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Johnson named to 100 People to Know list

WILLMAR — Twin Cities Business magazine recently named University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chairman Dean Johnson of Willmar one of the 100 People to Know in 2016.

“I am honored that my commitment and service to the University of Minnesota has been recognized by Twin Cities Business,” Johnson said in a news release.

The magazine cites Johnson’s thoughtful and effective leadership of the Board of Regents during a particularly demanding period.

Johnson has served on the board since 2007. He has been a pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar for 42 years. He also served the Willmar area in the Minnesota Legislature from 1978 to 2006, first in the Minnesota House of Representatives and then in the Minnesota Senate from 1982 to 2006. He served as minority leader and majority leader while in the Senate.

Johnson retired from the U.S. Army National Guard as a brigadier general. He served many years as a chaplain and was special assistant to the chief of chaplains in the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.

Johnson is a native of Lanesboro and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, a master of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College.

According to a release from Twin Cities Business, the 100 people on the list are leaders, entrepreneurs and pioneers, chosen because they have overcome or are facing major challenges while using their influence to have an impact on the state’s economy and its social and cultural attributes.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz are also on the list of 100 People to Know in 2016.