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Meet Lindsey Dueland

- 6 October 2015, 10:38 amHow well do you know the movers and shakers of Duluth? Meet Lindsey Dueland, Chair of the Fuse Volunteer Focus Committee and Financial Solutions Consultant at Members Cooperative Credit Union. Lindsey is an outstanding example of a young professional who is inspiring others to volunteer within our community.

What have been the benefits of being involved with Fuse Duluth for you?
Benefits of my Fuse involvement: Learning how to network, helping me break out of my shell, meeting other young professionals in the area, learning more about Duluth itself and learning to really love and appreciate it regardless of the cold.

Why are you passionate about Project Party? 

I am passionate about Project Party because I am passionate about people. Everyone needs to feel they are loved and important and this is one way to do that.

Why should young professionals volunteer? 
Giving back to your community is of the utmost importance. Community can’t happen if we live detached. Volunteering gives a us that sense of community as opposed to simply donating monetarily. There is a fulfillment you get from volunteering that you can’t get anywhere else.

The Bridge Syndicate

- 30 July 2015, 10:18 am
 Article published in BusinessNorth, November-December 2001

Jessica Poskozim and her friends frequently get together to socialize, network with other young business professionals, have fun and work in their gardens.

Others in the group are working to introduce younger people to the local symphony, and help outdoor enthusiasts link up for new adventures.

They also have come up with an economic development report they plan to submit at the Duluth Economic Summit.

Poskozim is part of the steering committee for the Bridge Syndicate, a group of under-30-somethings who are breaking all the stereotypes about young people being unwilling to get involved in serious issues.

There’s no hard membership count or weekly lunch meeting with dues and rules and jokes. Hundreds of people are connected by email, with dozens meeting informally in small groups to work on specific projects or plan particular events.

The goal is to create an atmosphere that makes young workers – and entrepreneurs – stay in town.
It’s working for Poskozim. “I got involved last January because I’m not from the area,” she said. “I like it. It’s a good way to meet people.” 

A native of the Menominee, WI area, she works at The College of St. Scholastica and lives with her husband in Superior.

At the heart of the group is City Councilor Donny Ness, a young but already successful politician.
“He’s so organized, and he encourages all to start our own subgroups,” she said.

The group isn’t just looking for ways people can help them find fun and friends. They understand their economic impact, and they use it by meeting at small, locally owned restaurants and bars.

The report to the summit isn’t new research, but a synthesis of suggestions made throughout the community. Bridge members organized them into a list of priorities they want the city to address.
    Key suggestions include:
  • Focus economic development efforts on specific industries to gain critical mass, rather than scattering efforts under the broad heading of technology.
  • Create a higher education/community strategic planning process, with faculty and staff taking a role in local issues.
  • Create an innovation business center to aid new businesses by organizing all economic development, technical and other services in one place. Make agencies assess services, eliminate duplication and streamline access.
  • Create a culture of willingness to change and accept new ideas, particularly in welcoming new business ideas.

The Evolving College Connection Program

- 31 March 2015, 3:34 pm

Jonathan Ballmer
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

The College Connection program was started as a way to connect area college students with local professionals and businesses to retain talent in our community.  Through the years, the program has had mixed results.  With some great success stories and some not so memorable experiences.  

In the early stages of planning for the 2014-2015 school year, the College Connection Committee set out to strategically improve the percentage of success stories generated from this program.  To ensure success, a thorough review of the program was required to ensure each component supported the overall mission.

We began by focusing on creating engaging programming.  The vision was to provide exposure, experiences, and opportunities for discussion that students are unable to get in the classroom.  We have had great participation and received excellent feedback at our events throughout the year.  This feedback has helped guide the continued enhancement of the program.  Some of the main enhancements for the upcoming year include:

1.) Alternate and Additional Programming: Unfortunately, not everyone is able to make it to every event.  We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to learn the same content.  Therefore, we will be adding alternative DIY event programs, for those that cannot attend a scheduled event.  We will also have take-away activities for our pairs to complete between our regularly scheduled events, that relate to the topics we are discussing.

2.) Transparent Content: To ensure potential participants understand the components and how they relate to the overall program.  The following Program Workflow Diagram was created:

Connecting -> Brand Awareness -> Self Marketing -> Making Connections & Establishing Relationships -> Community & Philanthropy -> Reflection & Stepping Out

3.)  Recruitment Schedule:  Student recruitment and applications are being pushedup from the fall to the spring for the upcoming school year.  This will allow for significantly more time to find ideal pairs for interested students, professionals, and businesses.
Hopefully the continued refinements of this program will result in more success stories and a higher retention of our area's talented students, which in turn will support the growth of our local businesses.

Holiday Traditions

- 3 December 2014, 9:19 am
Tiersa Dodge
DSGW Architects
Old man winter blew in early this year.  Though Thanksgiving has just past, it already feels like time to start thinking about Christmas.  When I think of Christmas I think of tradition.
Whether you are carrying on passed down traditions from Ma and Pa or creating new ones, it’s something to look forward to.  For some of you it may be moving around the mischievous Elf on the Shelf or making long forgotten treats from your homeland.
We are all familiar with the typical traditions of the U.S., though there are many cultures that celebrate the holiday.  So I’d like to share with you some (seemingly strange) traditions beyond our shores.
Catalan region of Spain
El Tio de Nadal or Christmas Log is a character in Catalan mythology.  The custom is to hollow out a log, add legs and a face, then you must feed it daily starting on December 8th, the Feast of Immaculate Conception, then cover it at night so it doesn’t get cold.    On Christmas one puts it in the fireplace and orders it to defecate, while beating with sticks and singing until it releases candies, fruits, and nuts.  When it’s spent, the final object to drop is a salt herring, garlic bulb, or an onion.  Don’t forget to sing the song, it can only help. – I suggest you look that up for yourself!

