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RDA announces 2020 Sandy Keith Award Recipients

Release Date: February 19, 2021

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Direct: 507-216-9886



RDA announces 2020 Sandy Keith Award Recipients

ROCHESTER, Minn.—The late Gus Chafoulias and Terry Spaeth are the 2020 recipients of the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Sandy Keith Downtown Impact Award.

The RDA announced the recipients at its February 17 Board of Directors meeting after a public nomination process and review by an internal committee of the RDA Board of Directors.

“We are honored to be able to recognize two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to downtown Rochester in private and public sector,” said Holly Masek, RDA executive director. “Downtown would look very different today were it not for the vision and follow through of the 2020 Sandy Keith Award Winners.”

The Sandy Keith Downtown Impact Award is presented to a person or group whose efforts have made or are making a substantial impact on the downtown community. The goal is to recognize those who continue to demonstrate passion for urban growth and community development and encourage others to do likewise.

The late Gus Chafoulias, former chairman of Titan Development, dedicated his career to the betterment of downtown Rochester. His vision can be seen in the built environment all around us including prominent buildings like the Galleria at University Square, H-3, the Hilton hotel, and many other projects. Gus received more than a dozen nominations for the Sandy Keith Award.

“Gus was fully committed to the business community of Rochester. He put forth all his resources to make downtown a thriving area, knew so many people by name, and made an effort to make them feel important,” said Travis Yager of Chocolaterie Stam.

Terry Spaeth, assistant city administrator, has been a long-time public servant in Rochester City Administration and champion for supporting new projects and initiatives that contribute to downtown’s development and success including the creation of downtown’s special service district. Terry will be retiring in April 2021 from City government after 34 and a half years of public service.

“Terry has had a tremendous impact in shaping Downtown Rochester,” said Josh Johnsen, City of Rochester project manager special initiatives and colleague of Terry’s. “For decades, Terry has always tried to see the perspective of the developer while maintaining the goals that were desired to be achieved by the City for both the Downtown and the community.  This is a difficult balancing act that he has perfected over the years.”

Videos honoring Terry’s and Gus’ Sandy Keith Awards can be viewed here.

Past Sandy Keith Award recipients include Keith himself in 2017 and Café Steam and then-mayor Ardell Brede in 2018.

About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.