20 Under 40 Q&A: Cara LindbergMarketing specialist, Upper Lakes Foods Inc.
Get to know Cara Lindberg
Occupation: Marketing specialist, Upper Lakes Foods Inc.
What do you actually do? Plan, develop and implement sales, marketing, customer service and sustainability strategies and programs.
Years in your job: 1
Education: University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Family: Husband, Craig Lindberg.
Community involvement: Board president of Sustainable Twin Ports.
What brought you to the Twin Ports?
I was born and raised in Duluth. I spent five years in the Twin Cities and moved back to Duluth in 2006. I am a Duluth-lifer!
What do you like to do during your free time?
My husband and I live on a lake so we like to kayak and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
Describe your favorite place in the Twin Ports.
Oh, that’s tough. I like to visit local, indie-restaurants with friends. I love that so many of our restaurateurs are promoting locally sourced menu concepts. Buy local! Outside of the city, nothing beats the North Shore of Lake Superior. There is something spiritual about our great lake.
What do you like most about the Northland?
I am passionate about the hospitality industry, so Duluth and my work at Upper Lakes Foods is a perfect fit for me. The majority of my experience is in hotels and restaurants and nothing makes me happier than creating an amazing experience for people visiting Duluth. In addition, the big lake and our natural green spaces make me feel close to nature at all times, which is important to me.
How can the Northland retain younger people?
Jobs! I believe that we are responsible for supporting and growing local businesses. We all have a choice every day where and how we spend our money. One way to support our friends and neighbors is by consciously choosing to spend our money with locally owned and operated businesses. By keeping more of our dollars in the community we will grow a stronger economy, which will lead to job growth and increased opportunity for a younger population.
Who or what has made the biggest impact on your life?
In 2006, I was on a camping trip with friends in northern Minnesota and had an “ah-hah” moment. It was sort of a “spiritual epiphany” that changed the way I was thinking about the world and the environment at the time. I was living without much care for the sustainability of our planet and I knew that needed to change. Ultimately, that experience changed the direction of my life. I moved back to Duluth that year.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about the sustainable care of our planet; environmentally, economically and socially. I am the board president of Sustainable Twin Ports, a local nonprofit that facilitates sustainability training for businesses and organizations. Our training gives businesses and organizations the tools to create a strategic plan for their sustainable future.
How have social and business networking sites changed your life?
Social media has changed how the game is played. I have found that I have benefited both personally and professionally by maintaining a positive social media presence. It creates a platform for networking that is second to none. Professionally, social media has helped to create a community for our Upper Lakes Foods customers, potential customers, vendors and employees.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
I think that being elected board president of Sustainable Twin Ports is my biggest accomplishment to date. The opportunity that my fellow board members and Early Adopter Alumni have to make an impact in our community through sustainable education and networking is limitless. The Sustainable Twin Ports Family, which today is 26 organizations strong, is taking meaningful and strategic steps every day towards a sustainable future. I believe that the Twin Ports is well on its way to being one of the most sustainable communities in the United States. How cool is that?
What advice would you give other young people?
Network yourself. Go to chamber events. Volunteer. Serve on boards. Maintain a professional, responsible and engaging social media presence.
Find something that you are passionate about and you won’t have to work a day in your life!