Neerland & Oyaas, Inc. is a professional consulting group designed to help organizations of all kinds reach their objectives by creatively connecting them to government, private sector, civic and financial resources.
Neerland & Oyaas provides its clients with expertise in matters relating to the role of profit and nonprofit organizations in local economic development.
Neerland & Oyaas is a registered corporation and is an equal opportunity employer.
Mark J. Oyaas
Managing Partner, Neerland & Oyaas, Inc.
Mark J. Oyaas is a principal in Neerland & Oyaas, Inc., a public affairs consulting company. His work includes advising clients on business opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. Mr. Oyaas is the lead consultant to the public affairs practice of the Twin Cities office of Fleishman-Hillard, an international communications and public relations firm. Through this alliance with F-H, Neerland & Oyaas can bring the capacity of one of the nation's premier communications firms to bear on behalf of clients in the Twin Cities market and around the world. Mr. Oyaas' primary areas of expertise are in state and local government relations, grass roots lobbying, issues management and media relations. In addition he is founder of the firm's creative communications subsidiary, Germ of an Idea, Inc.
Mr. Oyaas has also coordinated several projects on behalf of local governments and nonprofits including funding the successful expansion of the Minneapolis Convention Center and forging a successful partnership between the city of Minneapolis and the Walker Art Center in forwarding the center's $90 million expansion project.
Along with Charles Neerland, Mr. Oyaas was the co-founder of New Ballpark, Inc. (NBI), a grassroots organization comprised of business, labor, and civic leaders whose goal is to forward a politically-realistic solution to the potential loss of Minnesota's Major League Baseball team. He has served as NBI's primary spokesman in the media and before various government bodies.
Before founding Neerland & Oyaas, Inc., Mr. Oyaas worked as a sole practitioner managing several public/private initiatives. These include Hennepin County's groundbreaking and award-winning battery recycling program and a successful strategic marketing plan for People Unlimited, Inc., a nonprofit assembly company that hires traditionally hard-to-employ individuals from the urban core.
Mr. Oyaas has extensive experience in local government. He was principal assistant to a Hennepin County commissioner and worked on a variety of projects including waste-to-energy, transit, and affordable housing. Mr. Oyaas also worked for the majority leader of the Minneapolis City Council as a council aide.
Mr. Oyaas began his professional career at Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis (now Wells Fargo) in the government affairs department. He was responsible for coordination of the bank's first Community Reinvestment Act report.
Mr. Oyaas is active in a number of Twin Cities nonprofit organizations and was a past president of People for Parks, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. He is also active in the Democratic Farmer-Labor party and has managed a number of political campaigns. In 1996 he was co-director of the Clinton/Gore re-election effort in Minnesota from the precinct caucus process through the Democratic National Convention.
Mr. Oyaas has written and produced a number of Twin Cities cable television projects and is an occasional co-host on "Talk of the Twin Cities," a general-interest program produced by the Metro Cable Network.
Mr. Oyaas is a 1980 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he majored in political science. He delayed his college education to serve in the United States Army as a fire direction specialist and was stationed in Europe. He was honorably discharged in 1977.
Charles Neerland, co-founder and senior consultant to Neerland & Oyaas, has more than 30 years of development, finance and communications experience in the Twin Cities area. He served as Deputy Mayor of Minneapolis, 1974-75. Highlights include management positions at three of the area's premier financial institutions: IDS (public relations), Norwest Banks (Vice President and Director of Economic Development) and Piper Jaffray (managing director in Public Finance).
Mr. Neerland has held numerous civic posts including President of the Citizens League, trustee of the College of St. Catherine, member of the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board and board member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
In addition to his work on behalf of Neerland & Oyaas clients, Mr. Neerland is an active partner in Stagewright Unlimited, a 501c3 organization that facilitates production and fiscal assistance to original theatrical works.
Mr. Neerland has been and remains an active voice in Minnesota politics, government, business and community service. He is a published writer on local issues, and graduated from Notre Dame University and the University of St. Thomas.
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