A Rochester native, Jordan is a small business owner, having consulted on and managed projects for individuals and businesses in Minnesota and throughout the nation. aside from music creation, his responsibilities have included assisting with budgetary requirements, project coordination, personnel, and long-term planning.

 

Early Years

Almost every Sunday throughout his childhood, Jordan and his mother would gather around the kitchen table at his grandparents’ home along with other members of the family for dinner. Everyone would catch up on the latest news and enjoy the evening together, which usually featured one of his grandmother's "new recipes" as the main dish (though they were often received with mixed reviews). It wasn't until years later that Jordan would begin to see the importance of those dinners not just for strengthening family bonds, but in understanding how Rochester, MN became the city it is today.

 Four generations gathered around the table. Jordan, not seen in this photo, would make five.

Four generations gathered around the table. Jordan, not seen in this photo, would make five.

He never viewed his upbringing as anything but ordinary. Raised in the southeast side of town, Jordan played football and basketball throughout his youth, although music would eventually become his main focus as he started high school. At 16 years old he officially started his first business, a music production company still in operation today. He would eventually go on to establish several businesses, both in and out of the music industry. As a business owner and student everything changed, and Jordan began to see the world in a different light.  

That same year, Jordan was asked to volunteer for an annual event hosted by Bear Creek Services and ultimately served on the planning committee for the next several years. This inspired him, providing a way to combine his experience and love for music with the benefit of giving back. Jordan would go on to host several other events himself, with the proceeds going to other organizations. Still, he couldn't help but think he should be doing more.

As his career developed, traveling became unavoidable. That time away from Rochester would show him first-hand the issues other growing cities were experiencing, at a time well before DMC had arrived back home. He would see gentrification and crammed roads becoming a normal sight, along with historic neighborhoods being replaced with new developments. As expected, the residents would then share stories of increasing housing rates, property taxes, and general cost of living, without what they considered to be a rise in quality of life.

Traveling also increased throughout the upper Midwest for him. Unlike the metro areas, the smaller towns he visited were experiencing problems associated with a decrease in population, often having a decline in the quality of their schools, lower quality care facilities for seniors, and because of the need to travel to other cities for supplies, similar travel times of major metropolitans. After years of seeing the results of leadership that had let their communities down, Jordan couldn't help but wonder what could be done to prevent this same fate from happening to Rochester.

 

The moment that changed everything...

In the fall of 2011, Jordan met Diana Orbelo, a clinician and researcher originally from Oklahoma who had moved here several years earlier after accepting a new job. They began dating soon after, and rarely could be seen apart, bonding over their love of music, art, and the occasional football game. Jordan was drawn to Diana's passionate and caring nature, and ultimately was inspired to create a new path for himself. On October 5th, 2014, Jordan and Diana were married in Rochester among family and friends. Shortly thereafter, Jordan decided to call together a group of friends and business associates, telling them it was time to make a change.

Over the next several years, Jordan dedicated as much time as possible to learning about the issues impacting Rochester both now and in the foreseeable future. He began changing his team and advisors from entertainment industry professionals to those with expertise in a variety of industries related to social issues, economic development, and culture. While away on work trips, he made a point to talk to as many locals as possible to hear how their city had changed over time, and how that change impacted them personally. After several years, the plan was to start a new company helping to bridge some of the missing gaps in our community. As he and his team dove deeper into the root of the issues here at home, it became clear that what was missing was direction and leadership from the top of city hall. Jordan took the initiative and announced his candidacy in front of a group of family and friends on April 26, 2017.

 Jordan and Diana posing for the camera backstage at a festival.

Jordan and Diana posing for the camera backstage at a festival.

in his words

As I think back now on those family dinners, I see how rare of an opportunity I was given. Four generations having a conversation around that dinner table sharing not just stories of my family history, but the history of the city. They were stories of compassion, of creativity, of pride and honor in doing what's right not for a few, but for the benefit of all. Those stories revealed how we have overcome obstacles before, and how a little planning and ingenuity can put us on the road for success.

There is a unique opportunity upon us now, the opportunity of empowerment. That power lies within each of us, and is what our community will rely on as we continue to move in this new direction of uncharted waters. To make the growth of our city work for everyone, we must rely on the minds and talents of those who already call Rochester home. No one understands the nuances of the city more, or has more reason to see the city succeed than you as a citizen. Therefore, I'm asking you to help guide the discussion so that your voice is no longer missed. Rochester is a destination for all who visit, and we will continue to improve that destination for all. Let us also remember that for every person who lives here, Rochester is home, and after all, isn't home the real destination?

 

 

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