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Michigan State University

Innovate State | Kofi Bonner

Event Description

The Innovate State Speaker Series brings both emerging and accomplished Spartans back to campus for a fireside chat-style interview. These 60-minute sessions offer the chance for guests to share their perspectives on a wide array of topics like innovation, startup life, investments, and career paths. Students get the opportunity to hear firsthand about the hard knocks of the entrepreneurship & innovation hustle to maintaining work/life balance. These are stories of success, stories of failures, and stories of uncommon will—and you do not want to miss them. Innovate State kicks-off at 6 p.m. ET in the Larry & Teresa Gaynor Entrepreneurship Lab (651 N. Shaw Ln., M025 Business Pavilion, East Lansing, MI 48824) and is free to the community. Events will be offered in-person only but are available virtually on the Friday following the event at eship.msu.edu/innovate-state/. Early registration is highly encouraged. About our Speaker Kofi Bonner, CEO, Bedrock Kofi Bonner is the Chief Executive Officer at Bedrock, where he leads the full-service real estate company’s efforts to build thriving urban centers through transformational development, community partnerships and a commitment to support local small businesses. Since its founding, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including some of the most significant new developments that Detroit and Cleveland have seen in decades. Bedrock’s portfolio totals more than 22 million square feet of office, retail and residential space within new construction and adaptive reuse projects. Kofi has extensive experience in leading complex development projects in metropolitan areas. In his position as Co-Chief Operating Officer at Irvine, Calif-based FivePoint Holdings (NYSE: FPH), Bonner led the entitlement and development of the San Francisco Shipyard and Candlestick Communities, as well as the communities managed on behalf of Lennar Corporation: Treasure Island and the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Prior to joining Bedrock, Kofi most recently focused on real estate development and technology ventures through his Bonner Enterprises, where he embarked on real estate ventures in the San Francisco area and Ghana, and invested in fintech companies BC Pay and Techgulf, which sources technology operations and services to West Africa. He additionally spent seven years as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Cleveland Browns, where he was the first African American to hold such a title within the NFL. Kofi began his career in the public sector in California, serving in a number of roles including the Affordable Housing Developer for Oakland Community Housing Inc., the Redevelopment Director for the City of Emeryville, Calif., Director of Community & Economic Development and later Interim City Manager for The City of Oakland, and Chief Economic Advisor to Willie Brown, then Mayor of San Francisco. Originally from Ghana, Kofi moved to the United States to attend the University of California Berkley, where he earned his Master of City Planning and Master of Architecture. He resides in the metro Detroit area with his wife Gladys.

Tags: Michigan State University,Alumni Office