Being elected from a major political party inevitably means to be trapped. It means being confined within the guardrails of party policies. Being truly independent I have no obligation to any special interest group. I want nothing to do with being owned by a political base.

Life Lessons

2010 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

As it would be with anyone, declaring bankruptcy was difficult and painful. Any success I enjoyed in my career was a result of cooperation and trust with employees, investors, lenders, and others involved in my business. I tried to avoid bankruptcy but because of certain loan arrangements could not. My bankruptcy was not the result of a lavish lifestyle or blatant mismanagement of my companies. If it was, I could have never gone to my creditors with a reorganization plan that would gain their support.

The great recession and financial collapse of 2008 created many victims. It is a matter of public record that companies that were renting my assets went bankrupt themselves and did not pay their rent. Rather than ducking responsibility, I chose to address my financial crisis head on and with candor:

  1. I acted in a timely manner, which is important in helping to avoid digging a deeper hole for creditors.
  2. I declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is a reorganizational bankruptcy as opposed to a Chapter 7 liquidation. There were numerous ownership entities in a variety of investments including real estate, aviation, service, and tech companies. All bankruptcies including mine are a matter of public record.
  3. A reorganization plan with creditors was achieved. My reorganization plan won a 100% vote of approval by the creditors.  It is very unusual to have total agreement on the part of creditors when a plan gets voted on. In fact, the bankruptcy judge described it a “minor miracle” to have 100% approval of a plan.

I’ve never made excuses for my bankruptcy, nor have I have shied away from acknowledging how personally difficult it was for everyone involved, including me. I was fortunate to have a long stretch of success driven by hard work and some good luck. With more hard work and good luck, I have come back strong. Every day, I offer thanks for the many blessings in my life and I am even more thankful to be living in America, the land of opportunity and second chance.

Mortgage Fraud Investigation

Jerry Trooien was born the second of four children to Ozzie and Gerry Trooien. Both parents were of Scandinavian background. Jerry’s father came from immigrant farmers who settled on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota.

A proud Minnesotan, Jerry grew up on St. Paul’s East Side.  From his early childhood, Jerry loved sports and non-fiction/fiction stories of heroes who fought for justice and the downtrodden.  He grew up surrounded by parents and other families who believed in the value of hard work and being recognized not for how rich you were, but for how richly you lead your life. To this day, Jerry sees himself as a product of growing up on the East Side.

From an early age, Jerry was competitive and loved sports.  At age 7, he was able to negotiate his way into playing Little League even though the minimum age requirement was 8. The simple  reason was his love to play.

“As a kid my nightmares were about not being able to participate in the game because equipment would not fit or something else prevented being able to play. Those were some bad dreams!”

Like many kids, his athletic dedication and passion to play became a centerpiece of his growing up..  Jerry attended St. Paul Harding High school where he played football, hockey and baseball. Through supportive parents and hard work, he was honored as St. Paul Public School Athlete of the Year in 1965 and received All-City, All-State and High School All-American (Hockey) awards. Jerry  was honored to be chosen as one of the 100 Greatest Athletes of the first 100 years of St. Paul Public School Athletics.

After High School, Jerry attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where he played football and hockey. He still holds school passing records.  After graduating he had contracts with the Washington Redskins and his beloved Minnesota Vikings. He also had experience in professional hockey including playing in Europe .

“As it has been said, sports does not build character it reveals it. Sports is not the only place for a kid to develop their character. For some it comes thru the arts or school or simply the challenges of a difficult life. For me it is what I liked to do and it taught me great lessons of teamwork and striving hard. Also, there is something redemptive about getting knocked on your butt and getting up.”

After sports Jerry dove head first into the business world. He never had any training nor ever took a business class in college. Over the course of 30 years, he grew from nothing to being one of the largest real estate investors in Minnesota, owning millions of square feet of commercial space, numerous residential and rental buildings. He has also had companies in the medical device, bio-science, mining, software and aviation industries.

In 1992, he married his wife Janice.  They worked together in business and in raising a family.  When Janice died in 2009 at 54 years old of ovarian cancer, Jerry had to raise their 15-year old daughter and 11-year old son (another daughter was in college) while trying to weather through one of the worst economic recessions in American history.

During this extremely trying time, of which he had to re-organize his businesses to survive while the economy recovered and personally recover from what he has called “the most painful experience of his life” with the passing of Janice, Jerry re-committed himself to building a better future not just for his family but also for Minnesota.

“Janice’s death was the most painful experience of my life, a very difficult thing to go through that unfortunately many people share. I am so grateful for the gift of marriage and family.”

