Community Builder Award

Honoring community partners for extraordinary contributions to affordable housing

  Annual Honorees:


Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

All people deserve homes that are stable and affordable – it’s the foundation we depend on for our quality of life and opportunities to succeed – and LISC helps make this happen. LISC is one of the most productive field offices of the national community development organization. They mobilize corporate, government and philanthropic support to provide organizations like Aeon with grants, loans and equity investments; and LISC advocates for policy change that helps make our work easier.


City of Richfield, Minnesota

The City of Richfield was recognized for its quick actions and financial support to preserve the affordability of Seasons Park Apartments, an apartment complex in Richfield that is home to more than 400 families, including 250 school-age children. Seasons Park was going to be sold to a developer who city leaders feared would upscale the property and displace virtually all of the current residents.


Jack Cann

Jack is a senior staff attorney with the Housing Justice Center. He has worked on affordable housing issues since co-founding the Minneapolis Tenants Union in 1969. Since then, he has worked on a variety of housing related activities which provided him with a unique breadth and depth of experience relevant to housing litigation including tenants’ rights organizing, advocacy, lobbying, and real estate development and finance. Jack is passionate about affordable housing issues and we value his long-term connection to Aeon.

Dollie Crowther

Dollie Crowther is the principal project coordinator for the City of Minneapolis’ City Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED). By the nature of her job alone, Dollie does incredible work tied to affordable housing and has overseen literally thousands of affordable apartments implemented during her tenure with the City. In addition to simply being excellent at her job, she’s a partner to Aeon in the truest sense of that word. She’s been instrumental in helping us successfully navigate the process of working with the planning commission and the City Council.


Frerichs Construction

Aeon’s partnership with Frerichs started in 2003 when they were the General Contractor on our Lamoreaux Expansion. Over the following 12 years, Frerichs continued to work with us from a construction standpoint, partnering with us to preserve two historic buildings (Crane Ordway and Renaissance Box, which are two of our St. Paul properties). They were also our construction partner in an ambitious renovation project in 2015: re-capitalizing and transforming 584 of our existing apartment homes at 10 different buildings in Minneapolis. Additionally, Frerichs has been the Premier Sponsor at our annual Beyond Bricks & Mortar fundraising breakfast since 2003. Frerichs employees have contributed roughly 400 hours of service at Aeon properties and events.


Cummins Power Generation

Cummins Power Generation has partnered with Aeon since 2006 through providing generous project funding and ongoing employee volunteerism to transform numerous Aeon properties. From building custom bike racks and picnic tables, to providing supplies and employee volunteers for landscaping at as many as 13 properties, Cummins has demonstrated a deep commitment to creating affordable housing options for families in our communities. In 2013 alone, employees gave more than 1,500 hours of time, and nearly 300 employees volunteered.


Chip Halbach

Chip Halbach has worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to help make sure that there are homes for all Minnesotans. As executive director of Minnesota Housing Partnership, Chip has led years of collaborative work with communities across the state which has had a significant impact on homeowners, renters and the changing landscape of affordable housing. His leadership at MHP has helped shape legislation, provided education, and secured coveted dollars to produce decent places to live, families and individuals can afford.


Cora McCorvey

Cora McCorvey has championed quality, affordable housing for families with low incomes for nearly 35 years. Since becoming the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) in 1991, she’s been responsible for managing 6,800 affordable housing units. She has led the MPHA to achieve track records of outstanding performance, as they have secured and invested millions of dollars in funding to renew public housing developments and preserve much needed affordable homes for Minnesota families.


Dick Brustad

Dick Brustad spent many years at the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Agency (MHRA) before forming Brighton Development Corporation – the firm behind several of Aeon’s first properties, including Buri Manor, The Adams, The Roselle, Elliot Court and The Elms. He later established the Community Housing Development Corporation.

Warren Ditch

Warren Ditch also had an extended stay at the MHRA, and enjoyed a 33-year stint with the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA). He later joined the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC), serving as a manager for the HousingResource Center. His work in Multi-family Housing Projects has led to countless people having a quality-affordable home.


