Dan Hartman selected to lead Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

The DECC board unanimously voted on Friday to appoint the Glensheen director to the role.

Dan Hartman Headshot.jpg
Dan Hartman
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The director of Glensheen Mansion and former Duluth City Councilor Dan Hartman has been tapped to serve as the next director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. He will succeed Interim Director Roger Reinert in the role.

During his eight years at Glensheen, a historic museum owned and operated by the University of Minnesota, Hartman is credited for boosting visitor traffic and raising the mansion's profile as a regional attraction. In his current post, Hartman oversees a staff of more than 100 people.

"I come with a wide variety of existing relationships with stakeholders, not only in Duluth, but across the state of Minnesota in the tourism industry," Hartman told the board. "I also have a legislative and political background that will be of use in the near future, as the DECC's facilities begin to age more and more.

PREVIOUSLY: Reinert named acting director of Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Chelly Townsend departs after more than 30 years of service to the facility.
"I want to make sure the DECC continues on a strong financial path, and I want us to know why," Hartman said. "So, one of the first things I want to do is create a data dashboard so that we know where our different profit centers are, we know who our audience is and that that information is consistently kept up so that the board and staff kind of know all of those things."


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Glensheen staff from left: Paige Patterson, Josh Schlueter, Director Dan Hartman and Blake Romenesko get a good look July 11, 2019, at the diving bell workers dug up inside the Glensheen boathouse. (Tyler Schank / File / News Tribune)

Addressing the DECC's board of directors Friday, Don Ness, who headed up the search committee for a new director, said: "It has been a long journey, but we could not be more pleased with the end result." He noted that the committee met more than 20 times over the past four months, retaining the services of a national recruiter, Orion Search Group, to look for the strongest candidate.

After Hartman spoke to the DECC's board Friday, Ness told fellow members that the search committee met with their recommended candidate for more than two hours.

"I think what you got is just the very tip of the iceberg in terms of Dan's ideas and initiative and enthusiasm for this role," Ness said. "That's why we came away from those conversations really impressed and confident that Dan is the right person for this job at a really critically important time for our organization."

The board unanimously voted to appoint Hartman executive director of the DECC after meeting for less than 15 minutes Friday afternoon.

Details of his salary were not immediately available, as the executive board of the organization was authorized Friday to address the future "terms and conditions" of Hartman's employment. A job description for the executive director position listed the salary range as $125,000-$160,000.

Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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