Winthrop A. Rockwell Announced Today as First Executive Director of Greening Downtown Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) announced today at its 2025 Plan Quarterly Forum that Winthrop (Win) Rockwell will serve as Greening Downtown Minneapolis’ first Executive Director.

Rockwell is a partner in Faegre Baker Daniels Minneapolis-based litigation practice where he concentrates on product liability and commercial contract litigation. His successful 35+ year legal career was preceded with radio and print journalist and producer roles, U.S. Army basic training, and time with the McCarthy for President campaign team. Rockwell is a graduate of Dartmouth College and New York University.

“Win is a seasoned leader who will bring the vision, expertise, and passion that are needed to move Greening Downtown Minneapolis forward,” said Steve Cramer, president & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council/Downtown Improvement District. “As we work to implement our 2025 Plan Rockwell will be the right partner to help us move forward our greening and public-realm initiatives. He’s respected in the community and I look forward to our shared work together.”

Rockwell will lead Greening Downtown Minneapolis to establish GDM as an important new addition to the civic landscape in downtown Minneapolis. He will help to forge key working relationships with public partners like the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the County, and private sector/non-profit stakeholders. Initial efforts will include work around creating sustainable green infrastructure in downtown Minneapolis and a focus on fundraising efforts for The Commons and Peavey Plaza.

MDC created GDM to help achieve its stated goal of creating and sustaining a green infrastructure throughout downtown Minneapolis as outlined in Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan. MDC will continue to provide support through GDM’s start-up phase. The vision for Greening Downtown Minneapolis is be a leader in developing and sustaining a connected, green and vibrant downtown through parks and public places that enrich the quality of life in Minneapolis, strengthen its economy and nurture residents, downtown workers, and visitors.

The 2025 Plan recommended that a non-profit entity be created to partner with public and private organizations to coordinate and enhance funding, planning, programming, and management of existing and new public-realm amenities.

“It’s an important time to focus on enhancing our public-realm and green infrastructure with the surge in residents, businesses and visitors our downtown is experiencing. As we look ahead to the evolving role of Greening Downtown Minneapolis, there is no better choice than Win to help us move our initiatives forward,” said David Wilson, president and board chair of Greening Downtown Minneapolis and senior managing director Accenture. “His commitment to making Minneapolis a thriving 21st Century city is second to none.”

Rockwell also brings a passion for community leadership and civic engagement. He currently serves on the boards of The Great Plains Institute; The Trust for Public Land; The University of Minnesota Joint Degree in Law, Science & Technology; and Generation Climate (formerly Will Steger Foundation). He is also an advisor to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the University of Minnesota Energy Transition Lab. His previous board involvements include Children’s Theatre Company, Trinity Films, and The Metropolitan Economic Development Association, among others.

“I am completely excited about this new opportunity and the relationships and collaborations we will forge with so many who care about the vitality of Downtown Minneapolis,” said Rockwell. “I am delighted to work with the GDM Board to launch this new initiative. I look forward to embracing the vision, strategy, culture, and all that will make Greening Downtown Minneapolis a success.”

Rockwell will start in his new role on July 1, 2015.


About the Minneapolis Downtown Council:
Founded in 1955, and one of the oldest central business associations in the nation, the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) is a membership-based entity that works to create an extraordinary downtown. The MDC’s collaborative development of Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan was designed to help downtown businesses, community leaders and citizens build on downtown assets and implement future goals. For more information, please visit www.downtownmpls.com.

About the 2025 Plan:
The Downtown 2025 Plan is a vehicle to help leaders and citizens build on Downtown’s assets and guide its development in ways that reflect the community’s aspirations for a Downtown Minneapolis that is thriving, livable, green, connected and welcoming in the decades ahead. This includes initiatives to double downtown’s residential population, transform Nicollet Mall into a must-see destination, implement a Gateway area and other green elements throughout downtown, create a compelling and walkable environment around the clock, lead the nation in transportation options, end street homelessness, forge connections with the University of Minnesota, and more. The 2025 Plan is a Minneapolis Downtown Council initiative established in 2010.