John W. Lang
John W. Lang focuses his practice on real estate, corporate law, mergers, acquisitions, estate planning and other matters related to trusts and estates. John is a certified real property law specialist, certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association; this, along with his extensive training as a certified public accountant and 35 years of experience practicing law, allows him to quickly size up the complex issues often found in real estate, tax and business transactions. He provides trusted counseling that is both sound and cost-effective. John’s clients include mid-sized businesses and their owners, many of whom are entrepreneurs or former entrepreneurs whose businesses have experienced growth. These owners often involve John in their strategic planning related to all personal and business related legal issues.
John is also well-versed in Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, a specialized legal mechanism that allows property owners to sell and exchange appreciated real estate holdings while deferring related taxes. Many of those tax-deferred exchanges involve Tenancy in Common (TIC transactions) and Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs). He takes a proactive approach in working with clients to ensure proper structuring or restructuring is done prior to the sale or construction of a property, in order to avail them of the deferral.
John has earned the honor of receiving the AV Preeminent® ranking in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™—the profession’s highest possible ranking for both legal ability and ethical standards reflecting the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary.
John is currently serving his second stint as President of the firm and was appointed Chair of the Minneapolis Division, having previously served numerous times on the Board of Directors
Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy, and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region, with 3.5 million residents and a Gross Metropolitan Product of over $230 Billion. He brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Since the formation of GREATER MSP in 2011, the Minneapolis Saint Paul region has achieved strong job growth and record low unemployment, and has been recognized widely for its diverse and resilient economy. The Atlantic recently published an article citing “The Minneapolis Miracle” and CNBC’s 2015 “Top States for Business” ranks Minnesota #1. The Greater MSP led “Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership” was also awarded the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) designation from US Department of Commerce in July 2015.
President and CEO, Chairman of the Board
As the principal founder of the Company and the Bank, Mr. Baack was responsible for all aspects of the Bank’s formation; including, the initial capital raise, business plan, board and management team structure and recruitment, charter and regulatory approval. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company, positions he has held since the Bank was founded in 2005. As the chief visionary and strategist, Mr. Baack plays a vital role in business development and is instrumental in defining strategic initiatives and ascertaining new opportunities for growth. Mr. Baack drives all decisions regarding mergers and acquisitions, capital management and diversification. Prior to establishing Bridgewater Bank in 2005, Mr. Baack held positions at Commerce Bank, First State Bank of Excelsior (nka Beacon Bank), Hampton Bank (nka Merchants Bank).
He began his career as a bank examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1990, where he worked for over seven years. He has over 25 years of commercial banking and regulatory experience. As a result of the Bank’s continued success, Mr. Baack was awarded Banker of the Year by Northwestern Financial Review in 2017. Additionally, Mr. Baack was recognized as a nominee for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award by Ernst & Young. Mr. Baack received his B.S. from Minnesota State University in 1989 and Graduate School of Banking at University of Colorado, Boulder in 2001.
Jill K. Rasmussen, CCIM, SIOR
Jill is a talented and respected member of the commercial real estate community with over 33 years of industry experience. She has established herself as a leading office and healthcare specialist, providing strategic planning, brokerage, and development advisory services. Jill is widely recognized for her ability to provide unique insights, innovative solutions, and sound real estate strategies for her clients.
Jill joined The Davis Group as a partner in 2009 after amassing an impressive 20-year real estate resume. Previously, she has held positions with Thorpe Brothers, CBRE, and, most recently, as the Director of the Office and Healthcare Group for Grubb & Ellis/Northco and as Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield. She held positions on both national firms healthcare practice group. Each experience helped her hone her skills, build relationships, and sharpen her focus on healthcare real estate.
Jill holds her B.A. degree in liberal arts from the University of Minnesota. She is an active member of numerous professional real estate organizations including a national board member, as well as the past president of both the Minnesota Chapter of the CCIM Institute and the Society of Industrial & Office REALTORS®. She is a member of MNCAR, MMGMA, NAIOP, and MNCREW.
Economic Development Director
Washington County Community Development Agency
Chris Eng’s 20+ year record in economic development, spanning both public and private sector positions, have made him one of the metro area’s foremost go-to resources for businesses and developers looking to expand or relocate.
While serving as the Executive Director of the Duluth Economic Development Authority, Chris handled financing and project management for the new Maurice’s headquarters – a $70 million project that is the largest commercial development project in the history of downtown Duluth.
He was the project manager for the $30.5 million restorations of the NorShor Theater, a historic art deco facility built in 1926.
And Chris was instrumental in the development of the just-opened Pier B Resort, a $30 million effort that turned a former cement terminal into a top-tier attraction on Duluth’s waterfront.
Herb Tousley, CCIM
UST MSRE and Shenehon Center for Real Estate
Herb has taught real estate courses in the Opus College of Business since 2003 and was appointed director of the MS Degree in Real Estate and Shenehon Center for Real Estate in October 2009. He has many years of experience in commercial real estate and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the operations and financing of investment properties. Herb has been involved in the investment analysis, financing, acquisition and development of properties with costs in excess of $80 million through the use of both private and public funding. He has worked with cities, counties and other government agencies to resolve zoning, density, permitting and financing issues. In addition, Herb has in-depth experience with property tax appeals and cost segregation analysis. He received his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and also holds the CCIM designation.