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Biz Buzz for April 21, 2014

Hires and promotions

  • Northland College named Katrina Werchouski director of the Native American Indigenous Culture Center. Werchouski previously served as the coordinator of multicultural affairs and acted as NAICC interim director for the past six months. She holds bachelor’s degrees in environmental public policy and Native American studies from Northland College and a master’s degree in environmental studies and written communications from Green Mountain College in Vermont.
  • Geoff Popham joined US Bank in Duluth as a private banking relationship manager. Popham is responsible for managing a portfolio of private banking clients where he consults with other members of the Private Client Group of US Bank to provide professional financial advice to clients, focusing on personal trust, private banking and investments. Previously, he worked as a private banking relationship manager for Wells Fargo. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and is a member of the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra Board of Directors and United Way’s Leadership Council.
  • Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith and Fredrick PA announced Carrie A. Baney joined the firm as executive director. Most recently, she held human resources positions at Bayshore Residence and Rehabilitation Center and Community Connection of Minnesota Inc.

As executive director, Baney’s responsibilities include staff management, firm hiring, administrating benefits as well as facilities and equipment management, strategic planning and marketing activities.

  • The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment promoted Rachel Wickstrom to program director of its Marty Mann House and Howard Friese House residential and extended care treatment facilities. Wickstrom has more than 25 years of experience in treating people with alcohol and chemical dependency addictions and is responsible for continued program and staff development, as well as day-to-day operations at both facilities.
  • Austin Tofte joined HTK Marketing Communications as an assistant account manager. Tofte is a professional musician with experience in project and account management, as well as business development. He comes to HTK having served in account management positions at both the Base Studio in San Francisco, Calif., and In the Groove in Minneapolis. In his new role, Tofte will work closely with clients and agency account managers to plan, direct and coordinate client projects

Awards and recognitions

  • The University of Wisconsin-Superior was recognized by the Department of Defense for its support of employees serving in the National Guard or Reserves at the Employer of the Guard Reserve’s Annual Employer Awards Banquet in Green Lake, Wis.
  • Canal Park Brewing Co. won silver in the English-Style Brown Ale beer style category for its Nut Hatchet Nut Brown Ale at the 2014 World Beer Cup competition held April 11 in Denver. World Beer Cup winners are selected by an international panel of 219 beer judges from 31 countries.
  • Century 21 Gilderman and Associates announced Jodi Olson was named Top Sales Agent for March.
  • The Duluth International Airport received the Minnesota Council of Airports 2013 Project of the year for the reconstruction of its new passenger terminal. The new terminal is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certified with sustainable green energy features like geothermal heating and natural light.

Certifications and accreditations

  • Allete announced Sean Taylor was named a certified safety professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Certification is awarded to people who meet academic standards, satisfy professional safety experience requirements and have passed two rigorous examinations. The examinations cover engineering and management aspects of safety, applied sciences, legal and regulatory matters, professionals affairs and other safety related topics. Certified safety professionals specialize in protecting workers, the public, property and the environment by identifying, evaluating and controlling hazards.

Taylor has worked for Minnesota Power for four years as senior safety specialist within Allete’s Safety and Industrial Hygiene Department.

New business

  • New Partners Consultants Inc. announced it will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company will use office space used by Meyer Teleservices and will use some equipment from the operation.


  • The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota seeks nominations for the BBB Torch Award for Ethics. The awards recognize upstanding companies that display outstanding ethics in their dealings with customers, employees, vendors and their community. All for-profit businesses of any size, owned or operated in Minnesota or North Dakota are eligible. Nominees must be in good standing with the BBB; however BBB Accreditation is not a requirement to compete for the award. The nomination deadline is May 6.

Nominations for the 2014 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics are open to the public. Companies can be nominated online by visiting or by sending the company name, contact name, address, phone number, and email along with the nominator’s name and phone number to: BBB, Attn: Mackenzie Kelley, 220 S. River Ridge Circle, Burnsville, MN 55337; or by faxing the information to (651) 695-2487. Business owners or employees may nominate their own firms.

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.