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Peter Frosch

CEO

Favorite Regional Asset: Como Park & Zoo

Meet Peter

Peter Frosch

CEO

651.287.5805
Peter.Frosch@greatermsp.org

Peter Frosch became chief executive officer of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis-St. Paul regional economic development partnership, in March 2019. As CEO, Frosch is responsible for leading the global strategy for economic development and job creation for the greater Minneapolis- St. Paul region, with 3.6 million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of more than $260 billion.

Prior to being named CEO, Frosch served as Senior Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships and Chief of Staff. In this capacity, he created the MSP Regional Indicators Dashboard, a regional performance measurement now being replicated across the United States, and Make it. MSP., the talent retention and attraction initiative recognized by the International Economic Development Council as a leading initiative in economic development nationwide.

Before joining GREATER MSP in January 2013, Frosch served as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Betty McCollum in Washington, D.C., and also previously served as Director of Environmental Policy at Environmental Initiative, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit.

Frosch earned a bachelor’s degree in History and American Studies from Northwestern University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, where he studied as a George Mitchell Scholar. He lives in Saint Paul with his wife Anne and their two young children.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Como Park & Zoo

Joel Akason

Senior Vice President, Business Investment and Research

Favorite Regional Asset: The Saint Paul Saints Minor League Baseball Team

Meet Joel

Joel Akason

Senior Vice President, Business Investment and Research

651.287.5807
Joel.Akason@greatermsp.org

Joel started his career with Pella Corporation after graduating in 1998 from Winona State University with a BS in business. While working at Pella Corporation, he earned his MBA from Drake University. In 2002, Joel began his economic development career in his home town of Oskaloosa, IA as the chamber president. After 15 months, he moved to the Greater Des Moines Partnership, which is the regional economic development organization in central Iowa. After 2 years with the region, Joel went and ran the economic development efforts for Marshall County, IA, which is part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership region. Joel worked as the President for the Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee (MEDIC) for 5 years until joining Capital City Partnership in February of 2011. Joel received his Certification of Economic Development (CEcD) in 2008 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). In 2015, Joel was recognized as a winner in Development Counsellors International's (DCI) economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession. 

Favorite Regional Asset:

The Saint Paul Saints Minor League Baseball Team

Cydni Bickerstaff

Vice President, Operations

Favorite Regional Asset: The Minneapolis Skyway System – the largest, contiguous system of enclosed, second level bridges in the world and the Mall of America

Meet Cydni

Cydni Bickerstaff

Vice President, Operations

651.287.1366
cydni.bickerstaff@greatermsp.org

Named a “Woman to Watch” by Washingtonian Magazine, Cydni Bickerstaff is Vice President of Operations for GREATER MSP. In this role, Cydni is responsible for guiding the financial, human resources, organizational development, information technologies, and resource development function of the organization.

Cydni is a visionary, entrepreneurial leader, offering progressive experience driving and scaling high-profile operations, marketing, and event portfolios. Cydni brings operations expertise from her leadership with the 2019 Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee where she served as the Vice President of Event Operations.

Prior to relocating to Minnesota, Cydni used her innate knowledge of event operations, marketing and sponsorship development to found and build a successful company, The Bickerstaff Group (TBG). TBG was a full-service agency, specializing in inventing, developing and executing sensational events for organizations around the country.

Cydni earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hampton University and earned a master’s degree in Marketing from Florida A&M University. She lives in Plymouth with her husband Calvin and their two young daughters.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The Minneapolis Skyway System – the largest, contiguous system of enclosed, second level bridges in the world and the Mall of America

Matt Lewis

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Favorite Regional Asset: Our vibrant & growing Cultural Districts

Meet Matt

Matt Lewis

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

651.287.5815
Matt.Lewis@greatermsp.org

Matt Lewis is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. Matt works to advance the Regional Economic Development Strategy through the implementation of the GREATER MSP Partnership’s portfolio of cross-sector strategic initiatives, including: Make It. MSP., Forge North, MBold, ConnextMSP, Center Cities, and the Regional Air Services Partnership. He was named Young Economic Development Professional of the year by the International Economic Development Council for his work to build Make It. MSP., the region’s talent attraction and retention initiative. Matt earned his MBA from the Carlson School of Management and his Master’s of Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He serves in leadership positions at a number of civic organizations including as Board President of Conservation Minnesota.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Our vibrant & growing Cultural Districts

