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Biz Buzz for Sept. 12


* Rachel WannarkaRachel Wannarka was hired as the first director of quality and strategic planning for Woodland Hills. Wannarka has 20 years of experience working with youth with disabilities, behavioral disorders and other risk factors. Most recently, she worked in St. Paul correctional settings training teachers and providing targeted academic interventions to students.

Wannarka also has worked as a visiting assistant professor of education studies at Macalester College in St. Paul and Oberlin (Ohio) College, and has held faculty positions at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, St. Cloud State University and Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. She received her doctorate in special education from Pennsylvania State University in Old Main.

* St. Luke’s Internal Medicine Associates hired Dr. Susan YankovichDr. Susan Yankovich as a board-certified internal medicine specialist. Before joining St. Luke’s, Yankovich was a hospitalist with Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn. She also has worked as an internist with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and was a major in the U.S. Army, serving as a physician in Afghanistan.

Yankovich received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in general internal medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She is a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Michelle PurvisMichelle Purvis was hired as an instructional designer for University of Minnesota Duluth’s Continuing Education. Purvis holds a degree in education from Moorhead (Minn.) State University and a master’s degree in human development from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis. She earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance credential from Association of Talent Development and has been published in Wall Street Business Employment Weekly and Presentations magazine.


* Northland Human Resource Association announced Laurie PintherLaurie Pinther received the 2016 Leadership in Human Resources Award at the August NHRA Member Appreciation Breakfast in Duluth. Pinther, head of the

NHRA Board Engagement Committee, was recognized for her outstanding leadership and volunteerism in the field of human resources.

Trapper Pete’s Steakhouse and Saloon in Scanlon was awarded a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. The saloon was chosen based on its high ratings from travelers.

* Century 21 Gilderman and Associates announced Chris MattilaChris Mattila was named top sales agent for August.


Tundra Trail Technologies, a Hermantown business that sells snowmobile trail groomers, launched in August. Owners Tim and Shannon Jorgenson of Hermantown run the company online

at They can be reached at (218) 591-4054 or


Destination Fitness, a Duluth personal training gym, will celebrate the grand opening of its new location from 4:30-6:40 p.m. Tuesday at 4966 Rice Lake Road. The Duluth Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. The celebration also will feature live music from Mix 108, two free fitness classes and prizes. For more information, visit

Essentia Health’s new Spooner Clinic opens today. The clinic is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and can be contacted at (715) 635-2151. It is at 1180 Chandler Drive and is connected to the Spooner Health Hospital by a short walkway. The former Spooner Clinic closed its doors earlier this month.

Biz Buzz is a collection of business news tidbits from around the region. Send your business openings or closings, personnel changes or other news of interest in the business community to Biz Buzz, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802, email, or fax (218) 720-4120. The deadline for submissions is noon Friday.