League General Counsel Tom Grundhoefer passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 19. He served Minnesota cities through his work at LMC for more than 30 years. Our LMC staff extends our love and sympathies to Tom’s wife Jane, his five children, and the many friends whose lives he touched.
Grundhoefer began working for the League in 1980 as a research assistant, while a student at William Mitchell College of Law. From 1982 to 1986, he worked in private practice before returning to the League as a staff attorney. Grundhoefer was promoted to general counsel in 1996, and in recent years added management of the League’s Research Department and the role of LMC associate executive director to his many duties and responsibilities.
Grundhoefer leaves a legacy of dozens of young attorneys and law clerks who previously worked for the League, and benefited from his tutelage. He was involved with numerous professional associations and served as primary advisor to the League’s Insurance Trust, its Investment Fund, and its Building Company. Grundhoefer was also a devoted colleague, spouse, and father, and enjoyed photography as a hobby. He was also known for indulging in a spirited round of golf with friends, from time to time.
“League members will remember Tom for his valuable consultation, his gentle wit, and his friendly and professional manner,” said LMC President Rhonda Pownell, mayor of Northfield. “He will continue to inspire future city leaders well beyond his passing.”
“There is a hole in the heart of the League that will take a long, long time to heal,” said LMC Executive Director David Unmacht. “Tom devoted his entire adult life to his family, his deep faith, and his enthusiasm for public service. Moreover, he was a dear friend to many and irreplaceable confidant to me.”
Cindy Xiong joined the League as a receptionist on Feb. 22. Xiong recently moved to Minnesota from Fresno, California. Previously, she was a customer service representative for the UC Merced Center for Education, a program for at-risk youth.
Two students who attend Augsburg College in Minneapolis will spend part of their spring semesters working in the League’s Communications Department.
Katie Davidson, a senior who majors in communications studies, will assist mostly with editorial projects and public relations. Among other duties, she will write articles for the Cities Bulletin and Minnesota Cities magazine, and will work on updating the League’s Cities Matter website. Davidson is from Crookston, Minnesota.
Minneapolis native Karl Hahn, a junior at Augsburg, will assist with the GreenStep Cities program. He will help to promote the League’s partnership in the program, and work with participating cities to help them achieve their environmental sustainability goals. Hahn is an urban studies major, and minors in environmental studies.
Davidson and Hahn were hired by the League through a partnership with Augsburg’s Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant program, funded by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. They will work at the League through the end of April.
Ted Bengtson joined the League’s Intergovernmental Relations Department as an intern on Jan. 3. He is a May 2016 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in leadership. Bengtson is coming to the League from St. Paul Public Schools Community Education, where he was an educational assistant and group leader.
LMCIT Administrator Pete Tritz has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Service from the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP). The Service Award is one of AGRiP’s highest honors, and recognizes those who notably promote and enhance the field of public entity pooling.
AGRiP officials cited Pete “… for his willingness to share his time, talent, and expertise collaboratively with the pooling community at large.” According to his nominators, “Any number of people have grown professionally because of Pete’s willingness to coach them, trust them, and give them the resources they need.”
The award will be formally presented at AGRiP’s Governance and Leadership Conference next month in Orlando.
Dave Spock, maintenance engineer, retired on Dec. 31 after 28 years with the League of Minnesota Cities. During his tenure, Spock helped maintain three different League buildings and played an important role in the property acquisition of the League’s current site. Thanks to Spock’s dedicated work, the League’s building continues to run smoothly after 20 years and still looks like new. He will be missed, but we wish him the best in retirement.