Lisa Goodman

As a passionate supporter of affordable housing, Minneapolis Council Member Lisa Goodman has made many of Aeon’s downtown Minneapolis developments possible. Some Aeon properties Goodman is directly responsible for include The Lamoreaux, St. Barnabas Apartments, Ripley Gardens, The Jourdain and The Wellstone.


Bob Odman

Bob Odman has been a champion of housing for more than three decades. As Assistant Commissioner of Multi-family Housing for Minnesota Housing, Bob has been instrumental in providing many families with an affordable place to live. His tireless commitment will be missed when he retires from Minnesota Housing in late 2009.


Howard Goldman

As Director of Multi-family Housing, Howard Goldman has helped Aeon and countless other organizations throughout the region navigate the rocky shoreline of affordable housing financing as part of his service in HUD’s Minneapolis Multi-family division.


Justin Cummins

Justin Cummins is a passionate advocate for affordable housing. His firm belief that everyone deserves a decent and affordable home is evident in his work and volunteer efforts. As an award-winning attorney, Justin has long fought for people facing discrimination in housing and employment. He was named “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer, in part for his efforts in a major housing discrimination lawsuit. Justin joined Aeon’s Board of Directors in 1995 and culminated his 12 years of service as Board Chairperson in 2007.

Cathy ten Broeke

Cathy ten Broeke has been a leader in the fight against homelessness for many years. She has directed St. Stephen’s Shelter, advocated on behalf of the homeless at the state and national levels, and been recognized for the innovation and effectiveness of her work. Cathy is overseeing implementation of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s ten-year plan to end homelessness and facilitates Project Homeless Connect, which is a one-stop service event for people experiencing homelessness. Cathy currently serves as the Coordinator to End Homelessness for the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County.


Archie Givens

Archie Givens has been a tireless advocate for affordable housing. He upholds a long-time family commitment to service, including a powerful commitment to the African-American community. Archie is CEO of Legacy Management & Development Corporation, a for-profit developer of real estate and affordable housing. For many years Archie has developed quality affordable housing in areas and situations where no other for-profit development organization would step in, working closely with neighborhoods and community.

City of Chaska, Minnesota

While some cities talk about the importance of inclusion, community, and intentional design, the City of Chaska is turning these words into action. Through Aeon, we have seen how the City of Chaska powerfully aligns its actions with its values and convictions. With the Clover Field development area, Chaska is creating a true community and genuinely serving its citizens. Accepting the award from the City of Chaska were Matt Podhradsky, Assistant City Administrator and Kevin Ringwald, Director of Planning & Development.


Susan Watlov-Phillips

Susan Watlov-Phillips has worked with people experiencing homelessness for more than three decades. She is founder and executive director of Elim Transitional Housing, the first transitional housing program in Minnesota. She was a founding board member of both the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless and MICAH. She also started a non-profit called Community Home Ownership to provide cooperative homeownership opportunities for people with very low incomes. She currently serves as board president of the National Coalition for the Homeless.


National Item Processing

National Item Processing stepped forward to become the first member of Aeon’s Cornerstone Society, which honors leading donors to the organization. Cornerstone Society members pledge at least $1,000 a year for five years. National Item Processing joined at the highest giving level of $10,000 annually.

Charlie Warner

Charlie Warner has helped to shape nearly every aspect of affordable housing in Minnesota. From tenants’ rights to housing cooperatives and federal subsidies, he created support for housing at all levels of government. He also helped to found non-profit housing organizations including the Minneapolis Consortium of Community Developers, the Minnesota Housing Partnership and Aeon.


Gail Dorfman

Gail has been Hennepin County Commissioner for District 3 in Minneapolis since 1999. She also serves on a variety of boards that work to build healthy families and vibrant communities. In all of her work she has shown her commitment to increasing access to affordable housing.


Millie Schafer

Millie has lived in the Elliot Park neighborhood for more than 30 years and has dedicated herself to the improvement of her community. She was honored for her outstanding spirit and her dedication to making Elliot Park a better place to live and work.