Czech Republic
Single women toss their shoe on Christmas Eve to know if they will marry the following year.  They turn their back to the front door and toss the shoe over their shoulder.  If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, she will stay single for the coming year.  If the front of the shoe faces the door, she will marry and move out from her parent’s home in the next year.  Now, it’s unclear what happens if the shoe is turned 90 degrees.  I guess she’d have to wait until the Christmas.

Slovakia and Ukraine
A most messy tradition of throwing food.  Sure does sound like fun though.  At the start of Christmas Eve dinner, the head of the family starts tossing “Loksa”, a traditional dish of bead, poppyseed filling and water, at the ceiling.  The more Loksa that sticks to the ceiling the better the harvest of crops the next year.  Unfortunately for the women of the household, they get the job of cleaning it up.

Caracas, Venezuela
The morning of Christmas Day the streets of Caracas are closed down to car traffic.  The entire city is encouraged to rollerskate to early morning Christmas Mass.  Later in the evening, instead of caroling, people beat drums until the stroke of midnight.  At midnight everyone shouts “Jesus is born” (in Spanish obviously) and light up the sky with fireworks.

The pickle ornament.  The pickle ornament is the last to be hung on the Christmas tree.  Many times it is past down from generation to generation.  It should be hidden when hung-it is green after all, and the first child to find it receives a gift on the morning of Christmas day and good luck for all of the next year.  Though it seems this tradition has become more of a legend these days.

There are many more strange traditions out there, google will fill you in.
At this stage it our lives it prime time to start your own new traditions and choose which to carry on from the past.
In the spirit of the holiday this year, at our home we are starting the tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree.  What traditions do you hold dear? 


- 26 November 2014, 12:21 pm

Brian Nystrom
UMD Athletics

Thanksgiving time is a time for family and friends.  It is time to kick back, relax, and enjoy some down time.  As young professionals it is important to take the time over the Holiday season to recharge the batteries and get ready for the busy Holiday season or to look back and review your accomplishments from the previous year.  

Thanksgiving is a time for laughter, old traditions, and new traditions. This to me is the best part of this Holiday.  Enjoying Mom's green bean casserole and cheesy hash browns as well as watching Thanksgiving football throughout the day.  Whatever your traditions may be, make sure you take it in as the new year will be here before we know it and Thanksgiving time with family in the rear view mirror.  

But before you take off across the State of Hockey or travel between state lines, enjoy this few video clips to get your Thanksgiving started off on the right foot.  

1.  Kissing Family (SNL) (let's hope if you visit your significant other, this isn't how it goes)
2.  Jimmy Fallon #ThanksgivingFails
3.  Adam Sandler Thanksgiving Song 


5 Winter Hacks for Hacks That Forget How to Do Winter

- 18 November 2014, 1:28 pm
Rachel Malone

Winter is here! Ugh. As I was scraping off my windshield, this morning, with my Walgreen’s Reward Card, I had a brilliant idea for the next Fuse Duluth blog post: 5 Winter Hacks for Hacks That Forget How to Do Winter. As a native Minnesotan and a “seasoned” Duluthian, below are some tips and tricks that I have picked up over the years.

1. Prevent Icy Windshield with Vinegar
Supplies: Spray bottle, white vinegar, water, and an old rag
Directions: Mix 3 parts vinegar to one part water, in a small water bottle. Spray your windshield with the mixture, liberally. Then wipe off your windshield with the old rag.
In the morning, you will have a frost free (or relatively frost free) windshield! If you’re like me, you hate leaving the comfort of your home, early in the morning, to start your car. This can shave valuable minutes off of your morning prep by eliminating the strenuous scraping!

2. Place Beer (or other liquids) Between Inner and Outer Windows
Supplies: Bent Paddles’ Cold Press Black Ale in cans
Directions: Place the cans in between the inner window pane and the outer window/screen. If you don’t have the old school double window panes, place your beverages in a cooler, outside.
Free up some room in your refrigerator and let nature work for you! Downside- once we hit those double-digit-negative temperatures, bring that beer back inside. Nothing is worse than an exploded beer can in between two window panes.

3. Old Socks on Your Windshield Wipers
Supplies: Old socks
Directions: At night, lift your windshield wipers in their upright position and place old socks over the wipers.
Another time saver! Never lose the rubber wiper to a frozen windshield again! Keeping the wipers warm and cozy will ensure a greater scrape in the morning and reduced risk of breaking the wiper. If only, I would have thought of this last winter before I lost 3 sets of wipers to my frozen windshield.

4. Tinfoil Between the Wall and Your Wall-Mounted Heater
Supplies: Tin-foil and electrical tape
Directions: Place a layer of tin-foil, with electrical tape around the edges, on the wall behind your old school heater.
The tin-foil will reflect the heat back into your apartment/house and save your valuable heat (and money) from absorbing into the wall. Anything that can save you money on those wonderful Duluth heating bills!

