Duluth Seaway Port Authority names Director of Business Development

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Duluth, Minn., U.S.A. - The Duluth Seaway Port Authority has named Kathryn "Kate" Ferguson as Director of Business Development, effective July 13, 2015. She will be the first point of contact with the Port Authority for companies pursuing domestic and international trade opportunities. Additionally, Ferguson will work to develop, attract and retain business for the Port Authority and its properties - coordinating business expansion prospects with industrial development organizations throughout the region.

Ferguson brings a decade of professional experience and academic credentials to this position, primarily in the arena of business development, account management and supply chain logistics. Her expertise crosses a wide range of industries and encompasses materials moved by water, road and rail here in the Twin Ports and across the Upper Midwest.

Prior to her most recent position as supply chain informatics senior specialist for Essentia Health, Ferguson spent nine years working in transportation logistics based here in Duluth - first with Great Lakes Fleet (GLF) and later with Canadian National Railway. She has spent the majority of her career analyzing and improving efficiencies in cargo movement between ports and facilities along the Great Lakes-Seaway. From her role as sales, marketing and traffic analyst for GLF to her position as transload solutions manager for CN Supply Chain Solutions, Ferguson has focused on business development, project management, contract administration and the improvement of operational efficiencies for customers at dozens of multi-modal facilities.

Business management and transportation logistics have dominated Ferguson's educational pursuits, as well. She graduated magna cum laude with bachelor's degrees in transportation & logistics management and computer information systems from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, then earned an MBA at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She currently is pursuing a doctorate in transportation & logistics through North Dakota State University and is certified by the American Society of Transportation & Logistics.

"The Port remains an economic driver for this community, the region and our state," said Vanta Coda, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director. "Kate is unique in the world of logistics in many ways: accomplished academically in the discipline, experienced in multiple modes with supply chain execution responsibilities and connected to the Great Lakes maritime life. We have great expectations that her skill sets can leverage our mission of business and economic development to greater heights."

A native of Alpena, Mich., Ferguson has spent her entire life along the shores of one or another Great Lake. "I rely on that knowledge almost every day in understanding the people and products that move across and within this region. Having that Great Lakes base really helps in building strong relationships with customers and networks with business and industry," said Ferguson. "I can't wait to get back to the working waterfront and am looking forward to working with the amazing team at the Port Authority."

Ferguson's maritime interests extend beyond the job, as well. She currently is serving as president of the Propeller Club of Duluth-Superior, spent three years on the board of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, has volunteered on the S.S. Meteor Preservation Project in Superior for five years, and has been a guest lecturer in the transportation & logistics management department at UWS since 2006.

After hours, you'll likely find Ferguson on some type of playing field, in the woods or on the water as she is an avid outdoor fitness enthusiast - participating in everything from soccer, hockey, running, hiking, and biking to kayaking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, cross country skiing and 4x4 off-roading.

For additional information, contact:  Adele Yorde, Duluth Seaway Port Authority PR Manager
218.727.8525 | 218.390.6973 (c)


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