Duluth Man Sworn In As Part Of Seaway Leadership Group

By KBJR News 1

June 12, 2012 Updated Jun 12, 2012 at 6:32 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter -- Shipping has long been one of the key economic drivers in the Twin Ports.

But a lot of work goes into ensuring the longevity of that economic success.

Tuesday in Washington D.C, Dave McMillan was sworn in to serve on the prestigious national advisory board for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

The port of Duluth–Superior is the largest tonnage port on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway.

"So we have to make sure from the federal level that the St. Lawrence Seaway is properly funded; that the assets are in good order; that they're expanding at the pace that we need the economy to expand at," said McMillan.

McMillan, the Vice President of Marketing and Regulatory Public Affairs at Duluth–based Allete, has been appointed to do just that.

He was sworn Tuesday in by the Secretary of Transportation in Washington D.C. to serve on the board of the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation.

McMillan says when it comes to the shipping industry in the Twin Ports, there's a lot of room for growth.

"Copper nickel has opportunity here as does expanded ferrous mining. I don't think we've even begun to scratch the surface as to what's available out of the wood segment of the economy."

The seaway leadership group is based in the nation's capitol, but The Duluth Seaway Port Authority hopes this new appointment will shine light on the needs of the Twin Ports.

"So to actually have, if you will, the triangle complete, to say, here at the head of the lakes, these are the issues, these are the economic development priorities that we have," said Adele Yorde.

Port Authority officials say freight policy in the U.S is one of the biggest things that's going to determine the future of shipping across the nation.

"How we move it; how safely we move it; how efficiently we move it. So being able to have the port of Duluth Superior, the Great Lakes play a primary role in what policy is formulated in Washington D.C, that's huge," said Yorde.

McMillan is expected to meet as a board between five and six times a year.