Council Member Bios

Lake Superior Coastal Program logo.The Governor's Council on Minnesota's Coastal Program consists of fifteen members, with three persons representing each of the four counties located within the coastal boundary. The remaining three members are selected from an at-large pool of names. Members are appointed by the governor.



Carlton County

Dick Brenner is a Carlton County Commissioner and residing in the City of Cloquet. Dick is dedicated to public service and is and active in the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission Board of Directors, Cloquet Educational Foundation Board of Directors, and the Arrowhead Regional Corrections board.

Dan Belden graduated from Esko High School in 1987 and continued his education at Vermillion Community College and Winona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Major in School and Community Health Education. As a senior planner with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth, many of Dan's responsibilities revolve around protecting, preserving and enhancing the quality of Lake Superior and more specifically the St. Louis River watersheds.

Vacant - The Office of the Secretary of State is accepting applications for someone with knowledge and interest in Lake Superior. For more information, please visit our Governor's Council on Minnesota's Coastal Program page.

St. Louis County

Mary Ann Sironen is a 4th generation resident of the North Shore near the Sucker River where her family engaged in commercial fishing and owned BlueBird Landing, a deep sea fishing resort. Her professional background is in clinical laboratory medicine having retired from positions with SMDC and Superior Health Medical Group. She's active in the community and on the board of the Duluth/North Shore Sanitary District. She's currently a project manager with First Plan of Minnesota and on the Medical Laboratory Technician faculty of Lake Superior College.

 Jo Thompson has been a resident of Duluth Township in St. Louis County for 20 years. As a member of the Lake Superior Basin community, Jo has a vested interest in protecting the biological integrity and aesthetic quality of the near shore areas of Lake Superior. As a research biologist at the U.S. EPA, Jo has had the opportunity to work on research on Lake Superior and be involved with a diverse community of other researchers and resource managers with interests in Lake Superior.

Don Schriener


Lake County

Rick Goutermont - resides in Silver Bay and is a Lake County Commissioner. As a life-long resident of Lake County, he has a sincere interest in the future of this area and the Lake Superior Coast.

Robert Larkin - is a retired accountant with a background in financial and systems management from non-profit to for profit organizations in tourism, construction, health care, electronics, chemical, food service, and foundary industries. Robert is currently active in several community groups and fishing, golfing and hiking.

William Miller


Cook County

Keck Melby - former owner of Voyageur's Marina in Grand Portage. Keck is a retired colonel from the U.S. Air Force. He served on the organization and implementation work group as an active member.

James King

Vacant - The Office of the Secretary of State is accepting applications for someone with knowledge and interest in Lake Superior. For more information, please visit our Governor's Council on Minnesota's Coastal Program page.

At Large

William Majewski - 

 Karen Anderson - has been a lifelong resident of Minnesota. (With the exception of living two years abroad) Karen's Lake Superior experience started as a child visiting Lake Superior's shore for one week during the summer. The tradition of visiting Lake Superior has continued with her children by hiking trails along the North Shore and Isle Royale and sailing along Minnesota's coast to Isle Royale and the Apostle Islands. As a business owner, Karen understands the need to balance an organizational budget and the importance of demonstrating financial accountability to taxpayers. Karen also adds grant writing experience to the council which will help provide a view from the opposite side of the table.

Mike Link - retired as the founding director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods with 38 1/2 years dedicated to education and the protection of the environment. During that time he worked with Northland College in Ashland, WI to develop a degree in Outdoor Education and served on the advisory group for the University of Minnesota, Duluth in their development of an environmental education emphasis. Mike has taught college courses at Northland College and Hamline University and conducted the International Teacher Training on Isle Royale for the Great lakes Aquarium. In 2010, Mike and his wife went on a 145 day a hike around Lake Superior. During the hike they delivered presentations for the public and have subsequently been engaged in writing a book and doing numerous talks about the lake and fresh water throughout MN and the Lake Superior region.