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SVP International

John Wernz

Tell us about yourself.
I am a life-long Minnesotan who loves everything about our state. I’m married with two teenage children. Recently, I changed from a fulltime Chief Marketing Officer role at a private equity led financial services firm after 10+ years. My current goal is to avoid full time work and spend time on interesting investments and nonprofits. This allows me to have more family time for the few remaining years our kids are home. All that said, this plan started in March, right when COVID hit, and I might be home more than everyone expected!

What attracted you to SVP and inspired you to be an engaged philanthropist?
I am an investor in several venture capital funds and also sit on several nonprofit boards. SVP is the perfect blend of both! I was also very motivated by the current mission and committees to support.

If you could have lunch with one person living or dead, who would it be and why?
Abraham Lincoln. As a history nerd, I am amazed by his approach to leadership. One of my favorite books is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love the outdoors. Boating, hiking, hunting, golfing…any excuse to be outside. I also love things people consider geeky, especially reading and technology.