New Duluth Historic Mansion Museum Oversight Position to Take Bong Center Director


Since 2019, Heckman has been running the Bong Center. His references in history run deep, as he graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a degree in history, worked for several county historical societies in southern Minnesota, and served as a coordinator for the Minnesota Alliance. of Local History Museums before landing at Superior.

Heckman’s predecessor in Glensheen, Dan Hartman, was recently appointed executive director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The mansion was home to the family of Clara and Chester Congdon, a prominent lawyer who amassed a fortune by investing in the area’s mining and forestry industries. The family then donated the estate to the University of Minnesota system to be preserved and shared with the public as a piece of history.

When UMD sought to find Hartman’s replacement, the position attracted “a solid pool of candidates” from near and far, according to Lynne Williams, the school’s director of marketing and public relations. She said the field was narrowed down to two finalists before Heckman was selected.

Heckman said he has been impressed with Glensheen and his creative team in recent years.

“I just felt it was a great opportunity,” he said.

“I really love the Twin Ports area and wanted to land somewhere where I could make a difference and develop a great organization which is a huge asset not only to the area but to our state, the Midwest and the museum stages. national, ”added Heckman. .

Dustin Heckman

Dustin Heckman

Still, the promotion is somewhat bittersweet, as Heckman has said he will miss working for the Bong Center when he leaves in mid-November.

“We have great people here at Bong who it’s been great to work with, and getting to know not only the staff but also the volunteers, many of whom are veterans, has meant a lot. Just hearing about their experiences and their stories really touched me, ”he said. “It really gave me a better appreciation of our military, our veterans, what they went through and what they continue to experience today.”

Ahead of his departure from the Bong, Heckman will see the center through its annual fundraiser on November 4, which includes a silent auction, programming featuring veteran stories and a cry for help from the community. This event will move back to an online platform for the sake of public safety, as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

History enthusiast at heart, Heckman said, “It has to do with so many different things, and it can help you understand how things work today, how we overcame our differences and made a difference in the world.”

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