About CJB

Photo: Chris J. Benson

My name is Chris J. Benson and I live in Duluth, Minnesota with my family and enjoy spending time outdoors, fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing and camping. One of my greatest joys is sharing these adventures with my three young children and teaching them to value, respect and appreciate nature and all it has to offer. Life is an adventure, get outdoors and enjoy it!

Graphic Design and Web Development

I'm a professional graphic designer, web developer and digital marketer with over 20 years of experience. I have an aptitude for developing diverse design materials and applications that enhance end-user interest and engagement. Additional skills include digital marketing, social media outreach, campaign development, web analytics, IT support, project management, communication and creative problem solving.

» Freelance Services
» Portfolio


Through Minnesota and its land of sky-tinted waters, I realized one of my true passions: exploring and enjoying nature. I have visited hundreds of different lakes, rivers, trails, and natural areas throughout Minnesota. Photography has given me the opportunity to capture and share these explorations.

The more time I spend out on our waters, trails, and natural areas, the more I appreciate how fortunate we are to have them.

» Photography Gallery


BendareOutdoors.com is dedicated to outdoor recreation in Minnesota and a passion project of mine. Get pro tips, guides, seasonal reminders, and more! It is home of the MORR web-app, a collection of the most useful online outdoor recreation resources for Minnesota. Find the best resources for fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, skiing, boating, riding, camping, and current/seasonal conditions! There is something for everyone. Have you bendare?

» BendareOutdoors.com

Work Experience

Freelance Graphic Designer, Web Developer, Nature Photographer

CJB Design, Entrepreneur, www.chrisjbenson.com (2005-Current)

  • Develop websites and mobile web applications
  • Design digital and print materials for multiple projects and audiences
  • Nature photographer with a focus on Minnesota

BendareOutdoors.com, Entrepreneur, www.bendareoutdoors.com (2018-Current)

  • Develop and maintain a Minnesota outdoor recreation website
  • Provide various Minnesota recreational resources, including a recreation web-app, pro tips, seasonal reminders, maps, and guides
  • Resources for fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, skiing, boating, riding, camping, and current/seasonal conditions
  • Design and create inline lures for fishing

Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, IT Specialist

Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-NOAA, Full-time, Duluth, MN (2007-2018)

Web Developer

  • Designed, developed, and maintained Minnesota Sea Grant's website and additional websites for special outreach projects
  • Conducted web analytics analysis for websites and social media efforts
  • Maintained online regional events calendar
  • Initiated, planned and maintained social media efforts
  • Optimized web presence for search engines
  • Provided web presence analysis and strategic plans for outside organizations

Graphic Designer

  • Produced creative graphic design materials for outreach and administration that spanned state and national needs, including: newsletters, news releases, brochures, fliers, factsheets, posters, ads, displays, reports, event and campaign materials, maps, presentations, brand identity, logos/icons and special projects
  • Designed reoccurring newsletters for Minnesota Sea Grant and University of Minnesota Extension in both digital and print formats
  • Supported social media outreach efforts with graphic design needs
  • Led graphic design efforts for state and national outreach campaigns

Other Accomplishments

  • Delivered design and web projects to multiple organizations including: NOAA, MN DNR, UMN Extension, Center for Ocean Sciences and Education Excellence, Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute and others
  • Ensured program materials complied with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations and reflected the University’s commitment to diversity
  • Provided photography and videography skills for outreach and administration
  • Generated photos for state and national requests
  • Produced videos and managed online video presence
  • Planned and executed live video town hall event
  • Developed multiple podcasts and managed ongoing maintenance
  • Supplied computer technology support and planning for staff, outreach programs, events and conferences
  • Assisted in public outreach information and education activities

Project Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Web Developer/Designer

50 Below Sales and Marketing, Full-time, Duluth, MN (2002-2005 and 2006-2007)

Project Manager/Business Development and Department Planner

  • Managed all products and fulfillment processes
  • Mapped and streamlined process flows
  • Designed and developed online portfolio for all products and services
  • Created technical documents to aid both internal and external users
  • Planned and developed flagship site
  • Assisted planning and development for internal applications and new innovations

Web Developer/Designer and Quality Assurance/Creative Manager

  • Designed and developed more than 300 websites for a variety of industries
  • Generated logos, content, presentations, portals/extranets, web intros, navigation and videos
  • Inspected and approved all aspects of websites and website elements
  • Provided technical and creative support for employees and customers
  • Developed quality assurance measures, website best practices and standards

Assistant Operations and Systems Analyst

Hennepin County Research & Systems Technology, Full-time during summers and holidays, Minneapolis, MN (1998-2002)

  • Provided support for over 1,000 computer users
  • Operated support line; assisted 40 – 50 callers per day
  • Maintained and supported hardware and software
  • Created and maintained technical support documents


Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2003

  • Major: Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Related Course Work:
    Distributed Computing Principles; Management Information Systems; Database Management Systems; System Analysis and Design; Computer Science; Advanced Applications Development; Telecommunications; Vectors and Matrices; Web Accessibility; GIS


  • 2018-2019 | 5-Star Rideshare Driver with over 2,000 rides given, Uber/Lyft
  • 2012 | Continuous Outstanding Service Award, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • 2012 | APEX Design Award – Event Campaign, Programs & Plans, A Salute to Lake Superior’s Sustainable Fisheries, national
  • 2011 | APEX Design Award – Special Purpose Campaign, MN Sea Grant NOAA Site Review Materials, national
  • 2007 | Winner: Photo Contest – Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Photo placed on cover of annual member packages and displays, Duluth, MN