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UMD campus
June 10, 2019

Community-engaged marketer leading UMD’s corporate and foundation development efforts.


Kristi SchmidtKristi Schmidt is UMD’s corporate and foundation relations development officer. She comes to UMD after serving 15 years as the vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Essentia Health.

In her new role, Schmidt’s responsible for planning and implementing partnerships and giving strategies designed to align corporation and foundation business needs and interests with key UMD and University of Minnesota system priorities.

“Kristi's substantial knowledge of and involvement with the Twin Ports business community and her long term involvement with UMD as a volunteer and former student make her the ideal fit for this position,” says Chief Development Officer Tricia Bunten. “We are extremely excited to have Kristi join our team and lead the corporate and foundation relations development efforts.”

Schmidt has more than 25 years experience in market development and communications, and held the top marketing positions at the Duluth News Tribune, Visit Duluth, and Grandma's Marathon.  

Also an active community member, Schmidt serves as a City Councilor for the City of Hermantown and previously served on the board of directors for the Greater Downtown Council, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, and VisitDuluth. She was named to the inaugural class of the Duluth News Tribune's "20 Under 40" and was a participant in the Blandin Community Leadership Program. In 2017, she was awarded the Bulldog Cornerstone Award, given to the UMD Athletics most outstanding community partner.

She attended UMD and has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the College of St. Scholastica, where she graduated summa cum laude.