Port Authority Spotlight: Michael Linder

Michael Linder – Loan Officer


In 10 words or less describe what you do at the Saint Paul Port Authority:

“Fund energy efficiency loans and understand SPPA’s financial ventures.”


What about your job at SPPA motivates you and makes you want to come to work in the morning?

“I enjoy that I’m able to help businesses reduce energy use and enjoy working for an organization that promotes sustainability.  And I also like working with numbers and help make good fiscal decisions for the Port.”


How did your career path lead you to the Port Authority? 

“I started out working in the banking industry for 8 years and I’ve always enjoyed commercial real estate.  I wanted to move into an area that was more focused on development and real estate.  When I heard about the opportunity, the Port Authority was working on some large development projects that I found interesting and wanted to be involved in.”


What would you say is the most challenging part about working in your field?

“Making sure I understand the details of every project, trusting I’ve done all my homework and being comfortable we will achieve the desired outcomes in a project.”


What piece of advice or education you have received, relates to your work daily?

“From an educational stand point, how to research and how to essentially “learn.”  There is so much information you can try to understand through different documents and there is always going to be information you don’t know, so having that ability to figure out where to find the correct information or who to ask is something I value.  And how to listen, being able to listen is important.”


What are your future aspirations?

“I don’t plan too far ahead, I really enjoy what I’m doing now, and I want to continue to work hard and do the best I can.  The opportunity to work at the Port Authority was something that I never imagined, and I love it more than any job I’ve ever had.  So, I can’t really say 5-10 years from now that I’ll be doing anything different than what I’m doing now because what I’m doing currently makes me really happy.”


If you could work in any other industry for a day what would it be?

“Airplanes had always been a fascination of mine. I found out I was color blind at around 12 years old so if it wasn’t for that I would’ve liked to fly planes and be a pilot.”


What 3 things would you need if you were to get stranded on a deserted island?

“Sun tan lotion, matches, and a volleyball”