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Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) Announces Alfredo Martel as New President and CEO

November 14, 2019 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) today announced that Alfredo Martel will be the organization’s next president and chief executive officer as of Monday, November 18.

“As the son of Cuban entrepreneurs, I am honored to build on the proud legacy of this important institution,” said Alfredo Martel, president and chief executive officer, Meda. “Meda has a remarkable history of fostering economic empowerment and advancing the success of minority entrepreneurs, and we are solidly poised for purposeful innovations in serving our clients. I look forward to partnering with Meda’s donors, supporters and client communities—as well as our experienced and dedicated staff and board—to build economic bridges for generations to come.”

With more than 30 years of international business development, community development, multicultural marketing and entrepreneurship experience, Martel will follow Gary Cunningham, who stepped down as Meda’s president and chief executive officer to work with Prosperity Now in Washington D.C.

Martel has held high-level executive positions at several major companies, including Caribou Coffee, KFC and Yum! Brands, inc. Prior to leading Meda, he worked as chief of marketing and strategic communication at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Martel earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from Cornell University and his MBA from Boston College. Hailing from Puerto Rico, he is the son of Cuban exiles who left that country in 1959.

He is the former Chairman of the Board for The Brand Lab, a non-profit diversity in marketing organization. He also served as a board member of The Walker Art Center where he led the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion task force.

“We are thrilled to have Alfredo Martel join Meda as our next CEO,” said Meda Board Chairperson Barbara Butts Williams. “His vision, passion and commitment to developing and supporting successful minority enterprises—combined with his keen business experience, legacy of innovation, highly engaging and purpose-centric approach—will drive continued growth and economic vitality for our clients and their communities. The board of directors looks forward to working with Mr. Martel and the talented leadership team at Meda as this 48-year old organization begins another exciting chapter.”

Martel will make his first public appearance as the CEO of Meda at the “Seas the Journey,” Meda’s Annual Gala, where he will also give some brief remarks. The gala is taking place on November 16 at The Depot Renaissance Hotel at 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

About the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda)

Meda’s mission is Helping Minority Entrepreneurs Succeed. Meda was founded by a group of Minnesota business leaders who saw minority business ownership as a positive, long-term response to rising economic inequity within minority communities in our state. Meda provides business development services, access to capital, and corporate and governmental market support for minority entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Meda has helped launch more than 500 minority businesses and assisted more than 20,000 Minnesota minority entrepreneurs. Today, Meda clients employ 6,000 Minnesotans and have a combined annual revenue of $1 billion. Meda operates a growing Community Development Fund Institution (CDFI) that provides needed capital for minority businesses to become sustainable. Meda is also the host organization for the Minneapolis Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, which has been recognized by the MBDA as the top-performing center for four consecutive years. For more information, visit meda.net or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

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SOURCE Metropolitan Economic Development Association