Staff & Board

MEET THE REDESIGN STAFF

Ayan Abdinur
Small Business Growth Senior Manager

Ayan Abdinur

Project Manager - Lake Street Alignment & Longfellow Rising

Lisa Boyd

Administrative Assistant

Reva D’Nova

Executive Director

Andy Hestness

Business Engagement Associate

Gabriela Ortiz-Riera

Community Engagement Senior Manager

Krista Pearson

Senior Property Manager

Alan Petroski

Fundraising & Communications Lead

Jessie Roeming

Real Estate Development Senior Manager

Abby Romero

Real Estate Development Director

Taylor Smrikárova

Small Business Growth Senior Manager

Ayan Abdinur

Ayan Abdinur joined the team in early 2023, bringing many years of experience in economic development with her. As a 10-year veteran of the African Development Center, she worked with African communities throughout the state to ensure equitable access to economic opportunities.

Ayan brings a wealth of experience in project and program management, grant and loan administration, technical support, capacity building, and business development. She enjoys helping clients increase their financial literacy, build generational wealth, and create successful small businesses.  She has particular expertise in working with Minnesotans of African descent, and is proud to have counselled many African families in Minnesota to become first time homebuyers.

Ayan was raised in Rochester, Minnesota and has an MBA with an emphasis in project management from Capella University and a BA in Interior Design from Minnesota State University.  She loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends. 

Email:ayan@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.877.8170

Project Manager - Lake Street Alignment & Longfellow Rising

Lisa Boyd

Lisa joined the team in early 2024. Her role is to develop goals, strategies and outcomes that reflect the priorities of Longfellow Rising and Lake Street Alignment and move each initiative forward from vision to action. Steeped in the principles of human-centered economics, Lisa Boyd has a natural talent for tackling the fundamental causes of poverty and inequality by challenging bias and creating equal economic opportunity. A data enthusiast at heart, Lisa values empirical evidence over mere conjecture, consistently aiming to discern the core issues that give rise to economic disparities. This mindset, combined with a natural ability to break down complex information, has made Lisa a valuable asset to a variety of stakeholder groups.

Prior to joining Redesign, Lisa worked for nearly 12 years at Second Harvest Heartland doing capacity building and resource development with a network of MN nonprofit organizations focused on food security programs. Before that, she worked for nearly 10 years in senior housing. Lisa worked internationally over a period of 10 years and has a long history with both nonprofit and government organizations.

Lisa grew up in Central Illinois and after living in various parts of the U.S. and internationally in three different countries, she has been a resident of the Longfellow neighborhood since 2004. She has an MA in international and intercultural management with a focus on sustainable development from the School for International Training and an MA in applied economics from American University. When not using data to change the world, you will find Lisa volunteering with her neighborhood organization.

Phone::612.448.8815

Administrative Assistant

Reva D’Nova

Reva D’Nova joined the Redesign team in May of 2023 and brings 20+ years of Administrative knowledge with her into the Administrative Assistant role. She has worked in various Twin Cities agencies within the Non-Profit sector polishing her Front Desk and Administrative skills – including Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Medical fields and is excited to be a part of the Redesign team.

Reva is also an Elder within the Native American Two-Spirit community and was one of four Native American Trans cohorts chosen to contract with the National Center for Transgender Equality for the US Trans Survey in 2021, with the final report to be released in 2023. She also mentors incarcerated individuals that have been recently released from custody. Some of the mentoring skills shared are Cognitive skills awareness, Health and sexuality, Financial planning and job seeking skills.

Reva is a long time South Minneapolis resident and spent her childhood growing up in the Seward neighborhood. In her free time, Reva enjoys Native American crafting, gardening, listening to music and hanging out with her cat, Cordelia.

Reva received her Administrative certification through Rasmussen Business College.

Email:reva@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0280

Executive Director

Andy Hestness

Before becoming the Executive Director of Redesign, Andy has been both a staff member and a member of the Board of Directors at Redesign, Inc. He has a long history in south Minneapolis, having worked for both the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) and Redesign on the Franklin LRT Station area and cultural corridor as well as other community projects. Andy has a background in architecture, engagement, real estate, construction management, community development, government, and small business finance. 

