Barbara is a longtime community volunteer. She and husband Mike are 13 year residents of North Star Lofts. They share a long-standing interest and commitment to the Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhood, fulfilling their deep, personal commitment to enhance the neighborhood and remain engaged as the community grows.
Lou Burdick is an entrepreneur who founded a major Twin Cities public relations firm. She has extensive leadership and board experience in business, government and nonprofit organizations. Lou and husband Allan moved to the Cobalt Condos in 2006 where their lives are enriched by the ability to easily access -- often on foot -- arts, sports and restaurants in the city and both are enjoying working for the community at this stage in their lives. Building friendships while helping to grow and shape the future of her neighborhood keeps Lou fully “employed” and engaged in leadership and building community through neighborhood organizations, her condo connections committee and Mill City Commons. A self-described “new territory” person, Lou can’t envision life without the vitality of their downtown/northeast neighborhood.
Mary Margaret and her husband Larry Neumann have lived in the Mill District for 10 years, first at North Star Lofts and now at Park Avenue Lofts. Being part of the community of Mill City Commons has enriched their lives in many ways, both large and small. Along with enjoying urban living, they own and operate Spirit River Farms in Mille Lacs County. Mary Margaret has served on the boards of The Woman's Club of Minneapolis, the League of Women Voters of St. Louis Park, and the 1006 Summit Avenue Society. She currently serves Vice Chair of The Cowles Council for The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in downtown Minneapolis.
Business leader Ken Searl has made a career of anticipating trends and reinventing his companies in advance of evolving marketplace requirements. A creative, visionary CEO who focuses on profitability, he adapts quickly to industry changes, growing his first business (Kennsco) from one office and $500K in sales to 16 locations nationwide with 200 employees and revenues in excess of $35M. Ken is accomplished at merging company cultures through collaboration between the core business and the newly acquired operations. Ken’s strength is his combination of entrepreneurial skills coupled with operational skills. “I’m an entrepreneurial person,” he says, “but I also enjoy running companies.” Ken and his wife Katie are both active in the community as leaders and volunteers. They have lived in the Mill District since 2009.
Ellen Breyer has served as CEO of an internationally renowned healthcare organization, as president of an accredited gradate school, and has held executive leadership positions in the consumer products and professional services industries. She has been recognized nationally and locally for her achievements. Ellen earned her MBA from New York University Stern School of Business including international coursework at London Business School. Throughout her career, Ellen has served on numerous national and community boards. She and her husband, Jan, have lived on the Riverfront since 2008 and are very active members of Mill City Commons.
Patty Connelly has lived along the Mississippi River all of her life – starting along Lake Pepin and now in the downtown and North Loop neighborhoods since 1980. Patty spent her career as a Registered Nurse and Nurse practitioner. She is committed to the livability of the Riverfront neighborhood and delighted to be among so many like-minded people since joining Mill City Commons. You’ll often see her biking around our beautiful city or walking her puppy, Juno. Patty says, “Mill City Commons has brought friendships and enrichment into my life.”
Suzanne, a mother of four and a retired Vice President of Morgan Stanley, is thrilled to be a Board member of Mill City Commons. She is enjoying her retirement and eight fantastic grandchildren. Suzanne and her husband, Bill, have recently moved to Loring Green where she apprciated even more the community created by Mill City Commons. They lived for 20 plus years in Kenwood and have a restored Victorian home in Creted Butte, Colorado
Dick Kavaney used his civil engineering and law degrees to create an interesting and rewarding career. His background includes revamping an atomic power plant; constructing Minute Man Missile structures; constructing structures on the Mississippi River and a tunnel under Lake Street from the river to Hiawatha. In law, Dick has represented matters involving the IDS Center in Minneapolis, a joint venture contract in the Sharjah on the Arabian Gulf and with the architect for the Mall of America. From 1997-2004 Dick was an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota teaching Legal Issues for Construction Professionals.
Recruited from his faculty position at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Kin-Shing (Kin), led Medtronic’s operations in their Greater China Zone, ASEAN countries and North Korea. He has also served as advisor to the American Red Cross in St. Paul and volunteered with Youth Emergency Service in Minneapolis. Today, Kin combines his passion for theater and public service as a volunteer with government elections and at the Guthrie Theater. He is convinced that Mill City Commons’ focus on community building is essential to improving and preserving quality of life and the vigor of the Riverfront neighborhood. Kin and his wife Dora enjoy their home at North Star Lofts.
Dick Olson enjoyed a 30 year career with IBM the last third of which was spent on assignments in Tokyo and Hong Kong. In 1994, he and his wife, Martha, established a marketing consulting company and spent most of that year as the only Americans in Vietnam assisting US comanies in re-establishing on-shore businesses. He continues to be active in start up companies and is presently involved with AgePower, an initiative in Minnesota to find and nurture new companies that bring technical solutions that support an aging population.
During the 1990's, Dick and Martha's home base was in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, where Dick served on the board of the Sawgrass Association, Inc. and for two years as its president. He is a member of the Ecumen Board of Trustees which futher extends his interests in improving the prospects for improved aging care. Dick and Martha participate in advocacy programs supporting health and wellness in aging including the Alzhiemer's Association, the MacPhail Music Center and support for dementia care with Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Sabina and her husband, John, moved to Stone Arch Lofts in 2001. John, who passed away in May 2012, worked with foreign institutional clients for Piper Jaffray, Inc. as Vice President of the International Investment Banking Department. John served for eight years on the Hopkins School Board, most recently as Chairman, and on the board of YMCA Camp Menogyn.
Sabina is a retired banker, formerly employed by First Bank Minneapolis and American National Bank. Sabina has served on a variety of boards, including the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Pillsbury Neighborhood Services and YMCA Camp Menogyn. After retiring, Sabina earned a graduate degree in Organizational Development, which led to serving several Twin Cities' nonprofits. Her participation on the Board allows her to focus on her long-term goal to improve the lives of older adults.
A retired philanthropic advisor at Rockefeller Financial Services where for a decade Marcia advised members of the Rockefeller and other prominent families on their philanthropic ventures. In 2008 she returned from New York City to Minneapolis, where children and grandchildren live. Marcia matches her ideas with her energy and finds her service on the Board a perfect way to both re-engage with her community and build a future within the neighborhood where she lives.
Ron Vantine retired as a business lawyer with the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum. As an attorney, he served primarily as outside general counsel to entrepreneurs and mid-cap companies. Ron served for 12 years on the Board of Trustees of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, including 5 years as Board Chair, and continues to be an active member of several seminary committees. He is a director of Northern Great Plains, Inc and its Meadowlark Institute. Ron volunteers as an assistant to the ESL teacher at Marcy Open School and also reads to kindergarten children at Marcy.
Ron is an avid cyclist who organizes European bicycling trips. He is also a casual birder and photographer and enjoys traveling, spending time at the family’s cabin in Wisconsin, and reading history, historical biographies, and mysteries. Ron and his wife Carol live in Cobalt Condominiums. They have two children, Peter and Jessica, and three grandchildren: Hugo, Leola, and Maya.
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