Connecting the Generations

Have you read Martha Bremer's January Duluthian article covering the importance of connecting the generations to strengthen the community for all of us? Check it out today by clicking here http://duluthianmagazine.com/januaryfebruary2018/index.html?r=25


2017 Fuse Year in Review

Oh, what a year! In 2017 Fuse Duluth brought local professionals on location to tour some of the most exciting new developments; hosted parties that exposed them to local breweries, restaurants and historic mansions; offered ways to get involved and give back to our community; educated, challenged and inspired them through full day conference opportunities and connected hundreds of professionals who are passionate about the future of our community.

Check out some of our favorite events in 2017! 



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)