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New staff bring variety of experience and expertise

Over the last few months, AURI has welcomed several new staff. “We’re really excited about the skills and expertise these new staff members bring,” says AURI Executive Director Teresa Spaeth. “They are each experts in their fields, and add a lot of value for our clients.”

Travis Sisco, Project Accountant

Sisco is a recent graduate of the University of North Dakota where he received his B.A. in accounting. Sisco has interned with Good Insurance in Grand Forks, N.D., and worked in several other positions while a student.

Nan Larson, Rural Innovation Network Director

Larson has a 20-year working history in the economic development field, with an emphasis on strategic partnering, facilitation, planning, and management. She has a wide network of contact resources for project management, implementation, and support; has experience in writing and administering grants; and has served on the Southwest Minnesota Workforce Council board for the past four years. Larson is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council.

AJ Duerr
A.J. Duerr

A.J. Duerr, Planning and Government Relations Director

Prior to his time at AURI, Duerr was the director of member services at Cooperative Network, a two-state association of cooperative businesses. He also spent six years as a legislative staffer in the Minnesota House of Representatives, including two years as committee administrator of the House Agriculture Committees.



Rod Larkins
Rod Larkins

Rod Larkins, Senior Director of Science and Technology

Larkins previously served as the special projects director for the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment at the University of Minnesota. Prior to that position Larkins had a long and successful career with 3M, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in research management—with a focus on establishing new businesses. During his career at 3M, Larkins was awarded two U.S. patents and earned numerous individual and team recognition awards.