JoAnne Berkenkamp

Managing Director, MBOLD

Favorite Regional Asset: The St. Croix River Valley

Meet JoAnne

JoAnne Berkenkamp

Managing Director, MBOLD

651.287.1362
JoAnne.Berkenkamp@greatermsp.org

JoAnne Berkenkamp is the Managing Director of the MBOLD initiative. MBOLD is a CEO-driven collaboration of Minnesota’s globally leading and growing base of agriculture and food companies and organizations.  We work to accelerate solutions to the globally significant challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors to drive sustainability, economic growth, innovation and talent attraction and retention.

JoAnne has two decades of experience working in the food, agriculture and environmental sectors in a variety of domestic and international contexts.  She most recently worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, driving efforts to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste, and has worked extensively in food supply chain research and development, farm enterprise development, regional food systems and sustainable agriculture.  Berkenkamp also has a background in corporate finance and has worked in the international development field in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She holds a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Illinois and a master's from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The St. Croix River Valley

Emily FitzSimmons

Engagement Manager, Make It. MSP.

Favorite Regional Asset: The region’s many rich cultural and historic neighborhoods – including Summit Avenue, the longest stretch of Victorian homes in the U.S.

Meet Emily

Emily FitzSimmons

Engagement Manager, Make It. MSP.

651.287.5823
emily.fitzsimmons@greatermsp.org

Emily FitzSimmons is the Engagement Manager for Make It. MSP., the GREATER MSP Partnership’s strategic initiative to make our region one of the country’s best places to work, live, and thrive. As a member of the Make It. MSP. team, Emily plans, produces, and promotes the initiative’s external communications as well as develops and executes communications strategy for Make It. MSP.’s priority projects. From blog posts, web content, and newsletters to the quarterly development of Make It. MSP. Insights Reports, Emily works to help tell the story of our region while empowering the partners and communities that make Greater MSP great. Before joining the Make It. MSP. team, Emily worked as a marketing and communications professional in the architecture, engineering, and planning industry where she gained meaningful insight into how cities, businesses, and communities prepare for the future. She brings a strong background in writing for both B2B and B2C audiences, storytelling, and campaign planning for non-profit organizations and partners in city and regional tourism. Emily earned degrees in both Communications Studies and U.S. History from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The region’s many rich cultural and historic neighborhoods – including Summit Avenue, the longest stretch of Victorian homes in the U.S.

Maurice Harris

Manager, Research

Favorite Regional Asset: The region’s great transportation and public transit network.

Meet Maurice

Maurice Harris

Manager, Research

651-287-1369
Maurice.Harris@greatermsp.org

Maurice Harris is the Research Manager for Greater MSP. Maurice’s roles include conducting research to support economic development and market research efforts for the recruitment, retention, and attraction of businesses to the region. He is also responsible for the development and maintenance of intelligence directly related to supporting regional economic development efforts. Prior to GREATER MSP, Maurice was a researcher with the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the research arm of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. His primary roles were performing target industry research, economic impact analysis, and special project research for policymakers. Originally from St. Louis, MO, he obtained his Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia in Public Affairs, specializing in Public Policy Analysis and Regional Development and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Knox College majoring in Political Science and History.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The region’s great transportation and public transit network.

Carolyn Hayden

Marketing Project Manager

Favorite Regional Asset: Mall of America

Meet Carolyn

Carolyn Hayden

Marketing Project Manager

651-287-5811
carolyn.hayden@greatermsp.org

Carolyn is the Marketing Project Manager at GREATER MSP, specializing in graphic design, project management and strategic marketing. She is responsible for implementing the marketing plans by creating and updating collateral across all departments. In addition to this, Carolyn manages video production and assists with event planning. Prior to this position, Carolyn worked for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee for Super Bowl LII. In this role, she designed signage for high profile events, stage backdrops for the opening night concert, and invitations for events related to the Super Bowl. Carolyn has also worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota. Her primary focus was re-branding the Minnesota Chapter materials for the new fiscal year with fresh layouts to reflect their new style. A few of her projects included the creation of email banners, social media posts and literature handouts. Carolyn received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Mall of America

Frances Huntley

Analyst, Research

Favorite Regional Asset: Uptown Minneapolis lakes, events, and food!

