Former leader at Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce hires attorneys after termination

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Martha Bremer was a leader at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce for eight years. That all ended on November 10th, when she was terminated.

According to the statement from her attorneys, Bremer said she reported concerns about the hiring process for a leadership position. And only then she said alleged performance issues come up.

Her attorney confirmed this is about the hiring of Daniel Fanning, who is the VP of Strategy of Policy and Executive Director of the Chamber Foundation. He was hired in September.

Fanning had also been the Board Chair of the Chamber and was part of the team who hired current president, Matt Baumgartner.

Baumgartner sent a statement to WDIO, saying, in part, “Fanning’s hire was done in the exact same, consistent way that all current and former Chamber staff have been hired for over a decade. As far as Mr. Fanning’s hire, HR, legal, and board representation were involved and consulted. It is important to note that Duluth Chamber by-laws clearly state the President of the Chamber has the authority to conduct all hirings and firings. In the spirit of cooperation and transparency, I have always kept Board leadership, HR and legal teams in the loop.”

Bremer’s statement went on to say, “This has been a trying time for me and my family, and I am declining further interviews right now.”

Her attorneys added, “When the Chamber hired its former board chair to head a new foundation within the organization under circumstances that raised the appearance of impropriety, Martha raised appropriate questions. Soon thereafter, the Chamber terminated her employment. But Martha’s
leadership continues. We are proud to represent her.”