Page header image of an ore ship on Lake Superior

About Us

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority is an independent public agency created by the Minnesota State Legislature to foster regional maritime commerce, promote trade development, facilitate industrial development and serve as an advocate for port interests here and around the world.

Our mission is to bring business to the port and economic development to the region.

The Port Authority also owns and manages multiple waterfront properties, including the 120-acre Clure Public Marine Terminal (the port’s only general cargo facility), Erie Pier and an industrial park near the Duluth International Airport. The Port Authority is the grantee of Foreign Trade Zone No. 51.

Led by an executive director, the Port Authority staff provides leadership for and support to the local maritime community. The Port of Duluth-Superior is the largest tonnage port on the Great Lakes and ranks among the top 20 ports in the U.S., handling an average of 35 million short tons of cargo and hosting approximately 800 vessel visits each year.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Staff

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Deb DeLuca

Deb DeLuca – Executive Director

Deb DeLuca is the executive director of the Port Authority and the first woman to lead the organization in its history. DeLuca is currently president of the Minnesota Ports Association and an executive committee member of APEX, a regional economic and business development organization. She is a board member of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota and the Chamber of Marine Commerce and also serves as an alternate Minnesota commissioner to the Great Lakes Commission.

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Kevin Beardsley

Kevin Beardsley – Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Beardsley is the third CFO in the Port Authority’s history and is responsible for overseeing all financial activity and planning for the organization. For six months in 2018, he also served as interim executive director while a search was underway for a new executive director. He currently serves as treasurer on the St. Luke’s Hospital Board of Directors.

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Jayson Hron

Jayson Hron – Director of Communication and Marketing

Jayson Hron oversees all Port Authority media properties and provides strategic leadership and execution for communication, marketing and advertising initiatives. Hron also leads community outreach and special event planning. He participates on several boards, including the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, Duluth-Superior Maritime Club, St. Louis River Quest and the Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers. He also serves on the public relations and communications committees for the American Association of Port Authorities and the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

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Kate Ferguson

Kate Ferguson – Director of Trade and Business Development

Kate Ferguson is the first point of contact for companies pursuing domestic and international trade opportunities. She is responsible for developing, attracting and retaining business for the Port Authority and its properties, and coordinates business expansion prospects. Certified by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Ferguson is a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a past president and current board member of the Duluth-Superior Maritime Club.

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Jeff Udd

Jeff Udd – Director of Government and Environmental Affairs

A chemical engineer with more than 25 years of experience in various Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and private sector roles, Jeff Udd brings a thorough knowledge of water permitting, dredged material management, ballast water treatment and industrial processes/compliance to his role as the Port Authority’s director of government and environmental affairs. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Udd served most recently as manager of the MPCA’s water and mining section.

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Dean Lembke

Dean Lembke – Director of Building and Facilities

As director of building and facilities, Dean Lembke serves as the agency’s liaison with tenants, service and government agencies, private contractors and other property users to derive safe and efficient use of all Port Authority-owned land, structures, equipment and other assets. He is responsible for establishing cost-effective, environmentally sound asset-management programs for all Port Authority properties. He also works closely with the executive director and CFO on long-range planning with regard to capital improvement programs and new construction projects.

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Becky McMillan

Becky McMillan – Senior Executive Assistant and Human Resources Coordinator

Becky McMillan provides technical, material, procedural and human support services for the Port Authority executive director, staff and board of commissioners. The longest-tenured member of the Port Authority staff, McMillan has overall responsibility for handling statistical information for the Port of Duluth-Superior, board meeting preparation, minutes and recordkeeping. She also coordinates and supervises administrative staff and assists other departments as required. McMillan is a member of the Northland Human Resources Association and the Society of Human Resource Management.

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Shellie Golden

Shellie Golden – Senior Accountant

Shellie Golden maintains overall responsibility for Port Authority financial statements, fixed assets, grant compliance, cash reporting, sales tax reporting and accounts receivable reporting. She assists with accounting systems development and maintenance by being responsible for coordinating updates and verifying integrity of files. Other duties include assisting with budget preparation and developing and maintaining account analysis worksheets.

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Sheryl Toland

Sheryl Toland – Accountant

In her role as accountant, Sheryl Toland ensures accurate and timely payment of the Port Authority’s obligations and is responsible for accounts payable, invoicing, bank reconciliations and payroll; she also assists the senior accountant with special projects.

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Steven C. Overom

Steven C. Overom – Legal Counsel

Steven C. Overom serves as outside legal counsel to the Port Authority and its board of commissioners. He can be reached at:

Overom Law, PLLC
802 Garfield Avenue #101
Duluth, MN 55802

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board Members

The Port Authority is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, two appointed by the Governor of Minnesota, two by the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners and three by the Duluth City Council.

The Board of Commissioners is responsible for the technical, financial and organizational development of the Port Authority. Appointed to six-year terms with varied expiration dates, commissioners meet monthly to set policy, approve contracts and determine budgets. The Board also hires the agency’s executive director and oversees agency operations.

