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Ramon Leon

Ramon Leon is the founding President/CEO of Latino Economic Development Center, a membership, statewide, and ethnic based Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) serving the Twin cities area of Minneapolis St. Paul and Greater MN. He has been an entrepreneur and business owner since young age, in both Mexico, and the United States. He has been an active social justice leader in his community, and was one of the early faith-based Latino organizers in Twin Cities through Interfaith Action and Isaiah. He is also one of the pioneers of the economic development movement in Minneapolis, and was the first president of the founding board of directors of “Cooperative Mercado Central”, an economic justice, community-based cooperative project that sparkled the revitalization of Lake St in Minneapolis. He has served on several boards of Non profit organizations and government committees to bring forward the voice of immigrant communities, such as the Neighborhood Development Center, and Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers; the Charities review council, and MN council of OIC’s, and other economic development related committees of the Hennepin county and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He serves as the chair of the Economic Development Committee as well as board member of the National Association for Latino Asset Builders (NALCAB), where he has been pushing for an asset based, and wealth building economic development agenda that includes Latinos in both urban, and rural areas across the USA. He also created the Institute for the Economic Development of the Americas (IDEA), a cross-border economic development strategy to reduce immigration through economic development that promotes, and links cooperative development on both sides of the border. He has presented at conferences around the US on different topics related to wealth creation among minorities, community revitalization, immigration, economic impact of immigrants, building socially responsible business communities, public spaces development as tools for community development, social entrepreneurship, and others.


Some of the awards Mr. Leon has received are:

  • The Ohtli Award by the Secretariat of Foreign Relations/Institute of Mexicans Living Abroad/Mexican Consulate of MN, 2009
  • Innovative Idea Champion by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) Washington DC, 2009
  • The Immigrant of Distinction Award by MN/ND American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), 2009
  • The Community Development Leadership Award by Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, 2006
  • The Courage and Leadership Award by the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, 2006
  • The Minnesota Latino Achievement Award by Contacto Magazine, 2006
  • The Citizen Award of Merit by the Minneapolis Police Department, 2005


Contact Ramon