A longtime supporter of East Phillips, Dean Dovolis founded DJR Architecture in 1985 in the East Phillips Neighborhood with an emphasis on affordable housing and community development. Dean continues to evolve the firm into a broad based provider of architectural services while still playing an active role in the development of the Phillips neighborhood. At EPNI, Dean is the architect and planner for the future East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm. He coordinates with public officials, community groups, residents, and investors to develop the site per East Phillips community needs. As an activist, Dean is passionate about saving the Roof Depot building and prioritizing communities of color in the development of the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm.
Dean received his Bachelor of Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University. He is part of the the American Institute of Architecture, LEED Accredited Professional, and NCARB.
Daniel Colten Schmidt is an artist, an activist, and a scholar. After studying theater at the William Alderson Studio in Los Angeles and performance art at La Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, he attended Hampshire College where he studied ecological economics and creative writing. Before EPNI, he worked as a teacher at elementary schools, an outdoor educator at Wilderness Inquiry, and a research assistant for marine biologist Dr. Diane Cowan. Daniel’s goal is to serve society through the development of ecologically-minded enterprises that increase economic security while improving public health. He is a proud East Phillips resident.
Joseph Vital (Zhaawan Wiijiw – South Mountain ) is a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians as well as a proud Mexican-American. He’s a long-standing and trusted member of the East Phillips and environmental justice communities. Since 2020, he’s been fighting for community control of the Roof Depot site, bringing years of experience as a community organizer and coalition-builder. He also served as the chair of the DFL Native People’s Caucus. His favorite moments in this struggle have been the community block party celebrations.