Growing up in Floodwood with my mom, dad, four brothers and sisters, I learned how to get along and compromise. I also learned to stand my own ground. From an early age, I was taught to get involved in making life better for others. I remember painting houses for the local Lion’s Club with my dad. One of my first jobs was mowing lawns for senior citizens and being paid through the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.
In my early 20s, I moved to Florida and took my first jobs in sales and business management. The experience I gained there carried me to New York City where I lived for 18 years. I was a UPS driver for 11 years in Midtown Manhattan and I am proud of the work I did organizing for a respectful and inclusive workplace with my fellow Teamsters. My service to others continued in my Brooklyn neighborhood, as I helped to create a thriving community garden in the middle of the city.
I returned to Minnesota in 2002 to be closer to my family. Duluth was the perfect choice to be my new home. I love its parks, trails, Lake Superior, and the small town feel of a city that has lots of opportunities. I arrived with my newly acquired yoga teaching certificate and have had a very successful and enjoyable career teaching yoga students around the Northland, including : The College of St Scholastica, Two Harbors Community Education, Cloquet Community Education, and the Fond du Lac Reservation.
In 2011, I took the experiences I gained from a lifetime of customer and community service into the political realm, when I became the lead organizer in Duluth for Minnesotans United for All Families. It was an amazing honor to contribute to the success of the MN United campaign. We won the freedom to marry, for all citizens. I was legally married in 2013 to Gary Boelhower, who is a Professor Emeritus at The College of Saint Scholastica. I am the proud stepfather of 3 and grandfather of 4.
The honor of serving as the District 1 councilor is one that I take seriously. I’ve given my all to the community over the past four years. I am excited to be running for re-election to the city council.