Your Staff

Lake Street Council Staff

The Lake Street Council staff loves eating tacos! Learn more about us below. 

Allison Sharkey, Executive Director

asharkey@lakestreetcouncil.org, 612.824.7420

Allison has lived in the Lake Street corridor for over 10 years. She brings expertise in business finance, real estate, and commercial building renovation, as well as nonprofit management. Before coming to Lake Street Council, Allison provided leadership and advocacy for businesses in St. Paul commercial corridors for seven years. There she helped entrepreneurs open, manage, and expand their businesses, bringing $8 million in investment to St. Paul neighborhoods. Allison is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional and speaks Spanish.

ZoeAna Martinez, Outreach and Services Manager

zmartinez@lakestreetcouncil.org, 612.822.1912

ZoeAna Martinez graduated from St. Cloud University with a B.S. in Mass Communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has spent time in Asia teaching English. She is a Lake Street native who continues to call Lake Street home, having bought her own home in 2009. Making personal trips to meet business owners is one of ZoeAna’s priorities. She is there to help businesses stay informed and connected to issues and concerns in the area.

Theresa Swaney, Communications and Program Coordinator

tswaney@lakestreetcouncil.org, 612.822.0232

Theresa holds a Bachelor’s in International Studies and Psychology and a Master’s in Applied Anthropology. She has spent many years working with immigrant and minority communities in a variety of contexts. Most recently, Theresa worked to foster economic development along University Ave in Saint Paul during Green Line construction. She has a passion for food and is always exploring the wide range of options available on Lake Street. Theresa enjoys using her creativity, design, and social media skills to market the Lake Street corridor in new and inventive ways.

Matt Kazinka, Sustainability Program Coordinator

mkazinka@lakestreetcouncil.org, 612.823.0096

Matt assists Lake Street business owners to identify and implement upgrades to their energy and waste management systems that will save them money and support a healthier environment. He previously worked at the Latino Economic Development Center, where he managed the workforce and training program and laid the groundwork for an initiative to advance sustainability in small Latino-owned businesses. Matt first fell in love with the Twin Cites while at Macalester College, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies. He also speaks Spanish. 

Abdiwali Ali, Engagement Specialist

aali@lakestreetcouncil.org, 612.601.6980

A new transplant to Minneapolis via sunny San Diego, Abdiwali has spent his career supporting the Somali immigrant community. From collaborating with businesses and government agencies to organizing resource fairs and workshop, he has been dedicating to serving the needs this diverse population. He looks forward to learning more about Lake Street and getting the word about our many events, programs, and services.