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Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes Dee Slinde


Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Features

The City of Lanesboro, Minn. and the surrounding area has graciously opened its arms to the new executive director of the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) and Tourism, Dee Slinde.

Having grown up in London, Minn. near Austin, and graduating from Austin High School, Slinde then attended Minnesota School of Business first obtaining a degree in Business Administration followed by a second degree in Sales and Marketing.

She then lived and worked around the Twin Cities area for about 35 years always being in some form of management. Previous work experiences include being a general manager of a chain of retail stores and Vice President of Sales for a manufacturing company.

Slinde has spent the last 15 years working in a university setting most recently at the Cardinal Stritch University satellite campus in Rochester, Minn. She states that education is very important to her.

Her first visit to Lanesboro happened a couple years ago while she was in the area camping and on a rainy day she stopped in Lanesboro for lunch and fell in love with the town. She would spend weekends in Lanesboro and enjoy the area, the activities, and people.

She had thought about opening a business in Lanesboro and decided she should spend some time in town during the winter before she went in that direction. Slinde ran across an opportunity to rent a house in Lanesboro from people who have a summer home in town and moved to Lanesboro in November 2013.

Then one day Slinde stopped at the Visitor’s Center in Lanesboro to ask for some information and statistics about opening a business in town. As she spoke with Julie Kiehne, Executive Director of the LACC at the time, Slinde learned that it was Julie’s last day in that position as she was moving on to another opportunity.

After speaking with Kiehne for about an hour, “it became apparent that I needed to probably apply for the position,” stated Slinde. She said, “It was a very serendipitous moment.” The duties at the LACC are very much in alignment with what she was doing at the university.

Since accepting the position of executive director of the LACC and beginning work on March 1, 2014, Slinde has been very busy getting acquainted with the position, the membership, the board, and also getting out to other communities, visitors centers, and chambers.

The executive director of the LACC and Tourism serves the members of the area business community and also works to bring tourism to the area. The LACC also supports businesses who are not members by bringing tourists’ dollars to this part of the state.

Slinde is very excited about her new position and looking forward to many things coming up such at the Arts Campus. She was also very happy to hear that Lanesboro has recently been named by Smithsonian Magazine as number 10 on a list of 20 best small towns to visi in 2014.

Dee Slinde looks forward to “emphasizing what we have here” she says, with this unique community in that it is a town of 754 people that is able to support a professional theatre, a number of art galleries and artists in the area, high quality dining facilities and shopping that you can’t find anywhere else. Slinde states that this kind of eclectic mix works really well.

What Slinde sees as a potential direction is to draw more tourism into the area. A primary directive for Slinde is that local businesses work together and complement each other and support each other. She says what she looks forward to in the future is growing and drawing tourism. One area Slinde sees potential growth in tourism is hunting and fishing opportunities among many other ideas she already thought of.

Slinde looks forward to hearing suggestions from residents of the area in addition to tourists as to what other activities and opportunities could be offered. Dee Slinde can be reached by email at director@lanesboro.com with any comments, questions, or suggestions.

The community of Lanesboro and the surrounding area have been incredibly welcoming to Slinde, explaining just the other day she went to lunch at Pedal Pushers expecting to dine by herself but instead was invited to join a large group of people that were celebrating one couple’s anniversary. Slinde states “There are good people everywhere, it just seems they are a little easier to find in our area.” Slinde says, “Everyone here is so kind and friendly,” which Slinde returns in-kind.

The Lanesboro Visitor’s Center and Chamber are currently open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Visitor’s Center is open on Saturday’s from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., but the Chamber is closed on Saturdays. The hours will be extended in May.

You can find the Visitor’s Center at 100 Milwaukee Road in Lanesboro. The phone number for the Visitor’s Center is (507) 467-2696. To find out more information about Lanesboro visit www.lanesboro.com.

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