Email:andy@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0275

Business Engagement Associate

Gabriela Ortiz-Riera

Gabriela’s role is to support and connect with businesses in the Redesign service area. As part of her role in supporting local businesses, she provides operational support for both the Longfellow Business Association and the Seward Civic and Commerce Association. 

She recently graduated from Augsburg University (Fall ‘22) with a BA in Political Science with a concentration in public policy and political change. As a student, she was actively involved in the community, including working as a volunteer to distribute fresh produce from the farmer’s market to community members at Riverside Plaza. Gabriela had an internship at Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) where she learned about the issues facing small businesses. This experience played a significant role in her desire to continue working alongside small businesses to provide support.

Email:gabriela@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0277

Community Engagement Senior Manager

Krista Pearson

Krista Pearson joined Redesign, Inc in May of 2023. She comes with 21 years of experience at Minneapolis Institute of Art she has experience collaborating, coordinating, and building relationships with neighbors and community partners from across the Twin Cities to along Franklin Avenue. A graduate of Augsburg University in Urban Studies, a former resident of Seward, and a former employee of the Riverside Market, (now Seward Co-Op) she has deep roots in the area. Most recently she supported the Dream Sequence Project, a pop up exhibition of artworks on Elsa’s House of Sleep. Krista believes in art as a tool for connecting and inspiring communities to co-create the future together. She appreciates Redesign, Inc.’s commitment to asset-based community organizing, innovating, and coalition building.

Email:krista@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.877.8171

Senior Property Manager

Alan Petroski

Alan joined the Redesign team in 2015. He manages tenant leases and administration, monitors day-to-day operations of properties and implements construction improvement projects. Prior to joining Redesign, Alan worked for more than twenty years with tenants, owners, and brokers, managing, renovating, leasing and selling commercial and residential buildings throughout the metro area. Alan is a licensed real estate agent and a graduate of Metropolitan State University. 

Email:alan@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0276

Fundraising & Communications Lead

Jessie Roeming

Jessie Roeming joined the Redesign team in early 2024, bringing over 15 years of experience in nonprofit communications.

Jessie has worked across a broad spectrum of issues and communications methods, including teaching film & video production at Phillips Community Television, grant writing at Intermedia Arts, social media management at Twin Cities Public Television, and Communications Management at MN350.

Jessie has a BA in Communications from Augsburg College and brings extensive experience in fundraising and communications strategy and implementation. She moved to the Longfellow neighborhood in 2017 and has only fallen more deeply in love with this corner of the city with each passing year. She loves textile arts, creative reuse and repair, attempting to garden, and seeing the world through her toddler’s eyes.

Email:jessie@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.448.8814

Real Estate Development Senior Manager

Abby Romero

Abby joined the Redesign team in 2021 and is responsible for leading housing and community focused redevelopment projects within Redesign’s service area. She knows what it takes to create healthy communities and has managed over $38MM of redevelopment at the intersection of affordable housing, arts and culture, transit and renewable energy. Abby’s great love is serving projects and programs that build social equity, create more just economic conditions, and meet community need. While much of her work has been in redevelopment, Abby believes that community power is intrinsic and needs no saviors. She works through an asset-based and equitable development lens to acknowledge the past, understand the present, and build a future with folks who have traditionally been left out of the development process. Prior to joining the Redesign team, Abby worked in shared mobility at HOURCAR and community and real estate development at PLACE. Abby holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Professional Project Manager. She is seeking a Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development from Penn State and a Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate from Hamline.

Email:abby@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0279

Real Estate Development Director

Taylor Smrikárova

Taylor joined the Redesign team in 2020. Her work is focused on the intersection of real estate development, architecture, urban-focused design and, community orientation. She believes that the development process itself adds beauty in creating occupiable art. Prior to joining the Redesign team, Taylor has worked in mixed-use development at The Excelsior Group; in both commercial real estate and architecture at THOR Companies and; office renovations at RSP Architects. She also worked in residential architecture at Nelson Architects; commercial mortgages at Capital One and; assisted homeowners during the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) after the 2008 crisis while at Dorner Law & Title Services. Her passion is real estate development that not only satisfies investors but also, uplifts end users from all walks of life. She values the full urban experience and gets excited about large & difficult mixed-use developments that feature mixed income housing. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Northeastern University and a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland. 

