Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communication

Sonja Gidlow, GSDC

Sonja brings collaborative experience to the GSDC from previous executive positions held in private business and higher education. She has earned a Master’s Degree in psychology and a Doctorate in education. Sonja’s role at GSDC is to manage the strategic initiatives projects and oversee communication for the corporation.

According to Sonja, "I enjoy making decisions that will support the long-term success of the organization. I also enjoy wearing many hats, which goes with the territory in a fledgling enterprise. I especially like being where the action is and having the opportunity to meet and work with some of the finest leaders in the region."

Outside the GSDC office, Sonja can be found tending her flower gardens and training for the North Shore Inline Marathon, a mid-September race that extends 26.2 miles between Two Harbors and Duluth, Minn. Fueled by a competitive streak, Sonja's annual goal is to better her time from the previous year.

"When I'm not working I love spending time with my husband, Tim Worms, and our teenage daughter, Isabel," Sonja said. "This time usually amounts to supporting and cheering for Izzy at her many school and sporting events, including volleyball, basketball, track and band. At this stage in our lives, Tim and I spend quite a lot of time sitting on bleachers and filling water bottles – and loving every minute of it." As well as cheering on their daughter, Sonja and Tim own a wood manufacturing business in Paynesville, Minn. called Woodmax.

Sonja and her family proudly eat lutefisk every Christmas Eve in honor of their Swedish ancestry. Though Sonja is American-born, her father emigrated from Sweden at the age of 23 as did her maternal grandmother at the age of 17. "There is no escaping the lutefisk tradition in my family," she said.


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