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Kristi Schmidt was named the new board chair of Grandma’s Marathon on October 1.

A former staff member at Grandma’s Marathon, Schmidt currently serves as the Director of Corporate Engagement for the University of Minnesota Duluth and has more than 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, including executive roles at Essentia Health, Visit Duluth, and the Duluth News Tribune.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Grandma’s Marathon and have been proud to serve as an advocate for the organization for many years,” said Schmidt. “Grandma’s Marathon holds a very special place in the hearts of many, and I look forward to working with our dedicated board and amazing staff to advance the strategic direction of the organization.”

A member of the Duluth News Tribune’s inaugural 20 Under 40 class, Schmidt has always been an active member of the community. She’s served on the Board of Directors for Downtown Duluth (formerly Greater Downtown Council), Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Visit Duluth and as a Hermantown City Councilor. She is still active in the UMD and College of St. Scholastica mentorship programs.

In addition to being a former staff member at Grandma’s Marathon, Schmidt’s also served the organization over the years as a volunteer, sponsor, donor, committee member, and Board member. She will serve in her new role as board chair for the next three years, until September 2026.

The outgoing Board chair is Tom Stanley, who will remain in a leadership role as the organization’s general counsel. Also in executive roles are Wing Chan (vice chair, secretary, and treasurer) and Kathryn McLellan, MD (medical director).