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Press Release
08.31.2023

Aeon elects new board chair Melissa Downey 

Aeon’s Board of Directors has elected Melissa Downey as its board chair. Downey, who is the Senior Vice President of Compliance at U.S. Bank, has been a member of Aeon’s board since 2018. Since her appointment as chair, Downey has begun to lead a restructure of the board to include the formation of committees that align with Aeon’s strategic vision. 

Aeon’s board now has executive, finance & audit, real estate & investment, governance, and partnerships & programs committees. Coupled with the recent addition of even more passionate, dedicated members to an already highly-engaged board, this structural shift has poised the organization well for continued innovation. 

“Melissa’s leadership on the board will center her deeply valuable perspectives and experience during this important time as Aeon continues to address Minnesota’s affordable housing crisis,” said Dr. Eric Johnson, President & CEO of Aeon, a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of almost 6,000 affordable homes in the Twin Cities area.  

Downey’s background in compliance and risk, as well as change management helps to inform her work on the board. Having dedicated more than a decade to this work, Downey is an expert in her field. 

“Having volunteered with Aeon for more than I decade, I’m proud of the role it has played in providing homes for so many in the Twin Cities.” said Downey. “I’m energized by the commitment of this Board and leadership team to address the increased complexities of providing affordable housing and remain both a market and thought leader in this space.” Downey manages consumer and business lending and banking compliance at U.S. Bank, one of the largest banking institutions in the country. 

In addition to Downey, Aeon’s Board Executive Committee includes Vice Chairperson Martha Nevanen, Secretary Greg Werner, Saroeun Earm, and Martha Swanson, Aeon’s past board chair who oversaw the transition to Dr. Johnson from long-time leader Alan Arthur.