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AAO Announces 2020 Commodore and Captains

Minneapolis, Minn-- The AAO announced the Commodore and Captains at the Commodore's Dinner on Thursday, July 25th at the Minneapolis Renaissance Hotel, the Depot. These individuals will serve as mentors and escorts to the Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes and Aquatennial Princesses.

Stephen Zins, Robert Schroeder, Alexx Smith

Dr. Robert Schroeder

Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore, Dr. Robert Schroeder

Minneapolis has been the heart and the hub of Robert Schroeder’s entire life. As a child, Robert’s playgrounds included Minnehaha Creek and the Falls, the Mississippi River bottoms below the Ford Dam, Fort Snelling and the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport. Curiosity and a bit of fearlessness combined well for a life of adventure. He rode and raced motorcycles, and began flying airplanes and gliders at age 12. Robert flew solo before he got his driver’s license.

At age 15 his sharp eyesight changed, disqualifying him from achieving his dream of becoming an Air Force fighter pilot; it was a huge disappointment and personal setback for him. Instead, by age 18, Robert was trained as an Air Force Crash Rescue Firefighter, sparking a lifelong career as a scientist and fire investigator. Schroeder has been in the “fire business” nearly 50 years; fighting fires, investigating fires and researching fire and materials. His work has taken him from Argentina to Alaska and points in between. A graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of California, Berkeley, Dr Schroeder has multiple engineering and science-based degrees.

“Schroeder” as he is called by many, loved attending the Aquatennial Grand Day and Torchlight Parades. A chance encounter in the spring of 1974 lead to Schroeder’s first involvement with the Aquatennial. Harry Powers, one of the world-famous “Aqua Jesters,” detected a curiosity in Schroeder and invited him to take clown classes and audition for the Aqua Jesters. Schroeder participated in his first Aquatennial Grand Day and Torchlight Parades in 1974, creating joy and fun as an Aqua Jester character for the next three years. This experience taught Schroeder about the importance of volunteerism, community involvement, and reaching out to those in need. Schroeder is thrilled to return 45 years later as the Aquatennial Ambassador Organization's Commodore.

Alexx Smith

Minneapolis Aquatennial Captain, Alexx Smith, with Zeller Realty Group

To Alexx Smith, there’s only one way to go through life: head-first and at full-throttle. An avid skydiver, scuba diver and speed fiend on the motorcycle, she’s also an accomplished business woman and valued member of the Minneapolis community. Despite everything Alexx does, it is how she does them that makes her different.

Her career in commercial real estate began as a temporary receptionist but quickly took off from there. After several years of unwavering commitment to the industry, tenants and overall community, she was promoted to Property Manager at Zeller Realty Group. She now manages a 1.1 million square foot Class A high-rise office tower located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Alexx is an active member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Minneapolis, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors, recently receiving the prestigious 2019 President’s Award.

Community is also very important to Alexx. She volunteers with Second Harvest Heartland, has put together a partnership with Memorial Blood Center, and makes a point of connecting with and supporting the Minneapolis Police Department. One of her greatest passions is mentoring women in leadership in both her company and the community. Alexx received her Bachelor of Science degree in economics with a minor in international business from the University of St. Catherine and is currently pursuing her Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation through Building Owners and Managers International (BOMI).

The whole-hearted passion Alexx pours into life is refreshing, which is why her favorite quote goes, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” - Dr. Seuss

Dr. Stephen Zins

Minneapolis Aquatennial Captain, Dr. Stephen Zins with LS Investments, LLC

Dr. Stephen Zins is a retired Chiropractic Kinesiologist with over 23 years of experience in the healthcare field. During his clinical career, he operated two private practices in the Minneapolis area and St. Michael. Currently, Stephen is the CEO of a real estate investing company, LS Investments, LLC, which specializes in rental and distressed properties. Investing in real estate and understanding the power of passive income, has allowed him to pursue his dreams of public speaking, seminar development and presentation, and book writing. He is currently writing 2 books on health and human interaction and hopes they will be best sellers. His goals and objectives have always revolved around assisting others to achieve their optimal best and to bring about individual change for the greater good.

In addition to real estate, Stephen is a consultant for business owners in the development of successful businesses through building solid foundations in the areas of finance, procedures, standard operations and future investment.

In his free time, Stephen enjoys reading, researching, golfing, traveling, meeting up with friends, exploring new places and historical sites, and many other activities. He is the favorite uncle of six amazing nieces and nephews and enjoys watching them grow up. Stephen coached women’s slow pitch softball for seven seasons and is a Minnesota State High School football official of 22 years with state tournament experience. He is honored and excited to be serving as an Aquatennial Captain.

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