By Dana Kazel
The St. Louis County Veterans Service Office has a new director.
The County Board on Tuesday approved the appointment of Tedd Ells (right) to lead the Veterans Service Office.
Ells has more than 25 years experience in several branches of the military and currently holds the rank of Major with the Minnesota Army National Guard.
As division director, Ells will oversee a staff of eight working out of four offices in Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia and Ely. Their job is to serve the more than 18,000 veterans who live in St. Louis County.
Ells began his military career in the United States Navy as an Avionics Technician. After a break in service he enlisted in the 148th Fighter Wing Minnesota Air National Guard as a Biomedical Equipment specialist. He later transferred to the Texas Air National Guard, where he was recognized as the Medical Services Airman of the Year in 2005 for his expertise as a response member during Hurricane Katrina.
Ells has participated in two overseas deployments: Operation Deny Flight with the US Navy, and Operation Enduring Freedom with the Minnesota Army National Guard. Major Ells currently serves in the Minnesota Army National Guard as Company Commander for the 204th Medical Company Area Support (MCAS) based in Cottage Grove.
“Tedd impressed us on many levels – his demonstrated leadership skills, his extensive career spanning multiple branches of the military, and his commitment to serve his fellow veterans,” said County Administrator Kevin Gray. “Serving our large veteran community is a priority for the County Board, and we are confident Tedd will do this well.”
Ells, of Proctor, holds two master’s degrees — in organizational behavior and business administration — both from St. Scholastica.
Ells succeeds Sherry Rodriguez, who retired earlier this summer. His first day with St. Louis County will be July 30.