The mpls downtown council (mdc) and Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) announced today that Mike Ryan, Ryan Companies’ President of the North Region, has been appointed as chair of the board of directors. He replaces Laura Day, who served as board chair since February 2019.
Ryan, who served as chair elect since 2020, will oversee the mdc and DID board of directors comprised of members and stakeholders of the mpls downtown community as well as the organization’s 19-member executive committee. His tenure as board chair officially began today at the 65th mpls downtown council annual meeting.
“I am honored and excited to become board chair of the mpls downtown council and Downtown Improvement District,” Ryan said. “When I returned to Minnesota 11 years ago, I was told the mpls downtown council was the organization I needed to join if I wanted to build a strong connection to our community. I couldn’t be more thrilled to help this organization move forward during this critical time, finding solutions and opportunities that will make our downtown stronger and even more dynamic.”
Ryan first began work with the mpls downtown council in 2011, participating in the creation of the 2025 plan and later chairing the 2025 plan’s development committee. During his tenure as committee chair, the development committee launched the Be in Business resource website, Explore Downtown Living highlighting residential properties, and focused on office, residential, hotel and retail growth.
Ryan was also part of the Ryan Companies team critical to the vision and development of East Town, helping deliver new office buildings, hotels, retail, residences, and The Commons while re-imagining an area of downtown once known for its large abundance of surface parking lots.
“Mike has long been an important voice and leader in the mpls downtown council’s work and has been integral in helping us achieve our 2025 plan goals,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council and Downtown Improvement District. “His passion for downtown is unwavering, and we are excited for him to lead our board as we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead of us in the coming months.”
Ryan takes over as mdc/DID board chair during a time of challenges but continued growth. There are now 53,093 downtown residents within downtown’s five neighborhoods.
But as downtown continues to address the reanimation of downtown’s workforce and hospitality community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety conversations and social unrest from the past year, the mpls downtown council will continue to apply its core organizational values of convening and collaborating, advocacy and leadership toward helping our community emerge stronger and more vibrant.
In addition, mdc and DID’s role in downtown programming continues to play an important role in our downtown’s vitality. The mpls downtown council produces the summer and winter flagship events Aquatennial and Holidazzle as well as produces Pianos on Parade, Mpls WinterSkate, Go Outside with Hennepin County and other events typically responsible for approximately 700,000 annual patrons visiting downtown. The DID oversees year-round activations along Nicollet including the Nicollet Makers Market, Street Show, theater performances, walking tours and more.
The mpls downtown council’s Intersections: The 2025 Plan continues its work to end street homelessness, attract retail, attract and retain businesses, add to the downtown residential population, improve the public realm and more. The DID continues to be a consistent presence in keeping downtown greener, cleaner, safer and more vibrant through its Ambassador program, safety strategies and ongoing partnerships.
During Ryan’s tenure, the mpls downtown council and its 450 members will continue to play an active role in advocating for downtown, ensuring downtown reanimates and maintains its trajectory of attracting new businesses, employees, residents and investment.
As Ryan Companies President of North Region, Ryan provides leadership and direction to the development, design, construction, real estate management and capital market teams that make up Ryan’s North Region. He supports these teams by providing strategic vision and investment direction in the selection of projects that best align with Ryan’s expertise and future goals to determine the best investment of time and resources. Cultivating key customer relationships and presenting solutions for their challenges are Ryan’s highest priorities. Eleven on the River, Daymark in Uptown, and Highland Bridge (the redevelopment of the Ford Plant) are currently large priorities for Ryan.
In addition to Ryan’s leadership with the mpls downtown council, he is also active with the University of Notre Dame Architecture Advisory Council, Urban Land Institute (ULI), The American Institute of Architects (AIA), and serves as the learning officer and incoming board chair for YPO-Twin Cities.