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Nik Bayuk headshot

Nik Bayuk

Board Chair

North Shore Bank

Nikolas Bayuk is a lifelong Duluthian with family ties to the Iron Range dating back to 1910. After graduating from Duluth East High School, he attended the University of Wisconsin Superior, graduating with a degree in Communication – Media Study and Political Science.

Nik has a background in sales and marketing and joined Minnesota Power- ALLETE’s customer service center in 2013. In this role, he gained insight into the very real impacts stagnant job growth in our region can have on local families. Without stable work, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with bills and sustain their quality of life. Today, Nik is a Transmission Compliance Specialist at Minnesota Power.

Nik jumped at the chance to serve on the board of Better In Our Back Yard. As board chair, Nik channels his passion for driving regional economic sustainability into supporting work that creates solid, well-paying jobs for people who want to work hard.

Rachel Johnson headshot

Rachel Johnson

Board Secretary

Precision Pipeline, LLC

Rachel Johnson is the public relations manager for Precision Pipeline, LLC (PPL), a next-generation pipeline contractor. In her role at PPL, Rachel engages with local communities and public stakeholders to identify economic development opportunities that will allow PPL to remain a fabric of the community long after a project is completed.

In addition, Rachel is an advocate of the natural gas industry and works to educate the public of the industry’s positive attributes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management from the College of St. Scholastica in 1999.

Throughout her career, Rachel has held numerous leadership positions at a variety of organizations, with the common thread being public relations and the energy industry. Rachel volunteers on several other boards including, the Duluth Area YMCA, and resides in Duluth, MN.

Lisa Rudstrom headshot

Lisa Rudstrom


Virginia, MN High School

Lisa is an experienced science teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the primary, secondary, and college education industries. She is skilled in classroom management, lesson planning, science, educational technology, community outreach, and curriculum development.

Lisa is a vetted education professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Biology, Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and a Master’s of Science in secondary Science Education with an emphasis in Chemistry and Physics, Education from Bemidji State University.

Interested in helping kids become the best version of themselves, and connecting young adults to meaningful and relevant opportunities regionally in order to sustainably develop the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota.

Kurt Doran headshot

Kurt Doran

Past Chair

Northeast Technical Services

A native of Ely, Minnesota and BIOBY’s first Board Chair, Kurt Doran has over a decade of experience working in the field of environmental permit compliance.

He is a project manager responsible for overseeing NPDES/SDS-permit, water appropriations permit and U.S Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 wetland permit applications, permit compliance and agency reporting for industrial operations in northeast Minnesota.

Kurt also manages baseline environmental studies to support Environmental Impact Statements and major permit applications. Licensed as a wastewater operator, his work includes wastewater treatment and management. He has training and experience in stream assessments and morphology as well as designing and implementing biological studies to evaluate ecological responses in receiving systems.

Dan Manick headshot

Dan Manick

Board Member

IUOE Local 49

Dan is a 32-year member of IUOE Local 49 and is currently a public sector business representative covering northeast Minnesota and all of the Arrowhead region. Local 49 represents over 14,000 operating engineers in many fields of work from highways/bridges, oil and gas pipelines, housing/high rise development, sand and gravel as well as contract work in Iron Range mines. In addition to being strong advocates for a career with great pay and benefits, Local 49 is at the forefront of introducing our industry into the high school classroom through it’s Workforce Development Program.

Dan also serves as board chair on ISD 2142 School Board and is also the Vice Chair on St. Louis County Planning and Zoning Commission. Dan was a long-time high school baseball and softball coach in Cook and has spent many years coaching youth sports in his hometown of Cook, Minnesota. 

Joni Dahl headshot

Joni Dahl

Board Member


Joni Dahl is the materials manager for Iracore International, LLC, an industrial wear technology producer. In her role at Iracore, Joni manages relationships with suppliers.

In addition, Joni is the 2021 Chair of the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Integrated Supply Chain from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, and holds both CPIM and CSCP certifications through APICS.

Throughout her career, Joni has held varying roles in the field of Supply Chain. Joni volunteers on several other boards including the Iron Range Racing Association, and City of Gilbert Planning and Zoning Commission.

Kirk Ilenda headshot

Kirk Ilenda

Board Member

Lakehead Constructors

Kirk Ilenda is the Director of Business Development with Lakehead Constructors. His primary role is to oversee company-wide efforts for sales, marketing and client relationships. As one of Lakehead Constructors’ core executive level leaders, he also supports strategic planning, employee mentoring and company culture.

Kirk is a life-long resident of the Duluth/Superior area, and knows the history, industries and local economics of the entire region of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. He has been an advocate for area industry and workforce development; speaking at public hearings in support of the Nemadji Trail Energy Center and Husky Energy, submitting letters of support to public agencies and rolling up his sleeves to talk to high school students about careers in the trades.

Max Motley headshot

Max Motley

Board Member

Taconite Drilling

Max Motley owns Taconite Drilling, a diamond core exploration drilling company based out of Minnesota’s Iron Range. In addition to supporting the operations of the business, he is responsible for the design, monitoring, tracking and reporting for all of Taconite Drilling’s environmental, health, and safety systems. Max holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in environmental, health and safety from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

A safety professional by trade, Max continues to support safety and environmental stewardship in mining by frequently giving lectures to different trade groups. More recently, Max has been a guest speaker at the annual Minnesota Safety Council Conference, and for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration (SME).