Lisa Diehl is a seasoned professional within the commercial real estate business with more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience. Her combined experience includes retail, leasing, investment sales, site selection, investment sales, development, land acquisition/disposition, business development, commercial and residential property management. Her diverse background skills bring a combination of professionalism, expertise, enthusiasm and creativity to each project she undertakes. She is recognized for her ability to build and maintain solid relationships which contribute to getting deals completed for her clients.

Elise Durbin is an Economic Development Project Coordinator with Hennepin County.  She has worked for the county for two years in their Community Works department, where she manages economic development and transit oriented development projects and programs.  Prior to Hennepin County, Elise worked for the City of Minnetonka on housing, redevelopment, transit, and economic development projects.  Elise holds a Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Minnesota State University-Mankato and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Bemidji State University.

Wayne Elam is President of Commercial Realty Solutions (CRS). Since starting the company in 2009 when the bottom had fallen out of the commercial real estate market, CRS has grown to an industry leader in commercial real estate throughout Central Minnesota. Wayne’s tenacious spirit and old fashioned way of conducting business (do what you say you will, don’t over-promise, return calls and emails) had given him a substantial contact list of clients and referrals. Wayne has 30+ years of combined commercial construction marketing experience, commercial real estate and business development experience. He has worked with developers from residential housing projects to Disney and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.

Adam Fulton
  is the manager of the Community Planning division for the City of Duluth, a position he has held since 2015. He works on land use, long range planning, housing, and community development matters, including Duluth’s recent comprehensive plan update, Imagine Duluth 2035. Prior to working in Duluth, he spent time with the cities of Hermantown and St. Louis Park, and the Minnesota DNR. He has a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota.

Tim Gladhill is the Community Development Director for the City of Ramsey. Tim received a dual Bachelor’s of Science in Geography as well as Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University Mankato. Tim also received a Masters of Geographic Information Science from the University of Minnesota as well as a minor in Public Policy. Tim is also the President of the American Planning Association, Minnesota Chapter and served as Program Coordinator for Ramsey’s partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project.

Bill Gleason is a Sales and Operations Manager at Gleason Printing, a family owned business that has been in operation since 1940. Bill has been with the company since 1997, and has built up a strong base of loyal clients with diverse printing needs, including: commercial print, digital print, mailings, and fulfillment. Bill focuses on networking, building strong customer relationships, and commitment to quality work. Bill has a growth mindset and understands the value of increasing his knowledge in his industry as well as in positive and effective leadership practices.

Margaret Kaplan is Community Development Director at Minnesota Housing.

Cliff Knettel
has over twenty years of experience in the fields of community/economic development and affordable housing.  Cliff was the Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Duluth (NHS Duluth), prior to their 2012 merger with Northern Communities Land Trust to form One Roof Community Housing, having joined NHS in September of 2009.  Cliff is now the Deputy Director of One Roof and heads all of the agencies’ single-family development, education and lending.   Prior to joining NHS Duluth/One Roof, Cliff served as Development Director of the St. Cloud, Minnesota Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and Planning and Port Director for the City of Superior, Wisconsin.  His experience in many sub-disciplines of community development provide a strong foundation for One Roof’s involvement in neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing and homeownership services. 

Mila Krol
combined many years of leading corporate IT projects with her passion for creative expression to start a local paint and sip studio called Pinot’s Palette in St. Louis Park. With her new project, Mila works to provide a place where friends, co-workers and families explore their innate creativity and in the process laugh, connect and have fun! Mila loves to learn (pretty much anything!), push her own boundaries and experience life to its fullest.  She hopes the experiences people have at Pinot's Palette St. Louis Park inspire them to do the same. In her spare time, Mila loves to travel and has been to over twenty countries on five continents, enjoying various adventures from hang gliding in Switzerland to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Her other favorite pastime is to simply spend be with her loved ones.

Jeff LaFavre
incorporated IAG Commercial in July 2009. Jeff focuses his time around serving clients and managing teams for our corporate and investment clients. Jeff began his commercial real estate career in 1989 with the Trammell Crow Company. In 1994 he co-founded the United Properties, now Cushman & Wakefield Northmarq, Corporate Services Division and helped build this division until 2004. From 2004 to 2009 Jeff was Managing Principal of the Minnesota operations for Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, now Cushman & Wakefield. Jeff has an MBA with a finance emphasis from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He has earned the Certified Commercial Real Estate (CCIM) certification, the Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) certification and the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors (SIOR) designation which recognizes the top ten percent of all commercial real estate brokers.

