Community leaders

For more than three decades, Leadership Duluth has been educating and empowering Duluth area leaders to take an active role in the betterment of their community and workplaces. “Participants demonstrated tenacity and resilience as we adapted the program throughout the year within those evolving COVID-19 restrictions,” said Martha Bremer, director of Leadership Duluth. “It has been a testament to the true leaders this group has become.”

Developed by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Duluth is a comprehensive leadership training program. Leadership Duluth 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 33 years, more than 1,350 area professionals have completed the Leadership Duluth program. Leadership Duluth thanks North Shore Bank for its premier sponsorship.

Bremer, along with volunteers from the LD Steering Committee, hosted a commencement to recognize the hard work completed throughout the 10-month program. Presenters at the ceremony on June 24 included: Tonya Loken, Steering Committee Chair; David Ross, President & CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce; Jon Otis, Steering Committee Member; Ben Helmer, 2021 LD Class Representative; and a formal presentation of the 2021 graduates by Hilary Hodgman and Kim Chick, both members of the Steering Committee.

Congratulations to the 2021 Leadership Duluth graduates:

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  • Rachel Downs, Housing & Redevelopment Authority of Duluth.

  • Stephanie Elzen, Architectural Resources, Inc.

  • Anthony Hansen, ALLETE, Inc.

  • Ben Helmer, Meyer Borgman Johnson.

  • Krystal Hoheisel, AimClear.

  • Jesse Hurtig, UnitedHealthcare.

  • Jordon Johnson, Life House.

  • Kerry Jo Johnson, Miller-Dwan Foundation.

  • Laura Johnson, The College of St. Scholastica.

  • Ellie Just; Stacey Jutila, Essentia Health.

  • Richard Kaufman, MN Air National Guard -148th Fighter Wing.

  • Scott Kishel, Viking Automatic Sprinkler Co.

  • Sarah Klyve, Proctor Public Schools.

  • Morgana Kolenda, Northwood Children’s Services.

  • Rachel Loeffler-Kemp, Head of the Lakes United Way.

  • Jason Marshall, North Shore Bank.

  • Brian Mickelson, TKDA.

  • Shane Nies, Architecture Advantage, LLC.

  • Kala Kay Pedersen, Essentia Health.

  • Robin Pestalozzi, Essentia Health Foundation.

  • Kristen Pollard, Optum.

  • Scott Prom, MN Air National Guard -148th Fighter Wing.

  • Allison Ray, Stantec.

  • Jonathan Reznick, MidCoast Catering / The Rambler.

  • Eric Rhame, DSGW Architects.

  • Justin Riemer, Members Cooperative Credit Union.

  • Jeffrey Ruprecht, Creative Arcade.

  • Hannah Serre, Lake Superior Dental.

  • Hal Spott, Hanft Fride, A Professional Association.

  • Lori Swanson, St. Luke’s.

  • Mary Tennis, St. Louis County.

  • Bailey Vollom, Essentia Health.

  • Amanda Vuicich, The Northspan Group, Inc.

  • Brianna Waldoch, Junior League of Duluth.

People interested in learning more about the Leadership Duluth program can visit