Expert Profile

Tim Penny
President and CEO
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Tim Penny was named as Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) President/CEO April 2007. Penny’s extensive background complements many of SMIF’s key interests, including the areas of workforce development, early childhood development, and economic development with a focus on bio-ag and bio-medical. Penny sees these areas as having the biggest growth potential for the region and the greatest impact on the future economy in southern Minnesota.

Penny represented Minnesota’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1982-1994. Previously, he was a member of the Minnesota State Senate from 1976-82. Most recently, Penny was a Senior Counselor at Himle Horner, a Twin Cities-based public relations and public affairs firm, and co-chair of the Humphrey Institute Forum at the University of Minnesota.

As a member of the Minnesota Senate, Penny served as vice-chair of the Transportation and Finance committees. Among other issues, Penny’s areas of emphasis included student financial aid, rural and rail transportation and regulatory reform. While in Congress, Penny served on the Education and Labor, Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He chaired the Subcommittee on Veterans’ Education and Training and the Foreign Agriculture and Hunger Subcommittee.

Throughout his congressional career, Penny placed an emphasis on budget issues. He chaired the Democratic Budget Group as well as the Porkbusters Coalition. His deficit reduction efforts were recognized by such organizations as the Business Roundtable, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the National Taxpayers union and Citizens Against Government Waste.

Penny has co-authored three books: Common Cents; The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics; and Payment Due. Penny received his B.A. in political science from Winona State University.

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