1:30 p.m. | THURSDAY, October 15th

Federal Resources Panel

This month’s webinar featured Jake Akervik and Joey Baietti of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Carlann Unger of the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA), and Brian McDonald of the US Small Business Administration (SBA). They shared their insights on how federal programs can pair with opportunity zones.



Joey Baietti has been working for HUD for 5 years. He initially started as a climate resilience specialist writing climate policy and the Environmental Justice Strategy for the Department. Presently, Joey works in the Financial Management Division as a loan finance officer for HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program, which provides financing to states and local governments for community and economic development projects. Before coming to HUD, Joey was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga and he is currently attending school part-time at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he pursuing a Master of Urban Planning.
Jake Akervik, MS, PMP, is an Analyst for Community Initiatives with the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Minneapolis Office of Field Policy & Management. In addition to leading HUD Midwest Region OZs efforts, he also serves as the Federal Liaison to the North Minneapolis Promise Zone initiative. Jake has spent the past five years helping Federal, Tribal, and local partners and stakeholders across the country, state, and Twin Cities metro build place-based and collective impact efforts around a range of issues, including racial equity, affordable housing, living-wage job creation, minority entrepreneurship, community health, public safety, education, civic engagement, the opioid epidemic, technology, data, innovation, and more. Jake holds an AA from Minneapolis College; a BS from the University of Minnesota; a MS from the University of Denver; and numerous program and project management certifications.

Carlann Unger joined the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Chicago Regional Office in December of 2019. As the region’s Economic Development Integrator, she coordinates with regional and federal partners to identify federal and state funding opportunities for local economic development projects. Prior to joining EDA, Carlann was an economist with the Department of the Interior’s Office of Policy Analysis and a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau where she worked on multiple research projects, surveys, and coordinated inter-governmental working groups. Carlann received both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in economics from New Mexico State University.

Brian McDonald, District Director of MN SBA manages the strategic efforts and daily operations of SBA’s small business support throughout the state. McDonald has served as SBA’s Minnesota deputy district director since 2017. Prior to moving to Minnesota, McDonald spent five years with SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development in Washington, D.C. In addition to his experience with the SBA, McDonald served on the President’s Management Council as a Policy Analyst at Health and Human Services, served in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, and has private banking experience. Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Brian received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from Georgetown.


MNOppCo hosts statewide Best Practices Webinar for those interested in learning more about opportunity zones. AND mark your calendars for the next webinar! The remaining schedule for 2020 webinars is as follows:

  1. December 15, 1:30 PM

The Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative is a partnership that seeks to inspire investment in designated Opportunity Zones. It brings together developers, investors, businesses, and community development entities to host a statewide project and site directory and share best practices.

Thank you to our founding partners! 

The Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative is powered by The Northspan Group, Inc. & Community Exchange, and funded in part by the Opportunity Zone Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.