By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Water, walleye, and website are words that describe the days of Howard Lake resident Doug Warren, who is a fishing guide on Lake Minnetonka and website designer for his company, Up North Marketing.
He and his wife, Sara, who is a teacher at in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) School District, have lived in Howard Lake for 10 years.
They have been married since 1999, and have two children, Ellen, 10; and Owen, 7.
Ellen and Owen both attend Humphrey Elementary School.
Doug grew up in Plymouth with one younger sister; and attended Wayzata High School, which is where Sara went to school, as well.
“We knew of each other in high school, but never really knew each other personally,” Doug said. “We didn’t start talking until college, though.”
Sara was a cheerleader for Doug’s high school team, but they did not get to know each other until much later.
After high school graduation, Doug attended Bemidji State University, where he played college football.
When he was through playing football, he transferred to St. Cloud State University, which is where he met Sara.
“We had a lot in common and knew the same people, since we had gone to high school together,” Doug noted.
He decided to begin a house-painting company after college, which he operated until he started an Internet business with his father.
“I slowly phased out the painting company, and went full time into my current business,” he said.
Up North Marketing creates and maintains websites for companies.
“The majority of my clients are fishermen and hunters,” he noted.
Doug’s other gig, as a fishing guide on Lake Minnetonka, was a natural progression after his time fishing in the professional walleye circuit.
“I began working as a fishing guide to help pay for my entry fees into the professional walleye circuit tournaments,” he commented.
Doug stopped tournament fishing when his daughter was born, and began guiding on Lake Minnetonka more.
“I have two groups of 100 planned for this summer,” he said.
Doug coordinates events, lines up other guides when help is needed, and guides the tours.
“I specialize in corporate outings,” he said.
Doug has guided outings for some very large companies, including General Mills, Cargill, Target, and Best Buy.
“Once fishing is introduced as an option for corporate outings, they become repeat customers,” he noted.
Those interested can E-mail Doug at email@example.com or follow the link to his website at www.herald-journal.com.
Sara grew up in Plymouth with one sister, and attended Wayzata High School.
After graduation, she attended St. Cloud State University, and received a bachelor’s degree in education.
Sara also attended St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, where she obtained a master’s degree in education.
She taught at Watertown-Mayer School District prior to her current position at HLWW.
“I wanted to be more involved with the community and the district that my children attend,” Sara stated.
She currently teaches 11th- and 12th-grade English at HLWW.
The couple ended up living in Howard Lake because they saw a hobby farm that piqued their interest.
“Sara was pregnant with Ellen, and we decided it was not the right time to move,” Doug said.
But as the couple drove through Howard Lake, they became more interested in living there.
“I spoke to the owner of the house, and told him we were interested, but that it wasn’t the right time because Sara was due to have Ellen in five days,” Doug noted.
After Ellen was born, he contacted the owner of the hobby farm, and it was still available.
“We moved right after Ellen was born,” Doug stated.
The couple still lives on that hobby farm, where they have horses, chickens, dogs, and cats.
“We appreciate the community even more than before we moved here,” Doug commented. “We don’t come from a small town originally, but we really love it here.”