Duluth Seaway Port Authority names new Executive Director

Deb DeLuca, Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

A woman will be at the helm of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority (DSPA) for the first time in the organization’s 60-plus year history. The DSPA board held a special meeting August 13 and unanimously appointed Deb DeLuca Executive Director, effective August 16. DeLuca has served as the port authority’s Government and Environmental Affairs Director since 2014.

“A key ingredient of a successful organization is effective leadership,” said port authority board President Ray Klosowski. “We are fortunate to have had a history of strong leaders at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. We are adding another chapter to that legacy in naming Deb DeLuca as our new executive director. Staff and board members appreciate her thoroughness, her leadership style and her profound commitment not only to the mission of this organization but also to the well-being of our entire port community.”

The search committee reviewed dozens of applications and interviewed a series of highly qualified candidates from across the United States in multiple rounds of a rigorous selection process, said Tony Sertich, DSPA Commissioner and Search Committee Chair.

“One candidate rose above the rest,” Sertich said. “Not only does Deb DeLuca possess the management expertise we were seeking, but she also is heavily invested in this community. She is a person who values collaboration and takes into account the opinions of all stakeholders. Those connections will undoubtedly help inform strategic planning and decision-making here at the port authority going forward.”

DeLuca brings decades of public and private sector experience to the job. She has spent the last four years tracking regulatory issues and legislation for DSPA, the Port of Duluth-Superior and the Great Lakes/Seaway system. In that role, she represented the port’s interests to policymakers at local, state and federal levels of government and to environmental, economic development and community development organizations. She currently chairs the Harbor Technical Advisory Committee for the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council, serves on the Executive Committee of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and represents the port authority on the Mayor’s Economic Development Coalition. Earlier this year, she was one of just 36 civilians selected to participate in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, a public liaison program of the U.S. Department of Defense.

DeLuca becomes the eighth executive director in Duluth Seaway Port Authority history.

Maritime Editorial