5. Dry out Boots with Newspaper
Supplies: wet/soggy boots and old newspaper
Directions: Instead of placing you wet boots by a heater to dry out, stuff them with newspaper.
The newspaper will absorb the moisture quicker and more efficiently than the heat source. You may need to replace the newspaper a few times but it will help keep those valuable Uggs in pristine condition.

Transplanted in Duluth

- 22 October 2014, 2:43 pm
Joe Jurewicz, PE, LEED AP 
MSA Professional Services, Inc.

Being a Duluthian is a description of choice, one that means a little something different to each and every resident of this historic city on Lake Superior. Some of us are natives and some of us, like myself, are transplants. I reflect on this because as the wind gets crisp, I recall the chuckles that I encounter when I tell people I moved from Miami to Duluth. Sometimes the chuckle is encountered by some other expressions, but the point is made. The question I repeatedly get is “What in the world made you come to Duluth?” 

The answer is – many things. Duluth has its strengths and weaknesses, just like anywhere else. For me, finding reasonable housing was a challenge and showed me one of Duluth’s weaknesses.  Don’t get me wrong, the housing market within the city has character and charm, but it also lacks affordable, updated homes.  Fortunately our city leaders have noticed the necessity to add to the housing available to residents.  Programs have been started that are looking at repurposing vintage properties in Duluth such as the Lester Park Golf Course and developers are building and expanding throughout our great city.  Not to mention programs like Build Up Duluth are available to provide potential homeowners generous incentives to build on vacant lots in the East and Central Hillside neighborhoods. 

I’ve found my home in Duluth. In this city, I can walk from my house to Lester Park and stroll the trails along Amity Creek. Duluth is truly the best outdoor city and the expanding trail network is only making it better for everyone. I can enjoy a beer and watch the port traffic in Canal Park. I spend 10 minutes getting to work in the morning and after work, I can catch up with fellow Fusers at events that take just minutes to get to. Duluth offers great opportunities to those willing to seek them out and I for one feel very privileged to be able to call Duluth my home and revel in all of the strengths our community has to offer. 

So, what makes someone from Miami come to Duluth? I think my native friends have it backwards. What makes someone from Miami not want to come Duluth?

Fall Fun

- 2 October 2014, 2:41 pm

Brian Nystrom 
Director of Marketing & Corporate Relations
University of Minnesota Duluth Athletics

Summer in Duluth is not only the best time of the year in Northern Minnesota but I would place it up against any other place in the US.  We get to enjoy fantastic weather, outdoor living, the world's largest air conditioner (Lake Superior), and numerous festivals and events.  Having lived through 3 Duluth summers I have tried to take advantage of everything it has to offer.  However, when the Days of August hit and summer rolls into fall, we need a reminder that the weather is still good and the summer fun doesn't have to end.

In the fall, FUSE has some great events to connect young professionals in Duluth.  As we continue to grow our presence in the community, it is important to experience everything Duluth has to offer even outside our small gatherings.  So I wanted to list off top 5 great fall fun events to take part of.  None of these are secret but thought they would be fun to grab some fellow friends and FUSE connections.   So without further ado, here we go!

1. Applefest:  Head over to Bayfield for Applefest and experience Fall in all it's glory!  Oct. 3-5
2. UMD Football Game:  Tailgating, fall weather, beer?  You get it all at a Bulldog Football game with new tailgating and hospitality located in the south end zone. Football is made for the fall and for just $10 you can enjoy the game and have access to great beer, Green Mill Pizza, Cold Stone Ice Cream, and Famous Dave's!
3. Comedy Show at the Zeitgeist (Renegade Improv):  Every Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30pm grab some friends and go catch the stand up comedy show at the Zeitgeist.  Get the best of the old "whose line is it anyways?" show right here in Duluth.
4. Malt Shoppe:  Lake Superior, Ice Cream?  Enough Said.
5. Disc Golf:  Get outside and enjoy the great disc golf courses around Duluth which include UMD, St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, and the new Spirit Mountain Course! 

The Evolving Duluth: Breaking the Stereotype

- 18 September 2014, 8:08 am

Jonathan Ballmer
Project Manager
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

Approximately one year ago I received a job opportunity which allowed my family to move to Duluth from the Twin Cities.  As I excitedly shared my news with people, half of them said, “Do you know they don’t have summer there?” and the other half said, “That is awesome!  I love Duluth!”  Out of that second half, roughly half of those people then followed up with, “I would love to live in Duluth, but there aren’t any jobs.”  

I thought to myself, “Do these people really believe this?”  I understand the history of Duluth in the early 1980’s.  On the other hand, I am telling them that I just got a job in Duluth, we were just starting to come out of a recession, and I work in the construction industry.  So as I made my way North up Interstate 35, I began to focus on understanding the identity of Duluth.

Through my time here, I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people throughout the community.  I found an underlying theme in the culture of Duluth; its people are passionate, engaged, and active.  As I look at the City, I see how these values have translated in the form of investment and/or re-investment by many businesses here over the last 5 – 10 years.  As the modern workplace continues to evolve, these values will only help to enhance the appeal of Duluth as people look to establish or grow their organizations.

