Andrea Christenson and Jay Novak Join Hennepin Theatre Trust Board

Hennepin Theatre Trust today announced the election of Andrea Christenson of Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services and Jay Novak, managing director at Aethlon Capital, to its Board of Trustees. Providing leadership and expertise to the Trust, these individuals have extensive professional experience in the arts and philanthropy, retail, politics, communications, real estate, business, law and finance.

Andrea Christenson joined Cassidy Turley in 2001 and she is an award-winning vice president specializing in restaurant, retail sales and leasing at the company's Minneapolis office and the surrounding metro area. She has vast experience in the retail arena and is recognized for her expertise. She is often quoted for business stories in the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Before joining Cassidy Turley, she was a senior associate for Griffin Cos. Additionally, she managed shopping centers for General Growth Properties and DeBartolo Corporation. She is a member of the Minnesota Commercial Association of Real Estate and the Minnesota Restaurant Association. The founder and a member of The List since 2010, she has served on the Minneapolis Downtown Council and on the board of directors for the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Ivey Awards, the Skyway Golf Tournament and the Downtown Network, where she was named Volunteer of the Year. Christenson was recognized as one of The (Real) Power 50 by Minnesota Business magazine and among Business Journal's 50 Women to Watch.

Jay Novak is managing director at Aethlon Capital, a Minneapolis-based investment banking company. He is also a general partner of a hedge fund, chairman of a company providing software used in the hospitality industry, a director and vice chair of a start-up wind-power company and a trustee at Hamline University. He was the founding editor and publisher of the award-winning Twin Cities Business, five times named best regional business magazine in America by the Alliance of Area Business Publications. He also edited another monthly business magazine, a weekly business newspaper and a weekly magazine for midwestern bankers. Early in his career, he was a reporter and news editor for a rural daily newspaper. Novak served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development and was a senior vice president of MJSK Investment Securities. He has been director of communications at General Mills and press secretary for a United States Senator. In 2010, he was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame and received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.

Trustees bring a broad range of talent to Hennepin Theatre Trust and serve staggered three year terms. As residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding areas, they are passionate about the positive contributions arts and culture can make to the burgeoning downtown Cultural District.

"We are honored to welcome both Andrea and Jay to our Board," commented Tom Hoch, President/CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. "Their expertise and professional perspective are invaluable as we expand collaborative projects like Made Here, showcasing Minnesota-made creativity in vacant downtown storefronts, create pop-up parks and launch other activities to make the Cultural District come alive."

Hennepin Theatre Trust's Board of Trustees is: Scott Benson, Daniel Pierce Bergin, John Blackshaw, Ralph W. Burnet, Sonia Cairns, Andrea Christenson, Dan Cramer, Thomas L. Hoch, Linda C. Ireland, Jeannie Joas, Barbara Klaas, James Linnett, Mark Marjala, Annette Thompson Meeks, Jay Novak, Jann L. Olsten, David Orbuch, Brian J. Pietsch, Thomas J. Rosen, Ann Simonds, Julie Beth Vipperman and Tom Vitt.

HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST, owner of the historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and New Century Theatres, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to arts-inspired community cultural development. We achieve our mission by presenting a rich mix of live performances, creating inspiring arts education experiences and advancing a thriving Cultural District in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Trust's activities include presenting Broadway touring productions and the related Broadway Confidential series, concerts, comedy, speakers and other variety entertainment, plus educational initiatives including our SpotLight Musical Theatre Program and Critical Review for high schools, Teen Ushers, the Access Program and Family Day events.

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