Meet the Members

Mayor Dan Agnew

Dan Agnew, Mayor

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Current term expires 12/31/25

Dan retired in 2010 after spending 40 years with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, including 19 as President and CEO. He was inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2009.

Dan has been very involved in the community serving as a board member of Grinnell United Way, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell Boy Scouts, Poweshiek/Interstate 80 Economic Development group, Greater Grinnell Development Corporation, and Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. He also assisted with the Grinnell Mutual /Grinnell Middle School Partners-in-Education program and has coached many youth sports teams. Dan, a member of Grinnell Lions Club since 1973, has served as a board member and president and is currently a member of the relay team transporting cornea eye tissue between Ames/Des Moines and the Iowa City eye bank. 

After graduating from Grinnell High School, Dan attended the University of Northern Iowa on a football scholarship where he graduated with a degree in Education and spent his first two years teaching and coaching in Newton, Iowa before joining Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.

Dan and his wife Nancy have two children, Chad and Heather, four grandchildren, William, Matthew, Kaden and Kameron, and great grandchildren, Byron and Banks. Dan and Nancy are very engaged in spending time with their family.

Council Member Julie Hansen

Julie Davis, First Ward

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Current term expires 12/31/25

Julie Davis grew up in Grinnell and is a graduate of Grinnell High School, class of 1991. She received an Associate's Degree in Computer Science from Marshalltown Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology from Buena Vista University. She is currently a Senior Property Claims Adjuster at Grinnell Mutual.

Julie's first experience in public service was a position with the Grinnell Police Department as a reserve police officer. Her passion for public safety and love of this community influenced her decision to run for city council. She graduated from the Poweshiek Leadership Program in 2012 and served as president of the GHS Alumni Board from 2008-2012.

Julie and her husband, Cody, enjoy spending time with their dog, hiking, golfing, spending time outdoors, and traveling. Julie's daughter, Ashley, is also a graduate of Grinnell High School, Class of 2013, and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. Ashley and her husband, Chad, and their son, Theodore, reside in Cedar Falls. 

Council Member Rachel Bly

Rachel Bly, Third Ward

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Current term expires 12/31/25

Rachel Bly grew up in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and came to Grinnell in 1989 to attend Grinnell College. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science she spent some time in Washington, DC before returning to the Grinnell area. She is currently the director of conference operations and events at Grinnell College.

Rachel has a master's degree in public administration and has always had a love of politics and policy. Rachel has served on many local boards including the Grinnell Community Day Care and Preschool Board, the Library Board, Renaissance Board, and League of Women Voters. She is involved in TTT, PEO, Poweshiek County Democrats, and lots of activities with her family.

Rachel lives in a downtown loft with her husband Bob Hamilton, son Davis, and two cats. 

Council Member Jim White

Jim White, At Large

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Current term expires 12/31/25

Jim White has been on the council since January of 1986 and before that he served on the planning and zoning board. He and his wife Marcia have three children. He has been president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Rotary Club, and a board member of Grinnell 2000.

With his church, St. Mary's Catholic, he is a former trustee and has been a member of third degree Knights of Columbus and also fourth degree Knights of Columbus, as well as the Elks Club and the Eagles here in Grinnell. He is employed by Bates by Design Flowers on 4th Avenue in Grinnell. 

Matt Karjalahti

Matt Karjalahti, Fourth Ward

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Current term expires 12/31/27

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Matt moved to Grinnell in 2003 after accepting a job at Ziegler Caterpillar in Des Moines. In 2010, he changed careers to real estate. In 2013, he co-founded RE/MAX Partners Realty, placing its roots in downtown Grinnell. Matt has been actively involved in the community contributing his leadership, educational & service contributions to: Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell Community Day Care and Pre-school, Grinnell School Music, Grinnell Newburg School District, City of Grinnell, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell College, along with multiple youth athletic programs. In 2015 Matt purchased his office building from his landlord. Since then he has purchased and renovated several downtown buildings.

Matt enjoys brainstorming, connecting with new people, reading, learning new skills, traveling with his family, and cheering on his middle school son, Erik at his events.

Council Member Jo Wray

Jo Wray, Second Ward

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Current term expires 12/31/27

Jo grew up on a farm south of Grinnell. She is a graduate of Grinnell High School and is a life long resident of Poweshiek County. In 1979 she began her career as Poweshiek County auditor retiring in December 2006. The Grinnell City Council appointed Wray in September 2010 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Steve Witt. She was elected to the position in November of 2010 and ran unopposed.  Jo had served on the Grinnell Public Safety Task Force Committee. Jo is a life long member of the Grinnell United Methodist Church. She also belongs to the Drummond Club and serves on the Greater Grinnell Development Board. As a member of the City Council, Jo serves as Chairman of the Finance committee and as a committee member of the Planning committee. She previously served on the Public Works and Grounds committee.

Jo and her husband, Larry, reside in Grinnell. Their son and two grandchildren also reside in Grinnell. 

Council Member Byron Hueftle-Worley

Byron Hueftle-Worley, At Large 

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Current term expires 12/31/27

Byron has been a Grinnellian for over forty years. He is a graduate of Grinnell High School and the University of Iowa and attended Grinnell College for two years. He served in the United States Army for nine years with tours of duty in Europe and the Middle East.

Byron is the owner of Worley's Woodworking where he makes hand crafted custom furniture and reproduction millwork. He has been a council member since January of 2000.