Council Member Steve Dennis was first elected and started serving in January 2015. He has brought a reasonable, considerate, and business-minded leadership to civic issues that impact our residents and their families as well as our business investors and all who live, work and care about Cottage Grove’s future.
Council Member Dennis has been Vice President of the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority (EDA) since 2015 and is serving as Mayor-Pro Tem for the third consecutive year. Additionally, he has served as Council Liaisons for the (former) Public Safety Commission and currently serves in the same role on the Planning Commission. He has also been a member of the Cottage Grove Investment Committee for the past three years and is liaison for the newly formed Housing Focus Group.
Council Member Dennis brings a diverse experiential background and unique skill set that has served him well as a local leader and “difference maker.” Growing up in St. Paul, he graduated from Cretin High School in 1984 and then from Brown College with a degree in communications before studying towards an Associate’s of Liberal Arts at Inver Hills Community College.
Professionally, he has worked for a number of organizations including the Federal Reserve Bank System (Law Enforcement Department), Securian (formerly Minnesota Mutual Companies), Sunglass Hut International, and Successories of Minnesota. He had an 11-year law enforcement career with experience in areas of supervision, training, and being licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT-B). His continuing 21-year retail management/business ownership career includes professional titles of Store Manager, Senior Store/Multi-Store Manager, District Manager, Regional Area Director, and Owner.
Within the community itself, Council Member Dennis volunteered three and a half years to the Cottage Grove Police Department as a Part-Time Minnesota Licensed Police Officer. He also served on the 1994 Cottage Grove Pavement Taskforce Commission.
Council Member Dennis has lived in Cottage Grove for almost 30 years with his wife of 33 years, Kathy. They own a home and have raised two children, both graduates of Park High School. In 2003, he invested in Cottage Grove by opening a locally-owned retail-based business called Dennis Brothers Liquor.