Denise Butler, the Associate Director and Director of Economic and Community Development at Brooklyn Park nonprofit ACER (African Career, Education, and Resources inc.) will be honored with the Top Women in Finance Award by Finance & Commerce, Minnesota’s oldest daily business newspaper, at a networking and awards event on Thursday, November 10th at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.
Being selected as one of the winners of the Top Women in Finance Awards is a significant accomplishment. It is one of the highest professional honors a woman in business can receive in Minnesota. Denise Butler has been involved in the business world for 15 years, from her start as a store manager to her advocacy work with predominantly Black immigrant small business owners at ACER. As Economic and Community Development Director, Butler focuses on advocacy, public policy, and business, workforce, and community development.
“Finance & Commerce Top Women in Finance award winners are the top achievers in the finance industry and community. We are proud to honor each of our nominees, finalists and our incredible winners, all of whom are committed to the profession, their clients and their communities," says Bill Gaier, Publisher of Finance & Commerce.
In her day-to-day work, Denise directs the Economic and Community Development team, connecting ACER’s small and micro business owner clients to ACER’s network of technical assistance experts. In 2021, ACER connected with over 200 businesses and provided 53 clients with over 500 hours of free technical assistance services such as marketing, accounting and bookkeeping, financial advising, human resources, and business planning and Strategy.
As a part of her work in advancing community development, Denise Butler spearheaded a tour of BIPOC business corridors in the Northwest suburbs, inviting about 40 policymakers, business leaders, and community leaders to gain a better understanding of the successes and challenges faced by BIPOC-owned businesses in hopes of spurring leaders to create and maintain policies, tools, and resources to support these businesses. ACER's work following the tour is ongoing as Denise and her team urge local leaders involved in business development to support the establishment of cultural economic hubs in the Northwest suburbs.
Denise has also been instrumental in supporting the City of Brooklyn Park to invest $7.3 million to purchase the Northwind Plaza. The strip mall will be utilized as a business center that looks to house about 40 businesses, providing programming, resources, and affordable commercial space to predominantly BIPOC businesses. This is one of a number of community focused economic hubs that the ACER team is supporting. The Plaza will be opening in April of 2023.
Following the award ceremony, Denise Butler and other honorees will be profiled in Finance & Commerce’s Top Women in Finance magazine.
ACER (African Career, Education, and Resources inc.)
ACER is the leading issue-based community organization working to uplift and amplify the African Diaspora to build power for systemic change that advances racial and economic equity in our communities.
Finance & Commerce
"For 134 years, Finance & Commerce has delivered economic development, commercial real estate and construction industry news to Minnesota’s regional business leaders, developers and housing and community advocates. We provide the business community with in-depth analysis in our Beyond the Skyline podcast, host thought leadership programs that provide industry insight on topics ranging from clean energy to affordable housing and offer the region’s only Development Trackers of real estate, apartment, and hotel development. Our award programs center on the region’s construction and real estate business, bringing together the entire development community, and our Top Women in Finance program is one of the area’s largest events celebrating women in the industry."
— Finance & Commerce