I now view it as my responsibility to help educate people on the opportunities and possibilities that exist here.  Duluth is not just a great city to visit; it is a great place to live. 

YPro Conference Agenda is Here!

- 17 September 2014, 2:53 pm

September 25, 2014
Sheraton Duluth Hotel

7:30 - 8:15 am Registration

8:15am Keynote Presentation
Positioning Yourself as a Leader - Ted Schick, Schick Corporate Learning
Ted is a charismatic corporate trainer, professional speaker and consultant with his own business, Schick Corporate Learning. A retired naval officer who rose up from the enlisted ranks, Ted has over 30 years experience leading people.

[Corporate Track] In the Mind of the Negotiator: Problem-solving & decision making in the workplace - Jeff Holmes Vice President of Real Estate for maurices
[Entrepreneurial Track] Taking the Leap - Eric Faust Owner of Duluth Coffee Company, Nick Arntz and Elyse Wachendorf of the Happy Wanderer

[Corporate Track] Increase Your Productivity - Pascha Apter of Giant Voices
[Entrepreneurial Track] Spott-On Networking - Pat Spott of Spott Law Office, PA

[Corporate Track] Develop Habits to Build a Successful Life - Karen Stromme of UMD Athletics
[Entrepreneurial Track] Social Media to Grow Your Business - Lucie Amundsen of Locally Laid

12:15pm - 1:00pm Etiquette Luncheon 
Learn the dos and don’ts of dining at the conference’s three course etiquette luncheon presented by event expert Jax Eisenmann, held at Greysolon Ballroom.

1:00 pm Networking Game and Sponsor Booth Visits  

[Corporate Track] Marketing Yourself : Building your personal brand for success - Panel Discussion featuring City Council Member Linda Krug, Brian Hanson of APEX and Pam Solberg-Tapper of Coach for Success
[Entrepreneurial Track] Money Management - Craig Chilcote of Anderson, Kuiti & Asuma, PLLC

3:00pm Keynote Presentation
Work/Life Balance - Don Ness, Mayor of Duluth
Don was elected mayor in 2007 from a field of 12 candidates. Four years later, Ness became the first mayor to run unopposed since Duluth was incorporated in 1887. Despite Don's extremely busy schedule he has found a way to balance his work and his family life, find out how he does it all.

Click to RSVP for this inspiring event.

Interested in sponsorships? Help us prepare a new generation to lead with vision and passion. Contact Martha Bremer for more information.; (218) 740-3754.

Finding Ways to Advance Your Career

- 11 September 2014, 11:46 am
Kristine Jensen
Executive Administrative Assistant

As a woman that has a family, full-time career, and as new grad student at St. Scholastica, I can tell you first hand that my life is busy! I know that there are many people out there that are looking to move forward in your careers and it might not seem like it, but there are many options right here in Duluth.

I made the decision to go back to school because I knew that I could do more and BE more. I realized that, I am the only one that can make the difference in my life, and I decided to do something about it. Having a family, juggling extracurriculars, school and a social life is not going to be easy over the next two years, but the best part is that I can already notice the workings of my brain being retrained and getting back into the mode of writing papers and adhering to deadlines. Not to mention I have already seen my family taking on more responsibility; which is another great perk!  The point is that you need to put yourself out there in order to reap any reward. Without taking even the minimal risk of stepping outside of your comfort zone, how can one ever excel?

One outlet that can be used to enhance your abilities is the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. An opportunity that I personally grew from was the, “Social Media Conference,” that I attended in 2012, held by the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. It gave me expertise in digital networking, social media and a variety of technological ideals. 

Another organization related to the chamber, working to offer young, motivated individuals the opportunity to network and acquire knowledge is the Fuse program. An upcoming opportunity that I feel can be even more rewarding for thriving adults is the, “YPRO to CEO Conference,” on September 25. With such an encouraging atmosphere, engaging speakers and content, I have no doubt that anyone who attends will walk away inspired. 

Going back to school is great, but requires a lot of money and time. Why not be open to new opportunities and check out a Fuse at Five, get on linkedin and join some local business groups that interest you, or visit a Words from the Wise Luncheon, offered by Fuse (this one looks good titled, "Road map to being your own boss!")

I am so excited to be a part of Fuse as it is a new opportunity for me and I look forward to networking with individuals, sharing my story, and being inspired by all of you. 

Beachfront Blues

- 21 August 2014, 11:29 am

How about that Beachfront Blues event?!  Definitely in the running for the best attended Fuse event yet!

If you didn’t make it out, allow me to fill you in on what you missed.  The evening was staged on the private beach of the historic Glensheen Mansion, with access to the grounds to explore at your whim.  Kyle Scherz added his own flavor to familiar tunes, keeping the atmosphere upbeat.  There were scrumptious Blackwoods appetizers that kept you coming back for more, and free beer from Bent Paddle to cleanse your palate.  Top that off with lively lawn games, new friends and ideal weather!  Even the Sundew paid us a visit with a honk from the lake.

If you didn’t make it out to this one, be sure to join us at the next event.  Fuse at Five on the rooftop Eagle Harbor Room of the Inn on Lake Superior, sponsored by Verizon Wireless.  At this free event there’s sure to be fabulous prizes, tempting appetizers, and a cash bar.  Hope to see you there!

