Q & A with Martha Bremer, Director of Fuse Duluth
Are you a Duluthian originally or did you move here?
I am a native Duluthian, born and raised here. I did move away for a short period of time. In 2008 my husband and I moved to the Twin Cities. We realized it wasn’t for us in 2009, and finally returned home in 2011.
What attracted you to the FUSE position and what did you do previously?
After a decade in the hospitality industry I was ready for a change. I had several friends recommend the Fuse position. After looking into the role, I was drawn to it because of the opportunity to help develop and connect emerging leaders within our wonderful community.
Why is it so important to unite our young professionals?
It is important to unite young professionals because individuals who feel connected and supported will not move away. By connecting the young people in our area we are building the future of our community.
Does FUSE encourage volunteerism?
YES! When I started I wanted to find a way to give back to the community for the years of support businesses’ had given to the Fuse program. I started by developing a volunteer focus committee. This group began as a team of eight passionate individuals who would pick and choose volunteer efforts that were already happening in our area and join their efforts. We later moved on to create our own initiative called “Project Party,” a monthly birthday party program that the committee hosts at Steve O’Neil apartments, providing birthday parties to children who would otherwise not receive one. We also include local volunteer efforts in our bi-monthly newsletter and host a volunteer opportunity information event once a year. One of the most exciting things that resulted in connecting young professionals with volunteering is the amazing networking opportunity, especially for individuals who don’t love, or are new to, networking.
What’s your absolute one favorite thing about Duluth?
The people, Duluthians have an unbelievable way of supporting each other. Everyone wants to see each other succeed, it is amazing.
Where do you like to eat when you go out?
Sushi, Hanabi is my absolute favorite.
As a mother of three young children, I don’t have a ton of time for hobbies without them, nor would I want to at this time in my life. They are my hobby! I love going on adventures with them and watching them learn and explore.
If you had to choose just one person as a mentor in Duluth who would it be?
My husband – his work ethic, honesty, positive attitude, and eagerness to develop himself is something I strive towards. He is incredibly supportive of me and is always willing to talk through work and life struggles to develop a solution.
Where does your passion lie?
My passion lies in the ability to make change. I love walking into an imperfect situation, rolling up my sleeves, organizing, rebuilding and transforming it.
What do you feel most compelled to speak up about?
Not being afraid of change. The most frightening decisions to change things in my life have resulted in the greatest amounts of growth, happiness, knowledge and strength for me.
What are you reading right now?
Destination Leadership for Boards, by Bill Geist.
If we could do one thing better in the Twin Ports, what would it be?
Change the perception that Duluth does not have quality job opportunities.
Written by Holly Kelsey-Henry for Duluth.com the Magazine. Check out the July/August 2016 issue on newsstands now.