Landon McKay
is Business Development Specialist with First Children’s Finance. He provides consulting services for child care businesses and communities across Minnesota. He is a former Financial Counselor with Lutheran Social Service where he helped individuals and small businesses improve their financial trajectory. He also taught financial literacy seminars, which empowered attendees to take what they learned and share it with their community. Landon also has an extensive background in marketing and business banking.

Ryan Muhlbauer
was working in outside sales roles selling custom clothing, dental products, and orthopedic implants before founding Escape Inc, a real life room escape game, in 2014. Escape MSP was one of the first Escape rooms in the US market which now holds well over 3,000. Over the course of 4 years the company grew to 7 locations across the Midwest.  Ryan then decided to go down the franchise route with his second business and opened Dogtopia, a doggy daycare and boarding facility in July 2017.  As of Jan 2018, he sold his shares of Escape Inc to his business partner and has been solely focused on growing Dogtopia in the Minneapolis market.  Ryan  was born and raised in small-town Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa for a marketing degree.

Howard Paster
joined Paster Properties in 2000 to work with his father and mentor, Edward, and is now the third generation to lead the company that bears his family's name. Combining local knowledge with regional insight and a national perspective, he focuses primarily on growing the company's portfolio through new development and acquisitions. After earning his Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Howard spent the next eight years with Mid-America Asset Management Company in Chicago. There he worked in property management and leasing, focusing on grocery-anchored retail shopping centers throughout the Chicago metro area. Howard is an active member of the MSCA and ICSC. He currently serves as the State Legislative Affairs Co-Chair for the MSCA and formerly served as the ICSC State Director and Government Affairs Chair for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Howard enjoys spending time with his 5 sons, family and friends. He enjoys cycling, working out and is an avid tennis player.


Mark Robinson, CCIM  joined Mid-America Real Estate – Minnesota, LLC in 2012 and focuses on single & multi-tenant retail investment sales. Mark specializes in the sale of neighborhood, convenience, community shopping centers, & single tenant retail properties throughout Minnesota & western Wisconsin. Prior to joining Mid-America Real Estate – Minnesota, LLC, Mark worked in landlord and tenant representation & acquisitions for over four years with Paster Enterprises. While there, he worked with national, regional, and local tenants securing new retail locations. Mark also gained investment sale transaction experience underwriting & analyzing shopping center acquisitions for Paster. His years of experience as an owner representative give him a unique perspective when analyzing shopping centers for acquisition or disposition for his clients. Mark has been involved in over 160 transactions, with an aggregate value of over $200,000,000 throughout his career. Mark was named the 2013 MNCAR Rising Star of the Year, a prestigious honor given to one broker annually across all product categories with 5 years or less industry experience.

Leslie Roering
began her career with Aeon in July 2011 as an Assistant Site Manager. After spending nearly two years working on site, Leslie transitioned to Aeon’s Compliance department, where she gained knowledge around the intricacies of affordable housing funding sources. In April 2015, Leslie joined the Housing Development Team. As a Senior Project Manager, Leslie manages various projects from rehabilitation to new construction. She oversees acquisition, design, land use applications, funding applications and community engagement. Leslie holds a Bachelors of Design in Architecture with a minor in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. 

Rick Trontvet
is the Vice President of Administration for Digi-Key Electronics, a Minnesota-based privately held company with annual sales revenue of $2.3 billion that is among the top 10 electronic component distributors in the world.  Rick manages the Public Affairs and Legal Compliance functions for this company of 3,700 employees that has 3 U.S. and 3 international locations.  From 2002 through 2017, Rick previously worked as VP of Human Resources for Digi-Key and also led human resources functions for Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, MN and Amity Technology/Concord of Fargo, ND.  Rick has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master's Degree in Psychology and Counseling from the University of North Dakota, and a Master's Degree in Business Management from the University of Mary.

Chris Walton
is a leading expert and influencer in omnichannel retailing. An accomplished Senior Executive, with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries, Chris has high-level executive experience across nearly every discipline within retail, including: merchandising, store operations, inventory management, product design, forecasting, e-commerce, pricing and promotions, product development, and store design and architecture. Currently he is the CEO and Founder of Red Archer Retail and Omni Talk, one of the fastest growing blogs in retail. When he is not writing for Omni Talk or contributing regularly to Retail Dive and the Robin Report, Chris is out raising money for his new retail startup, Third Haus, and also sits on the Advisory Board for Delivery Solutions, a leader in last-mile delivery solutions. Prior to starting Red Archer Retail and Omni Talk, Chris worked for Target, where he was the Vice President of the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also the Vice President of Merchandising for Home Furnishings on Target.com. Chris began his career at Gap, Inc. and holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.



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