Tiersa Dodge
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council - Chair
DSGW Architects

Mark Your Calendar: Y-Pro to CEO Summit

- 30 July 2014, 11:13 am

Fuse is committed to providing our magnificent town’s young professionals with educational offerings that benefit their work, life and the community. On September 25, Fuse will host its third annual regional summit, Y-Pro to CEO: Thriving as a Young Professional. 

This full day conference will feature, motivating keynotes and specialized breakout sessions led by local leaders that are focused on preparing a new generation to lead with vision and passion.
Ted Schick of Schick Corporate Learning will kick off the conference with his keynote presentation on “Positioning Yourself As a Leader: How Great Leaders Inspire Action” Ted is a charismatic corporate trainer, professional speaker and consultant with his own business, Schick Corporate Learning. A retired naval officer who rose up from the enlisted ranks, Ted has over 30 years experience leading people.

Learn the dos and don’ts of dining at the conference’s three course etiquette luncheon presented by event expert Jax Eisenmann, held at Greysolon Ballroom.

Mayor Don Ness will conclude the conference with his keynote presentation on “Work/Life Balance: Methods and Strategies to Keep Your Life Sane.” Don was elected mayor in 2007 from a field of 12 candidates. Four years later, Ness became the first mayor to run unopposed since Duluth was incorporated in 1887. Despite Don’s extremely busy schedule he has found a way to balance his work and his family life, find out how he does it all.

This is a great educational and professional development conference opportunity for our community. Please join us!

When: Thursday, September 25, 2014 
Where:Sheraton Duluth Hotel 
$49 chamber members/$69 nonmembers
Company Group Discounts Available
Click to RSVP 


Burritos, Baseball, and the Big Guy…

- 24 July 2014, 2:18 pm

Last week’s Words from the Wise came from the Wisest of them all, Mayor Don Ness.  Fuse Duluth fans, with the support from Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, gathered in the sunshine at Wade Stadium to hear the Mayor’s take on Duluth’s Great Outdoors, and to nosh on some tasty treats from Qdoba.  Burritos, Baseball, and the Big Guy….a Duluth trifecta!  

Whether you’re new to Duluth or a lifer, odds are good that you have some draw to the outdoors.  With Outside magazine choosing Duluth as the best place to live, how can you not appreciate the vast array of opportunities that are available in our sunny city on the hill?  

Top on the Mayor’s list of exciting Duluth adventures were the extension of the lakewalk through Lincoln Park, and the planned renovations for Wade Stadium, our gracious host for the event.  Mayor Ness also outlined the plans for the Cyclists of Gitchee Gummi Shores’ (COGS) Duluth Traverse, a 40+ mile single-track mountain bike trail that will span the entire length of the city! 

Unique opportunities like these are peppered throughout Duluth.  Take Spirit Mountain, a year round experience offering skiing, snowboarding, tubing, zip lining, mini golf, a roller coaster, and gravity mountain bike trails, all just around the corner.  Plans are also in the works to revamp Grand Avenue to allow for easier access to the many opportunities in the St. Louis River corridor including the Western Water Front Trail, the Munger Trail, and the Lake Superior Zoo.  

I encourage you to make the most of the summer weather, and experience Duluth’s Great Outdoors.  If you’re not Duluth’s number one fan yet, you will be!

AJ Axtell
Fuse Leadership Council
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District


Too old for Fuse? Of course not!

- 17 July 2014, 10:14 am
Have you been wondering how exactly Fuse Duluth involvement benefit you? I too often hear "I'm too old for Fuse." I'd like to disband this perception by illustrating how Fuse Duluth can empower our ypro demographic of 20-40 and beyond.

As a young professional, it is extremely important to reach out to the business community and stake your claim. Market yourself. Brand yourself as a valuable asset to our community. Fuse Duluth events can introduce you to established professionals throughout the community. The exact crowd you want to be in front of when job seeking, connection building, and making new friends.

As an established professional, YOU are the exact connection our ypros want to reach. Desperately. Fuse is here to bridge the gap between workplace generations, allowing employers to meet Duluth's extremely talented pool of young professionals simultaneously providing ypros with the opportunity to showcase themselves.

From our networking events to educational events, from our Leadership Council to our involved committees, Fuse Duluth was established nearly 10 years ago to grow our community together. It's time to partner our young professionals with our established professionals to build a better Duluth. 
Grow. Connect. Fuse.
Martha Bremer
Director of Fuse Duluth  |  (218) 740-3754
Website   |   Blog   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   LinkedIn

Let’s Get Back Outdoors!

- 15 July 2014, 12:02 pm
It can be hard to ‘get back in the groove’ after a long holiday weekend. It has already been over a week since Independence Day was upon us; but after a few fun filled days of fireworks, late nights, barbecuing, family and friends, it can be hard to get motivated again. Jumping back in to the pile of work that you left behind can seem like a daunting task. And, if you are anything like me, after the nice weather we have been having – sitting in the office is the last place I would like to be.

At Fuse, we have some events lined up that just may take the edge off of your daily tasks and help you find your motivation for the remainder of summer. Our next two events are taking place outdoors in our beautiful port city. I know I will be taking full advantage to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather as I get the chance.

