National Loon Center welcomes first executive director

Jon Mobeck has experience from Grand Teton National Park and other locations

Jon Mobeck. Submitted Photo

The National Loon Center Foundation hired its first executive director, Jon Mobeck, for the National Loon Center that will be built in Crosslake. Mobeck will start in that role Jan. 4, 2021.

Mobeck, a graduate of Bethel University in St. Paul, was born and raised in Minnesota but spent the past two decades advancing both conservation and commerce in Rocky Mountain resort communities. Most recently, Mobeck served as executive director of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation in Jackson, Wyoming, from 2016-2020.

Prior to that role, he acted as executive director of The Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park and earlier served Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Park City, Utah, in communications roles for the chambers of commerce in those two resort communities.

“Jon has all the characteristics we were looking for in this position: experienced leader, inspirational fundraiser and the entrepreneurial spirit. His key leadership objectives will be to build a diverse team of donors and funders to raise $6 million by the summer of 2022,” Brainerd Lakes Chamber President and NLC board member Matt Killian said in a news release.

Leah Heggerston, NLCF vice president, added: “Jon understands the need for the environmental protection of our Minnesota state bird - the common loon - and the stewardship of our freshwater and watersheds across the land of 10,000 lakes. Donors and volunteers continue to be the backbone of our success to bring the National Loon Center to life, and we can’t wait for everyone to meet our executive director.”


Until the center is built, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce will employ the executive director through a contract with the National Loon Center Foundation. The foundation hired the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. to manage the hiring process.

Mobeck is excited to inspire public support and looks forward to building wide-ranging partnerships.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to join a community of visionary leaders in this exciting initiative,” he said in the news release. “Please consider the National Loon Center in your year-end giving. A tax-deductible gift in any amount is greatly appreciated.”

Visit for more information.

The National Loon Center as depicted in a video by Widseth Smith Nolting on the NLC website;

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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