Matt Baumgartner (pictured below) on settling into his new role as president of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce:
"Busy first couple months, but it's been exhilarating. Duluth has challenges right now, which to me are opportunities. If we can address those challenges and meet the opportunities, I think there's no place better positioned for future success than Duluth.
You can't recreate the economic drivers we have here. We just need to prioritize a couple things. I think we'll see a great era ahead for Duluth. My first few months have been filled with asking a lot of questions, filled with a lot of meetings and seeking solutions. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about economic development and business conditions, and how to prioritize good business conditions with community leadership."
The Chamber's role in Duluth?

"The Chamber is a thought-leadership and vision organization. There are a lot of non-governmental groups, business organizations, and government groups that all do their own thing. I think the real opportunity for the Chamber is to harness those efforts into a clear vision of where our community needs to go and how to get there."
The Chamber leadership group?

"We have some of the largest institutions as part of our leadership group. It's important to have groups like Essentia that is investing a billion dollars and making a bet on Duluth. It's also important to have St. Luke's, which is also making a significant bet on Duluth. It's equally important to have groups such as Lake Superior College, which is reinvesting and expanding manufacturing, which is such an important thing that we sometimes don't talk enough about here in Duluth. They're making a bet on manufacturing here in Duluth. LSC is a pipeline of workforce talent for the trades, for healthcare and for advanced aviation. It's also important that we have advanced aviation at the table because Cirrus and the Duluth International Airport under Tom Warner's leadership are making bets on Duluth.
It's important that we have as a part of our leadership cabinet developers and ownership groups that are taking a significant stake and position in Duluth, because they, too, are making a financial bet on Duluth's future. When I think about making those kind of bets, I think back to Canal Park in the seventies and early eighties when people bet on Canal Park. And so it's important to have groups now making a bet on the next 20, 30, 40 years of Duluth."
Key individuals serving at the Chamber?

"Certainly Daniel Fanning, our board chair. He's been great to work with. He in his role at LSC is leading key initiatives such as advanced aviation, manufacturing and nursing.

Jennifer Cady, a retired veteran of the 148th Fighter Wing who works for Minnesota Power Allete in a leadership role, has been instrumental in the work we've done to support our 148th Fighter Wing, which has a significant economic impact as our seventh largest employer. Her leadership has been instrumental in our work to get the 148th $25 million from the state to reinvest into their infrastructure. And then we've got a lot of good financial minds around the table representing different banking institutions, including John Birkeland (Bell Bank) and Steve Glonchak (Members Cooperative Credit Union).
It's been great to have financial minds at the table who have a good sense for where the capital is coming from and how those deals are flowing. And I certainly wouldn't want to leave out Karen Stromme, our outgoing board chair. She's cycling off our board this year, having served for six years and understands how important UMD is to the business community, considering the amount of students they have.

Renee Mattson (Trinity Creek Consulting), Dr. Chiamaka Enemuoh, Aaron Kelly (LHB, Inc.) and Sara Cole (Duluth Area YMCA) also serve on our executive committee. Our entire board and executive committee have been absolutely outstanding and supportive of me as I settle into this role."

Giants Ridge is open for golf, escape up north
The Giants Ridge golf season began on May 13 with the opening of The Legend and Quarry.

Located in Biwabik, The Legend and Quarry courses have been a part of Minnesota’s golf landscape for a quarter of a century earning numerous national and state accolades. The most recent accolade was garnered from Golf Digest when Giants Ridge received the coveted 2021 “Editors’ Choice Award” in the “Best Golf Resorts in the Midwest” category. Giants Ridge was one of nine facilities in the Midwest and the only one in Minnesota to earn the award.

The spring daily rate of $82 is available through June 2 with juniors age 17 and under playing for $40 any day during the season. Dubbed “Minnesota’s Greatest Value in Golf,” the 37-Hole Special begins June 3 which includes golf on both courses with lunch for $175 per person Monday through Thursday and $190 Friday through Sunday.

Golfers playing The Quarry will traverse through a former sand quarry and iron ore mine with vast Iron Range vistas. Dramatically raised tees and hazards are forged from the reclaimed and repurposed mine land. The Legend is carved out of the Superior National Forest and plays through towering pines and alongside Sabin Lake.

“The caliber and scenery of the golf courses, and the great customer service provided by our staff are a testament to this remarkable region of the state,” said Kendall. “There is no other facility in Minnesota that offers a golf experience equal to The Legend and Quarry. We look forward to welcoming new and returning guests to Giants Ridge where they can experience two of the best courses in the Midwest.”

You probably already know that a good laugh can lift your spirits and brighten someone’s day, but did you also know that laughter can positively impact your health and promote healthy aging?

To learn more, check out Duluth Aging Support’s recent blog post about the benefits of laughter, including 10 easy ways to add a healthy dose of the giggles to your life: https://duluthagingsupport.org/how-laughter-can-benefit-healthy-aging/

Urshan Retirement Group, Inc. strives in helping people achieve retirement goals. This is accomplished through education of the financial planning process, analyzing each individual's investment needs, as well as continuously reviewing and monitoring their personalized plan. Jordan Urshan (pictured) and Dan Urshan work as partners to ensure long term consistency to your investment portfolio. They look forward to earning your business. Please give them a call to schedule your appointment. Call 218.625.7575 or stop by their office located at 5033 Miller Trunk Hwy, Hermantown, MN 55811.
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Urshan Retirement Group and Securities America are separate entities.
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