Prior to her time in the Minnesota Senate, Terri Bonoff had a successful career in the private sector. She began her 20-year business career working in the family business of Jackson Graves, a women’s retail specialty chain, before moving on to Tonka Toys as Manager of Promotional Services. She then served as Vice President and General Manager for the computer products division of the publicly held and New Hope, MN based Navarre Corporation. Bonoff left her promising business career to be at home with four teenagers.
While spending time at home with her kids, Terri decided to get involved in her local community organizations. After serving on the Minnetonka Planning Commission and co-chairing the Hopkins School District Legislative Action Coalition, she made her first run for political office in 2005. She was reelected in 2006, 2010, and 2012.
Terri has made education a major focus of her work in the Senate, with particular emphasis on early childhood and higher education. In her work as Chair of the Minnesota Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, she created three focuses through which the committee would view all policy and finance decisions: Reducing Costs for Students, Increasing Degree Completion, and Building a 21st Century Workforce.
In this role, she championed legislation to create the Minnesota PIPELINE Project. The PIPELINE Project expands dual training and apprenticeship programs in Minnesota in emerging and high-demand occupations by partnering employers and students. This program was featured two separate times in Forbes as a nation-leading and innovative approach to address student debt and the skills gap.
In addition to Terri’s long-standing message, “Uniting the Middle”, a major focus throughout her career has been, “Reforming the Business of Government”. Terri has taken the lessons that she learned in the private sector and applied these concepts to how government functions; reducing waste and improving efficiency in service delivery.
U.S. Representative, California’s 26th Congressional District
“I have been a long time advocate for campaign finance reform, transparency and a fairer system that reduces the role that corporations and SuperPACs play in our electoral campaigns. … A handful of wealthy individual and corporations should not control our democracy. I was the first to carry the California Disclose Act in the California Legislature.” – Julia Brownley