MIC Staff

Ron Chicka, AICP


PH: (218) 529-7506

Email »

Ron has been with the MIC since 1995. The full range of the MIC’s transportation activities–from pedestrians and bike travel to train, truck and air travel to roadway planning–continues to be rewarding and stimulating.

Ron has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. He is a Certified Planner and also serves on a number of national transportation related committees. As MIC Director he is responsible for overall administrative functions and project oversight.

Outside of work, he enjoys many outdoor activities including travel, golfing, biking, and cross-country skiing. A favorite pastime is competing in combined biking and running events (duathlons) throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota over the summer months.

Sheldon Johnson

MIC Deputy Director/NWRPC Executive Director

PH: (715) 635-2197

Email »

Sheldon is the Executive Director of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, and serves as the MIC’s Deputy Director, representing the Wisconsin side of the MIC planning area.

He has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in Geography and in Urban Studies and an M.A. from Mankato State University in Urban and Regional Studies. He is member of the American Planning Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin.

His responsibilities with the MIC include development of the Superior Urbanized Area TIP and consultation on transportation issues with local, state, and federal officials on the Wisconsin side of the MIC area.

James Gittemeier

Principal Planner

Email »

James has worked at the MIC since 2004. He earned a B.A. in Urban Affairs from Saint Louis University and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas.

His work is focused primarily on coordinating community efforts to address the bicycle and pedestrian issues that the face the Duluth-Superior region. He facilitates the MIC’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and contributes to various corridor plans and transportation studies.

Outside of work, James likes to travel to new cities to observe what makes them livable and unique. The next city on his list to visit is Bogota, Columbia. When not traveling, James likes to spend his free time walking all around this area exploring the neighborhoods and the urban wilderness areas.

Barb Peterson

Administrative Assistant

PH: (218) 461-2666 (call or text)

Email »

Barb works part-time to coordinate policy board and advisory committee meetings and is responsible for writing the meeting summaries. She provides assistance to other staff members when the need arises, including learning to update the MIC website as well. She graduated from the University of St Thomas with a BA in Mathematics and also brings quite a varied background in customer service, office processes and procedures.

When not at work, she enjoys her gardens, making old things new, updating her home and keeping up kids and grandkids.

Ricky Sarran

GIS Specialist

PH: 218-529-7515

Email »

Ricky Sarran

Ricky started working for the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council in November 2017 as GIS Specialist after a three month internship with ARDC’s Regional Planning division.

He graduated with a BS in Physical Geography from the University of Wisconsin – Superior and a minor in GIS. He studied in Scotland for a semester and traveled all over Europe and is excited to go back at some point. Besides traveling he enjoys working on cars, and building and working on computers.

Rondi Watson

Planning Communications Specialist

PH: (218) 310-3025 (call or text)

Email »

As Planning Communications Specialist, Rondi works with MIC planners to implement public involvement strategies for its plans and studies. develops communication pieces and manages the MIC’s presence on its website and social media outlets,

She studied English and Public Health at the University of Minnesota and worked for eight years in Human Resources at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Now an enthusiastic Duluthian, she serves on the Duluth Transit Authority board and was an e-bike early adopter in this city of steep hills and strong headwinds.

Mike Wenholz

Senior Planner

PH: (218) 529-7573

Email »

Mike began with the MIC in 2016. He has approximately 25 years of experience working on a variety of water, solid waste, shoreland zoning, recreational trails, aquatic toxicology, brownfield redevelopment, and transportation planning projects for numerous sectors with a wide variety of people. In his role with the MIC Mike utilizes these past experiences, including leading the MIC’s Harbor Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC), coordinating all Duluth-Superior area Long Range Transportation Plan work, and working on a variety of local transportation planning projects.

Mike earned a BS in Water Resources – Aquatic Toxicology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a MS in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University, and a MS in Urban and Regional Planning – Land Use Planning from the University of Wisconsin.

Outside of work Mike enjoys paddling canoes and kayaks, especially while exploring remote wilderness areas or class 1-2 whitewater rivers.