Meet Frances

Frances Huntley

Analyst, Research

651.287.5814
frances.huntley@greatermsp.org

Frances Huntly is a Greater MSP Research Analyst and has been with the organization since July of 2017. Frances has a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. During the course of her student career, she worked for numerous nonprofits including the Minnesota Council of Churches’ Refugee Services as well as the Northside Achievement Zone cradle-to-career partnership in Minneapolis. She also has experience in marketing and administrative support. Frances has a strong interest and abilities in qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation, with specific training in ROI analysis, impact evaluation, and advanced population modeling techniques.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Uptown Minneapolis lakes, events, and food!

Morgan Kaardal

Project Coordinator, Business Investment

Favorite Regional Asset: Crosby Farm Park or really any of our wonderful parks and trails

Meet Morgan

Morgan Kaardal

Project Coordinator, Business Investment

651.287.5812
morgan.kaardal@greatermsp.org

As the Business Investment Project Coordinator, Morgan works with partners and stakeholders to support business investment and job growth in the Minneapolis St. Paul region. Morgan graduated from the University of St. Thomas with bachelor degrees in Economics and International Studies. She interned for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, United States Senator Amy Klobuchar and the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania. Morgan is currently working to receive her Economic Development Finance Professional certification.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Crosby Farm Park or really any of our wonderful parks and trails

Betsy Knapp

Organizational Specialist

Favorite Regional Asset: Lake Minnetonka and the surrounding lake towns.

Meet Betsy

Betsy Knapp

Organizational Specialist

651.287.1367
Betsy.Knapp@greatermsp.org

Betsy Knapp is an Organizational Specialist for the Business Investment team at GREATER MSP. She comes to the organization with more than 18 years of profit and nonprofit experience in developing new programs and processes in a variety of administrative settings. Most recently she was with Datalink Corporation, an Eden Prairie company that designs, implements and supports enterprise data centers. Betsy holds an education degree from Winona State University as well as an MS in Adult Education from Iowa State University.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Lake Minnetonka and the surrounding lake towns.

Jennifer Lindemer

Director, Organizational Development

Favorite Regional Asset: Daniella’s Chocolates in Forest Lake voted WCCO’s Best Hot Cocoa in Minnesota!

Meet Jen

Jennifer Lindemer

Director, Organizational Development

651-287-1357
jennifer.lindemer@greatermsp.org

People leadership and cultivating culture highlight Jennifer’s HR and Organizational Development strengths. With over 15 years of expertise in diverse spans of industries including, but not limited to, manufacturing, healthcare and nonprofits, Jennifer finds significance in serving the team behind the organization. Driven by high optimism to help people magnify their talents, Jennifer believes everyone contributes a worthwhile purpose on this planet. She is responsible for the attraction, engagement, development, and retention of GREATER MSP’s most valuable asset—our excellent people. Inspired to work amongst a constellation of super stars, Jennifer finds her job rewarding as she learns something new every day. Jennifer graduated from St. Olaf College with a degree in Family Studies and focus in HR Management. She received her Masters in Communication from Bethel University with a distinction in training and development. Having visited 22 Latin American countries, she practices Spanish as a second language and makes an unbeatable guacamole.

Favorite Regional Asset:

Daniella’s Chocolates in Forest Lake voted WCCO’s Best Hot Cocoa in Minnesota!

Tiffany Orth

Director of Operations, Strategic Initiatives

Favorite Regional Asset: The diverse and vibrant theater scene.

Meet Tiffany

Tiffany Orth

Director of Operations, Strategic Initiatives

651.287.5823
Tiffany.Orth@greatermsp.org

Tiffany Orth is the Director of Operations, Strategic Initiatives. In this role, Tiffany is focused on building GREATER MSP’s new Strategic Initiatives Hub into a center of operational excellence for the organization and the Partnership. Tiffany previously managed the Make It. MSP. initiative and provided support to GREATER MSP’s regional economic development strategy team. Prior to joining GREATER MSP, Tiffany worked in a variety of governmental and political roles, including serving as a Project Coordinator for the MN Sports Facilities Authority; the public entity charged with planning and designing U.S. Bank Stadium and managing the gubernatorial appointments process for judicial and state agency positions in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton. She also supported Governor Dayton’s 2010 Transition Team and has worked in fundraising for various political campaigns. Tiffany earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The diverse and vibrant theater scene.

