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Boreal Community Media

A festive gathering celebrates Business Leaders in Cook County

Oct 24, 2018 05:20AM ● By Editor
Scott Harrison (left) and Nancy Burns were honored as Cook County Community Business Leaders of the Year.  They recently sold Lutsen Resort after thirty years of operation.  Photo:  Lutsen Resort


From Boreal Community Media - October 24, 2018


A large crowd of business leaders from across Cook County attended the ninth annual Fall Gala celebrating Cook County's momentum in the areas of tourism, community and economic development on Tuesday, October 23 at the newly renovated Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.

Jim Boyd of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and Linda Jurek of Visit Cook County welcomed business leaders from across the County and highlighted many of the economic contributions that have been accomplished in the past year

Nancy Burns and Scott Harrison, until recently the long time owners of Lutsen Resort, were honored as Business Leaders of the Year for their countless contributions to the economic prosperity of Cook County.  In addition to growing Lutsen Resort as an iconic tourism destination on the North Shore, they both have contributed decades of leadership to a wide variety of organizations including the North House Folk School and the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority.  Burns and Harrison recently sold Lutsen Resort but remain active contributors to the Cook County community.

The winner of the Business of the Year was Java Moose, the iconic Grand Marais coffee shop warmly welcoming locals and visitors by its familiar staff of Becca, Anna, Sarah and Gary.  

The 2018 Entrepreneur winners were Bruce Block of Village North who converted Gopher Cabins into safe, attractive and comfortable low income housing and Mike & Sue Prom and Ritalee and Bruce Walters for Voyageur Brewing Company.

Congratulations to all who received this well-deserved recognition as community business leaders.

Earlier in the evening, the audience heard comments from Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk and Representative Rob Ecklund, each who presented their own comments on the importance of local business leadership to the economic prosperity of the North Shore and its impact on the overall image of Minnesota as a desired place to live and visit.  The audience was also greeted from a video from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who reflected on her childhood connections to the North Shore and its importance as a vibrant attraction and economic contributions to Minnesota.

John Edman, the Executive Director of Explore Minnesota, also addressed the group.  Edman cited the impact of tourism on the overall economic health of the state of the Minnesota and hinted at some of the themes in the upcoming marketing efforts to continue to attract visitors to the state of Minnesota.

A drawing was held for the Cook County Chamber Fundraiser.  Canoe paddles from Ojibwa artist Roy Thomas were donated by Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply and awarded to the raffle winners.  The winner of the season-long fund raiser of a custom Sandborn canoe was also announced.