Council Profiles

Mayor Denny Laufenburger

Denny Laufenburger was a City Councilman from 2010-2014 and then was elected Mayor beginning in 2015. In 2010, he retired from a 38-year career of executive leadership in sales, marketing and public relations in the computer software and services industry. He received his marketing degree from the University of Minnesota. His community involvement includes serving on the Chanhassen Planning Commission from April 2008 through December 2010, a reader emeritus of "Radio Talking Book" for the State Services for the Blind, a member of the Chanhassen Historical Society and the Chanhassen American Legion Post 580, past president of the Westwood Community Church Leadership Board, and the public address announcer for Chanhassen High School Storm athletics and the Chanhassen Redbirds baseball team. He and his wife Ruth have lived in Chanhassen since 1995 and have two adult children and six grandchildren. Contact Denny by email or at 612-327-6800. 

Councilman Jerry McDonald

Jerry McDonald was appointed to the city council in 2007 to fulfill an existing vacancy, and then elected in 2008. Jerry has a BS/EET degree from Western Kentucky University, an MBA from Xavier University and a JD from Hamline University. Jerry is the owner of the legal firm of McDonald & Associates, PLC located in Chanhassen. Before he was appointed to the Council, he was a member of the Chanhassen Planning Commission for three years and served as chairman for two years. Jerry also is an active member of the Chanhassen Rotary and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee. Jerry and his wife Carol have 4 children. Contact Jerry by email or by calling 952-253-1406.

Councilwoman Bethany Tjornhom

Bethany Tjornhom was elected to the City Council in 2004. Bethany attended and graduated from Northwestern College with a degree in English and Biblical studies. She currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Committee and also manages the Harbor Light office in Chaska. Before she was elected to the Council, she was a member of the Chanhassen Planning Commission. During her service to the City of Chanhassen she was a member of the AUAR task force and the Surface Water Management task force. She also is a member of the American Legion. Bethany has 3 childeren. Please contact Bethany by email or at 612-695-2108.


uncilwoman Elise Ryan

Elise Ryan began her term on the City Council in January 2015. Prior to City Council, Elise served on the Chanhassen Park & Recreation Commission from 2008-2014. She earned her BA from the University of Oregon and her Master's Degree in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. She worked in sales and marketing for Nike, Target, and a number of small firms before staying home full-time. Elise is an active volunteer in a variety of local organizations. In addition to volunteering at Excelsior Elementary, she was Vice-Chair of Minnetonka school district's C.A.S.E. (Community Action for Student Education); Assistant Varsity girls' tennis coach for Eden Prairie high school; a member and chair of Mount Calvary Church parent board, a member of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and continues to help manage her children's youth sports teams. Elise has lived in Chanhassen since 2006 with her husband Pat. They have two young children. Contact Elise by email or at 612-703-0598.

Councilman Dan Campion

Dan Campion took office in January of 2015. He is currently the Director of Business Development at Xcerra Corporation, which is a manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment. Dan has served on the Planning Commission and Park & Recreation Commission. He earned BSEE and MBA degrees from the University of Minnesota. Dan and his wife, Nicole, have two young children. You can reach Dan by email or at 612-865-9729.