John Persell came to Minnesota from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota after his discharge from active military service. Using his GI Bill, John attended and graduated from Bemidji State University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry. John gained employment as a Water Quality Planner with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in November of 1978. Soon thereafter John opened the MCT Water Research Laboratory in Cass Lake, Minnesota. John was Director of the MCT Water Research Lab from 1978 until 2006. The Lab gained Federal Drinking Water Certification in 1983, employing up to eight staff providing drinking water analyses for local and regional jurisdictions throughout the Great Lakes States. The MCT Research Lab also specialized in the research and development of lake water quality management plans for Tribes, Counties and Lake Associations. During this time John also served on the Frohn Township Board. From 2006 until 2019 John worked as an Environmental Policy Analyst for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO), retiring in March of 2019. John remains a Technical Consultant for the LLBO regarding efforts to clean up the Saint Regis Superfund Site in Cass Lake. John and his wife Teresa enjoy their children, grandchildren and outdoor activities. John is serving in his tenth year in the Minnesota House of Representatives and is Chairman of the House Environment Policy Committee. John also currently serves on the House Veterans Committee, Labor Committee, Environment Finance Committee and Greater Minnesota Economic Development Committee.