Power & The New Establishment
(page 3 of 4)
 John Piper Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. The evangelical thinker has a mega-church, 77 books to his name, and the No. 11 spot on Preaching magazine’s list of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years.
 Charlie Vig Chairman of the Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The new head of the tribe behind Mystic Lake inherits an enormous and quiet philanthropic mission—and a squeeze on tribal gaming.
 Rafael Ortega Ramsey County commissioner. Ortega nearly brought the Vikings to Arden Hills. The loss won’t distract him from quieter battles for sustainable cities and against sex trafficking.
 Philip Bither Performing arts curator for the Walker Art Center. The Twin Cities’ ultimate tastemaker.
 L. Kelley Lindquist President of Artspace. Developer of the Cowles Center for the Performing Arts and myriad other art-related buildings nationwide.
 Dana Nelson Founder of GiveMN (Give to the Max Day). Raised more than $65 million for good causes in four years. Yeah: wow.
 Dennis Nguyen Chairman of New Asia Partners private equity firm. When Governor Dayton needed a wingman to pitch Minnesota businesses in Asia, he tapped Nguyen, who moves easily between Minnesota and Shanghai.
 Peter Bell Former chair of the Met Council. His direct and widely sought insights range from affordable housing (unlikely to resolve social issues) to drop-outs (let ’em go).
 John Knapp Lobbyist. The Winthrop & Weinstine shoulder-squeezer has lobbied at the capitol since 1977, most recently defeating an attempt to collect sales tax from out-of-state online retailers.
 Belinda Jensen KARE-11 meteorologist. Few people hold more power over Minnesotans than its weather forecasters. But none wield that influence with the same appeal as Jensen, whose encouragement of girls in science, for example, exemplifies the new two-way street of media and the public.
 Richard and Larry D’Amico Restaurateurs. Synonymous with dining in the Twin Cities.
 Phil Roberts CEO of Parasole Restaurant Holdings. Impresario of guilty pleasures, from Manny’s to Chino Latino.
 Javier Morillo-Alicea President of SEIU Local 26. The charismatic leader of janitors and other service workers has pressured Washington for common-sense immigration rules.
 Sondra Samuels CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone. She aims to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone on Minneapolis’s North Side, working with schools, parents, and partners like the U’s Center for Early Education and Development to move kids “from cradle to career.” She has a $28 million federal grant to expand to 1,200 families by 2014.
 Ken Charles Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion at General Mills. One day before General Mills’ CEO denounced the proposed marriage amendment, Charles set the stage, testifying before the U.S. Senate in support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.
 Laysha Ward President of Target Community Relations and Target Foundation. The public face of Target doesn’t just hand out checks. She’s thinking about change in education, healthcare, etc., and talking about it at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
 Nancy Feldman CEO of UCare. A former assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health, Feldman single-handedly reduced Minnesota’s budget shortfall by $30 million when UCare unexpectedly returned “extra” profits to the state—one of the insurer’s biggest clients.
 Michael Crusham Market manager for Clear Channel. Cities 97, KDWB, KFAN, etc.
 Tom Barnard Host of the KQRS radio morning show. The old dog behind Minnesota’s most popular morning show is still learning new tricks, launching a podcast last summer.
 Bill Pohlad Minnesota Twins co-owner, film producer. From Brokeback Mountain to Tree of Life, he’s the go-to guy for getting challenging visions on screens.
 Kam and Kevyan Talebi Co-owners of Kaskaid Hospitality. Crave. CraveCrave. CraveCraveCraveCrave.
 Jason DeRusha WCCO anchorman, food writer, social-media whiz. If anyone understands where mass media is going—please tell us! No, seriously, it’s DeRusha.
 Michael Brodkorb Political strategist. Republican leaders thought they had put down their attack dog last winter. But he bit back and is now a public-affairs consultant.
 Bao Vang Head of the Hmong American Partnership. A power vacuum remains in the Hmong community, but Vang looks out for its interests, heading the largest Hmong nonprofit.
 Joe Spencer St. Paul director of arts and culture. The “coolness king” is heating up St. Paul with new festivals, public art, food trucks, and entertainment nodes like the one surrounding the Amsterdam Bar and Hall.
 Pamela Alexander Retired judge, head of the Council on Crime and Justice. A powerful advocate for racial equity in the justice system.
 David Safar Music director at 89.3 The Current. A lot of musicians owe Safar a big wet kiss.
 Seimone Augustus Minnesota Lynx guard. The Lynx’s all-time leading scorer helped revive the state’s sports mojo with a championship title in 2011. Then she nabbed gold at the London Olympics. She also came out for same-sex marriage, telling the Associated Press, “Everyone thinks that the WNBA is one big lesbo party anyway.”
 Shaun Murphy Minneapolis cycling czar. He coordinated the multi-million-dollar federal initiative to build out the city’s cycling and walking infrastructure, making him the archnemesis of Portland.
 Dessa Hip-hop artist. From headlining concerts to talking ethics at Augsburg College’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum to wonking out on MPR’s Friday Roundtable to releasing her eponymous Elixery lipstick, Dessa is the Renaissance woman of rap, the philosopher queen of hip-hop.