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Board Member Spotlight: Eva Stevens

Supporting Stable Homes and Strong Futures

CommonBond Communities is an organization made up of people serving people. Staff, volunteers, donors, partners, and residents are all integral to furthering our mission work.

Our Board of Directors is another essential part of the fabric of CommonBond, and we are excited to highlight a board member who is not only making an impact for CommonBond but celebrating a massive career achievement: entering The Real Estate Hall of Fame.

This month, we are pleased to share insights from Eva Stevens who is passionate about using her skills and talents to support our critical housing and services work so that those with lower incomes can benefit from the foundation of a home.

Get to Know Eva

CommonBond: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

Eva: I’m 68 years old and retired from the commercial real estate industry at the end of 2018, where I had spent the better part of 40 years. I graduated from college in 1977 with an accounting degree and went to work at the accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand. I joined the real estate team there and built the financial model that supported the sale of the bonds for the downtown dome stadium, which has now been demolished and replaced with the US Bank stadium.

It was at Coopers and Lybrand that I learned I was interested in the real estate business and financial forecasting—looking forward instead of accounting for what had happened, so I spent most of my career pursuing that side of the business. I retired from United Properties in 2018 where I had been for 18 years. When I retired, I was a co-president, a president of United Properties Investment, a co-president of United Properties, and the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

CommonBond: What sparked your interest to become a board member at CommonBond? When did you join?

Eva: I’ve been on the board for six years. I worked in the for-profit side of the world for all my 43-year career, and I always felt pulled to give back to community, so I have been on a few community boards. CommonBond addresses something that I have a personal interest in: providing low-income housing for the underserved, for people who don’t have the resources I do. When the opportunity came, a board position opened up, and Deidre approached United Properties to see if there was someone who might be interested in lending their expertise to the board. I was very fascinated, and here I am six years later!

CommonBond: We were notified that you are being inducted into the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame. Congratulations! What does this mean to you?

Eva: It’s really a career honor, a lifetime achievement is how I'm looking at it. It really acknowledges difference-makers in the commercial real estate business, both in the community and the business itself. I look at the list of honorees, and I feel honored to be included as part of them. At the end of this season, they are inducting three people into the hall of fame for the year of 2023. At the end of that, there will be 25 inductees, of which five are women, so I feel quite honored in our community to have been noticed, nominated, and selected.

CommonBond: How do you feel your extensive experience in real estate has contributed to your board experience at CommonBond?

Eva: When I joined the board, I asked to be on the community board and not the real estate board because I didn’t have operating experience in multi-family housing. I really wanted to learn more about CommonBond’s Advantage Services and how they made CommonBond stand out in the community. I saw how providing people with resources, educational services, and emotional support can help sustain housing. I’m also really enjoying learning about the enterprise itself and what we can do to support continuity in housing for those who don’t have access to it due to their income level.

CommonBond: What does it mean to you to be a CommonBond board member?

Eva: I find it to be a real honor and very educational. Not everybody gets to have the privileged life that I do—a successful career and not a lot of uncertainty. To the extent that I can use any skill, talent, or resource I have to bring certainty in housing to others is very meaningful to me.

CommonBond: Why does CommonBond’s work matter?

Eva: I think CommonBond’s work matters in our community and in others because in addition to providing access to housing for those who are looking for a secure home, CommonBond provides Advantage Services.

Learn More About Eva

CommonBond: What does home mean to you?

Eva: Home means safety and security. It’s where I come to heal up. I work hard; I play hard. I involve myself in making a difference in the community, and my home is where I come to find my own sense of self and purpose, and that’s what home is to me.

CommonBond: Who are your role models? Who inspires you?

Eva: I really admire Deidre Schmidt, Burt Colianni with the Pohlad organization, Boyd Stofer who has now passed and was the CEO of United Properties, as well as my father and my grandmother.

CommonBond: What is your favorite room in your house?

Eva: It’s a little bump-out in my bedroom, and it’s where my chair is and where I sit to read and look out at the lake.

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