Even before joining the Army, Alex Tittle felt a calling to lead and help others. Several stints abroad, including ones in Asia and the Middle East, only bolstered that belief.
Only, unlike some of his contemporaries, the Woodbury resident picked the corporate boardroom as his battleground.
In his latest incarnation, he is the equity director at the Minnesota Stadium Facilities Authority, the state agency responsible for managing the construction of a new Vikings football stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Tittle, 39, says his job is to ensure that the $975 million project meets minority contracting levels and to act as a liaison for minority and women-owned businesses in the community.
“We’ve made a valiant effort to ensure that all of these communities are brought to table,” he said.
In September, Tittle was recognized by the Minnesota Humanities Center at a ceremony attended by Gov. Mark Dayton honoring local veterans who have made significant contributions in their respective fields.
“He’s clearly one of the people we chose because he helped embody our mission,” said David O’Fallon, president of the Humanities Center. “The criteria had to do with exceptional contributions to our field. Manifestation of leadership. A very kind sense of purpose.”
O’Fallon praised Tittle for “the continual commitment that he’s made to look at how you bring equity and fairness to the hiring process.”
Transitioning into his new position wasn’t as difficult as he anticipated after his military career, Tittle says.
“One thing that you learn in the military is that you’ve gotta learn and know how to assimilate. You’ve gotta know how to fit in,” he said. “I had no relative experience in equity or diversity inclusion. I have no law degree.”
Tittle said he is proud of his work overseeing implementation of the agreement between the authority and labor unions ensuring minorities and women are not shut out of the stadium project.
A multisport standout in high school, Tittle ran track at the Citadel, a public military college in Charleston, S.C., and walked on to the football team as a freshman, playing against a number of big names — including future Viking Randy Moss. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army “to pay off his student loans and get medical, because at the time my wife and I were expecting.”
Tittle was discharged in 2007 after 10 years of zigzagging the country as an intelligence analyst and transportation officer — with stopovers in places like Fort Eustis in Newport News, Va., and Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz. He was also dispatched on training missions to South Korea and Iraq.
Following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, he decided to enroll in Officer Training School at Fort Benning, Ga., where he graduated at the top of his class, he said.
Before he began working for the Stadium Authority, he worked for the Office of Civil Rights and Summit Academy, a vocational training center in north Minneapolis.
Even with his playing days behind him, Tittle hasn’t lost his competitive fire, serving as the director of track and field for the East Ridge Athletic Association. He is also an active member of Progressive Baptist Church on the East Side of St. Paul and the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
He has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 15 years, and they have two children, Alexander Jr. and Raven.
Feeling the pull of military life, Tittle said he plans to join the National Guard later this year as an equity officer.
“If you do something for nine to 10 years, it’s something that you miss. You know the camaraderie?” Tittle said. “That’s something that I’ve not been able to find in any other civilian job that I’ve had.”
He added, “It’s just a part of me that I just can’t get away from. You know when it’s cold outside, you put on a coat. For me, my comfort zone is to be in the military.”
Libor Jany • 651-952-5033 Twitter: @StribJany