Registration is available at the bottom of this page.

Seminar description

Hennepin County declared racism a public health crisis in 2020 and its core values include promoting diversity and inclusion. The panelists will share the equity and inclusion efforts incorporated into the design, construction documentation, procurement, and project delivery approaches for two county projects: NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center expansion and the County Attorney’s Office relocation and remodeling. Attendees will learn the unique inclusion methods that were piloted on these projects, which resulted in contractors hiring historically underutilized workforce and the county contracting with emerging small businesses that included contractors, suppliers, and A&E firms.

Learning objectives

  1. Examine persistent systemic barriers that limit the growth of BIPOC-owned construction firms and suppliers.
  2. Discover new ways inclusion is being promoted on county facility projects.
  3. Explain why targeted business contract goals, in and of themselves, are an insufficient method to achieve equity in contracting.
  4. Examine how design professionals can further inclusion by identifying opportunities to unbundle portions of the construction work and ensuring that specified products can be offered by emerging small business suppliers.


Chris Gran became the first executive director of Minnesota Minority Goods and Services Association (MMSSA) in June of 2019. He has a long career in public procurement and public service. Most recently, Chris served as purchasing manager for Hennepin County for eight years, and prior to that was director of purchasing for Metro Transit for 18 years.

Ken McCraley is an entrepreneur and owner of KMS Air Duct Cleaning, which has been at the forefront in the advancement of ventilation cleaning and construction since 1991. Since the birth of the company, they have expanded into general contracting as KMS Construction. A seasoned, strategic, results-oriented business owner, Ken focuses on high-quality, specialized construction services. Partnering with hospitals and healthcare facilities to meet stringent requirements for indoor air quality and construction, KMS has performed work throughout the Midwest and at federal facilities. Currently, 80 percent of the company’s workforce is people of color. Ken is passionate about uplifting communities of color by providing livable wages and opportunities to grow into leadership roles within his company. 

Michael Rosenfeld is the manager of negotiated procurement in the Hennepin County purchasing department. In that position, Michael manages the county’s procurement of professional consulting and construction services for county facilities. He also manages the county’s programs that promote the inclusion of small businesses and workforce diversity in county contracts. Michael serves on the Executive Board of the Central Certification (CERT) Program, which certifies small businesses in the 15-county metro area. Before coming to Hennepin County, Michael was general counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the State of Illinois’s economic development agency. His education includes degrees from Kenyon College and John Marshall Law School. 

Nathan Johnson, AIA, NOMA, is an innovator and principal at 4RM+ULA. He leverages his exceptional thinking to devise design solutions that are empathetic to community needs, creatively applied to the built form, and technically executed with precision. An elite-level architect, Nathan’s professional knowledge offers fresh perspective with unparalleled thoughtfulness. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. Currently, Nathan teaches architectural technology at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and is a LEED-accredited professional. He is a recipient of the AIA Minnesota 2009 Young Architect Award, a joint recipient of the AIA Minnesota 2020 Gold Medal, and a 2021 Bush Fellow. In 2018, Nathan was the first African American to serve as AIA Minnesota president.

Norma Miller
is a retired union journeywoman painter of 23 years. She earned her associates degree in applied science from Selden Community College in Selden, Long Island, New York, and also earned her certificate of completion apprenticeship through the Department of Labor. Norma has served as a delegate to the building trades for Local 386 for many years and, while working as a consultant to the Minneapolis Urban League, she placed numerous participants into the apprenticeship programs through the Labor Education Advancement Program (LEAP). She is currently employed by the Minneapolis Urban League as a job developer/coach, where she continues to provide services to the economically challenged. Norma currently serves on the Apprenticeship Advisory Board and as chairperson of the Worksite Cooperation Committee, which is a collaborative subcommittee of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). 

Moderator Rebekah Padilla, AIA, has strategically led large development projects as an owner’s representative for Hennepin County since January 2007. She looks at her work through the lens of equity and uses her professional skills as an architect to strengthen the fabric of communities, while reducing disparities. Rebekah believes that delivering excellent customer service demands the inclusion of many voices, and that listening to residents and users leads to the best possible results. Rebekah’s role includes the delivery of infrastructural changes to support improved and expanded service delivery to residents of Hennepin County. 


AIA members $50
Non-members $65

Continuing education credit

This program has been approved for 2.0 AIA HSW LU Hours and should qualify for ethics credit for Minnesota licensing.


  • Complete registration and payment
  • You will then receive a confirmation email with the link and password to access the webinar 
  • View the 2-hour webinar and then complete the ten-question quiz (must score 70% or above for credit)
  • Within 48 business hours you will receive a certificate of completion and/or credits will be recorded to your AIA member transcript


Contact Deanna Christiansen or Angie McKinley.