Steve Dennis

Steve DennisSteve Dennis, Council Member

Phone: 651-283-1929
Term: Re-elected in 2022
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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 seventh time in nine years. Additionally, he’s served as council liaison to the (former) Public Safety Commission, the Planning Commission, the Cottage Grove and Surrounding Areas Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors) and is Chairman of the Cottage Grove Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also served as a three-year member of the Cottage Grove Investment Committee.


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 toward an Associate's of Liberal Arts at Inver Hills Community College.

Professional Experience

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 25-year retail management/business ownership career includes professional titles of: 

  • Business Owner
  • Regional Sales Director
  • District Sales Manager
  • Senior Store/Multi-Store Manager
  • Store Manager

 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.

He currently serves on the Cottage Grove Area Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group as “strategic advisor” as well as Inver Hills Community College Committee on Accreditation for EMS Professions (CoAEMSP). He’s also a former member of the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) for Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

Council Member Dennis was proudly named as the “2020 Volunteer of the Year” by the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Personal Life

Council Member Dennis has lived in Cottage Grove since 1989 with his wife, 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.