Don Potter - President & Operations Committee Chairperson

Mr. Potter retired from the US Forest Service in 2005 where he served as the District Biologist, Silviculturist, and acting District Ranger. Don worked as a wildlife biologist for the US Army Corp. of Engineers and as a Wildlife Technician for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and MN Department of Natural Resources. He served in the US Army. His US Forest Service career included working as a wildland firefighter. He was qualified as a Task Force Leader, Strike Team Leader, Division Boss, Field Observer, Resource Unit Leader, Prescribed Natural Fire Manager, Level 3 Incident Commander, Planning Section Chief for Prescribed Fires, and Situation Unit Leader on the Type 1 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team. Don’s education includes an AA, BA, and MA in Biology, and Certified Silviculturist. He has served as a township supervisor, youth director for hockey, member of the Rural Fire Association Board and Cook-Orr HealthCare District Board. Family includes his wife Laurie, three sons, and two daughter-in-laws.

JoAnn McDonnell - Treasurer

Mrs. McDonnell worked at the State Farm Insurance Regional Office in St. Paul for 22 years working as Executive Secretary to the Regional Vice President.  During this time she enjoyed working on many committees including Special Olympics and United Way.  JoAnn earned her Certified Professional Secretary designation and Insurance Institute of American degree.

JoAnn is originally from St. Paul where she lived until moving to Lake Vermilion in 1998.  She attended Mounds View High School and Bemidji State College.
She and her husband, Rowan own and operate their own insurance agency, North Woods Agency, since 1997.
JoAnn enjoys crafts, reading and spending time with their many grandchildren.

Dede Doi - Secretary

Ms Doi retired in 2010 after working 32 years for IBM.  Her career started in Minneapolis as a Customer Engineers (a fancy title for a “repairman”) for midrange systems.  Other jobs included Software, Hardware and Marketing Technical Support, recruiting companies to test unannounced products, managing a group of contractors who provided technical support to companies who were in partnership with IBM to develop applications for the IBM systems manufactured in Rochester, MN.  She ended her career working from home in a department where people were located in several states, Canada and the UK, working with IBM Business Partners who provided hardware service to customers who had IBM’s systems manufactured in Raleigh, NC.  She was a program manager responsible for the education and training of these Business Partners, overseeing the Help Desk and customer satisfaction.   

She loves retirement and is thoroughly enjoying a new hobby making quilts.


Dean Salminen - Board Member at Large

Mr. Salminen is the owner of and Senior Financial Advisor at Range Financial, LLC located in Cook, MN.  He is a U.S. Navy Veteran with six years of active service, a majority aboard USS Pasadena (SSN-752) and six years of U.S. Naval Reserve service.  Following his military service, Mr. Salminen became a licensed financial advisor and was a member of the Morgan Stanley and RBC Dain Rauscher team working with individual clients, specifically retirees and managing investment portfolios for local municipalities.

Mr. Salminen resides on the west end of Lake Vermilion with his wife Kerry and enjoys hunting, fishing and the challenges of golf.

Terrance (Terry) Ronning - Public Relations and Information Chairperson

Mr. Ronning is currently retired after being gainfully employed by the IBM Corporation the past 29 years. Terry started his career in Minneapolis as a hardware service representative and ended it in Rochester, MN as a system software support planner. In between he held staff technical support positions in software course development and delivery, domestic and international software technical support development and delivery, and management of domestic and international support teams. His two most interesting assignments were on the planning and execution team of IBM's Y2K transition, and as the mid-range computing focal point for the 1998 Winter Olympic games in Nagano, Japan.

Laurie Potter - Safety Committee Chairperson

Mrs. Potter is currently serving as Safety & Industrial Hygiene Manager, and has served as Senior Staff Supervisor for Fire and Security, Senior Staff Supervisor for Environmental Control and Industrial Hygiene for US Steel Minnesota Ore Operations. Laurie also was a Chemical Consultant and Industrial Hygienist for US Steel Minnesota Ore Operations. She worked as an Industrial Hygiene Instructor and Consultant for Hibbing Technical College, an Industrial Hygienist and Environmental Control Specialist for Medtronic Inc., a private consultant in Environmental Hygiene and Safety for Potter & Associates, and a Chemist for Chemist Medical Inc. Laurie has certifications as a Certified Mine Safety Professional (CMSP), Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). Her education includes a Teaching License Hibbing Technical College, Masters in Industrial Safety and Industrial Hygiene, BS in Biology, and BS in Chemistry.

Paul Ludlow - Board Member at Large

Paul Ludlow grew up on Lake Vermilion.  He attended the University of Minnesota, graduated with a degree in Business Communication and a minor in Studio Art.  He  became the founding partner of JM Auto Sales in Duluth, MN.  After completing the Management Program with Marriott Hospitality in 2000, he became the Front Office Manager for the Downtown Chicago Marriott Courtyard.  In 2003, he became the Director of Rooms for St Mary's Lodge and Resort in Glacier Park, Montana.  Paul returned with his wife, Kelly Ludlow in 2006 and with her guidance, they operate Ludlow's Island Resort.  He also serves on the MN Resort and Campground Board of Directors.

Nancy Reing - EMS & Logistics Committee Chairperson

Mrs. Reing is the founder of Little Beginnings Preschool and Childcare Center in Cook MN. She received her degree in Child Development from Century College in White Bear Lake, MN. Nancy has over 35 years of experience in Early Childhood Education. For Nancy, teaching preschoolers has been a lifelong passion. Since 1996 she has been an active member of Cook Area Ambulance Service as a nationally certified EMT. Nancy resides in Cook with her husband Dan. They have two grown children and one granddaughter, who is the light of their lives. Nancy brings experience with emergency prehospital care to the brigade and is proud to serve our community.

Dan Reing - Operations Committee Chairperson

Dan Reing is a life long community member of the Cook and Lake Vermilion area. He is currently serving as the head of maintenance for Elbow Lake Lodge.  Mr. Reing was employed at Inland Steel for ten years as an equipment operator before he left his position to pursue his college degree. Dan received his degree from the Dental Lab Technician program at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN. After two years of working as Dental Lab Tech in the Twin Cities area, Dan and his wife Nancy moved back to their hometown of Cook. After just shy of twenty years working at Hill Wood Products, Dan began his new career at Elbow Lake Lodge in 2010. Since 1995 he has been an active member of the Cook Area Fire Department as a certified firefighter and currently holds the position as the Vice President of the Cook Rural Fire Association. He became a member of the Cook Area Ambulance Service in 1997 as a state certified First Responder. Dan brings fire fighting experience as well as emergency prehospital care to the Fire Brigade.