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Economic Club of Minnesota's Super Bowl LII Panel
Tod Leiweke, Mark Wilf, and Alexis Glick
November 15, 2017
In September 2015 Tod Leiweke rejoined the NFL as Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Commissioner, Roger Goodell. Leiweke is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the league including football operations, media, marketing, NFL International, communications and social responsibility. The COO position is one that no one has held since Roger Goodell was named commissioner in 2007.
Prior to rejoining the NFL, Leiweke was Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, which included the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena from June 2010 to August 2015. Leiweke was with the Lightning for five seasons managing the day-to-day operations of the franchise and arena. Leiweke also served leader of Strategic Property Partners; the related real estate company with a vision of a major $2 billon dollar mixed use real estate transformation in downtown Tampa. This past 2014/2015 season the Lightning were a Stanley Cup Finalist accentuating a remarkable turnaround of the franchise since Jeff Vinik acquired the team in 2010.
The 2015 ESPN Ultimate Sports Standings ranked the Lightning 3rd for Overall Best Franchise of all 127 professional teams in North America, and also ranked the Lightning 1st among NHL teams. During Leiweke’s tenure Amalie Arena underwent privately funded renovations that began in 2012, and surpassed the $85 million dollar mark at
the end of August 2015.
At the direction of the Vinik family, the Lightning built deep community engage with commitments such as 5,000 hours of community service promised by its employees
and distribution of a $10 million dollar Vinik Family grant over the past five years through the Lightning Foundation via the popular Community Heroes program. Leiweke chaired numerous charity events, including the annual FARA Energy Ball, benefitting the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, and the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball and Heart Walk. Additionally, Tod was Co-Chairman of the University of South Florida’s Unstoppable Campaign, committed to a goal of achieving $1 billon dollars in giving to USF. Leiweke also helped launch USF’s Sport and Entertainment Management Program at the Muma College of Business, and he also assisted in USF’s efforts to bring its medical school to downtown Tampa.
Prior to joining the Lightning, Leiweke served as CEO of the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Vulcan Sports & Entertainment for seven years while also providing oversight of the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA).
Leiweke served as first ever team President of the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) helping set in motion the team that is now regarded as a model franchise in Major League Soccer averaging over 40,000 fans per match. During Leiweke’s tenure in Seattle he revived the Seahawks 12th Man brand, and assisted in building one of the NFL’s finest 200,000sf waterfront practice facilities including access for fans to attend training camp. Tod also led the King County United Way 2009 Campaign that reached the goal of over $100 million dollars raised. That campaign was capped with a climb, and summit of Mount Rainier with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In addition, Leiweke was one of the Founders of the PGA Tour Champions event; The Boeing Classic that generated over $3 million dollars for the Virginia Mason Heart Institute. In his final season with the Seahawks Leiweke was instrumental in recruiting Pete Carroll and John Schneider to the Seahawks resulting in a 2014 Super Bowl win.
Preceding his time at the Seahawks, Leiweke served as President of the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. The Wild were regarded as one of the best professional team launches in sports history, and were recognized as one of sports most fan friendly franchises in 2002. Tod also held an executive position with the PGA TOUR, helping establish the national charity program, The First Tee. Which is one of sports largest and most successful diversity programs that’s backed by the five major golf organizations; PGA Tour, PGA, USGA, LPGA and Augusta National. The First Tee now serves over 4 million youth annually. Leiweke has also held early career positions with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Leiweke, 55, is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and is married to Tara. The couple has two children.
Owner & President
Heading into his 13th season of ownership in 2017, Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf has led a transformation of the Minnesota Vikings organization. Wilf, along with his brother Zygi, oversees the management and strategic planning of every department within the Vikings. Most recently, Wilf led two of the most significant initiatives in the team’s history with the completion of U.S. Bank Stadium and the successful bid to bring Super Bowl LII to Minnesota, both creating a significant impact on the community and state.
The Wilfs have dedicated their focus to three primary areas since taking ownership of the Vikings in 2005; building a winning football team and bringing a Championship to Minnesota, providing the best game day experience possible for Vikings fans, and positively impacting the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and the entire state of Minnesota. The Vikings have made strides in all facets, including establishing what will be one of the best game day experiences in the NFL following the construction of a state-of-the art, multi-use U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium, which gained state approval in May 2012, opened in July 2016 and gives Vikings fans one of the most premiere stadiums in the world in which they can continue the proud tradition of an imposing home-field advantage.
Alexis Glick, a veteran media personality and former Wall Street executive, helped launch the Fox Business Network, the largest cable news launch in history, where she served as Vice President of Business News and anchored “Money for Breakfast” and “The Opening Bell” before taking on the role of CEO at GENYOUth.
In addition to her work in media and finance, Glick has been a strategic advisor for a wide range of fortune 500 companies and has appeared as a frequent contributor and guest for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “AC360,” “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” She travels across the country speaking about a range of topics including child health & wellness, the fate of the U.S. economy, the political climate in Washington, D.C. and her personal journey from running a business on Wall Street to covering Hurricanes, Super Bowls, Presidential elections and the largest financial crisis of our lifetime.
