Minnetonka alum earns Distinguished Service Award
Carl Zinn of Zinn Family Realtors has given much to the community throughout the years, though recently it was his turn to receive.
Zinn, who graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1961, was presented with a Distinguished Service Award from the Minnetonka Alumni Association. Zinn, as well as several other recipients of various awards, received the honor Sept. 29 during the association’s annual Alumni Awards Brunch Program.
Earning him the award – his generosity to the community. Zinn’s list of donations include founding trustee of the Minnetonka Foundation for Excellence in Public Education and a founding member of “Our Community, Our Youth,” which helps students and others in a number of ways.
“It’s an investment in the youth and community,” Zinn said. “The schools are very important to me.”
He’s also been involved with the Minnetonka Booster Club and continues to sponsor numerous school district athletic teams and activities. In that regard, anyone in attendance at almost any Minnetonka Schools athletic game, fine arts event or other activity is most likely to see a paid ad from Zinn Family Realtors in the program.
In addition, ever since founding his real estate firm in Deephaven, the focus on selling homes in the Minnetonka District is a top priority. Zinn has spread the message to prospective homebuyers about the quality of the district’s schools.
“When families are looking for their first place to live in Minnesota, the first thing they ask is how are the schools,” Zinn said. “My involvement in the Minnetonka Schools over the years is a reflection of how strongly I feel about the quality of the education and the support the district and its fine people provide for students. I feel strongly about giving back to this fine district.”
Zinn’s firm is composed of Zinn and his wife, Ali, and two of their sons, both Minnetonka High School graduates.
“Working and contributing to a school district is most important,” Zinn said. “We just never say no.”
Also, Zinn says being recognized is an honor but hopes the reason for recognition rubs off on others.
“When you recognize people contributing to whatever it encourages others to do good as well,” he said. “The school district recognizes all the accomplishments to build a sense of community, and the school district benefits by being part of vibrant healthy community.”
Several others received awards during the Alumni Association banquet this fall. Recipients of Distinguished Alumni Awards were Tom Staggs, a ‘78 MHS graduate and the chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts; and Mark Kroll, a ’70 MHS graduate and the holder of more than 290 issued or pending patents.
Named to the MHS Skippers Hall of Fame were Bruce Johnson (’66), a former state high school mile champion; Steve Comer (’72), a former pitcher with the Texas Rangers and other Major League Baseball teams; Justin McHugh (’91), a four-year hockey standout at the University of Minnesota; and Missy Peterson Fowler (’95), an all-time great women’s college basketball player at the College of Charleston, S.C.
Named to the Faculty Hall of Fame were: Ed Haley, a former guidance counselor and teacher in the district; and Harold Melby, the former principal of Groveland School.
Zinn Family Realtors, which is part of Coldwell Banker Burnet, has certainly had plenty of success over the years, as it has closed on more than $500 million worth of sales since the ‘80s. Good portions of those sales have taken place within the boundary of the Minnetonka School District.