Meet the Team
The MN-OZA Advisory Board members support and advise the management team. Distinguished Advisory Board members include:
Rick Beeson — Current Executive Vice President Sunrise Banks, Board of Regents University of Minnesota. Past President Park Midway Bank of Saint Paul (acquired by Sunrise) and a host of prominent community institutions. University of Minnesota B.A., St. Thomas M.B.A.
Gayle Peterson — As Program Director for the Impact Investing and Social Finance programs, Peterson oversees curriculum development and program design, and serves as a faculty member and tutor. In this capacity, Peterson challenges students to effectively tackle the world’s most complex problems through ethical and deliberate leadership and strives to help students find their moral compass as leaders in decision-making that maximizes positive social and financial returns. In the classroom, she teaches stories of meaningful change and impact by putting a face to the people and communities affected by social investing. While at Oxford Saïd Business School (SBS), Gayle has taught more than 500 students from more than 90 countries with the goal of using creative capital to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. Taking solutions to scale in solving climate change, advancing human rights, and creating economic opportunity are centerpieces to Peterson’s research, publications, and teaching. Through SBS, she co-founded Women Transforming Leadership in 2013 and speaks and lectures on gender lens investing, women in private equity and social investing, and impact finance.
Peterson is also Senior Managing Director of pfc Social Impact Advisors, an international social investing consultancy offering strategic guidance in leadership development, program strategy, and impact measures. pfc helps people and organizations with money, time, and vision do good, including foundations corporations, impact investors, civil society organizations, governments and intermediaries at the cutting edge of social change. With more than 20 years of experience as a strategist, philanthropist, and trusted adviser to social investors worldwide, Peterson has managed and assessed more than US$15 billion in philanthropic and impact investments. She has advised social investors in more than 45 countries and has taught social investing classes in China, Africa, Europe, Russia, and North America.
Peterson and her team at pfc believe that the world’s most Wicked Problems are the problems most worth solving. She will publish two books in 2019 addressing the role of big finance and big technology in improving the lives of the world’s poor based on more than 1,200 interviews with 1,000 global leaders across five continents.
Other highlights from Peterson’s career included: Program Director for the Great Lakes Protection Fund, where she created the first bi-national grantmaking program to promote environmental sustainability, green jobs, and multi-sector collaboration; Legislative Director for the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs, where she led a successful campaign to amend the Illinois Constitution to promote fair housing practices; Chief of Staff, Commissioner of the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, where she advocated for policies to promote land conservation and expand employment opportunities for women.
Peterson holds a MA Social Policy and Law, University of Chicago and MSc HEC-Paris School of Management and Oxford University. Peterson is a contributor to Alliance Magazine, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the Huffington Post. Gayle’s favorite quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt, as told by her granddaughter, Anne Roosevelt, “Always ask yourself—is it big, is it useful.”
Ferdinand F. Peters — Currently practicing attorney and owner of Ferdinand Peters Esquire Law Firm. Prior attorney with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, RTC and FDIC. Served in the United States Army and Reserves, retired at the rank of Colonel. St. John’s University B.A., William Mitchel J.D., University of Southern California M.A.
Hadley Adkins — Currently leading the student family housing cooperative management team, for the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus in the capacity as General Manager. Actively serving over 2.5 decades influencing and learning among diverse populations in the client services and housing realms of market rate, affordable and cooperative student housing. Collectively building and creating positive community impact programming with an embedded visionary ingenuity; in purpose to influence living and working environments, where people thrive to their ultimate potential. Working in communities large and small, Hadley has developed a basis of what unites and strengthens productive communities through connection and education empowerment. Hadley holds a BS in communications and sociology from the College of St. Catherine; along with a Management Practices Certificate from U of M College of Continuing & Professional Studies.
Chris Hanson — A natural entrepreneur and internet pioneer, Chris has founded or co-founded five successful businesses including Sanus, the largest manufacturer of audio/video furniture and accessories in the US, and three nonprofits. His current company, thedatabank, gbc, is a Certified General Benefit Corporation that was formed in 1998 as the first SaaS CRM software used by nonprofit organizations to manage relationships with their supporters. As a small business owner, fundraiser and direct marketer, Chris has presented at numerous regional, national and international conferences. Chris earned his Ph.D. in Organization Development at the University of Minnesota where he conducted research on the use of formal training to improve organizational performance in small businesses. An award-winning researcher and author, he has presented at national and international academic conferences and has published articles in the areas of small business development, social network analysis and social entrepreneurship. His focus is on helping social entrepreneurs and small business owners build organizations that are financially and socially beneficial. Chris is also a Senior Fellow of the Twin Cities Metro Independent Business Alliance and founding board member of MNVest.org.
Community Impact Advisory Boards
MN-OZA’s Opportunity Impact Fund is intended to be mission-focused, long-term (“patient”) and aligned with goals within the communities where MN-OZA’s monies are deployed. Ideally, every project MN-OZA invests in will be community-led and each project will feature its own Community Impact Advisory Board, comprised of local thought-leaders and neighborhood stakeholders, led by MN-OZA management team members.
MN-OZA is seeking to channel the talents and relationships of its personnel into good works and with an economic aspiration and not just philanthropy, so we will collaborate with community members to achieve positive outcomes. Our business philosophy revolves around deliberate “triple bottom line” objectives across economic, social and environmental realms.
MN-OZA Management Team
The MN-OZA organization is led by a distinguished range of wise and insightful leaders, including:
Jamie Stolpestad, Investor Relations – Jamie is a founder and managing partner of Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors. A real estate focused entrepreneur, advisor (NoVo Foundation, PVN Design Works, Knight Foundation Community Advisory Committee) and educator (NYU Stern School of Business). Past CEO Allianz Real Estate (first employee, grew to 16 FTE’s, $8.6B national debt & equity portfolio), other investment firms+$13B investment track record. Northwestern B.A., Kellogg School M.B.A.
Craig Estrem, Operations Manager — Craig is a founder and managing partner of Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors and a real estate investment firm executive. Past Managing Director of EverWest Real Estate Partners, Blackrock, Madison Marquette, often in COO role. Craig has significant experience setting up, running large-scale investment-oriented real estate platforms, real estate funds, and serving on investment committees. Craig attended Augsburg University where he obtained a B.A.
Loren Schirber, Project Pipeline Manager – Loren is a founder and managing partner of Minnesota Opportunity Zone Advisors. Loren has transitioned away from management but is still one of the owners of Castle Building & Remodeling, which is a professional, award-winning, design/build firm with four design showrooms (Minneapolis & St. Paul) specializing in residential remodeling. Since acquiring Castle Loren has utilized his marketing and management skills to grow Castle to one of the largest and most successful residential design build remodeling firms in the Twin Cities. Loren has served on the Northeast Investment Cooperative board a commercial real estate investment cooperative. Loren attended the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and received his MBA in 2005. He attended the University of North Dakota where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and received a Certificate of Entrepreneurship. Loren lives in NE Minneapolis and is married to Jill Wilhelmi. They adopted a baby boy Teddy in 2016 and are in the process of trying to adopt another infant child.
Linh Do, Compliance and Oversight – Linh is a MN-OZA Executive Vice President. Linh has been focused on real estate since 2016, but has vast previous experience in technology implementation for healthcare and construction. Her business acumen encompasses project management, leadership, customer relationship, accounting processes, and (informal) facilitation. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI). Her education includes an undergraduate degree in Marketing Management Research, Masters in Organization Management and Business Administration as well as a certificate in Finance from Concordia University. Linh’s work for MN-OZA is focused on downstream acquisition, development, and property management.