Through resilient determination he has recovered from those very trying times that so many Americans also had to experience. He has been blessed to have recovered in his business. Faith and belief are at the center of his thinking. Jerry sees gratitude as the key. Gratitude for the opportunities America and Minnesota offer. He also accepts the challenge of being open minded and being a critical thinker.

“I am never too smart to believe I have all the answers.  I love to learn and absorb the wisdom of people around me.

“We can learn from those who help us get a deal done as well as from the deal that you get done but then might turn around and kick your butt. ‘Deal’ does not mean just business but includes all the interactions and relationships of your life. The key to success is always commitment which leads to consistency. I see myself as committed and consistent.”


Non-Real Estate Ownership Experience

  • Team Parking, an off airport parking company, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • JetChoice, private membership company, St. Paul, MN
  • Central Distribution, public warehouse and trucking company, St. Paul, MN
  • Lake Region Building Maintenance, Inc., St. Paul, MN
  • Nazca Solutions, wireless software company in the real estate title service industry, Minneapolis, MN
  • JLT Group, Inc. commercial real estate management company, St. Paul, MN
  • Support Our Schools, Not-for-profit organization, supporting public education in St. Paul, MN
  • Corsair, avaition holding company, St. Paul, MN
  • ACM, avaiation management and charter company, Austin, TX
  • Medical Manufacturing Company, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Numerous public company investments

Aircraft Projects As Owner

  • 42 Boeing 727
  • 3 Saab 340A
  • 2 Falcon 900B
  • 2 Falcon 50
  • 1 Embraer Legacy 600 EMB-135 BJ
  • 3 Gulfstream G-200
  • 1 Challenger 600
  • 1 Eurocopter EC 120B
  • 1 Falcon 10
  • 6 American Eurocopter EC-155-B1

Real Estate Projects As Owner

  • 150 room Sheraton Hotel & restaurant, Woodbury, MN
  • 800,000 square foot warehouse/office/cooler/freezer, St Paul, MN
  • 350,000 square foot office, St. Paul, MN – Comcast as tenant
  • 610,000 square foot office/warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 290,000 square foot office, Minnetonka, MN
  • 75,600 square foot office, Arden Hills, MN
  • 70,000 square foot office, Minnetonka, MN
  • 232,000 square foot office, Roseville, MN
  • 277,000 square foot office/warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 240,000 square foot office/warehouse, Minneapolis, MN
  • 325,000 square foot office, St. Paul, MN – US Bank a single tenant
  • 230,000 square foot office, Minnetonka, MN
  • 190,000 square foot office/warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 58,000 square foot office/warehouse, Golden Valley, MN
  • 55,000 square foot office, Minneapolis, MN
  • 50,000 square foot office, Edina, MN
  • 45,000 square foot office/warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 38,000 square foot warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 30,000 square foot office, Edina, MN
  • 15,000 square foot office/retail, St. Paul, MN
  • 115,000 square foot office, Minneapolis, MN
  • 113,000 square foot warehouse, St Paul, MN
  • 475,000 square foot warehouse, Fridley, MN
  • 127,000 square foot office/warehouse, Bloomington, MN
  • 125,000 square foot office/warehouse, Minneapolis, MN
  • 120,000 square foot office, St. Paul, MN
  • 115,000 square foot office/warehouse, Minneapolis, MN
  • 115,000 square foot warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 102,000 square foot warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 101,000 square foot office, St. Paul, MN
  • 90,000 square foot office/warehouse, Eden Prairie, MN
  • 80,000 square foot warehouse, St. Paul, MN
  • 65,000 square foot office/warehouse, Minneapolis, MN
  • 52 acres, Downtown Riverfront, St. Paul, MN
  • 5 acres near Mpls./St. Paul International Airport, St. Paul, MN
  • 16 acres on Interstate 494, Woodbury, MN
  • 27 acres on Interstate 694, Fridley, MN
  • 111 acres on Interstates 494/94, Woodbury, MN
  • 25,000 square foot office, Edina, MN
  • 15,000 square foot office/warehouse, Minneapolis, MN

Residential Projects As Owner

  • 24 Acres, 50-Lot development, Woodbury, MN
  • 865-unit project, Madison, WI
  • 68-unit (townhomes), Bloomington, MN
  • 40-unit (townhomes), Bloomington, MN
  • 38-unit, Eagan, MN
  • 3,274 square foot condo unit, Lake Tahoe, CA
  • 3,540 square foot condo unit, Deer Valley, UT
  • 32 Residential Lot Development, Woodbury, MN
  • 108 units, New Hope, MN
  • 95 units, Minneapolis, MN
  • 60 units, Golden Valley-New Hope, MN
  • 164 condominiums, Minnetonka MN
  • 30 units, Roseville, MN
  • 12 units, Newport, MN

L E A R N  M O R E


B I O / H I S T O R Y