Meet Lindsey Dueland

How 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

 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

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 pushed up 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

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? 



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)


5 Winter Hacks for Hacks That Forget How to Do Winter

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

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?