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2015 Winter Conference Speaker Bios
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As Co-Founder of DataBank, Jerry Blair was instrumental in the company's inception in 2005. In his role as Sr. Vice President of Sales, Blair is charged with executing the company's sales strategy. With a successful track record spanning more than 20 years in senior sales management, Blair's experience and proven ability to implement results-driven direct and channel-focused sales programs is a very welcome continued asset to the company. Prior to DataBank, Blair was Vice President of Sales for Switch and Data and LayerOne. He has also served as General Manager of Sales for Lucent Technologies, and has held sales management positions with various industry leaders including ICG Communications, Nortel Communications and Wellfleet Communications.


Jenny Boulton is a shareholder and a member of the Bond Department at Kennedy and Graven. She is bond counsel and development counsel to numerous Minnesota cities, HRAs, EDAs and other governmental entities. Jenny practices in nearly all areas of public finance including governmental purpose bond financings, private activity/conduit revenue bond financings, and economic development/redevelopment matters.Stacie has been a Financial Advisor with Ehlers since 2002 assisting Minnesota cities design and implement financial solutions, Prior to joining Ehlers she had 10 years of local government experience working for the City of Brooklyn Park. Notable projects Stacie has worked on for clients include the Medtronic CRM campus in Mounds View, redevelopment of Apache Plaza in St. Anthony and numerous redevelopment projects in St. Louis Park.


Currently employed by the City of Coon Rapids, Matt Brown has over a dozen years of economic development experience. He has held a wide range of economic development responsibilities, including redevelopment project management, business retention and expansion, industrial development, and long-range planning. Matt is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. An active member of EDAM for several years, he currently serves on EDAM's board and as Vice Chair of its Government Relations Committee.


Brad Butler is a Senior Director,Leasing and Developement who has been with Liberty Property Trust for 15 years specializing in suburban office and industrial leasing. Brad currently oversees a portfolio of 5 million square feet in the Twin Cities metro area. Brad earned his B.A. in Biology from St. Olaf College. In his spare time Brad enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing and spending time with his wife Joni and their two daughters Ali and Emma.


Patrick Connoy is an Administrative Manager at the Hennepin County Department of Housing Community Works & Transit. He is a former manager of the Community Works Development Division overseeing county-wide economic, community development and community works projects. He has coordinated county business development including finance programs, transit oriented development, workforce services, and provision of technical assistance to county municipalities, and is now concentrating on Fort Snelling Upper Post Redevelopment. He is a former Senior Project Coordinator at the Minneapolis Community Development Agency. He has a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington.


Gene Goddard, CEcD, is responsible for leading the coordination of business investment projects for GREATER MSP by working with business decision makers, partners, consultants and corporate real estate managers looking for project locations in the 16-county region. Before joining GREATER MSP, Gene spent 20 years with Minnesota DEED. Gene also operates The Minnehaha Craftsman, a custom design furniture studio.


David Griggs comes to Greater MSP from the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise where he served as the Director of Business Development. While there he led his team in providing highly professional guidance and expertise to prospects, resulting in hundreds of wins while creating thousands of jobs and investments measured in the billions. In addition, his involvement with the Western New York Commercial Association of Realtors was instrumental in the development of the region’s first GIS-based, searchable real estate database, the Buffalo Niagara Commercial Listing System. He has an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning and Regional Analysis from Buffalo State College and a Masters of Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has achieved the Economic Development Finance Professional designation from the National Development Council and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council.


Jim Gromberg is the Metro Area Business Development Representative for the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), working with businesses to help locate and expand within the state. Jim is also in charge of the state's data center attraction program and shovel ready certification program. Jim has been in this role since May, 2012, bringing over 20 years of economic development experience in both the public and private sectors, including Landmark Bank, Connexus Energy, and city management and development positions in Isanti and Ramsey. Jim is a past President of EDAM, and served in several community leadership positions.


Tom Hauser started at 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in September 1992, after reporting and news anchoring jobs in Austin, Minnesota; Fort Myers, Florida; and Des Moines, Iowa. After covering the law enforcement beat in the Twin Cities for several years, Tom began covering Minnesota politics in 1997. He hosts the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS "At Issue" public affairs program on Sunday mornings. In 2002, Tom authored "Inside the Ropes with Jesse Ventura," a book about the remarkable four-year term of Governor Jesse Ventura.

In 1983, Tom received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. In 1992 he earned a master's degree in journalism and mass communication from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tom has earned a number of awards for news reporting, including Emmy awards for his coverage of the plane crash of Senator Paul Wellstone and for stories that helped solve the 1970 murder of St. Paul Police Officer Jim Sackett.  In 2007, he was also honored with the St. Paul Police Department "Chief's Award", one of the highest civilian honors in the department, for his reporting on the Sackett case.  Tom has received three Emmy Awards for "At Issue" as the Best Public Affairs Program and two Emmys for television host of the Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament on KSTC-TV, Channel 45.  In 2014, Tom was inducted into the "Silver Circle" of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for "significant contributions to the television industry" over 25 years.