This upcoming Thursday, July 17th, we will have the chance to listen to our Mayor Don Ness speak to us about all of the great outdoor recreational activities that our great city has to offer. Between hiking, biking, skiing or sailing – there is truly something for everybody. After being named the ‘Best Outdoor City’ in the Nation, I think the Mayor’s speech will be very fitting. Located outside at the historic Wade Stadium, and weather looking absolutely fabulous for Thursday, it will be a ‘Wordsto the Wise Luncheon’ that you will want to miss. And, if you haven’t heard yet, we will be lucky enough to enjoy an exclusive lunch by Qdoba Mexican Grill. Yum! 

Looking ahead to August 7th, we will be hosting our ‘Beachfront Blues’ at the Historic Glensheen Mansion on London Road. There never seems to be ways to run out of things to talk about while looking onto beautiful Lake Superior and admiring the meticulously manicured lawns of the Mansion. With music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres to enjoy along with the fresh air and breeze of the big lake, it is always one of our most attended networking events. This was one of the first events that I had went to when I was first introduced to Fuse, and I am glad that it was. It was such a great time and also an easy, carefree way to network with peers in the Duluth area. 

I am looking forward to attending these events, and I hope you are too! Considering we only get a handful of ‘summer months’ in Duluth, we should all take advantage of getting outside and enjoying the sunshine while we can.

Alyssa Christiansen
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council
Holiday Inn & Suites

Fuse Flash 7/2/14

- 15 July 2014, 8:53 am
Dear Fusers,

Summer has finally arrived and there is much to celebrate in the beautiful outdoor town of Duluth. Last month, Duluth claimed victory over Provo, Utah in Outside Magazine's Best Outdoor Town 2014. Last week, Fuse's newest action team - Volunteer Focus - dedicated half of their day to United Way's annual Day of Caring in litter pick-up along the Lakewalk and railroad tracks. This week, the sun finally made an appearance and temperatures soared into the warm 80s. And yesterday, we introduced 20 additional young professionals to the Fuse program at our Fuse 101 session.

In celebration of these achievements, the July 17th Words from the Wise heads outdoors as Duluth's esteemed and popular Mayor Ness presents "Capitalizing on the Great Outdoors." The momentum doesn't stop there. The luncheon will be held at the historic Wade Stadium with Qdoba Mexican Grill offering a sneak peak to guests as they cater just for us.

Summer is a great time to get involved with Fuse. Whether you join us at an event, connect with us on social media or simply read these emails, celebrate Duluth and your professional development by taking your Fuse involvement one step further before fall arrives. What goals can you achieve this summer?

Grow. Connect. Fuse.
Martha Bremer
Director of Fuse Duluth  |  (218) 740-3754
Website   |   Blog   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   LinkedIn

Volunteer Focus Braves Cold for Day of Caring

- 8 July 2014, 2:34 pm
It was a chilly and blustery day.  Not a sentence to describe a scene in a Winnie the Pooh book but a sentence to describe the United Way- Day of Caring. However, as inhabitants of Outside Magazine’s Best Outdoor Town, us Duluthians bundled up and headed outside. With over 50 projects and over 100 volunteers; local businesses, establishments, and groups volunteered their time to local non-profits that needed some extra help.

Fuse Duluth took a group of eight volunteers and helped clean the track and Lakewalk for the Duluth Depot and the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Cold was the exact opposite of the atmosphere as we set out to ride the train to our destination, as our fellow volunteers were nothing but welcoming and enthusiastic. After unloading, with 3 other groups, we took off down the historic tracks to pick up trash, broken glass, unwanted items, and most of all; cigarette butts. 

It was a great event to get to work together and make our city shine. After collecting garbage and meeting up with the other teams, the Fusers headed back to the Depot (by train!) and were treated to free pizza for the hard work. Other teams volunteered to complete projects that involved painting, planting, organizing food and supply drives, etc. To find out more about how you can get involved next year, head to the United Way’s Volunteer Center website.

A big thanks to James Fischer (Bagley and Company Jewelers), Katie Kundel (NuCara Pharmacy), Alyza Bohbot (Alakef Coffee), Josh Nonnemacher (Duluth Huskies), Erik McCort (US Bank), Lindsey Dueland (Lake State Credit Union), and Anna Pulles (Hanlon and Associates) for volunteering their time.And an even bigger thanks to Liz Pawlik and Paige Stein, from the United Way, for all their hard work and coordination!

 Next up for Volunteer Focus is the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk! On September 20th, at the Lake Superior Zoo, hundreds will gather to promote physical activity and healthy living by taking a jaunt around the Zoo. This will be a family friendly event that raises money for the American Heart Association and spread heart disease awareness. If you are interested in joining the Fuse Team please head to our Heart Walk Team Page or contact Rachel Malone, Team Captain, for more information.


Rachel Malone
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council
Compudyne, Inc.

Fuse Gives Back

- 24 June 2014, 12:03 pm
Tomorrow, June 25th, 2014 United Way’s annual Day of Caring will begin with the help of Fuse Duluth’s new Volunteer Focus Committee for the first time. An enthusiastic group of 10 Fuse Duluth Volunteers will meet at the Depot (506 W. Michigan Street) at 8:00 a.m. to begin their morning by giving back to the community. The train will drop off these young professionals along with other volunteer groups at the tracks and the Lakewalk to pick up litter.

