Our Program. 

The St. Louis River Experience is a local, nonprofit service organization dedicated to helping seniors experience and enjoy our beautiful St. Louis River.


SLR volunteers take seniors, veterans and those with special needs out on a specially-equipped pontoon

to enjoy and take in nature’s breathtaking sites on the river. Our Outing Schedule will be available for

reservations on May 15, 2022 to book an awesome trip for your organization! 


See more in our 2022 online brochure.

Our Team. 

Julia Rulla

President & Marketing Director 

Julia is our remote officer, working from Arizona. A board member since 2015, she is responsible for fundraising, sponsorships, purchasing, our website, marketing material, scheduling and Sign Up Genius.


Roger Amborn

Vice President

Roger retired from Minnesota Power and volunteers as a captain and mate. In retirement, he enjoys giving back to the community. Roger oversees the pontoon operations and maintenance duties.

Mary Jackson



Mary Jackson is a retired corporate communicator who loves living on the St. Louis River harbor on Park Point. Joining the board as secretary and mate allows her to experience the harbor activities up close.

Al Makynen


Al is a retired Administrative and Risk Manager from LHB Engineers and Architects.  He enjoys giving back to the community through volunteer service especially as a First Mate and as a new Director.

Eric Kaiser


Eric is a retired teacher and public school administrator and is a captain and mate with SLRE.  Eric is also our trainer for new and current volunteers at the beginning of each season.


Bob Vavrosky


Bob is a retired medical social worker who specialized in orthopedic and rehabilitation needs. Bob is our Volunteer Coordinator and First Mate who enjoys interacting with our seniors.

Rick Liljegren


Rick is a retired Operations and Compliance Manager from Minnesota Power. He is a captain, mate and also handles our insurance needs. A seasoned Lake Superior boater, Rick appreciates and is grateful for all of the volunteers who continue to make the SLR Experience such a unique and enjoyable activity for our seniors.

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Cindy Hnatek


Cindy Hnatek has been the Life Enrichment Director at Primrose (now Sinceri Senior Living) for 9 years and has a talent for creating lasting memories for seniors, making her a perfect mate for SRLE! A board member since 2020, Cindy has helped us out SO MUCH in the past with our fundraising efforts.

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Cindy Richey


Cindy Richey is the Director of Admissions and a licensed nurse for Bayshore Residence and Rehab, with over 40 years in long term care. A board member since 2020, she's very passionate about making a difference in the lives of our seniors. Cindy is one of our awesome mates!

Skip Van Kessel


Skip is a retired clinical pharmacist from Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital and a new board member for 2020. He will be one of our awesome captains (and a mate!) for SLRE. Skip looks forward to serving our program and our community.