The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was comprised of members of the community who have a stake in the Midway area of Saint Paul (live, work or visit there). Members were appointed by the Mayor, selected from applicants who requested to serve on the CAC.

The role of the CAC was to:

  • Help to determine the community needs and desires for the project
  • Review plan concepts and provide input on major design elements and themes
  • Bring suggestions from community, stakeholders, and respective organizations to the attention of the City staff and officials
  • Help communicate project progress to community members
  • Provide guidance to City staff on final recommendations for the redevelopment site
  • Ensure that the full range of issues are discussed during the design process

Committee Members

Abdi Barkat
Abdi Barkat is a community organizer and former soccer player, currently working for Ka Joog, a non-profit organization working with Somali-American youth.

Rick Birdoff
Rick Birdoff is principal and president of RD Management LLC, which owns and manages commercial properties throughout the United States, including the Midway Shopping Center.

Jon Commers
Jon Commers was appointed to the Metropolitan Council by Gov. Mark Dayton in March 2011, and reappointed in 2015. He lives in Saint Paul, and represents District 14, which includes the area of Saint Paul west of Interstate 35E. Commers is the principal of Saint Paul-based Donjek Incorporated, a consulting business he founded in 2007, that provides financial and policy analysis for public, private, and nonprofit clients.

Julia Donnelly
Julia has lived in Union Park since 2006 with her husband and two children. Currently, she serves as Political and Legislative Director for the Operating Engineers Local 49, which represents 13,000 heavy equipment operators working in Minnesota's construction industry.

Gene Goddard
Gene Goddard has lived in the Midway of Saint Paul for 25 years. He has been involved in youth sports as a coach for Midway Baseball, Merriam Park Rec Center and St. Mark's Catholic school. Gene has worked in the field of economic development for over 25 years at the local, regional and state level.

Emily Goellner
Emily recently bought a home six blocks from the redevelopment site in order to be near the Green Line and her husband’s business, Play It Again Sports. As a City Planner and Grant Writer for the City of Golden Valley, she brings expertise in the redevelopment process, urban design, community organizing, and green building principles. She hopes to represent residents who value social justice, the arts, small businesses, and bicycle/pedestrian connections.

Gerard Lagos
Gerard Lagos is a senior design engineer at Andersen Windows. Born and raised in Saint Paul, he still resides in Saint Paul. Gerard has always enjoyed being involved with youth development, especially connecting youth with the powerful life skills gained in play and sports. He serves as a youth coach for the Blackhawks soccer club, where he coaches girls and boys soccer players from 4 to 18+ years old. In the 1990’s, he played professional soccer and was Captain of the Minnesota Thunder. Gerard’s soccer career has taken him around the world including a fourth place finish in the 1989 Youth World Cup in Saudi Arabia and 1999 National Championship with the Minnesota Thunder.

Eric E. LaMott
Eric E. LaMott is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dr. LaMott serves as the chief operating officer as well as chief information officer.

Becky Landon
Chief Executive Officer and founder of Landon Group, Becky has been providing expert consulting services for over 15 years. She works closely with for-profit and non-profit developers to coordinate the complex financing behind successful affordable housing and commercial economic development projects. Becky is a member of Central Baptist Church, the Midway Chamber of Commerce, previously served on the Hamline-Midway Development Committee, and has lived, worked, and worshipped in the neighborhood for over 20 years.

Rob McCready
Rob is Co-President of an affordable housing development company, and is a representative for the owners of Spruce Tree Centre. Rob has children involved in the Saint Paul soccer community, is an avid cyclist/commuter, and has an interest in walkability, public transportation and traffic flows along Snelling Avenue in particular.

William W. McGuire, M.D.
Dr. McGuire is the principal owner of Minnesota United FC and heads the group bringing Major League Soccer to Minnesota.

Daud Mohamed
Daud Mohamed currently serves as Director of Community Outreach and Corporate Relations at Ka Joog. In addition he also chairs the Minnesota Somali community’s largest event of the year. The Somali Independence Day Festival attracted an estimated record of 25,000 attendees. Daud currently lives and works out of Saint Paul, MN.

Eric Molho - CAC Co-Chair 
Eric Molho lives in the Iris Park neighborhood of Saint Paul. He is an educational consultant and trainer for schools and non-profit organizations. Eric has served on the board of directors for the Union Park District Council and served as chair of the UPDC Land Use Committee for two years. He also most recently served as chair of the UPDC Midway Center Redevelopment task force.

Greg Nielsen
Greg Nielsen is a program director with the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, providing grants and services to metro area artists and organizations. He lives in the Hamline Midway neighborhood with his wife and son.

Noel Nix
Noel Nix is the Assistant to Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter, in whose district the Snelling-Midway site is located. Noel has a background in affordable housing and economic development and previously participated in discussions regarding the site as the aide to former Councilmember Melvin Carter and Councilmember Dai Thao.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
Jonathan Oppenheimer is currently pursuing master's degrees in social work and public policy at the University of Minnesota. He is a resident of the Hamline Midway neighborhood, and he recently led the Midway Murals public art project along Snelling Avenue.

Julie Padilla - CAC Co-Chair 
Julie is the Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer of Eutectics, a clean energy finance consulting firm in Minneapolis. She has been a member of the Saint Paul Planning Commission since 2011 and lives in the Como Neighborhood.

Adrian Perryman
Adrian Perryman is a homeowner in the Hamline/Midway neighborhood and was born and raised in Saint Paul. He is Assistant Director of Academic Advising at Concordia University St. Paul.

Renee Spillum
Renee is a Senior Project Manager and Commercial Realtor at Redesign, Inc., a Minneapolis nonprofit community developer. She lives 8 blocks from the project site in Hamline Midway with her husband and young son, and has been active in the neighborhood for 13 years, including serving as Vice President of the District Council Board and on the Development Committee.

Va-Megn Thoj
Va-Megn Thoj is the executive director and founder of the Asian Economic Development Association in Saint Paul, whose mission is to increase economic opportunities for Asian Americans.

Patty Thorsen
Patty Thorsen is a lifelong user of mainline mass transit, and a recent user of Metro Mobility, due to cerebral palsy, epilepsy, essential tremors, and osteoarthritis. She serves on the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee [TAAC], which provides long-range planning, and oversight of transit services to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Tiffany Vang
Tiffany Vang grew up in Saint Paul and graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in 2013. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Humanity in Action Fellow. Her interests lie in the field of economic development, media equity, and minority rights. She currently works in Downtown Saint Paul for DEED.

Kirk R.Wythers
Kirk Wythers is a climate change ecologist at the University of Minnesota and Data Analyst for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He also is a past president of the Saint Paul Blackhawks, a youth soccer organization serving Saint Paul kids for over 30 years.

John Young
John is a licensed real estate broker who provides a variety of real estate consulting services to industrial clients. His services include leasing, sale, and purchase of land and buildings; transaction management, development consulting, construction management, and zoning/permitting approval processes. John is a board member of the Midway Chamber of Commerce.

Last Edited: August 16, 2023