Glick was a Senior Fellow for the Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest in the country dedicated to education and entrepreneurship. Now as a philanthropic leader she serves as a strategic advisor to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, an international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy. The organization was created by Paul Newman, John C. Whitehead and Peter L. Malkin.
Throughout her career, Glick has interviewed some of the world’s most recognized leaders and newsmakers across politics, business and sports, including President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Muhtar Kent, Jamie Dimon, Ken Chenault, Andrea Jung, Meg Whitman, Sir Richard Branson, Bob Iger, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Jerry Bruckheimer, Justin Timberlake, Oscar De La Hoya, Russell Simmons and Mike Krzyzewski.
Prior to joining Fox News, Glick was a correspondent for NBC News’s “Today Show,” where she co-anchored the third hour of the program with Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry. Before joining “Today,” she was the senior trading correspondent for CNBC and reported from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for CNBC’s flagship morning program “Squawk Box.”
Earlier in her career, Glick was an executive at Morgan Stanley where she headed floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange. A member of the New York Stock Exchange since 2002, she was the first and youngest woman to manage such an operation for a bulge bracket firm, and served as one of its top producers on the Listed Equity Trading Desk. She began her career as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in the Equities Division.
Glick is a graduate of Columbia University and serves as a member of the board of directors of the Columbia College Alumni Association. In 2006 she was awarded Columbia’s John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement. She’s been featured in Metropolitan Home, W, Fortune, New York Magazine, Glamour, Men’s Health, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times among others. She is the proud mother of four young children.
David Farr, Chairman & CEO of Emerson
Chairman, National Association of Manufacturers
October 12, 2017
Chairman & CEO of Emerson
Chairman, National Association of Manufacturers
During David Farr’s 16-plus years leading Emerson, the company has steadily transformed from a diversified manufacturing conglomerate into a highly focused global enterprise that provides innovative technology and service solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Such was the case in 2016 as Farr led a number of strategic initiatives that again reshaped the company for the future. Its two key business platforms, Automation Solutions and Commercial and Residential Solutions, delivered global sales of more than $14.5 billion in 2016, with international sales representing 52 percent of that total.
Since becoming CEO in 2000 (he was named chairman in 2004), Farr has put a priority on creating long-term value for shareholders and investing for long-term growth while maintaining the company’s solid financial performance relative to earnings, cash flow, and return on capital. Emerson is one of a handful of companies with 60 consecutive years or more of increasing dividends to its shareholders.
Farr joined the company in 1981 in a corporate staff position and progressed through a series of corporate staff and business unit management positions with increasing responsibilities. In 1993, he was appointed president of Emerson’s Asia-Pacific operations and was based in Hong Kong for four years. Farr returned to the United States in 1997 to oversee Emerson’s process control business. In 1999, Farr was appointed as Emerson’s chief operating officer and held that position until being named CEO.
As Emerson CEO, Farr has been an active member of business and industry organizations. He serves as chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) board of directors. He is on the board of directors for the US-China Business Council and also is a member of the board of directors of IBM.
Farr has been active in a wide range of civic and charitable organizations in St. Louis. He is a member and past president of Civic Progress, an organization of chief executives from leading companies in St. Louis who work together to promote the region. He currently serves on the executive board of the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (The Muny at Forest Park). He has served stints on the boards of directors for several nonprofits and educational institutions, including the United Way of Greater St. Louis. In recognition of his community leadership and charitable activities, Farr was named St. Louis Citizen of the Year in 2011 and was recognized by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation with the Semper Fidelis Award in 2012.
Farr received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University.
His Excellency Sauli Niinistö
President of the Republic of Finland
In Celebration of Finland’s 100th Anniversary of Independence
September 22, 2017
President of the Republic of Finland
Sauli Väinämö Niinistö, the 12th President of the Republic of Finland, was inaugurated on 1 March 2012.
Sauli Niinistö was born in Salo on 24 August 1948 and graduated from the University of Turku with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1974. He served as a rural police chief and as an assistant judge at the Turku Court of Appeal. He practiced law as an attorney and gained experience of corporate administration. He was elected to the Town Council of Salo in 1977 and continued to hold elected posts in local government until the 1990s.
Sauli Niinistö was first elected to Parliament in 1987. In 1995, he was appointed Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister in the Government of Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen. He was appointed Minister of Finance in 1996, when the aftermath of the 1990s recession was at its worst, and unemployment was at record high levels. Those difficulties were overcome, however, and Finland entered the new millennium with a robust economy.
In 2003, Sauli Niinistö took up the post of Vice President of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg. His purview included R&D funding and funding activities in the Nordic countries and Russia, and he was also chairman of the Northern Dimension Partnership Programme. He has also been a Member and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a Member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).
Sauli Niinistö returned to the Finnish Parliament in the 2007 election with the highest number of votes ever gained by a candidate. He was Speaker of Parliament from 2007 to 2011.
President Niinistö is married to Jenni Haukio and has two adult sons from his previous marriage. President Niinistö is active in sports and was also Chairman of the Finnish Football Association from 2009 to 2012 and Chairman of the organising committee for the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships. He has written two books.