GND Development Alliance

The GND Development Alliance a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization was created to revitalize and transform the GND Recreation Area.  The project area is located adjacent to Stowe Elementary School and in the heart of the St. Louis River Corridor in Duluth, Minnesota. The project is community led.    

The GND Development Alliance has signed an agreement with the City to make capital improvements and operate the facility. The GND Development Alliance (GNDDA) is working closely with the Gary New Duluth community, the private sector, various organizations and the City to redevelop the site into a fully functioning Community Center and Recreation Area that is already becoming the center of the community.    

Phase I of the project was completed in 2016. Phase II which includes building a dog park, community garden and sport court is planned for 2017.

Board Members GND Development Alliance

  • Mark Boben - Chairman

    Mark was born and raised in Gary and graduated from Morgan Park High School.  Upon graduating from college he went to work for the oil & gas industry, retiring from ConocoPhillips in 2009 when he and his wife, Linda, moved back to Duluth.  Mark is committed to giving back to the community and is passionate about the redevelopment of the Gary New Duluth Recreation Area.
  • Frank Bucar - Chairman Elect

    Frank has been a resident of Gary-New Duluth for more than 60 years.  He is married with four children and seven grand-children.  Frank retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard after thirty years of military service.  He is a past president of the Gary-New Duluth Community Club.  Frank enjoys traveling and is the director of a well known ethnic musical group called the Singing Slovenes, which claims its headquarters as being nestled in the "Foothills of the Gary Alps".  Frank has enjoyed living in the Gary-New Duluth Community for many years and he wants to be a part of a growing effort to make this community a shining example of a well rounded community of educational and recreational facilities, employment, healthy living, and being the gateway to the St. Louis River Corridor.
  • Ryan Sather, CPA MBT  - Treasurer

    Ryan was born and raised in Gary-New Duluth, he  attended “old” Stowe school and Morgan Park Junior High School.  Many summer days were spent at the “shack” playing baseball in the fields and competing in foosball tournaments.  After Ryan graduated from Denfeld Senior High School in 1995 he attended the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then continued his education at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Taxation.  Today, Ryan is a resident of Gary-New Duluth along with his wife and two young daughters.  He works as tax manager for the accounting firm Esterbrooks, Scott, Signorelli, Peterson, Smithson, Ltd., where he works with a wide range of clients on income tax compliance, planning, accounting system consulting and special tax research projects.
  • Robert Espenson - Secretary

    Robert Espenson has lived in the far west of Duluth for the past 23 years with his wife Linda.   They raised two sons who both attended Stowe, Morgan Park Middle School and Denfeld High School. While working at Wells Fargo Bank for the last 22 years, Bob has always valued his community service and seeks ways to help his neighbors. Bob was a rink director at Gary/Morgan Park hockey and he was very involved in the soccer program in that area. Bob is excited to be part of this project and the revitalization of the Gary New Duluth area.
  • Lisa Van Doren

    Lisa is a life long resident of Duluth and moved to the Gary New Duluth Community in 2002.  She has worked at Gartner Refrigeration for 20 years and is the Cubmaster of the local Gary New Duluth Cub Scout Pack and has been involved with Ruby's Pantry Coppertop Church. 
  • Ted Pavlovich

    Ted was born and raised in Lower Gary, attended Stowe School, and graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1975. Ted then attended UMD and has worked the last 30 plus years in Duluth’s banking and financial services community. Ted spent many hours playing at “The Shack” in the summers of his youth. He also was one of many “Rink Rats” playing endless hours of hockey on the ice rinks.  He fondly remember recess time at Stowe School playing on the ball fields and skating on the pleasure rink. Ted is committed to the GNDREC project to provide similar experiences for the families and youth of this area of Duluth. When this project is completed, GNDREC can be used as a model for other communities in Duluth to bring life back to their parks and recreational areas.
  • Fran Morris

    Fran Morris was born and raised in (Lower) New Duluth.  She attended Stowe School through the 9th grade and graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1971. After high school she attended Duluth Business University.  Following graduation from DBU she worked for St. Louis County Social Services until starting her family.  The job she had for the next thirteen years was raising her three sons in a home four blocks from the “Shack”.  Fran returned to the workforce in 1994 when she began her career with ISD 709.  She feels lucky to say she is retired as of June, 2014. Fran has many fond memories of growing up in New Duluth, including countless hours of skating at the pleasure rink with everyone we went to school with.  Their three sons had the opportunity to grow up at a time when the City of Duluth had a program for children at the Shack.  She sees this as her opportunity to achieve something great for our community and is honored to be able to help in any way.
  • Kisty (Petrich) Haller

    Kisty grew up in the Gary neighborhood on Gary Street. She attended Stowe School, is a 1970 graduate of Morgan Park High School and in 1974 graduated from UMD. That fall she began teaching physical education and health in the Proctor School District. In 2010, after 35 years of teaching school, she retired and began working for Kinex Medical Company. Kisty and her husband, Bill, currently live in the Smithville neighborhood where they raised their son, Aaron, who also attended Stowe, Morgan Park Middle School and graduated from Denfeld High School. Kisty has many great memories of the countless hours that she spent (in both the winter and summer) at “The Shack.” With the restoration of the center, she hopes for others to create their own fond memories.
  • Gary Bubalo

    Gary was born and raised in Gary New Duluth. He is one of four generations of Bubalo family members who attended Stowe School. He is a proud graduate of Morgan Park High School and Carleton College. Gary has worked his entire career in the financial services industry. He is currently a Senior VP and financial adviser for RBC Wealth Management in Duluth.  Gary and his wife Kathy moved back to the Duluth area in 1983. He is committed to returning the GND Recreation Area to its past glory.
  • Jack Rendulich

    Jack grew up In Gary-New Duluth.  He has worked as a photographer for the AP and the Duluth News Tribune before embarking on a career with the Duluth Fire Department.  Jack retired from the fire department and currently operates Jack Rendulich Photography. 
  • Dale Lewis

    Dale is the former President and owner of Park State Bank.