Email:taylor@redesigninc.org

Phone:612.435.0278

MEET THE REDESIGN BOARD

Redesign’s volunteer Board of Directors is a vital part of our success. The majority of our board members live or work in the Longfellow community area. They bring to the organization many years of experience in community development, affordable housing, public service, urban planning, finance and lending, education, design, construction, neighborhood organizing, small business ownership, transit-oriented development, and nonprofit administration.

Adam Annis

Secretary

Teshome Belayneh

Anna Growcott

VP - Development

Claudia Klinkhammer

President

Sheldon Mains

Ewart Martens

Lisa Middag

Treasurer

Melissa Pahl

Small Business Committee Chair

Tony Scallon

Robbie Seltzer

VP - Administration

Emily Smoak

Marne Zafar

Adam Annis

Adam is a resident of Adam is a resident of the Standish neighborhood in South Minneapolis who takes great pride in our community.  Through his work with Xcel Energy, Adam is helping to lead the clean energy transition.  He also works closely with several of our local Native American non-profit organizations and is passionate about investing his time and energy in sustainable development, urban planning, and supporting local businesses.  Adam enjoys cycling, skiing, sailing, taking his dog Lucy to the Minnehaha Falls Dog Park, and exploring all of the wonderful things our city has to offer. 

Secretary

Teshome Belayneh

Teshome (Tesh) received a BS degree in Information Technology from the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and MS degree in Security Technologies (MSST) from the University of Minnesota.

He worked in the Information Technology field for over two decades including in Networking, Technical Support, PBX Management, EDI, and Cyber Security. Tesh also co-owns and runs Rebecca’s Bakery and Café along with his wife Asse in the Seward neighborhood since 2013.

“It is great honor and privilege to be a member of Redesign Inc. Board of Directors. It will be a tremendous opportunity to contribute to our community along the fine board members of Redesign Inc. and changing lives in a palpable way. I am passionate about the noble work of this great organization, the clear vision and mission of Redesign Inc for over half a century and continue to do the best service and life impacting projects to the Seward neighborhood and the surrounding community. I am ready to listen, learn, and support the board’s agenda with integrity, honesty, and
transparency along the experienced board members, and be a good team player whatever it takes to move forward in this organization’s vision. This will be once in a lifetime opportunity and a remarkable experience. It’s a delightful opportunity to learn and meet people in the organization and in the neighborhood at the same time giving back to the community”.

Anna Growcott

Anna is the Director of Artspace Consulting, a division of Artspace Projects, a national nonprofit developer for the arts. She consults with municipalities and arts organizations to help advance their plans for sustainable and affordable creative spaces. Prior to moving to Seward in 2012, she spent a decade living in China, New York City, and Australia, working in education and the performing arts. Anna also serves on the Board of Directors for ARENA Dances, a contemporary dance company in Minneapolis. 

VP - Development

Claudia Klinkhammer

Claudia is a Principal Project Manager in the Department of Planning and Economic Development at the City of Saint Paul. Her work on the team covers a wide variety of areas including small business development, property disposition, and major development sites. Prior to working in Saint Paul, she spent over 7 years working in development with a focus on hospitality projects. Claudia is originally from Milwaukee, WI and moved to Minnesota as a member of the Hewing Hotel project team in the North Loop. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BA in English and Women’s Studies. She is a resident of the Howe neighborhood and enjoys reading, hiking, and camping with her family.

President

Sheldon Mains

Sheldon is now retired. He previously provided consulting services to nonprofit organizations and foundations on technology, communications, management, and program transfers between organizations. His eclectic background also includes working on energy and environmental policy for three governors and six years of engineering design in the building industry. Sheldon has served as the chair of the Seward Neighborhood Group, the Twin Cities Media Alliance, the Minneapolis Telecommunications Network and, the Milwaukee Avenue Development Corporation. He has also served on the Minneapolis Planning Commission, Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation, the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission, Minneapolis Library Board, and the board of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. He and his wife, Bev, have lived in their 105 year old home in Seward for over 40 years and finally completed their first 5 year remodeling plan 30 years after starting it. 

