Duluth Seaway Port Authority names new CFO

Kevin Beardsley3 T

(DULUTH, Minn.) — The Duluth Seaway Port Authority has named a new chief financial officer — just the third CFO in its history. Kevin Beardsley officially joined the staff on Dec. 1, bringing with him 20 years of experience in accounting, taxation, financial management and strategic planning. Beardsley succeeds John Kubow, who is retiring after a 28-year career with the Port Authority.

A Two Harbors native, Beardsley, a CPA, has directed the financial operations of a handful of dynamic organizations in this region. His early experience as credit manager at a vehicle dealership in Two Harbors (Benna Ford) led to a position as controller for Flatwater Fleet Inc., a family-owned, international manufacturing company based in Saginaw, Minn., that designs custom drill rig support trucks. He returned to work in Two Harbors in 2000 to become office manager for Cooperative Light and Power, overseeing its financial operations and strategic planning for six years. Most recently, Beardsley has been part of the management team at Midwest Energy Resources Co. in Superior, Wis., serving as the company’s manager of financial services since 2008.
In making the announcement, Port Authority Executive Director Vanta Coda highlighted Beardsley’s broad range of credentials and knowledge of Great Lakes shipping: “What’s most impressive about Kevin’s skill set is the breadth of experience he’s packed into one career. His work has encompassed managing resources at small privately owned companies, an energy cooperative and a large corporation. He has been a steward of financial reporting for a publicly transparent organization similar to ours and is familiar with accounting procedures as they relate to working with Federal funds. His connection to the Great Lakes and familiarity with the energy industry, commodities movement and multimodal transportation will be valuable additions to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority team.”

That familiarity with the maritime industry is what prompted Beardsley to apply for the CFO position in the first place. “I have always loved Lake Superior and this region. I’m excited to utilize my previous experiences from the manufacturing and utility industries in working for a port authority that promotes international commerce and that owns and manages multiple commercial and industrial properties,” said Beardsley.

Beardsley graduated from high school in Two Harbors, played hockey at Hibbing Community College and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. 

“Kevin has an established track record of leadership in the community,” noted Coda, pointing to a long list of civic involvement. Beardsley has served as board chairman at Lakeview Hospital for the past three years, though he’s served on the board since 2004 — the same year he joined the Lake County Ambulance Service board. And he still finds time to coach girls’ soccer and U12 girls’ hockey … and get out in his fishing boat on Lake Superior from time to time. Beardsley, his wife and two daughters live in Two Harbors. 

By Professional Mariner Staff