Sam Grabarski led the Minneapolis Downtown Council from 1996-2012. During his 16 years, he is credited with connecting business leaders with local government leaders. His goal was to create public-private partnerships to make the downtown a thriving place for businesses, residents, and visitors. During his leadership, he had a role in the development of many large-scale project including Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium, Hiawatha Light Rail, and the Minneapolis Convention Center. Improving public safety was central to his mission on the council as he helped the business community work with law enforcement on several initiatives including downtonw SafeZone, an effort to increase highly-visible patrols. Previously, Sam served on the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Iowa Arts Council. He is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Public Administration and Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has a Master’s from the Juilliard School of Music.