Press Release: DECC Announces Changes in Board Leadership

For more information, contact:
DECC Interim Executive Director, Roger Reinert at or 218-623-1201



DECC Announces Changes in Board Leadership


Duluth, MN (December 30, 2020) – The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) announced changes to its Board of Directors. DECC Board Chair, Karen Pionk, is leaving the Board when her term expires December 31, 2020. The Board has elected Pat Mullen to serve as the next Board Chair.

Additionally, the Board has elected Lynne Williams to take the place of Pat Mullen as Board Vice Chair. Mary Finnegan has been elected to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, a role previously held by Ms. Williams.  Duluth Mayor Emily Larson has appointed Matthew Baumgartner to fill the vacancy created by Ms. Pionk’s departure. Mr. Baumgartner is an active participant in the community and currently holds the role as General Manager and Director of Government Affairs at Grandma’s Restaurant Company. His three-year term on the DECC Board will begin January 1, 2021.

Karen Pionk has served on the Board for seven and a half years, and has led as Board Chair since 2019. Among her many accomplishments, she has been a member of the Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and served as Chair of the Executive Committee.

Ms. Pionk shared the following statement: “The DECC is the most iconic gathering place in Northern Minnesota. People experience their first concert, first job, or wedding here. They spend time at trade shows, arts performances, and watching their favorite hockey team hit the ice. While I’m sad to be leaving the board, I know that under the leadership of my fellow board members, and all who wear a DECC nametag, the region’s gathering place is in good hands, really good hands.”

Pat Mullen, incoming Chair of the DECC Board, said, “Karen has shown great leadership during her time on the Board. She has been committed to her role, putting in many hours, especially during this pandemic, to ensure the DECC survives and thrives.” Mullen added, “I’m grateful for the work she has put in over the years, and am honored to take the torch and keep moving forward.”

The DECC Board is comprised of 11 members with staggered terms. Seven are appointed by the Mayor of Duluth and four are appointed by the Governor of Minnesota.


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The Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) is a publicly-owned multi-use facility located on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. The DECC offers 800,000 square feet of indoor space and is open for public gatherings and events of up to 250 people. The DECC is actively working with State leaders to develop flexible maximum capacity guidelines based on maximum seating, entries, exits, bathrooms, and HVAC/air filtration capacity