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Simonson moves from zoo to LSC

Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) |  Photo: Minnesota Legislature

Updated: April 01, 2020 03:35 PM

Erik Simonson has started a new job at Lake Superior College after leaving the Lake Superior Zoo in what the zoo described as a cost-saving measure.

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LSC announced Wednesday that Simonson has started as their Executive Director of Continuing Education and Customized Training.  He will manage LSC's Continuing Education and Customized Training department, which provides workforce training for regional employers.

Simonson, a retired Duluth firefighter, had previously worked at LSC in the 1990s as a fire tech and industrial safety teacher.  In a news release, he said he's excited to return to LSC.

"Even during these challenging times with COVID-19, we see how our communities and regions come together and work towards a common goal. LSC has long been a strong partner in Duluth and the surrounding area, and I look forward to helping build on and expand those connections. The broader goal continues to be to serve the needs of students, business, industry and other local economic development initiatives as we work to construct a constantly evolving workforce," Simonson said.

A zoo spokesperson said Simonson stepped down as chief executive officer, saying, "During this unprecedented time, many businesses and organizations are taking extreme cost-savings measures in order to stay financially stable."

Simonson had been CEO of the zoo since September 2017.  Zoo Director of Business Operations Lynn Habhegger will step into the position of acting CEO.

"We are grateful for Erik’s leadership in the past two and a half years and appreciate everything he has done for the Lake Superior Zoological Society. We wish him luck in his new position," the zoo's statement said.

Simonson is also a state Senator representing Duluth as a DFL'er. He serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the Senate.

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