Executive Director


March 15, 2021



Executive Director



Located on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) offers world-class events spanning conventions, sports, arts and entertainment. Steps away from charming Canal Park and Downtown Duluth, the DECC offers proximity to local shops, award-winning restaurants and lodging, all in addition to panoramic views of the Aerial Lift Bridge and Duluth Harbor from its event space.

The DECC is at the epicenter of the Duluth community and its tourism economy. It is home to the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Broadway performances, concerts, conventions and trade shows, the Minnesota Ballet, University of Minnesota Duluth Hockey, and much more.



As the world emerges from a global pandemic, the DECC has before it an unprecedented opportunity to rethink and reshape how it serves as a communal and economic hub for Duluth and the Northland.

The DECC remains the preeminent venue in the region at a time when Minnesotans and beyond are looking to Duluth and the Northland to escape. Now is time for the DECC to capitalize on its many physical advantages and not simply rebound from the recent downturn but deepen its economic impact for the region. With innovation and creativity, the DECC has the opportunity to introduce the marketplace to a more vibrant, relevant version of itself. The DECC has the ingredients—expansive and diverse facilities, great people, excellent industry reputation, deep community support—and is ready for the next leader to take the organization forward.



The DECC seeks an accomplished, driven, entrepreneurial leader to renew the organization as the global pandemic recedes. Reporting to the DECC Board of Directors, the new Executive Director (ED) will provide visionary leadership toward restoring the organization’s dual role as a driver of the Northland economy and engaged center for its community. The new ED is an outstanding listener, quick learner, excellent communicator and relationship builder. They have a natural ability to learn the key business drivers of their stakeholders as well as internal challenges and opportunities for their employees. Sales and marketing are in their core being. They are enthusiastic about and masters at communicating the DECC’s vision locally, regionally, and beyond.

The DECC’s next ED will bring an innovative and creative eye towards rebuilding the organization’s core functions and responding to a changed economic landscape. The new leader will rebuild the organization’s profitability and strong financials while maintaining its collaborative work culture and the customer first focus that the DECC has built in its operations.


Key Accountabilities Include:

Revenue Growth with Profitability

  1. Take a highly visible and active role in sales, business development, marketing, partnerships, and other critical top-line activities.
  2. Eye all expenses and revenue for the potential short and long return that they can generate and operate the DECC through stewardship and efficient use of public resources.

Team Leadership

  1. Ensure that the DECC culture remains a vibrant and open place to work; practices active listening and collaboration; demonstrates a “service-oriented” mentality towards both clients and the DECC colleagues; fosters and encourages an “open-door” policy with all employees; is hungry for new ideas among employees, stakeholders, and clients.
  2. Hold all employees accountable for their performance and always has an eye on the data to inform their intuition.

Strategic Leadership

  1. Articulates strategic vision authentically and compellingly to the DECC Board, staff, and stakeholders.
  2. Provide leadership, vision, and framework to develop, revise, improve, and implement strategic goals in line with the DECC’s mission and addressing the reality of the economic climate.
  3. Provide leadership in developing the DECC’s short and long-range financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, in line with the organization’s mission.

External Relations

  1. Serve as the “face” of the DECC, nurturing relationships with public sector, private sector and nonprofit stakeholders, as well as the community as a whole.
  2. Work with staff to develop key marketing strategies and activities that increase the awareness and reputation of the DECC; Tell the incredible story of the DECC and how it can serve the needs of the region and a variety of clients and stakeholders.

Board Management

  1. Partner with the Board of Directors in the development of the Board’s agenda, strategy, and oversight.
  2. Work with the Board to improve policy and ensure proper governance of the DECC.



Driven Leader. The DECC’s next ED is a leader who assembles and expects their team to be superior to them in their area of specialty. They will take full responsibility for their actions and will expect their team to do the same. Moreover, while themselves intelligent and an astute learner, they gladly rely on the expertise around them and desire to listen to the advice of their internal and external stakeholders. They will bring a track record of high standards, accountability, and unimpeachable integrity.

Excellent Communicator. Exiting the pandemic requires the DECC have a culture of clear, honest communication. In addition to being an excellent communicator themselves, the DECC’s next leader will foster a culture of clear, responsive communication with the organization’s stakeholders and the community as a whole.

Customer-Focused. The next ED will bring experience in sales and marketing and a demonstrated orientation to customer service. The DECC employees have a deep passion for what they do and a natural commitment to customers, solving their problems and ensuring their success. Their next leader must live, promote, and develop this customer-first mentality.

Great Manager. The DECC’s organizational structure has faced devastating changes over the past year. As a leader, the new ED will have a proven ability managing and building complex organizational dynamics and systems. In addition, they will have demonstrated success managing through change, developing talent and instilling an employee-centered culture. They are a proven developer of people and organizations. Their team wants to work with them and produce stellar products and solutions.

Creative and Innovative Perspective. As the pandemic recedes, the organization’s next ED will nurture creativity and innovation as the DECC confronts a heretofore unseen opportunity.



Demonstrated experience as the external face of an organization. Hospitality, tourism, or venue management experience preferred.

Experience growing an organization and managing through change.

Demonstrated experience building and aligning an organization to a vision for innovation and future growth.

Strong customer facing and relationship skills.

Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and executing detailed annual business plans.

Possess the emotional intelligence to nurture a healthy work environment that promotes hospitality, creativity, employee engagement, accountability.

Thorough understanding of financial planning, budgeting, cash flow management and public financing.

Minimum of 5 years of professional leadership experience that includes general management responsibilities as leader of an organization or a significant division.



The targeted salary range for this role is $125,000 to $160,000 dependent on qualifications. In addition, the DECC offers competitive benefits package including health insurance and retirement benefits.



Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has retained Orion Search Group to help conduct the search for its next Executive Director. For more information about the opportunity, please contact Joel Bergstrom with Orion Search Group at (612) 367-4612 or joelb@orionsearchgroup.com.