Leadership Duluth celebrates 32nd graduating class

Leadership Duluth celebrated its 32nd annual program Thursday, holding online festivities for 51 graduating leaders.

Leadership Duluth Director Martha Bremer along with volunteers from the Steering Committee delivered celebratory gift packages to every graduate. The packages include a bottle of champagne and two flutes, an individualized Leadership Duluth plaque and a certificate for dinner from Mid Coast Catering. 

Presenters included Bremer, Hilary Hodgman, Steering Committee chair; Kim Chick, Steering Committee member; Kate VanDaele, 2020 LD class representative and David Ross, president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Steering Committee members Tonya Loken and Julie Visger presented a toast to the Class of 2020 and the formal presentation of graduates.

Developed by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Duluth is a comprehensive leadership training program that educates participants about Duluth’s cultural and business history, as well as the current issues facing the Duluth area.  The program focuses on the elements necessary to develop leaders who are invested in community health. In its 32 years, more than 1,300 area professionals have completed the Leadership Duluth program. 

The 2020 Leadership Duluth graduates include: Emily Anderson, Essentia Health; Katherine Becker, St. Luke's Hospital; Daniel Berg, National Bank of Commerce; Paula Castleman, United Piping Inc.; Sara Cole, Duluth Area Family YMCA; Gregory Cooper, TKDA Architects and Engineers; Phil Davidson, Creative Arcade; Eric Dott, Barr Engineering Co.; Lindsey Dueland, Northwestern Mutual; Mark Evans, The Jamar Co.; Jean Farmakes, LHB, Inc.; Sarah FitzGerald, Wells Fargo; Mary Garness, St. Louis County; Ryan Gigliotti, 148th Fighter Wing; Eric Goetz, Life House, Inc.; Elizabeth Hanson, UnitedHealth Group – Optum; Sarah Hanson, Members Cooperative Credit Union; Nathan Hartman, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District; Grant Hauschild, Essentia Health Foundation; Jessica Hehir, Flint Group; Hillary Heinz, Whole Foods Co-op; Ruth Heitke, ZMC Hotels; Michael Henderson, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America; Blake Johnston, U.S. Bank; Michael Kerr, Bent Paddle/Heaven's Best; Steve Klinga, UnitedHealthcare; Courtney Klow, Fleet Farm; Melissa La Tour, Junior League of Duluth; Brittany Lind, Greater Downtown Council; Elizabeth Mayne, Head of the Lakes United Way; Janie Moore, Entrepreneur Fund; Jessica Natus, Wipfli LLP; Sara Niemi, Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA); Brian Peltier, Fryberger Buchanan, Smith and Fredrick; Matt Privette, Real Living Messina & Associates; Connor Randall, Republic Bank; Jennifer Riden, UMD Center for Economic Development; Darlene Rossetti, ALLETE, Inc.; Samantha Schmidt, Braun Intertec; Pamela Schmitt, Minnesota Power/ALLETE; Karl Schuettler, The Northspan Group, Inc.; 

Samantha Smingler, Great Lakes Aquarium; Zach Steinhoff, Northwood Children's Services; Gracia Swensen, CHUM; Wilson Taylor, American Engineering and Testing; Robby Terry, DECC; Jeff Ubl, Barr Engineering Company; Matthew Vaillant, North Shore Investments & Trust; Kate Van Daele, City of Duluth; Amanda Van Kilsdonk, Essentia Health; Bill Whiteside, RSM US LLP, and Steve Wick, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.