Any of the commissioners can be reached through the Port Authority office:

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Yvonne Prettner Solon

Yvonne Prettner Solon – President

State of Minnesota
Former Lieutenant Governor
Duluth, Minnesota

Yvonne Prettner Solon entered active politics in 1988, winning election to the Duluth City Council and serving three four-year terms. From 1992 to 2000, she also served as Duluth’s deputy mayor. In 2002, Prettner Solon was elected to the Minnesota Senate where she quickly became a leading health policy advocate.

Four years later, she was appointed chair of the Senate Energy Committee and chief authored the state’s Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. Prettner Solon was elected Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota in 2010 and served until January 2015. She has served on a multitude of public and private sector commissions including the Duluth Economic Development Authority, League of Minnesota Cities and Great Lakes Commission.

By profession, Prettner Solon was a clinical psychologist, maintaining a practice for 30 years until her retirement in 2010. She has two children and two grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much free time as possible.

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Patrick Boyle

Patrick Boyle – Vice President

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Nurse Practitioner
Duluth, Minnesota

Patrick Boyle, a nurse practitioner for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was first elected to the SLC board to represent the 2nd District in a special election in January 2014 to fill out the term of the late Steve O’Neil. At the time, he was a member of the Duluth City Council. He was reelected last November for a four-year term. As a county commissioner, he has chaired the Public Safety Committee and currently chairs the Health and Human Services Committee.

Boyle has been active in the community as a member of the Friends of the Lakewalk and the Duluth Preservation Alliance. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters and live in Duluth.

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Mike Jugovich

Mike Jugovich – Secretary

St. Louis County Commissioner
Chisholm, Minnesota

Mike Jugovich is a retiree of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 2705, Hibbing Taconite Company. He finished his career as an equipment and warehouse manager in the agglomerating department.

In 2000, Jugovich was elected to the Chisholm City Council, serving six years before being elected mayor in 2006. He served as mayor for a decade before being elected SLC commissioner of the Seventh District in 2016. He was elected vice chair of the SLC board in January 2019, and currently serves as chair of its Public Works and Transportation Committee.

A graduate of Chisholm High School, Jugovich attended Range Technical College, Hibbing Community College, and the College of St. Scholastica. He has given back to the Iron Range region through his work in several organizations, including the Chisholm Economic Development Authority, Youth in Action, Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, Chisholm-Hibbing Airport Authority, Governor’s Workforce Development Council, and the Minnesota Assistive Technology Advisory Council. Commissioner Jugovich resides in Chisholm with his partner, Melanie and together they have four adult children.

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Tyrone Walker

Tyrone Walker – Treasurer

Lakehead Constructors, Ironworkers Local 512
Duluth, MN

Tyrone Walker moved to Duluth from Chicago after earning his welding certification in 2015. Since then, he has worked on multiple welding and steel-fitting projects throughout the Twin Ports. He recently completed his Local 512 apprenticeship and became a journeyman. Walker is passionate about sharing his experience in the trades with the next generation of workers. He spoke at the 2020 Construct Tomorrow event, which focused on post-secondary career opportunities within the construction and building trades.

Walker and his wife, Samantha, and their six children live in Duluth, Walker has served the community in a variety of roles at Northstar Baptist Church, including as a preaching minister.

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Rick Revoir

Rick Revoir – Assistant Treasurer

College of St. Scholastica
Dean of the Stender School of Business and Technology
Duluth, Minnesota

Rick Revoir serves as dean of the Stender School of Business and Technology at the College of St. Scholastica. He has led four study abroad trips to China and another to Ireland. Prior to joining St. Scholastica in 2004, Revoir worked for 11 years in healthcare finance.

Revoir earned a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota Duluth and an MBA from Arizona State University. He and his family live in Duluth.

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Nancy Aronson Norr

Nancy Aronson Norr – Commissioner

Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company
Retired Regional Development Director
Duluth, Minnesota

Nancy Aronson Norr was appointed to a six-year term on the Port Authority board by the Duluth City Council in November 2022, soon after completing a 31-year career at Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, as director of regional development. A Duluth resident since 1985, she has served on numerous local, regional and state boards, including a tenure as chair of the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) and a co-founding role with the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX). In 2021, the Minnesota Humanities Center appointed Norr to its board and she also founded Norr Community Solutions.

Born in Wisconsin, Norr holds a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Tony Sertich

Tony Sertich – Commissioner

Northland Foundation
Hermantown, Minnesota

Tony Sertich, former DFL legislator from Chisholm, Minnesota, is a fourth-generation Iron Ranger. Named president of the Northland Foundation in January 2015, he previously served as commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), a position to which he had been appointed by the governor in 2011. For more than a decade, Sertich served in the Minnesota House of Representatives; he was elected House Majority Leader in 2006 – the youngest in Minnesota history.

Sertich is also business manager of a family enterprise on the Iron Range. A graduate of Hamline University, Sertich received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in political science and theater arts. He and his wife reside in Hermantown.