Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Executive Director Named “Minnesotan on the Move”

Bonnie McDonald to receive award from Finance & Commerce for work on job creation


The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is proud to announce that its executive director, Bonnie McDonald, is being recognized this evening by Finance & Commerce as a “Minnesotan on the Move.” The Minnesotans on the Move Award honors professionals who are poised to make business history of their own during the coming years.

McDonald is receiving this Award on behalf of her work to alleviate the unemployment crisis in the construction industry by creating jobs in historic preservation development. The most impactful of McDonald’s work is the 2010 passage of the Minnesota State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. In partnership with the Building Jobs Coalition, a broad network of supporters, and bipartisan legislators, she helped to lead an 11-year effort to enact the legislation that makes Minnesota competitive in retaining development investment in the Midwest Region. There are currently 12 historic rehabilitation projects in the development pipeline using the new credit and contributing and estimated $200 million in investment to create needed jobs in the construction industry. The credit, if comparable with other states, is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs annually.

On receiving this recognition from Finance & Commerce, McDonald stated, “It is an honor to receive the recognition of the real estate industry for the value of historic preservation development. I’m proud to stand as a representative of the hundreds of people who played a part in this achievement.” The Minnesota State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is just one of the several programs in which McDonald played a significant role in advancing. Since taking the role as head of the statewide historic preservation nonprofit more than five years ago, she has grown the staff from one (herself) to four full-time staff.  McDonald contributed to the reestablishment of the statewide Main Street Program within PAM, a local economic development tool for historic commercial districts that stimulates job and business growth, tourism, and cross-sector coordination.

“Now in the third year of the Minnesotans on the Move award, we continue to see an increase in very talented nominees,” said Steve Jahn, Vice President and Publisher of Finance & Commerce, Inc. “The award is intended to showcase Minnesotans who have already made an impression in their field and are expected to bring a greater presence to their organization. This year’s recipients are a great representation of so many important industries throughout the state.”

Award recipients were based on having an established, distinctive presence in their industry; bringing innovation, creativity or another form of dramatic change to a Minnesota-based business; having a track record of being recognized by their peers and colleagues for their work; and having demonstrated the potential to bring a growing influence to their businesses in years to come.

The 40 honorees will be recognized at an evening reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on April 7.

About Bonnie McDonald

Bonnie McDonald discovered her passion for historic preservation in 1997 while attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in art history. Internships and employment opportunities with the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Minnesota Historical Society guided Bonnie toward a career in historic preservation advocacy. Bonnie gained additional experience in preservation advocacy by working with Preservation Action in Washington, DC, and at the Preservation League of New York State as its first public policy intern. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, and in January of 2008, Bonnie received her Master of Arts degree in City and Regional Planning, specializing in historic preservation planning, from Cornell University. In November of 2005, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota hired Bonnie as its Executive Director where she has helped to enhance organizational capacity and achieved significant goals like passage of the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Tax Credit and reestablishment of the Minnesota Main Street Program. She has since served as Chair of task forces for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chair of the Building Jobs Coalition’s Public Policy Taskforce, and is currently participating in the Wilder Foundations James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.

About the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is the statewide, private, nonprofit organization advocating for the preservation of Minnesota’s historic resources. PAM was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1981 by Minnesota citizens concerned about the future of the state’s architectural and cultural landmarks. PAM has grown into a network representing thousands of voices across the state.

About the Building Jobs Coalition

The Building Jobs Coalition is a diverse group of contractors, building trades, architects, engineers, economic developers and public officials, committed to investment in Minnesota’s design and building industry through strategic legislation and public policy. The Building Jobs Coalition is chaired by Dave Semerad, Associated General Contractors of Minnesota; Harry Melander, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council; and Beverly Hauschild-Baron, American Institute of Architects Minnesota.

About Finance & Commerce

Finance & Commerce is Minnesota’s only daily business newspaper and online resource.  Since 1887, the publication has covered all aspects of commerce – with a special emphasis on the real estate, construction, banking/finance, energy and technology industries.

Finance & Commerce, Inc. is a division of The Dolan Company (NYSE: DM).  Its publications and online resources include:  Finance & Commerce, Minnesota Lawyer, Politics in Minnesota, and the St. Paul Legal Ledger/Capitol Report.  Visit for more information.

Minnesotans on the Move 2011 Honorees

Shari Aberle / Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Margaret Anderson Kelliher /Minnesota High Tech Association

Kim Bartmann /Bryant-Lake Restaurants, Inc.

Paul Bieganski /Packet Power

Richard Brown/JNBA Financial Advisors

Don Cate/Multivista

Brian J. Cohen/Aeration Industries International

Mike Derheim/The Nerdery

Rebecca Ellis/Questions & Solutions Engineering

Wendy Ethen/Guaranty Commercial Title, Inc.

Vance Fiegel/ Creative Water Solutions

Steve Foster/Argos Risk LLC

Scott Ganske/Mortenson Construction

Kevin Grotheim/Torrefaction Systems, Inc.

Ernest Grumbles/MOJO Minnesota

Curt Gunsbury/Solhem Companies

Todd Headlee/Silent Power Inc.

Susan Haigh/Metropolitan Council/ Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Tim Holland/Metro Mold and Design

Greg Hosch/Harris Companies

Jennifer Iwanicki/Curation Station

Dan Juntunen/Wells Concrete

Keith Korsi/Trissential, LLC.

Lars Leafblad/KeyStone Search

Kerry Marusich/Third Wave Systems, Inc.

Bonnie McDonald/Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

Liz Pangerl/Casa Valencia, LLC

James F. Rennie/Safekey

Doug Ruth/EarthClean Corp.

David Siegel/Builders Association of the Twin Cities

Terry Smith/The Implementation Institute

Lisa Zweber-Smith/The Implementation Institute

Nils Snyder/NAI Welsh

Julie Tanaka/Compendium Business Strategies

Rebecca S. Hage Thomley/Orion Associates

Nicolas Thomley/Pinnacle Services

Michael Vinje/Trissential, LLC.

Marty Wetherall/FanChatter

Deb Wilkens-Costello/WomenVenture

Dan Yarano/Fredrikson & Byron

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