Rachel Placzek

Strategic Initiatives Coordinator

Favorite Regional Asset: The sprawling bike trail network that’s accessible, scenic and safe.

Meet Rachel

Rachel Placzek

Strategic Initiatives Coordinator

651.287.1361
Rachel.Placzek@greatermsp.org

Rachel Placzek is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at GREATER MSP. In addition to growing the Make It. MSP. initiative, Rachel provides support to the organization's new Strategic Initiatives Hub. Prior to joining GREATER MSP, she built out a talent attraction and retention plan in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, as Director of Talent Strategy for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. Rachel earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science, Global Studies and Spanish from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and spent seven months studying in Bilbao, Spain. She’s passionate about cities, sustainability, Boston Terriers and dinner parties.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The sprawling bike trail network that’s accessible, scenic and safe.

Meg Steuer

Manager, Forge North

Favorite Regional Asset: The vibrant arts and theater scene

Meet Meg

Meg Steuer

Manager, Forge North

651-287-1365
Meg.Steuer@greatermsp.org

As Forge North Manager, Meg supports a coalition of entrepreneurs, investors, makers, collaborators, and allies from all industries working together to make Minnesota the best place in the world to start ventures, solve problems and scale impact.

Meg moved to the Twin Cities in the fall of 2017, following three years helping small businesses throughout Southern Minnesota start, grow and scale in roles at the Small Business Development Center and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Prior to joining GREATER MSP, Meg became familiar with the Twin Cities startup scene as Operations Director for Twin Cities Startup Week and Beta.MN, where she leveraged her passion for building community and scaling initiatives to help community partners host a week of 200+ events for thousands of attendees. Meg earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Favorite Regional Asset:

The vibrant arts and theater scene

Amanda Taylor

Director, Research

Favorite Regional Asset: The hundreds of neighborhood parks and playgrounds in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Meet Amanda

Amanda Taylor

Director, Research

651-287-5804
Amanda.Taylor@greatermsp.org

Amanda Taylor is the Director of Research at GREATER MSP.  Amanda provides intelligence and analytical expertise to inform business investment decisions and the execution of strategic initiatives that will accelerate economic competitiveness and inclusive economic growth across the Greater MSP region.  Amanda brings 12 years of experience in economic development and corporate site selection to the organization. Prior to joining GREATER MSP, Amanda was a site selection consultant and director of research with McCallum Sweeney Consulting in Greenville, South Carolina, providing site selection, incentives negotiation, and workforce analyses services.  Corporate site selection clients included Michelin, Northrop Grumman, Dollar General, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. She also engaged in economic development strategy and location competitiveness consulting with clients including the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Arkansas Economic Developers Association, Charleston (SC) Regional Development Alliance, and Enterprise Florida. Amanda also spent four years in project management and research roles with the Savannah (GA) Economic Development Authority, supporting significant capital investment and job creation decisions by companies like Gulfstream Aerospace and Mitsubishi Power Systems. Amanda earned her Master of City and Regional Planning at Clemson University and was honored with the American Institute of Certified Planners award. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut, double majoring in Geography and Economics.  Amanda is an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate (LEED® Green Associate).

Favorite Regional Asset:

The hundreds of neighborhood parks and playgrounds in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Anders Victor

Director, Business Investment

Favorite Regional Asset: The Mississippi River

Meet Anders

Anders Victor

Director, Business Investment

651.287.5813
Anders.Victor@greatermsp.org

In his role as Director, Business Investment, Anders executes and manages all business and investment attraction activities as they relate to prospecting, lead generation and follow up, as well as marketing of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region alongside the organization’s BI team and regional stakeholders. Anders graduated with a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, where he focused on economic development and emerging technology policy. Anders has authored and co-authored published research on topics including genetic engineering policy, neuromodulation and occupational licensing in the healthcare sector, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Protein Highway Initiative. Anders is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), and he received his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Favorite Regional Asset:

The Mississippi River