Don Sipola, Co-Owner
Don is a co-founder of Duluth Glides with his wife JoAnn. In addition to being the owner and part time tour guide, Don was a practicing Optometrist until July of 2016 when he retire from “his day job”. Don served 7 years on the Virginia City Council, numerous community organizations, the Minnesota State Board of Optometry, and is a commercial pilot and FAA Flight Instructor. As an entrepreneur outside of optometry, Don was owner operator of an italian restaurant “Little Italy” for 9 years, and owner operator of “Don’s Dig & Dump and Son” Excavators, with his son Matt, who himself will received his Doctorate degree in Optometry in May of 2013. Matt recently married Dr. Hannah, and both assumed the optometry practices in July 2016. Don created DuluthGlides Segway Tours in the spring of 2013, overseas all operations, and is the Chief Segway Instructor responsible for training and certifying all tour guides. What a way to Segway into retirement!
JoAnn Sipola, Co-Owner
JoAnn is a co-founder of Duluth Glides. Five minutes into her first Segway glide, she decided that this was the most fun she has had EVER! (And chasing around with Don for 30 years, she has had a lot of fun!) She is also involved in the Virginia Community and Lakes Committee, helping to maintain the City beach and conducting historical walking tours of Virginia’s Olcott Park. She extends a special welcome to all who would like to give Segway-ing a try. “It was totally nerve-wracking for the first few minutes, but as soon as you leave the parking lot and start touring, it becomes so natural, just like walking.” JoAnn is the chief factual researcher and script writer for all tours, and is a Certified Guide for all available tours.
Deb is a semi retired school teacher and counselor for the Duluth Public Schools. She has a B. A. in Speech/Communications and a Special Education License. To keep busy after school retirement, Deb is often called upon to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the local District Court assisting troubled youth. She also operates her own real estate rental business and after 40 years of riding a motorcycle just recently gave it up to try something new. Deb says she has always wanted to ride Segways, since they were first introduced. As a teacher, instructor, conference presenter, and resident of Duluth for 40 years she is ready for the next phase in her full life, a Segway Tour Guide. Deb has been with DuluthGlides since 2013, and is a Certified Guide for all available tours.
Brooks Zamzow hails from Byron Minnesota, a small town 8 miles to the west of Rochester. In High School he played football, basketball, and ran track and field. As a young entrepreneur, Brooks worked at a grocery store for 6 years with lawn care and snow shoveling mixed in. While at UMD, he was a research assistant at the National Resources Research Institute (NRRI), now located in the old Strategic Air Command Radar Facility that protected North America from the threat of Russian attacks over the north pole during the cold war. Brooks started as a Duluth Glides Segway Tour Guide in the summer of 2014 and graduated in the spring of 2016 from UMD with a Double Major in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. In addition, for five years he has competed in the Multi Events (Heptathlon and Decathlon) for the university track and field team, including its Captain. When not guiding tours he works as an engineer for Krech Ojard and Associates, a consulting engineering firm in downtown Duluth. Clearly a multitasker, Brooks will be back as a “weekend” Segway Tour Guide in 2017.
Lou is a recent transplant from Logan Utah moving here in 2014 with her husband and then 12 year old daughter. While checking out the new city, she and her daughter saw our Segway Tour go by, and from then on, both were interested in the Segway experience. (Unfortunately for the daughter the minimum age to ride is 14.) She is also a marathon runner, and loves mountain biking the Duluth trails. Lou grew up in Utah, attended Weber State University, Ogden UT graduating with a degree in Social Science, Secondary Education. Her teaching emphasis was in History and Geography, both of which are plentiful here in Duluth. Lou is excited to bring her passion for History, her skills as a teacher, and her love of the outdoors to our Segway Tours, and her daughter now 15 thinks she is the coolest mom EVER. Lou started as a Certified Segway Tour Guide in 2016 and is Certified on all tours.
John is currently a student at UMD working towards a major in Physics with a minor in Materials Science. Originally from south Minneapolis, he graduated from DE LaSalle High School where he saw Minneapolis’ Segway tours on a daily basis during cross country practice. Excited by the thought of gliding around downtown Minneapolis, he spent one summer with them as an assistant guide before moving to Duluth for college. John loves the city of Duluth due to its proximity to endless outdoor recreation opportunities. His favorite summer activity is slack lining- a modern twist on tightrope walking that features looser ropes and no balance pole to hold. In the winter, he finds his habitat as a freestyle skier in the terrain parks of Spirit Mountain just outside Duluth. John’s passion for being outside and exploring has made him knowledgeable on the places to see and things to do in Duluth, which he is always willing to share. John started as a Certified Segway Tour Guide in 2017.