Friends of the Lock & Dam
Friends of the Lock & Dam (FL&D) was incorporated in Minnesota by interested citizens as a 501c3 public nonprofit on February 23, 2016.
The mission of Friends of the Lock & Dam is to “re-purpose the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock to a world class destination visitor and interpretive center, consistent with the Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan and fully integrated with the Water Works/RiverFirst Initiative.”
Board of Directors
The FL&D Board of Directors is comprised of civic leaders who have a deep commitment to public service, cultural and educational enrichment, and placemaking. Many have been committed contributors, in some case over decades, to plans, projects and initiatives to enhance the public realm and riverfront in Minneapolis.
Paul Reyelts, President & Treasurer
Paul Reyelts was the Chief Financial Officer of The Valspar Corporation from 1982 until 2008 and retired in 2009 to pursue his interest in design. He received a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Paul is a director of Winmark Corporation and Schafer Richardson Development, a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota College of Design, serves on the Board of Trustees of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, is a director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Gold Medal Park Conservancy. He is currently chair of the RiverFirst Capital Campaign and is co-founder and President of Friends of the Lock and Dam.
Thomas Fisher, co-Vice President
Thomas Fisher is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Director of the Minnesota Design Center, and former Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was the Editorial Director of Progressive Architecture magazine and was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published architecture writer in the United States. He has written 9 books, over 50 book chapters or introductions and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications, and he serves on many local and national nonprofit boards.
Mark Wilson, co-Vice President
Mark Wilson is of counsel with the Minneapolis law firm of Henson Efron and focuses on commercial real estate development and business transactions. He is a board member of Winmark Corporation, The Goodman Group, Gold Medal Park Conservancy and past board member of The St Paul Foundation (chair), Minnesota Community Foundation (chair) and GiveMn.org. Mr. Wilson resides adjacent to St. Anthony Falls, enjoys whitewater rafting and skiing, and is a cum laude graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School.
Lisa Hondros, Secretary
Lisa Hondros cofounded Friends of the Riverfront, a nonprofit whose mission is to protect and preserve the cultural and natural resources of the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park. Since 2005, Friends of the Riverfront has advocated for riverfront parks. Over the years, Lisa has worked on political campaigns and been active in the community. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association Board and is a member of the Trust for Public Land Minnesota Advisory Board. Lisa received her undergraduate degree in history from Carleton College and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She practiced law at Dorsey & Whitney from 1989-1992.
Kjersti Monson, Director of The Falls Initiative
Kjersti is the CEO of Duval Companies, related firms which provide development, design and policy solutions for public, private and nonprofit entities. She is a partner at Duval, where she founded and directs the Civic Studio. Kjersti served as the Minneapolis Planning Director from 2013-2016. She brings an implementation-based perspective to projects with both public and private interests, where design matters. Kjersti is an affiliate of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of MN, where she also serves as adjunct faculty teaching urban design. She serves on the Center for Transportation Studies Executive Committee, and on committees for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, Meet Minneapolis, and Minneapolis Downtown Council. Kjersti earned a Master in Urban Planning and Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard, and a BA in English from Hamline. She is married with two children and lives in downtown Minneapolis.
D’Angelos Svenkeson is the founder and CEO of NEOO Partners Inc., a boutique real estate advisory, planning, and development service firm which helps small to medium sized clients undertaking real estate projects, enabling them to stay focused on their core business. Before founding NEOO Partners, D’Angelos served as the Vice President of THOR Development, where he led efforts to transform the Upper Harbor Terminal into a community amenity. He previously spent time with Full Spectrum NY, Seward Redesign Inc. and the Metropolitan Council. D’Angelos earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Planning and Community Development from St. Cloud State University and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Jackson State University.
Danielle Grant is President and CEO of AchieveMpls, the strategic non-profit partner and foundation of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). Prior to joining AchieveMpls, Danielle held several positions with MPS, including Executive Director of Educational & Cultural Services and Indian Education. She holds a BA in Political Science and English from Marquette University and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of MN. Danielle, who is Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, was named Minnesota’s Outstanding American Indian Administrator by the Minnesota Indian Education Association in 2012. She serves as the board chair of American Indian OIC and is a board member of the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership. In 2018, she joined the board of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. Danielle also serves on the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable, YMCA Twin Cities’ Mission Impact Council, Phillips Indian Educators and Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors. She is a former board member of the Native American Community Development Institute and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Indian Advisory Committee. She lives in St. Louis Park with her husband.
Edna Brazaitis, an attorney and riverfront champion, cofounded Friends of the Riverfront, a nonprofit whose mission is to protect and preserve the cultural and natural resources of the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park. Since 2005, Friends of the Riverfront has advocated for riverfront parks. Edna is active on numerous boards and committees. In addition to Friends of the Lock & Dam, she serves as the Minnesota Historical Society appointee to the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, and is on the board of Preserve Minneapolis. She previously served on the board of Mississippi Riverfront Partnership. Edna is also a member of the St. Anthony Falls Alliance. She has advised on numerous plans and initiatives related to parks, heritage, and riverfront development over decades. From riverfront and St. Anthony park planning by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to area planning by the City of Minneapolis to the Power of the Falls planning done by the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, Edna has been an engaged and valued advisor.
Greg Lais is an avid outdoorsman and longtime adventurer. He founded Wilderness Inquiry in 1978 after a trip to the Boundary Waters involving people with disabilities. Now, 40 years later, the belief that people of all abilities can enjoy and benefit from the outdoors continues to be at the heart of Wilderness Inquiry’s mission. Greg’s passion for connecting people to each other and the natural world is truly inspirational. As Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry, Greg directs the organization’s growth and development, collaborating with cross-sector partners to build a world-class organization that directly serves more than 30,000 people annually. In addition to his role as chief architect of Wilderness Inquiry’s mission, vision and programming, Greg has personally constructed more than 300 wilderness experiences throughout the world, integrating people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Greg recognizes people’s personal, socio-economic, and cultural differences, but he focuses on their common humanity and connects with everyone.
John Koepke is a Professor of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and the Department’s former Chair. Along with his responsibilities as a Full Professor he is a principle at the firm Urban Ecosystems LLC. Because of his Ojibwe heritage John has had significant interests in both Native American cultures and environmental science. This has led him to conduct landscape-based research on ancient Native American sites and work with tribal and other communities in pursuing teaching and design opportunities that focus on environmental education, ecological restoration and reclamation. He holds a 5-year professional Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington. He was recently elected as a Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
Kit Richardson is a founding Principal and owner of Schafer Richardson, LLC, a Minneapolis based real estate development firm. A registered Architect, Kit began his professional career working in the office of famed Minneapolis Architect, Ralph Rapson, before forming his own architectural firm with another partner. After spending a number of years practicing architecture, and later working in the real estate investment brokerage industry, he co-founded Schafer Richardson, LLC in 1995. Kit spends the majority of his time at SR in conceptual design, entitlement, and construction review of virtually all of SR’s projects, with a special interest in historic properties.
Peter L. Gove
Peter Gove held executive positions in communications and government relations with Control Data and St. Jude Medical. In the public sector, Peter was Governor Wendell R. Anderson’s environmental assistant, MPCA Commissioner, founding member of the Environmental Quality Board, U.S. Senate Legislative Director and Assistant Director of the National Park Service. He is the founder and board member of Friends of the Mississippi River, past chair of the St. Croix River Association, on The Trust for Public Land’s Advisory Board and NPCA Midwest Council, trustee of Northland College and the Great Lakes Protection Fund, and an Episcopal Homes of Minnesota board member.