Cara Overland joins the NORTHFORCE Team as Twin Ports & Northwest Wisconsin Strategy and Development Consultant.
From Duluth, Cara lived in the Twin Cities for six years. “It was fun but I kept packing my bag at the end of the work week and driving straight to Duluth to spend weekends camping and being outdoors,” shares Cara. “I remember feeling horrible driving back to the Twin Cities, heading over Thompson Hill with Duluth in my rearview mirror and just thinking, why am I doing this to myself? So I moved back.”
Cara spent 14 years in the hospitality industry, working in a variety of roles at hotels around the Duluth area and helping to open La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham.
“I saw firsthand the challenges of hiring and retaining employees with the right skills,” shares Cara. “It was great to see college students who worked entry-level jobs, while maybe majoring in psychology or what have you, discover a passion for hospitality and realize you can get your foot in the door with an entry-level job and then work your way up to positions in planning or management and make really good money.”
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cara was laid off and, along with many Americans, found herself without a job for the first time in her life. She took the opportunity to try her hand at entrepreneurship.
“I bought a paddleboard business, we’re planning to launch in summer. I also own and operate a small jewelry lifestyle business, Lake Superior Scandinavian.”
In January 2021, she joined the NORTHFORCE Team as Strategy & Development Consultant for the Twin Ports region and Northwest Wisconsin:
“I’m excited to work with employers and get to know the chambers and folks in the area,” says Cara. “My family had a boat and we were lucky enough to explore the Apostle Islands, which was a major highlight of my childhood, so I’m especially glad this role will take me back to the Bayfield-Ashland area.”