Photo by Chris Rogers
Last week, Steamboat Days Board members Luke Merchlewitz (far left), Tom Slaggie (foreground, far right), and 2018 Steamboat Days Harbormaster Vicki Decker (center right) surprised Dean Beckman (center left) at a softball game with the news he had been selected to be the 2019 Steamboat Days Harbormaster.

New Harbormaster is Dean Beckman


The Winona Steamboat Days Festival Committee capped the 2019 Harbormaster on Wednesday following a men’s softball game on Field 6 at Lake Park.

As the last official duty for 2018 Harbormaster Vicki Decker, she paraded on to Field 6 at the end of a softball game to cap Dean Beckman.

Beckman came to Winona in 1991 as a student at Winona State University. After graduating, he left Winona to pursue his Master’s degree in mass communications and returned to Winona in 1994 when he was hired by KWNO Radio. In 2001 Beckman pursued a career at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and is currently the associate professor and chair of the department of communications. While working at SMU, Beckman continues to be a sportscaster for HBCI for football and basketball broadcasts and is also the host of “The Cardinal’s Nest,” a show that highlights SMU athletic events and athletes weekly. Beckman was instrumental in starting the sports webcasting feature at SMU to stream home game action and provide play-by-play commentary for a variety of sporting events including soccer, volleyball, basketball, hockey, baseball and softball. In 2018 he was honored to be selected as the MC for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Division III tournament held in Rochester, Minn.

Beckman is a well-known figure in the Winona community for his broadcasting, as well as a well-respected leader who has served in multiple capacities and continues to be a reliable contributor to a variety of organizations. He is currently serving as president of the St. Stanislaus Parish Council, treasurer for Winona Area Crime Stoppers, and member on the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. He previously served as the chair of the Winona Area Catholic Schools Advisory Committee and was an assistant and head coach for the Minnesota City youth baseball program. In 2009 he received the Brother H. Charles Severin Award for Excellence in Teaching. Beckman is well known for his service on numerous SMU faculty committees and is a respected colleague and professor.

The 2019 Harbormaster is married to Deb Beckman and they have three children, Aidan, Cale and Erica. He enjoys the beauty of Winona and its friendly people. In his free time he enjoys activities with his family, running at the lake, watching sports and movies with friends, and playing men’s league softball with Bub’s Brewing Co.

You will see Beckman at several events during Steamboat Days, June 12-16, including the Kiddie Parade on Friday, June 14, and on the Steamboat Days Float in the Grande Parade on Sunday, June 16.

Steamboat Days Buttons are on sale now at a variety of local businesses. Buttons are $5 in advance and include a registration card to enter to win great prizes, such as a picnic table donated by Anova Furnishings. Button sales help support free events during the festival, including the fireworks.

For more information on Steamboat Days go to or check out the Winona Steamboat Days Facebook page.


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