At the recent Board of Commissioners meeting, MPHA welcomed a new chair and new commissioner to its governing board and thanked departing members for their years of service to the agency. The new commissioners were appointed by the mayor and City Council to join the nine-member board.

Sharmarke Issa will serve as the board chair and he is the first Somali-American immigrant to be named to the position. Mr. Issa grew up in subsidized housing in Minneapolis. He is an alumnus of Minnesota State University Mankato, graduating with a Bachelors in Urban and Regional Studies and a Masters in Urban Planning. Mr. Issa believes that everyone has a fundamental human right to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home and that MPHA must assure tenants can live in security, peace, and dignity. Mr. Issa is an entrepreneur and currently operates a small business in south Minneapolis.

Mr. Issa replaces F. Clayton Tyler, who served as a commissioner since 2010 and as board chair since 2011. Mr. Tyler presided over such “firsts” as the creation of the nation’s first memory care public housing facility, the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center, and a historic transition of executive leadership at MPHA.

Mr. Tyler grew up in North Minneapolis and has more than 30 years of criminal law experience. He is dedicated to the Twin Cities community and he guided MPHA to the cusp of a new era in which the housing authority acts with confidence and creativity to preserve its low-income housing for future generations and to innovate in advancing the lives of families.

Tessa Wetjen, a life-long resident of Minneapolis with experience in health and human services, will serve as a commissioner on the MPHA board. Ms. Wetjen is committed to supporting locally-led work to improve the well-being of all community members, with a specific interest in the health of children and families. Currently, she works as a Program Officer for the Otto Bremer Trust. Tessa has a Masters in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate dual degree in Mathematics and Government from New Mexico State University.

Ms. Wetjen replaces Commissioner Tom DeAngelo, who served on the board since 2013. Mr. DeAngelo contributed his 35 years of experience and design sensibilities as a leading Minneapolis architect to MPHA’s long-term vision and strategies for preserving its low-income housing portfolio for future generations. He has been involved in major civic buildings in Minneapolis such as the new Guthrie Theater, the Downtown Public Library, and the United States Courthouse and Federal Building. Mr. DeAngelo is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, was President of AIA Minnesota in 2008, and has received over 30 national and regional design awards.

Mr. DeAngelo and Mr. Tyler have served MPHA, its mission, and its families with distinction for six and nine years, respectively. MPHA honored their many contributions and adopted resolutions on May 22 acknowledging them as they conclude their tenure on the Board of Commissioners.

Board Commissioners Mikkel Beckmen, Abdullahi Isse, and Tamir Mohamud were all reappointed to new three-year terms as well.

Thank you to Chair Tyler and Commissioner DeAngelo for their dedicated service, and a warm welcome to Chair Issa and Commissioner Wetjen!