About John


A long-time public servant and Minnetonka resident, John Gunyou has earned the trust of our state’s most respected leaders.

Respected Leadership. Following his election as a Three Rivers Commissioner in 2012, John's colleagues recognized his experience, expertise and passion by honoring him with selection as their new Board Chair. In that role, John has implemented new procedures to improve transparency, responsiveness, long-term planning and operating efficiency.

As Minnetonka's former city manager, John was nationally recognized for responsible fiscal leadership and public service innovations. Serving as Minnesota's Finance Commissioner for Gov Arne Carlson, he managed our state through a major financial crisis with long-term reforms, restoring the coveted AAA bond rating. He as served on numerous national and regional commissions, and has received many awards, including Minnesota's City Leader of the Year, Best Finance Officer in the Nation, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Allies Award and WCCO Good Neighbor Award.


Collaborative Results. Drawing on years of relationships, John has worked with regional and local partners to build even stronger collaborations. As one example, the Nine Mile Creek Trail in Edina is now expected to be built two years sooner than planned. He also formed local partnerships to bring Three Rivers recreation programs to Hopkins, Minnetonka and Richfield residents, collaborated with the Hopkins School District to offer joint natural resources classes for students and the community, and initiated new outreach efforts to solicit feedback from our park and trail users.

DSC02755_copy_2.JPGFiscal Responsibility. Long known for his financial management expertise, John has held down property tax growth, while preserving the quality services residents have come to expect. He also implemented a new long-term financial planning process to sustain future service value at a reasonable price, and has expanded program offerings to children and seniors by reallocating priorities and forging new partnerships, rather than by raising taxes.

Background. John is a popular instructor at the University of Minnesota, where he has developed innovative online classes in financial management and public policy analysis. He has degrees in Finance and Economics from U.S. Air Force Academy, UCLA and University of Colorado.

John was previously Minneapolis' first finance director, ran Minnesota’s original and largest Internet company, and was an executive with Minnesota Public Radio. He was also a partner with the largest economic consulting firm in the Rocky Mountains, where he specialized in public service planning, financing and management, including parks and recreation services. He has taught at several universities, and has authored numerous articles and books. John has served on numerous state and national boards, including the DNR Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Group, Minnehaha Creek Corridor Coordinating Committee, US EPA Financial Advisory Board, MN PCA Citizens Board, and MN State Arts Board.


John lives in Minnetonka, on Three Rivers’ Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail. His wife Kim, their five adult children and grandson are long-time users of the region’s extensive park, trail, recreation and natural resources. John's pastimes include hiking and biking; canoeing, kayaking and sailing; camping; carpentry; tennis, golf, soccer and softball; cross country, downhill and water skiing.

See John's full resume here.


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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair