Meet the Staff


Konnie LeMay, editor

Konnie LeMay

Started on: July 27, 1998

What is your title and what do you do? Editor. Basically I develop the outlines and plans for upcoming magazine issues, working with our staff editors and freelance writers and photographers. I edit and shepherd all book projects. I oversee the editorial department in general and proof read other materials – subscription cards to puzzle boxes – as needed. When two-cents are sought on project ideas, I always have at least a penny's worth of advice to offer.

What do you like best about your job? Chatting with readers and having contact with writers and photographers; getting to do stories myself sometimes (I never intended to be an editor – just a reporter); and knowing that sometimes I really am able to edit something that makes it better.

Where are you from originally? I'm living in the house I grew up in. I'm from here!

What is your favorite hobby/activity? Hanging with my husband, Bob, and my four-footed child, Turbo Rachel. Anytime I get to stand on the Lake shore. Going to the dog park.


Amy Larsen, art & production manager

Amy Larsen

Started on: June 1, 2011

What is your title and what do you do? I am the art and production manager. My job touches almost everything we do, from getting new envelopes printed to publishing magazines, books, placemats, puzzles, etc. I work with our photographers and designers and shepherd projects through to the printers and producers. I work directly with those providers, getting bids and serving as the contact.

What do you like best about your job? I’ve worked in the printing industry for a long time and love using my knowledge to help to produce such a fantastic magazine and all of the great stuff we carry in our catalog and outlet store.

Where are you from originally? Except for spending grade school in California, I was born and raised in Duluth. I’ve dreamt of moving to a warm sunny place, but there is just something special about living in Duluth and near the Lake.

What is your favorite hobby/activity? For several years, I have been riding a motorcycle and love every minute of it. My husband and I take a road trip with friends every year to a different part of the United States. We sure have a beautiful country, and I plan to ride most of it. Make sure you put the Lake Superior Circle Tour on your bucket list. It’s a beautiful ride and one of my favorites.

What Amy didn’t tell you, but we know: She has ridden her Harley-Davidson Sportster in Duluth every month of the year except January. Watch out, January!


Tanya Bäck, graphic designer

Tanya Bäck

First contracted on: June 1, 2011

What is your title and what do you do? I am the graphic designer;­ I create the design and layout of the magazine. I help to visualize the stories that our contributors and editors work so hard to write. I’ve loved every minute of it!

What do you like best about your job? My favorite part of the job is learning, discovering and seeing all the beauty and fun that Lake Superior and the surrounding areas have to offer. It’s always something different, and I get to see it all come to life as I design – there’s never a boring or dull moment in my job.

Where are you from originally? I’m from Moose Lake, Minnesota. I grew up around lakes, mosquitoes and summers that I hoped would never end.

What is your favorite hobby/activity? Hanging out with family, photography and painting. You can see my work at tanyaback.com. (Sorry, I had to plug my art!)

What Tanya didn't tell you, but we know: Tanya got her first Polaroid camera at age 10 and immediately lined up her dolls as models – an idea that Sports Illustrated only recently thought up with the Barbie swimsuit shoot. Ahead of the curve again, Tanya.


Nancy Johnson, subscription coordinator

Nancy Johnson

Started on: January 1, 2001

What is your title and what do you do? I’m the subscription coordinator. I handle all the subscription information, figure out the pressrun and circulation, handle renewals, and do supplemental mailings and deal with the post office, figure out subscription liability and anything to do with subscriptions and answer customer phone calls. I also handle the shipping/fulfillment department, shipping merchandise out to our wholesalers and retail customers, ordering of the office supplies and the shipping supplies. I try to keep the back room stocked, I go to the warehouse and do deliveries when needed. I can’t really think of everything, kind of just do it.

What do you like best about your job? I enjoy figuring out the pressrun and circulation (I like numbers!) and doing spreadsheets to figure out how things are going or to set up information. I also enjoy learning other responsibilities so I can back up in other areas when needed.

Where are you from originally? I was born in Worthington, Minnesota, and grew up in Hermantown.

What is your favorite hobby/activity? I love spending time with my husband, our children, granddaughters and all my family. I help my husband a lot with the Duluth/Superior RC Airplane Club. I like working on my '56 Dodge Custom Royale, and we just bought a runabout boat that I’m refurbishing with new carpet, seats and paint. For my quiet time, I like to go antiquing, mow the lawn and read.

What Nancy didn’t tell you, but we know: She has won demolition derbies!


Siiri Branstrom, customer service & marketing coordinator

Siiri Branstrom

This time started on: November 1, 2001 (She’s joined up 3 times!)

What is your title and what do you do? I have a double title. As marketing coordinator, I work with retail partners around the Lake. I market our products (magazine, books, puzzles, maps, note cards, etc.). I help to develop new products and publications, work with our authors on promotions, and guide production of our wholesale and retail catalogs and ads. When we sponsor events, I work out details and try to keep it all running without a hitch (mostly). As customer service coordinator, I do all I can to meet customers’ needs and answer questions. We have the best customer service team anywhere and our customers are amazing, so it’s just plain fun to be on the front line.

What do you like best about your job? Getting to know people. Each day I look forward to building relationships with our readers, wholesale vendors and advertisers. I’ve worked in almost every department, and over the years, I have connected with some of the nicest people anywhere.

Where are you from originally? I was born in Minneapolis but was raised in Eveleth, Minnesota. Much of my family is still on The Range.

What is your favorite hobby/activity outside work? My number one activity other than work is supporting my very busy 18-year-old son in all of his athletic, musical, theatrical and scholastic pursuits. I also love to practice Tai Chi, read great books, attend local festivals, theater and musical events, harass my two orange tabby cats and especially spend time with my amazing family and friends.

What Siiri didn’t tell you: Two years running she was on our two-person team that won the spelling bee championship organized by the Duluth News Tribune.


William H.B. Calvert, advertising coordinator

Hank Calvert

Started on: June 1, 2004

What is your title and what do you do? I am the advertising coordinator. I handle most of the back-office tasks for the advertising department. I create and send out the advertising invoices and the proof-of-performance tearsheets, ad proofs and ad mailings. I perform research as needed, database entry and maintenance work, edit and proof the Restaurant & Lodging Guide listings, proof ads and listings, keep the map and guide distribution lists and any other of various tasks as required. In addition, I help as needed in the shipping department, am fourth in line to catch incoming phone calls and occasionally staff the front desk.

What do you like best about your job? I like the facts, figures, numbers and research parts the best. There is always something new to learn, some fact to find.

Where are you from originally? I grew up in the Granite City, St. Cloud in central Minnesota.

What is your favorite hobby/activity outside work? My wife and I enjoy road trips, seeing new places, traveling the decidedly off-the-beaten track backroads; straight lines and interstates are boring. We enjoy finding and visiting orchards with antiques and unusual apples and pears, small-town, old-fashioned general stores, exploring natural wonders like Michigan’s Grand Sable Dunes and seeking out unusual attractions such as the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota.

What Hank didn’t tell you, but we know: We all call him Hank, and he’s an extremely knowledgeable boat nerd.


Anna Tarro, customer service

Anna Tarro

Started in 2007 as call-in aid

What is your title and what do you do? I'm Customer Service folks, though most of my work is in the background. I help, seasonally and as needed, with much of the "little stuff" related to subscriptions and fulfillment of orders. When you receive a subscription notice by mail, I've likely folded, stuff and sealed it. If you buy a map, I probably rolled it. I put that comment card in the book you ordered and would love to hear from you!

What do you like best about your job? The high quality of our publications and related merchandise appeals to my precise nature. I love attending to the details of an order, from proofreading the invoice, to ensuring a flawless product, to securing the packaging. And it's fun to send those packages off to places near and (sometimes very!) far, each one carrying a little Lake Superior love.

Where are you from originally? I was born in Duluth, but spent my youth around the Midwest, mostly in Kansas City, Missouri. Duluth called me home in 2007 to care for a family member.

What is your favorite hobby/activity? I come from a large family of foodies and music lovers. I'm often in our tiny kitchen, whipping up a dish Dad suggested, sending a photo to Mom, and listening to our latest recording of my better half, Ethan Thompson, a musician. And no day is complete without a few moments in a book.

What Anna didn’t tell you, but we know: She is a certified hospice and palliative nursing assistant at Solvay Hospice House and makes a mean chicken piccata.

Thursday

February 27, 2020

Friday

February 28, 2020

Saturday

February 29, 2020

Wednesday

March 4, 2020

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