Rachel Malone, the Chair of Fuse’s Volunteer Focus committee stated, “At Fuse Duluth, we believe that long-term, devoted volunteers are the individuals that also keep Duluth alive. To help ignite the passion for volunteering and giving back, Fuse Duluth has formed a Volunteer Focus Committee. We are dedicated to giving back to the community that we love and encouraging other young professionals to do the same.”

Join us in thanking these dedicated volunteers for stepping up regardless of tomorrow's chilly forecast: Rachel Malone, Compudyne; Anna Pulles, Hanlon and Associates; James Fisher, Bagley & Company Jewelers; Erik McCort, U.S. Bank; Alyza Bohbot, Alakef Coffee Roasters; Lindsey Dueland, Lake State Credit Union; Josh Nonnemacher, Duluth Huskies; Tom Skull, American Heart Association; Katie Kundel, NuCara Pharmacy; and Martha Bremer, Director of Fuse Duluth.

United Way’s Day of Caring has a number of volunteer spots still remaining; with projects ranging from painting a porch to landscaping some of Duluth’s playgrounds. Duluthians are encouraged to get out for a few hours in the morning, afternoon or the whole day if able. Visit their website, more information on these volunteer projects.

Fuse Duluth is the premier program for young professionals in the Twin Ports, presented by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Fuse is a valuable resource for young professionals looking to get connected, for employers seeking to recruit local talent, and for businesses that want to build a presence with the 20 to 40 crowd.  The Chamber works in support of the Fuse Duluth mission: connecting young people to strengthen our community.


Fuse Leadership Council Nominations Requested

- 18 June 2014, 9:28 am
You have an exciting opportunity to strengthen Fuse by nominating a talented young professional leader to serve on the Fuse Leadership Council. This talented leader can be a colleague or yourself. In doing so you will join in our efforts to connect young people and strengthen our community. Serving on the Leadership Council is an effective and enjoyable way to collaborate with other young leaders who dedicate time and talent to the Fuse mission.

Incoming Council Members will serve a two-year term beginning August 4, 2014. Interested applicants must be willing to:
  • accept a leadership role in one or more of the Fuse initiative,
  • participate in Fuse and Chamber events,
  • advance the Fuse program with new ideas,
  • serve as an enthusiastic advocate for Fuse,
  • and attend Council monthly meetings.
If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the Leadership Council, please let me know. I can be reached at (218) 740-3754 or Nominations will be accepted through 4:30pm on Monday, July 14th.

Martha Bremer
Director of Fuse Duluth  |  (218) 740-3754

Duluth Wins Best Town (article by Duluth News Tribune)

- 17 June 2014, 11:34 am

Duluth claims victory in magazine's 'best outdoors town' competition

By Andrew Krueger on Jun 15, 2014

Congratulations, Duluthians. You live in the best outdoors town in the country.

That’s the verdict after six rounds of online voting came to an end late Sunday night in Outside magazine’s annual “best outdoors town” competition.

Duluth cruised to an easy victory over Provo, Utah, in the final round of voting, accumulating about 66,750 votes to about 54,850 for Provo. Duluth had earlier beat Columbia, Mo.; Athens, Ohio; La Crosse, Wis.; Minneapolis; and then Asheville, N.C., in head-to-head competition to reach the final.

Throughout the contest, the city’s hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking and other outdoor assets were promoted by an active social media campaign, with a “VoteDuluth” tag being used on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now, Duluth will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine — and the city also will be able to use the title to promote itself to prospective visitors, residents and businesses.

The city previously was featured in Outside’s “Best Towns” list in 2007, and was on the magazine’s list of “Dream Towns” in 2001.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness said Sunday that winning an online vote may be “nothing earth-shattering” on its own, but he said Duluth’s victory in this competition carries some greater significance.

“I think it’s important to note a very real and significant change in our city that has resulted in this victory — a fundamental shift in how people think about Duluth,” Ness posted to Facebook on Sunday as the outcome became clear. “Over the past month, we saw people from all over the country weigh in and proclaim how much they love this city. ... The recognition of the change in our city in recent years is important and it is significant.”

The outdoors and adventure-oriented magazine’s annual “best place to live in America” winner was chosen by online voting this year, with 64 communities starting the competition in May.



- 11 June 2014, 2:29 pm

Our beloved Zenith City - located on the Greatest of the Great Lakes - may soon be identified as Outside Magazine's Best Outdoor Lifestyle City in America. We are in the final stretch of a contest that started with Outside Magazine's 64 favorite towns in the country. Duluth and Provo, Utah are the two remaining contestants.

Voters will decide who wins. The contest ends Sunday, June 15, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. When I voted earlier today, Duluth was in the lead with 44,368 votes compared to Provo's 33,181.

We must tenaciously fight to retain this lead. We can do it - if we finish strong. To finish strong, we need your vote. Simply link to the online voting site by visiting Voting is quick and easy. Conversely, when we win, the positive results will be enjoyed for several years.

Being selected as the best town in America will illustrate how the rest of America has come to know what we have known for years. Duluth is a remarkably beautiful place brimming with outdoor recreational activities. The rest of our great nation is increasingly aware of what we have valued for many years, our abundant green space and our wealth of freshwater resources.

