Outgoing LMC Board Members Honored at May Board Meeting

May 22, 2024

Outgoing League of Minnesota Cities President Jenny Max referred to the accomplishments of the 2023-24 Board of Directors as a “continuous highlight reel” at the May Board meeting. Max also took the time to recognize the outgoing board members who helped contribute to the League’s 2023-24 accomplishments and thank them for serving Minnesota cities.

Thanking Outgoing Board Members

Former Board of Directors member Mary Gaasch and President Jenny Max are shown.

Mayor of Lauderdale Mary Gaasch

  • Elected to the Board of Directors in 2021
  • Served as Metro Cities representative from 2018 to 2019
  • Served on the Finance Committee and Improving Services and Delivery Policy Committee

President Max’s comments: “She took her time on the Board seriously by getting involved in whatever she could, whether that be by attending League events, helping to convene members to discuss important topics.”

Former LMC Board of Directors member Sharon Hanson and President Jenny Max are shown.

Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson

  • Elected to the Board in 2021
  • Actively involved with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) and environmental regulatory efforts.

President Max’s comments: “Sharon proved to be a great addition to the Board.”

Former LMC Board of Directors member Christina Volkers and President Jenny Max are shown.

Oakdale City Administrator Chris Volkers

  • Elected to the Board in 2021
  • Served on various policy committees
  • Helped set legislative priorities that represented cities across the state

President Max’s comments: “She took her appointment to the Board seriously and got involved wherever she could.”

Former LMC Board of Directors member Jay Stoebel and President Jenny Max are shown.

Brooklyn Park City Administrator and Metro Cities Representative Jay Stroebel

  • Appointed to the board in 2023
  • Helped maintain a strong relationship between Metro Cities and the League
  • Testified on the League’s behalf and attended meetings with legislative leadership

President Max’s comments: “He has been a great asset to the Board.”

Mayor of Thief River Falls and CGMC Representative Brian Holmer (not present at May board meeting)

  • Appointed to the board in 2023
  • Worked with the intergovernmental relations (IGR) team in securing funds and technical support regarding cities’ efforts to manage PFAS

President Max’s comments: “He also showed us that flying is the efficient way to travel from Thief River Falls to St. Paul and back!”

Montgomery City Administrator and Minnesota Association of Cities Representative Brian Heck (attended the May board meeting virtually)

  • Appointed to the board in 2023
  • Served on the Improving Services and Delivery Policy Committee

President Max’s comments: “He’s been an asset to our Board and our membership.”

Past LMC Board of Directors President Ron Johnson shares his Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox portrait.

Bemidji Council Member and Past LMC President Ron Johnson

  • Joined the board in 2012 and over the course of his 11 years on the board, he represented Bemidji, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, and cities across the state of Minnesota with purpose, dedication, and teamwork
  • Only board member who served with three executive directors, two of whom he helped elect
  • Has attended all LMC Annual Conferences
  • Navigated a global pandemic, endured numerous virtual meetings, traveled across the state to meet members and city officials, represented the League and Minnesota in Washington D.C., and did all of this while maintaining a with thoughtful and steady demeanor.

President Max’s comments: “During his presidency, Board members and staff were able to spend a few days in his hometown. The pride he has for his city was evident during the entire retreat.

“Ron has been an excellent representative and advocate for cities across the state, but particularly those in Greater Minnesota. It has been an honor to serve alongside him.”

Past President Johnson’s comments: “I’ve always strived to be the best elected official I could possibly be, and I realized very early on that getting involved in the League of Minnesota Cities could help me achieve that, and I think it did. Serving on the LMC Board was a way I could share my public service experience with others. I never thought I’d be elected to six four-year terms on the city council in Bemidji. I never even thought I’d be on the League Board, and I certainly never thought I’d be president. I kept finding my way to get back here. I’d like to say that after 8.5 years I’m getting sick of it, but if there was a way I could actually find my way back again, I would. This is a time I won’t forget, and it’s greatly appreciated.”

Past LMC Board of Directors President Ron Johnson and Outgoing President Jenny Max are shown.

Nisswa City Administrator and Outgoing LMC President Jenny Max

  • Elected to a director seat on the League Board in 2020
  • Served as a director until 2021 when she ran for and was elected to the LMC Executive Committee as the Second Vice President
  • Was a steady source of support for the IGR team and the League’s advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels
  • Provided persuasive testimony at every hearing on the League-supported public safety duty disability bill that was enacted in 2023
  • Served as the League representative on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Local Taxes Advisory Task Force, where she shared how cities and counties use sales taxes to fund projects and recommended possible improvements
  • Led the board through an executive director transition

Past President Johnson’s comments: “She has been intentional and deliberate about setting everyone up for success all while maintaining the high standards that have made this organization great for a very, very long time. I know she has been an excellent sounding board for (LMC Executive Director) Luke (Fischer) during this transition, and I’m sure he’d agree too. It can be really challenging to serve in times of big change, but the steady hand Jenny brought to our leadership is something that we will appreciate for a very long time.”

Outgoing President Max’s comments: “It’s been a continuous highlight reel. These are the things we can accomplish when we work together.”