Tom was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Edina. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. He serves on the board of the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center at the University of Minnesota and on the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Committee, which honors the top college hockey player in the country.  Tom also enjoys tending to his backyard hockey rink, reading, golfing and running. He's completed 26 marathons.


Jon Hohenstein has served in local government for over 30 years, with 25 of those in Eagan and currently as Community Development Director. Jon spearheaded local redevelopment work in the Cedar Grove area which led to the new Twin Cities Outlet Mall on Hwy. 13 in Eagan, among other local development projects. He received college training in American Government, and Urban and Regional Studies.


Adam Kienberger is the Community Development Director for the City of Farmington, where he manages development activities related to economic development, planning, and building inspections. Prior to Farmington he spent 8+ years at the City of Lakeville as the Economic Development Specialist where he coordinated economic development efforts and acted as a liaison to several private and public sector partner organizations.

Mr. Kienberger also has experience at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as a Senior Grants Specialist in the Brownfields/Redevelopment/JOBZ unit, and the City of Woodbury as an Economic Development Assistant. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato and an Economic Development Certificate from Hamline University.

As an active Board Member for the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM), he is the Chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee and is also engaged in coordinating the efforts of the EDAM-Emerging Professionals group. He is a member of DEED’s Minnesota Marketing Partners and offers a perspective that can work to bridge gaps between different levels of government while focusing on building a successful business environment.


Stacie Kvilvang has been a Financial Advisor with Ehlers since 2002 assisting Minnesota cities design and implement financial solutions, Prior to joining Ehlers she had 10 years of local government experience working for the City of Brooklyn Park. Notable projects Stacie has worked on for clients include the Medtronic CRM campus in Mounds View, redevelopment of Apache Plaza in St. Anthony and numerous redevelopment projects in St. Louis Park.


Tom Lambrecht is the manager of Economic Development Services for Great River Energy (GRE), the wholesale power supplier to 28 electric cooperatives. Lambrecht has directed over $40 Million in development financing through the electric cooperatives. Lambrecht has served as the board President of the Mid-American Economic Development Council, the MN Business Finance Corporation, and the National Rural Economic Developers Association, and he is a member of the Advisory Board to Community Development Funding, LLC.


Jeff LaFavre, CCIM, MCR, SIOR became a Senior Partner in Coldwell Banker Commercial Griffin in Sept. 2011 when he purchased the company with his partner. Jeff started in the industry with the Trammell Crow Company in 1989 and has spent time in leadership with United Properties, now Cushman and Wakefield, and Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, now DTZ. Jeff heads up the corporate and investment solutions division for CBC Griffin and is a member of EDAM.


Mark Lofthus is economic development director at Dakota Electric Association. Previously he served for 24 years at Minnesota DEED, in business and community development program management. Since 2011 he has been a board member for Think Small, a statewide nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing early childhood education, and also serves on the board of the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation and the Dakota Regional Chamber of Commerce.Craig Waldron is currently a full-time Faculty member at Hamline University in the School of Business.


Kevin McKinnon was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on November 24, 2014. McKinnon, who has 15 years of economic development experience, joined DEED’s Business and Community Development division as director of business development in 2006 and was named executive director of the division in 2012.

In his new position, he will oversee DEED’s Business and Community Development programs, as well as the Minnesota Trade Office and the Office of Broadband Development. Business and Community Development is responsible for more than two dozen programs at the agency, focusing on such areas as business development and finance, small business assistance, community development and job training.

In addition to his positions at DEED, McKinnon served as the president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp., representing two counties in two different states. He was also the executive vice president of economic development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, representing two cities in the Twin Cities area, and was a senior economic development analyst for the city of Colorado Springs, Colo.

McKinnon has served on various committees and boards, including the Economic Development Association of Minnesota and the International Economic Development Council, and is a member of economic development and corporate real estate associations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and lives with his family in Eagan, where he is a volunteer coach for numerous sports teams.


Kathleen Motzenbecker was appointed in March, 2013 as executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, the state’s official export development arm.  As director, Kathleen is responsible for developing the state’s international marketing plans, identifying international market opportunities, managing trade missions, guiding the development of export education programs and promotional events, and overseeing a staff of international trade representatives. She also serves as chief of protocol for the State of Minnesota and is the State’s liaison to Minnesota’s diplomatic consular corps.

Prior to joining the Minnesota Trade Office, Kathleen served with the Minneapolis Downtown Council and as the Asia Pacific trade representative with the Illinois Office of International Trade.  She has observed numerous elections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  Her policy experience was developed at the National Democratic Institute; the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Committee for UNDP in Washington, DC.  Kathleen is a fellow of the British American Project and the U.S. Japan Leadership Program.  In 2003, she was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.  She was a 2011 Humphrey Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota.  Kathleen has a bachelor's degree in political science and Italian from St. Mary's of Notre Dame and a master's degree in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  She has taught on international issues as an adjunct professor at both Metropolitan State University and the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.