Let's finish strong, Duluth. Vote today at

In support and in optimism,

David Ross,
President & CEO
Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce



Bus Bike Walk Month

- 3 June 2014, 10:41 am
The weather’s finally nice and if you’re like me you want to be outside, all the time!  For me, bussing or biking to work is just the mental transition I need to start and end my day.

Throughout the month of May Duluth highlighted active transportation with a number of fun events.

There were Savvy Cyclist Traffic Skill courses and the unveiling of the 1st of 5 bike fix-it stations. You can check out the station on the Lakewalk next to Endion Station.  Trees were planted along a bike route on East Superior Street and Duluth Coffee Co hosted a carless themed art show of local artists.  On National Bike to Work Day the Mn Plaza was a morning stop for bike tune-ups, free coffee and smoothies blended by the power of a bike.  

That afternoon 65 bicyclists rode with the Mayor for the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Bike Ride followed by a even better attended luncheon highlighting all the progress the City has made and where we are headed in terms of bike and pedestrian ways throughout the community.  The month’s activities are wrapping up with a ceremony to congratulate 8 bike friendly businesses in Duluth.  Those who ranked Silver are Twin Ports Cyclery, Continental Ski and Bike, and the YMCA.  Awarded Bronze designation are Duluth Coffee Co, Barr Engineering, Aerostitch, Ski Hut East, and Ski Hut West.  Throughout the month there were more than 15 events spread around the community.

Also this year, Duluth was awarded a Bronze designation as a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and was ranked #3 trail city in North America!

Duluth is making great strides to establish itself as a healthy active destination city designed around it natural surroundings.

If you are interested in getting involved with all the exciting changes happening to the Duluth active transportation landscape check out the links below!   |   |

Tiersa Dodge
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council - Chair
DSGW Architects

Help Us Defining the Housing Needs in Duluth

- 19 May 2014, 11:10 am
Fuse is on a mission to define the growing need for affordable housing in our beloved community. Whether you are single and looking to rent an apartment downtown or a family of six looking for a new home in a quiet neighborhood for over $500,000, we want to hear from you.

 Fuse is proud to be partnering with 1Roof Community Housing and Duluth LISC to create a valuable survey to define who, what and where the needs are. This is your chance to be heard, define what Duluthians are looking for and encourage appropriate development in the areas that you want to live in. We encourage you to take a few minutes to help distinguish our communities housing needs.

Follow the link to the survey that best applies to you>>>     Property Renter     Home Owner

Fuse Gives Back

- 13 May 2014, 4:27 pmGive back, get ahead. The title for Fuse Duluth’s latest Words From the Wise luncheon couldn’t be more accurate. Echoed in the sentiments from the experienced panelists, giving back helps you get ahead, in every aspect of your life.

On May 8th, Kraus-Anderson Construction graciously sponsored our wide array of panelists and delicious Blackwoods meal. Speaking on behalf of their expertise was Adam Sundberg from COGGS, Valerie Clark from Goodwill Duluth, Liz Pawlik from the United Way, and John Scott from DSGW Architects.

Beginning by describing what ignited their passion for volunteering, Scott summed it up best when he said, “… you had a purpose and a need.” As an individual you have a purpose in life, it may be your career, it may be your family, but it may lie outside of that and could be volunteering. Once you can identify your purpose, you have a need to fulfill your purpose. These feelings and callings can ignite your passion for volunteering, whether you know you have it or not.

The panelists were asked how to find the right volunteer position. What resources do they use to discover new opportunities or what resources are available to help capitalize on an idea for a new opportunity. Pawlik identified the Volunteer Center website ( as a comprehensive list of opportunities, organizations, or events happening in Duluth.

The panelists reflected that once they found their passion, they needed to find the right balance between work, personal, and volunteering. Scott found that if he participated in activities that didn’t compromise his work but supplemented his life, they were the right activities for him. Clark mentioned that her passion led her to make volunteering her career, by working for Goodwill Duluth, she can balance her personal life with her passion for her career and her dedication to giving back.

An audience member asked if the panelists are seeing a trend toward increased volunteerism or decreased participation, in Duluth. Pawlik summarized by saying the trend seems to be for that one-day, one-time, feel-good opportunity. Participants want to do something good but are satisfied after an 8-hour day. While there are needs for all types of volunteers, the individuals that have the passion to become a long-term, devoted volunteer are the individuals that keep organizations and non-profits alive.

At Fuse Duluth, we believe that those long-term, devoted volunteers are the individuals that also keep Duluth alive. To help ignite the passion for volunteering and giving back, Fuse Duluth has formed a Volunteer Focus Committee. Their aim is to provide opportunities for Fuse members to dip their toes in the volunteer pool, before jumping head first.

For our first activity, Fuse has formed a team of people to help participate in the United Way Day of Caring. On June 25th, members will be gathering from 8AM to 12PM at the Depot, to help clean the train tracks and the lake walk. If you are interested in getting involved or in learning more about the event, please contact Fuse Director Martha Bremer  or Volunteer Focus Chair Rachel Malone.

For further recap of the event, check out Fuse Duluth’s Twitter page, where the event was Live-Tweeted. Follow us at @fuseduluth for future events and all of your Fuse Duluth news.

Rachel Malone
Fuse Duluth Leadership Council
Compudyne, Inc.

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