MNN’s Tasha Redel is at the 69th annual Governor’s Fishing opener on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor. She is bringing a selection of interviews from the opener in a slice of life piece on what the opener means to Minnesotans. In this story we hear from the Chair of the Opener Lisa Kruse, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and attendee Don Proulx.
Lisa Kruse, Chair of the Opener
Lisa Kruse, 2016 Governor’s Fishing Opener Chair: Serving as event chair for the 2016 Governor’s Fishing Opener, Kruse is in her 16th year as Community Education Director for McGregor schools and a 2nd term board member on the McGregor Chamber of Commerce. Lisa was born and raised in McGregor. She is passionate about outdoor recreation and continues to provide experiential learning opportunities for adults and youth in the community. She is well known statewide for her Big Sandy Water Institute summer program that focuses on environmental education and recreation. Lisa has been married to Mike for 30 years, has three grown children and 7 grandchildren and cherishes time spent with family.
Attendee Don Proulx
Don Proulx, CEO/Co-Owner, Minnesota National Golf Course: Born and raised in Cloquet, MN., Donald owns Minnesota National Golf Course and several other real estate companies, specializing in commercial and residential real estate development and consulting. He is also former owner of Big Sandy Lodge and Resort, his first investment in the McGregor area. Donald is a former F-16 fighter pilot, and lives with his wife Elisa and three daughters.
DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr
Tom Landwehr, DNR Commissioner: Tom Landwehr is an avid hunter, angler and student of the outdoors. He’s looking forward to holding a fishing rod during opener weekend! Landwehr was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in January 2011. He came to the job with a wealth of natural resources experience: He was assistant state director for The Nature Conservancy; he directed Ducks Unlimited conservation programs in Minnesota and Iowa; and he worked for the DNR from 1982-1999 with wetland wildlife conservation programs.
Lt. Governor Tina Smith
Tina Smith is Minnesota’s 48th Lt. Governor. Lt. Governor Smith first joined Governor Dayton’s team in 2011, serving as Chief of Staff. This is Lt. Governor Smith’s second Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener and she’s excited to be a part of this time-honored tradition kicking off the summer fishing and travel season. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, and exploring Minnesota’s state parks. Lt. Governor Smith lives in Minneapolis with her husband Archie. They have been married for more than 30 years, and have two grown sons, Sam and Mason.