Meet Jim Hovland



“Far and away, one of the greatest prizes that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”—President Teddy Roosevelt

A resident of Edina for over 30 years, Jim Hovland is a dedicated public servant, a passionate community volunteer, a successful attorney and a devoted husband, father and grandfather.  Currently in his third term as Mayor of Edina, Jim has focused on improving the quality of life for all residents of Edina, fostering a continuing partnership and strong relationship between the School District and the City of Edina and keeping Edina’s financial health as strong as possible.  Edinans have shown their confidence in his leadership by electing him by a significant margin in all three past elections.

Before being elected mayor in 2005, Jim served on the Edina City Council for seven years.

His commitment to public service has gone beyond elected office, contributing his leadership and expertise to our community, region and state in many important capacities including:

  • Co-chair—Regional Council of Mayors
  • Chair—Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) to the Met Council
  • SW LRT Corridor Management Committee
  • Vice Chair—SW LRT Community Works Steering Committee
  • Chair—Municipal Legislative Commission
  • MSP Export Initiative
  • Partner Advisory Council member–Greater MSP
  • Hwy 169 Corridor Coalition Steering Commission
  • Advisory Board member—Urban Land Institute
  • Transportation and Communications sub-committees—US Conference of Mayors
  • GEARS (Grant Evaluation and Ranking System) Board for Counties Transit Improvement Board
  • Board member—Edina Community Foundation

Past leadership positions include:

  • Chair—I-494 Commission
  • Chair—Hwy 169 Corridor Coalition
  • Chair—GEARS Advisory Board to County Transit Improvement Board
  • Past-President—Edina Community Foundation
  • Vice-Chair—Mileage Based User Fee Study committee

Honors and Awards include:

  • Business Person of the Year—Edina Chamber of Commerce
  • Distinguished Public Leadership Award—Center for Transportation Studies—University of Minnesota
  • Transportation Advocate Award—Minnesota Transportation Alliance
  • I-494 Corridor Commission Transportation Award
  • Dedicated Service Award—Center for Transportation Studies—U of M
  • Governor’s Certificate of Commendation—Arne Carlson

He was selected for admission to Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society for the advancement of land economics for his outstanding leadership as a local official and his vision for creating regional land uses and transportation solutions.

Jim is also an active member of the Edina Morningside Rotary Club and has traveled to Chile and El Salvador, working with medical professionals on cleft palette operations, and Kenya, for humanitarian projects.
As a member of Rotary he has received the Distinguished Service Award, the Service above Self Award, the Outstanding Service Award, and the Rookie of the Year award in addition to being a Paul Harris Fellow.

A practicing attorney with Hovland and Rasmus, PLLC, Jim is admitted to the Minnesota Supreme Court, the US District Court of Minnesota, the North Dakota Supreme court, the Federal District Court for the district of North Dakota, the US Court of Appeals, Fourth, Eighth and Ninth Circuit.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and his law degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Personal Life


Jim’s wife, LaRae Ellingson Hovland, is a French teacher at Rosemount High School.  They have two daughters and six grandchildren.  Their daughter Angie and her husband Russ Freeman live in Edina with their three children, Russell, Bradford and Lucie.  Daughter Erika and her husband Paul Batcheller live in Sioux Falls with their children Lila, Owen and Wells.