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.

Rowan McDonnell - Vice-President

Mr McDonnell retired from The State Farm Insurance Company in 1995 after 34 years.  He was an agent in Silver Bay for 3 years  during which he was President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.  He moved to Duluth with State Farm and was promoted into management and was responsible for the recruiting and training for the agencies located in Northeastern Minnesota.  During this time he served on the Board of Directors of Ridgeview Country Club in Duluth including two years as president.  Rowan served two years in the army in Korea.  Rowan purchased Duluth Aviation located at the Duluth International Airport.  His company sold aircraft, new and used, offered flight instruction, and air charters.  He is a pilot with multi-engine rating.  Rowan and his wife, JoAnn currently own and operate their own insurance agency.  He is on the advisory board of Logsafe (OSHA) for the State of Minnesota and serves as Treasurer for the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota and is a board member.  Rowan and JoAnn moved to Lake Vermilion in 1998.  They have 5 adult children and 12 grandchildren.


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.

Mike Wilson - Logistics Committee Chairperson

 Will be updated soon

Tim Mankowski - Board Member at Large

Mr. Mankowski was employed as a millwright for Potlatch/Ainsworth for 26 years, where he also held the position of Relief Maintenance Supervisor and served as the mill EMT before the mill closed. Tim was born and raised in Duluth, MN and has lived in the Cook area for 33 years, moving to the area in 1978 to be closer to his employment as a heavy equipment operator at USS Mintac. He is an Army Veteran and served in Viet Nam as an explosives tech and heavy equipment operator with the Combat Engineers of the Fourth Division. Tim is a Sgt. with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad, where he serves as Squad Leader and Communications Officer. He is a PADI certified Divemaster, certified Public Safety Diver and former captain of the SLC Sheriff's dive team. He is a certified 'Tracker II', man tracker, and Side-Scan Sonar and ROV (Remotely  Operated Vehicle) tech.  Tim is also Training Officer for the Cook Area Fire Department, Director of the Cook Area Ambulance and is a Nationally Certified EMT. Tim is active in the Community and serves as a board member of the Cook Housing Authority, member of the 911 User Board and Fire/ EMS trainer with the Mesabi Range Community & Technical College System.  Tim's interests include hunting, fishing, woodworking and grand children. Family includes his wife Anita, and three children - Alicia, Peter and John.

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 - Board Member at Large

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.