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 first 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. Serving in that role for the past six years, John has implemented new procedures to improve transparency, responsiveness, long-term planning and operating efficiency to better serve the 11 million visitors who use Three Rivers parks and trails every year.

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 has 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 particularly notable example, the spectacular Nine Mile Creek Trail in Edina was built on time and on budget under his leadership. In the district he represents, John has formed new local partnerships to bring Three Rivers recreation programs and trail connections to Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield, Edina and Shorewood residents, collaborated with the Hopkins and Minnetonka School Districts to offer joint natural resources classes for students and the community, and initiated new outreach efforts to expand Three Rivers programs to reach many new participants who were not traditionally served.

DSC02755_copy_2.JPGFiscal Responsibility. Long known for his financial management expertise, John has held down property taxes, while preserving the quality services residents have come to expect. Under his leadership, property taxes have remained flat for the past four years, despite significant increases in park and trail usage. To maintain Three Rivers' future fiscal health, John implemented a new long-term financial planning process to sustain service value. As one example of his fiscally responsible leadership, Three Rivers has been expanding recreation and education 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 a wide variety of 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 growing number of grandchildren are long-time users of the region’s extensive park, trail, recreation and natural resources. John's pastimes include hiking and biking, canoeing and kayaking, camping and skiing, tennis and golf, and any number of other outdoor sports and activities.

See John's full resume here.


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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair