Definitely Somedayis proud to announce the appointment of Don Ness to its inaugural Advisory Board. Mr. Ness joins the Board with more than 20 years in public leadership, culminating with a 91 percent job approval rating in his role as Mayor of the City of Duluth.
“We are thrilled to have Don join the Board,” said Definitely Someday founder Shannon Watson. “Most people outside of Duluth just know of him as the Mayor, but he’s been working on developing emerging talent and civic engagement since he founded the Bridge Syndicate back in 2001. I can’t think of anyone better to help guide our work.”
As Mayor, Ness served as Chief Executive of city operations, overseeing a $250 million annual budget, and inspiring the collaboration of the city’s 850 staff members. His administration turned the city’s budget deficit into a surplus and greatly improved overall operations by staying true to the motto, “Own it. Solve it.” Prior to his tenure as Mayor, he was the campaign manager for Congressman Jim Oberstar for nearly 10 years.
Ness’ experience in office has allowed him to sharpen his exceptional leadership skills, while making him an expert in public policy, strategic messaging and community outreach. His core values include a deep dedication to his family, and an ongoing spirit of service to his community. He continues to serve the Duluth community as a voice, volunteer and supporter of a variety of causes and organizations.
Ness believes a leader can create significant value and collaboration through a willingness to challenge conventional thinking, and by demonstrating a modest, restrained, and thoughtful use of authority within a leadership position.
"The brokenness of our nation's politics can be blamed on having a far too narrow spectrum of personality types committing to public service,” said Ness. “For the health of our country and our democracy, we must encourage and inspire thoughtful, solution-minded citizens to serve."
Ness is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, majoring in business administration and economics, and he earned a Masters in Management from the College of St. Scholastica.
“Don is exactly the kind of leader our clients look up to and want to become,” Watson said. “Our goal is to have more people approach public service the way he does, and his knowledge and experience are invaluable assets.”