Ewart Martens

Ewart is a co-owner of Mill City Builders, LLP, a Seward-based design/build residential remodeling firm that has been in business since 1994. Mill City Builders specializes in renovations and additions to older homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The company combines an appreciation for the existing home with thoughtful design, solid workmanship, great attention to detail and quality materials. Ewart is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany. He has been a resident of the U.S since 1988 and has lived in Seward for almost 30 years. Ewart’s participation in the work of Redesign is rooted in his wider interest in development issues and the fabric of healthy communities.

Lisa Middag

Lisa Middag is an urban planner who collaborates with communities and artists to support equitable, vibrant, and sustainable public spaces through inclusive placemaking and intentional community development. Lisa is the Director of Nicollet Activation for the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District. She develops and implements an inclusive range of cultural experiences for daily users and visitors along the city’s historic pedestrian/transit mall. These efforts were rewarded in 2019, and again in 2021 with the International Downtown Association’s prestigious Pinnacle award for events and programming. She previously worked for Hennepin County Community Works and lead an effort to connect the Midtown Greenway bicycle trail to nearby cultural and commercial destinations through wayfinding and placemaking, as well as managed their federal Sustainable Communities grant program focused on transit oriented development. She is a member of the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council and was an Creative Community Leadership Institute fellow. She serves currently as Treasurer for Pollen Midwest, a media arts nonprofit that harnesses the power of narrative change to build towards a society that is free, just, and loving. She previously served on the Minneapolis Arts Commission and as Treasurer for Springboard for the Arts. She is a Certified Economic Development Finance professional (National Developers Council) and has an M.P.A. in urban and regional planning from the Humphrey School. She spent 10 years as the publications director and studio manager at the Walker Art Center.

Treasurer

Melissa Pahl

Melissa has been an active volunteer with Redesign for many years on various levels. She has a degree in finance, experience in real estate development, economic development and currently works in the electrical side of the industry. A resident of the Longfellow neighborhood, she sees the deep impact of the uprising and the need for people of various backgrounds to come together in order to rebuild, heal and become stronger. Coming from a family who contributed time to their communities, it is her hope to make a positive impact in her own community.

Small Business Committee Chair

Tony Scallon

Tony has a long history at Redesign. He currently lives in the Prospect Park neighborhood. He is the retired superintendent for the Minnesota Transitions Charter School and its founder, and formerly served as Alternative Program Coordinator for the West St. Paul School District. Tony has previously served on the boards for the Seward West PAC and was Instrumental in preserving Milwaukee Ave Historic site. Tony served on Longfellow Community Council, Federal Home Loan Bank and National Cooperative Bank, among others, and was a Minneapolis City Councilmember and a founder of Redesign.

Robbie Seltzer

Robbie Seltzer practices urban design through public art and youth empowerment. At Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis, he leads a design studio staffed by youth from the neighborhood that is widely recognized for its public art and arts-based community engagement. Prior to working at Juxtaposition Arts, Robbie designed and built art galleries and consulted in workforce development. Robbie holds a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s in geography and studio art.

VP - Administration

Emily Smoak

Emily is a policy planner at the Minnesota Department of Health where she works to create equitable, active, and thriving communities. Her love of community planning was first inspired during a cross-country bicycle tour where she experienced communities of all shapes and sizes at the pace of a pedal stroke. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, she lived in Seattle where she worked in the transportation and urban planning field. Outside of work Emily spends her time practicing yoga, riding bikes, and growing and cooking food at her home in Longfellow. Emily and her husband have two small kids that they hope will also share in their love of food, bicycling, and community. 

Marne Zafar

(Lenape/African American/Jewish) is a graphic designer and visual strategist working in Minneapolis, MN. Her design consultancy MARNE ZAFAR focuses on graphic design and branding for museums (such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian), non-profit companies, and B2C and B2B for small business; it is federal, state and city certified as a minority- and woman-owned business. Her traditional and contemporary approaches convey intent and clarity and encompasses print, catalog and book design, editorial & copy writing, web and social media. Her partnerships have resulted in initiatives that benefit organizations separately and collectively, and strengthen relationship-building with various cultures and socio-economic groups, in particular the Native American and African American communities. She was board member and board chair for 10 years at Migizi (with the founder/executive director, Laura Waterman Wittstock), is board chair of Rosy Simas Danse and serves on the boards of Division of Indian Work and Milkweed Editions. She is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. Marne is also a past board member and 4 year board chair of Seward Neighborhood Group.