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.
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.
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.