Patricia Nauman is the Executive Director of Metro Cities, an organization representing 90 member cities across the metropolitan region before the Legislature and Metropolitan Council on issues of regional and statewide significance. She has served Metro Cities for nine years, three as Government Relations Specialist before becoming Executive Director in January 2009. She specializes in state tax policy, housing and metropolitan governance issues and policies.

Prior to beginning work at Metro Cities in 2005, Ms. Nauman served on staff at the Minnesota State Senate as Committee Administrator to the Senate Tax Committee, where she managed policy development, analysis and legislative priorities for the Committee Chair. From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Nauman served as the Committee Administrator for the Senate K-12 Education Finance Division.

Ms. Nauman began her career in city government with the Columbia Heights Housing and Redevelopment Authority, where she administered the city’s housing rehabilitation and improvement programs.

Ms. Nauman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the College of St. Catherine. She lives in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood of Minneapolis with her spouse, Eric.


Laurence Reszetar is the Director of Foreign Direct Investment in the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO).  Laurence joined the MTO in March 2014 and is responsible for directing Minnesota’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the state.  In addition, Laurence is responsible for managing the operations of Minnesota’s four foreign trade offices which are located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Shanghai, China, Düsseldorf-Cologne, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea. He is also co-chairing the Metropolitan Foreign Investment Initiative with David Griggs of GREATERMSP.

Laurence’s position was created as part of Minnesota’s Global Competitiveness Initiative.  The Initiative was launched to both increase Minnesota’s exports and attract more money spent by foreign companies on operations in Minnesota.  Laurence directs the state-wide strategy to use foreign direct investment to diversity and expand Minnesota’s economy.

Prior to joining MTO, Laurence spent 7 years as an attorney at the Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand law firm in Minneapolis.  He was a litigator, with experience in federal, state, and appellate courts, and also served as a transactional attorney representing clients in a variety of settings including mergers and acquisitions.  He was also a Director and Senior Analyst at Fontheim International in Washington D.C., where he consulted and lobbied on international trade issues.  Laurence began his career at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City as both a Research Associate and Program Associate.


Steve Shepherd is a Senior Associate in the Office Brokerage Division of Colliers International Mpls./St. Paul. Steve Shepherd represents both tenants and landlords in the sale and leasing of properties throughout the Twin Cities. Steve began his real estate career in Chicago, IL providing tenant representation services to organizations in the Central Business District. In addition to his real estate experience, Steve spent four years with a management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing strategies for Fortune 500 firms.


Erin Sparks is an Economic Development Specialist with Great River Energy, a not-for-profit cooperative which provides wholesale electric service to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Great River Energy is the second largest electric power supplier in Minnesota and one of the largest generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives in the United States.

Prior to joining Great River Energy she served as the executive director of the Lake City Economic Development Authority as a representative of Community & Economic Development Associates (CEDA). Sparks also served as vice president of CEDA, a private, non-profit agency that serves small, rural communities, throughout southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. Sparks sits on the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Association of Minnesota and is a certified small business counselor through the Minnesota Small Business Development Center.

With internships in Avon, Minn. and Woodbury, Minn., attending St. Cloud State University and growing up in Hayfield, Minn. (a rural community of 1,200 in southeast Minnesota), Sparks has strong ties and a genuine dedication to greater Minnesota. She has a passion for downtown development, small business and historic preservation.

Jean Spaulding has served as the Assistant Director for the Kandiyohi County & City of Willmar Economic Development Commission since joining the organization in 2008. The EDC works to bridge services between local units of government and business by offering expansion and relocation support; business consulting; and entrepreneur mentoring programs.

The EDC works closely with the 11 communities throughout Kandiyohi County to help them achieve their individual community initiatives. With the creation of the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar, a unique public-private relationship has been developed to promote the business campus to targeted industries especially in the bioscience and agribusiness technology.

Spaulding represents the EDC on several local Boards and statewide organizations including the Economic Development Association of MN (EDAM) Government Relations Chair; MN BEST Robotics; the Willmar Area Multi-Cultural Business Center; and the MN Business Finance Corporation.


Bob Streetar is the Community Development Director for the City of Oakdale and previously held similar positions with the cities of Columbia Heights and Minnetonka. He is an adjunct instructor at Mankato State University, Hamline University, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs teaching community economic development and housing. He is the owner of Streetar Consulting, an independent firm that assists communities in the areas of economic development, housing, planning and redevelopment. He has a master's degree in urban and regional studies from Mankato State University and his Doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University.


Craig Waldron has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Iowa, a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, and a Doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University. He has also completed Post-Doctoral work at Hamline.

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