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DeLuca honored by University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies

May 19, 2021

DULUTH, Minn. — The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies presented Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Deb DeLuca with its 2021 Distinguished Service Award today at a virtual ceremony led by CTS Interim Director Dawn Hood.

The William K. Smith Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to a private sector professional in the freight transportation and supply chain industry for leadership in the field and contributions to mentorship and education of future leaders.

Since becoming the Port Authority’s executive director in 2018, DeLuca has marshalled resources to initiate more than $26 million in port-related capital projects, greatly increasing freight transport capacity and efficiency in the Port of Duluth-Superior. She also helped facilitate a college internship program at the Port Authority in 2020.

DeLuca is the third recipient of the award with connections to the Port of Duluth-Superior. Previous port honorees included former Duluth Seaway Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda II (2017) and current Lake Superior Warehousing Marketing Director Ronald Dvorak (2015). The CTS began presenting its William K. Smith Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

“I’m grateful for the recognition, but it’s truly an award that belongs to our entire team,” said DeLuca. “Together, we’ve improved the freight transportation landscape not only in this port, but for the region as a whole, and we’ve done it thanks to strategic planning, hard work and collaboration. It’s a great team effort of longtime industry experts and a new generation of contributors who will be the industry’s future.”


Approximately 800 vessels and 35 million short tons of cargo move through the Port of Duluth-Superior each year, making it the Great Lakes’ largest tonnage port and one of the nation’s top 20. The Port supports nearly 8,000 jobs and contributes $1.4 billion in business revenue to the regional economy. Learn more at