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NEON is going live!

Join us for a series of Community Conversations together with business executives and community leaders. NEON President Warren McLean leads these candid discussions on COVID-19, the economic downturn, and recent civil unrest fueled by longstanding racial inequity and injustice. All have had a disproportionate impact on small businesses in North Minneapolis.

Fox 9 News co-anchor Bisi Onile-Ere moderates this 3-part series of live, virtual conversations sparking strategic discussion, initiating collaboration, and sharing NEON's economic recovery efforts with the community. For more information on NEON's Community Conversations, contact Bev Ordahl.



Conversation 1

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

10:00 AM

Registration deadline November 17, 2020

You are invited to the inaugural Community Conversation! Grab a fresh cup of coffee and join in for 45 minutes of dynamic virtual conversation with Warren and Hamse Warfa, Deputy Commissioner at Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).


Our first discussion will address the impact of COVID-19, DEED’s forecasts for economic recovery, small business trends, and DEED’s plan for loans and other financial assistance in 2021. Register now to tune in Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 10:00 AM.

Conversation 1 Guest: Hamse Warfa

Hamse Warfa is the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Appointed in April 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa oversees DEED's Employment and Training Programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity, CareerForce, and the Governor's Workforce Development Board.

Conversation 2

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 

7:30 AM

Registration deadline December 7, 2020

Join Warren and a group of high-impact business and development leaders for NEON's second installment in the Community Conversations series. This discussion features community perspectives on the pandemic, civil unrest, recession, and recovery—and what it takes to keep small businesses operational.


Register now and join us bright and early Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:30 AM.



Conversation 2 Guests:

Sarah Clyne

Executive Director

Northside Funders Group

David Mortenson


Mortenson Company

Tim Baylor


JADT Development Group

Conversation 3

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 

7:30 AM

Registration deadline February 2, 2021

Warren and Neel Kashkari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, invite you to the third discussion in NEON's Community Conversations series. Tune in for an in-depth dialogue on the economic forecast, business trends, and the election impact in 2021 with an exceptional guest speaker. 

RSVP now and reserve your virtual spot for Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:30 AM.



Conversation 3 Guest: Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari has been president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis since Jan. 1, 2016. He serves as a voting member on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Ninth Federal Reserve District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington, D.C.

Community Conversations Sponsors

NEON's Community Conversations are brought to your by our sponsors—thank you! Their support is a commitment to building equity, business development, social justice, and collaboration in North Minneapolis.

Premier Sponsor

Support Sponsor

Cameo Sponsors

Learn more:

Contact Bev Ordahl for information on sponsorship, registration, and NEON's Community Conversations series.

Support us

We’re looking for passionate leaders and enthusiasts to step up and commit to help shape the future of entrepreneurship in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities. 

Join the Board of Directors

Volunteer at NEON

Donate to NEON

Copyright Northside Economic Opportunity Network - 2020

How to reach us

1007 West Broadway Avenue North,

Minneapolis, MN 55411


Phone: (612) 302-1505


Business Hours

Monday - Friday

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday


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