Shenehon Center Announces New Members of Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, established in 2010 by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, will add three new members in a morning ceremony Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club.

Members of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame are chosen for their outstanding business performance, high standards of ethics and community activities. The three new members are:

Dan Dolan

Dan Dolan

Dan Dolan: For more than 50 years, Dan Dolan has pursued a career in real estate. He was a leader in improving the professional and ethical standards in real estate and was an early promoter and employer of women in real estate sales.

His real estate developments include the Evergreen Community, an upscale residential development in Woodbury, and the Oakdale Crossing Business Park.

Throughout his career, Dolan has been actively involved on boards and with fundraising, including the merger of Cretin and Derham Hall high schools, fundraising for the University of St. Thomas, and serving as King Boreas XLII for the 1978 St. Paul Winter Carnival. He may be eligible for retirement, but Dolan is just as passionate as ever about real estate development and continues to receive offers of employment in the industry.

Larry Laukka

Larry Laukka

Larry Laukka: Since 1962, Larry Laukka has actively served in all aspects of the real estate industry, but primarily in the building and development business. Laukka’s experience has included the design, development, financing, construction and marketing of more than 6,000 dwelling units and home sites throughout the greater Twin Cities area, and the management of approximately 3,000 owner-occupied townhomes and condominiums.

His leadership roles include president and director of the Minneapolis Builders Association (MBA), senior life director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and founder of the Minnesota Housing Institute (MHI), which served the real estate industry’s statewide needs to commercially promote homeownership and legislative action. In the 1960s, Laukka worked with the Near Northside Redevelopment Agency, a community-based organization established to guide the redevelopment of the near north side of Minneapolis. The agency focused on the growing need for market-rate housing which led to the development of single-family housing that was hailed as “the suburb in the city.”

After being approached by Gov. Wendell Anderson, Laukka helped develop the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and chaired the Minnesota State Housing Code Advisory Board until a statewide building code was in place. Most recently, he served on the Fairview Southdale Hospital board of trustees and chaired the development of its new Carl N. Platou Emergency Center that opened in August.

James Solem

James Solem

James Solem: For more than 40 years, James Solem provided outstanding leadership and tireless work in real estate finance and public policy and supported the development of rental and ownership housing for low- and moderate-income households. He was the executive director of the Minnesota State Planning Agency from 1970-78 and served as commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency from 1978-94. He was appointed to that position five times by three Minnesota governors.

As regional administrator for the Metropolitan Council from 1994-2000, Solem led long-range planning for transit, wastewater, parks and community development in the seven-county metropolitan area. And while serving at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs from 2000-06, he led a project to bring new ideas to the issues of affordable housing and regional growth.

Now retired from the Metropolitan Council, Solem is active with consulting and volunteer service. He chairs the boards of the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Common Bond Housing Corporation and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. Throughout his career, Solem demonstrated an exceptional knowledge of operations and governmental polices, brought a high level of ethical standards to the real estate industry and championed those most in need.

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame program is open to the public and the cost is $60. More information is available here.

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame now has 30 members. Previously named were:

  • 2010: Tony Bernardi, Lloyd Engelsma, Gerald Rauenhorst, William Reiling, Jim Ryan and Sam Thorpe Sr.
  • 2011: Robert Hoffman, Darrel Holt, Bernard Rice, Emma Rovick and five members of the Dayton family: Bruce and the late Douglas, Donald, Kenneth and Wallace.
  • 2012: David Bell, Robert Boblett Sr., Philip Smaby and Boyd Stofer.
  • 2013: Leonard Bisanz, Helen Brooks, Thomas Crowley, M.A. Mortenson Sr. and Kenneth Stensby.
  • 2014: George Karvel, Cyril “Cy” Kuefler Sr., Jim Stanton