Thor Companies, Minnesota’s largest black-owned enterprise and which is building a new headquarters on the near-northside of Minneapolis, will be honored for its innovative approach to economic development and bringing opportunity to the inner-city at the 15th annual Public Leadership Awards of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota Wednesday night.

The 250-employee Thor is building a headquarters at the intersection of Penn and Plymouth Avenues N. that will include retail tenants and a new home for MEDA, which provides small business counseling and credit to minority entrepreneurs. Target also is an investor in the $30 million-plus development.

The Humphrey School also will honor:

  • Tom Swain, 95, the retired business executive, former university vice president, mayor of Lilydale and state Republican official who always worked to find common ground with Democrats on important issues.
  • Monica Meyer, a university graduate who is executive director, OutFront Minnesota, for her leadership in grassroots organizing and in political strategy and advocacy, building coalitions among community activists around Minnesota.
  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and former director general of the Foreign Service, for her more than three decades of work promoting the values of humanitarianism and responsible global engagement.

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