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Biz Buzz for March 24, 2014

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS * Rolf Weberg accepted the position of director of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Weberg comes to NRRI with 25 years of experience at DuPont USA, most recently in Buffalo, N.Y., as Global R&D manager in DuPont’s Building Innovations, Surfaces Division. He holds a doctoral degree in synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder and spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate at Colorado State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UMD in 1982.

* St. Luke’s announced Jessica Stauber was hired as director of marketing and business planning and will oversee all marketing functions for St. Luke’s system of two hospitals and 38 primary care and specialty clinics. Stauber joins St. Luke’s after 12 years at WestmorelandFlint, an advertising, marketing and public relations firm in Duluth, most recently in the position of vice president. She previously worked at St. Luke’s from 1998 to 2002 as a public relations specialist.

* James Eisenhauer joined Lake Superior College in Duluth as a management analyst. Before LSC, Eisenhauer worked at Walgreen’s corporate offices in Chicago as a retail store licensing specialist. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University.

* Richard Periman was named the deputy forest supervisor of the Superior National Forest in Northeastern Minnesota. He earned a doctorate in environmental science and technology from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Montana. Previously, he worked as the social science and economics coordinator in the Southwestern Regional Office for Ecosystem Analysis and Planning, Watershed, Soils and Air. In his new role, Periman will assist the forest supervisor to oversee management and activities across the 3-million-acre Superior National Forest.

* Halvor Lines Inc. announced the following hires and promotions:

Adam Lang was named director of human resources. Lang graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor’s degree and completed the human resource generalist certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, the Northland Human Resource Association and the Duluth Superior Transportation Association.  

Peter Haines was named vice president of fuel strategies and sustainability. Previously, Haines was Halvor Lines’ vice president of sales and marketing and was the vice president of the technical sales group at Amsoil Inc. Haines graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and is a member of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association.

Jason Vinje was promoted to sales representative. Previously, he was the parts and service manager. He holds an associate degree from Vermilion Community College and is a member of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association.

Shelley Goddiel was promoted to strategic sales director. While at Halvor Lines, she worked as dispatcher, traffic coordinator and director of traffic coordinators. She is a member of the Duluth Superior Transportation Association.

Chad Stuber was promoted to parts and service manager. He worked as a mechanic, crew leader and, before Halvor Lines, was the shop supervisor at Timberline Express. He is a member of the Duluth Superior Transportation Association and the Worldwide Development Group.  

Andrew Morinville was promoted to crew leader in the shop and service department. He holds an associate degree in diesel and equipment management as well as a universal air conditioner certification.

Rose Mega was promoted to accounting supervisor. She has been at Halvor Lines since 2008 and previously was an accountant at Timberline Express. She holds an associate degree in accounting from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

Bonnie Ramsay was promoted to director of information technology. Previously, she served as a system administrator. Ramsay attended St. Cloud (Minn.) State University and is a member of the Duluth Superior Transportation Association.

* Amsoil announced the following hires:

Jeremy Taylor was hired as a business systems analyst. He previously worked in software development in Massachusetts and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems.

Jeffrey Bergman was hired as the information technology infrastructure manager. He previously was the senior program manager for CompuCom and also served in the army for 10 years.

Eric Brandenburg was hired as a regional sales manager. Brandenburg previously worked in sales in various industries including shipping, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.

* Duluth Pack announced the hiring of Molly McLeete as the new retail store assistant manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Minnesota. Before Duluth Pack, she spent three years at Apple Inc. as part of the store leader program and as a business specialist.

* Essentia Health announced the following hires:

Dr. Krisa Christian joined the Hospitalist Department at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. Christian earned a medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and completed a residency in internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center. She is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in internal medicine.

Dr. Kenneth Howard also joined the Hospitalist Department and will focus his care on hospitalized patients. Howard earned a medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in internal medicine.

* The College of St. Scholastica hired Dr. Kim Kruger as director of its planned physician assistant program. The new PA program will admit its first students in 2016 and will award a two-year master’s degree, pending final approvals. Kruger is an experienced clinician and educator who spent nine years as a family physician and educator at the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program, the past three as associate and program director. Before that, she spent four years as a family physician in rural Minnesota.

* Jahnna Johnston joined Epic Life Insurance Co. as the regional sales director for the Northwestern Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota markets. Johnston is responsible for sales, acquisition and client retention. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and holds a Chartered Life Underwriter Insurance Designation.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS * Barr Engineering Co. was named a winner of the 2013 Governor’s International Trade Award during a ceremony at the State Capitol in St. Paul. The company was one of nine selected for developing and continuing to grow a significant part of their business in foreign markets, for increasing or maintaining jobs in Minnesota to support international sales, and for developing novel approaches for competing globally.

* Braun Intertec Corp., with an office in West Duluth, earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 48th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for its role in the Trunk Highway 13 and State Highway 101 interchange project in Savage, Minn. The project is among 143 engineering projects throughout the nation and the world recognized by ACEC as pre-eminent engineering achievements for 2013.

* UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black was awarded the University of Kansas Department of Theatre Alumni Honor Citation. The honor is a designation for alumni of the department of theatre who have made extraordinary accomplishments to their chosen field.

Black received his doctorate in theater from the University of Kansas. After receiving his degree, Black was a tenured professor and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. He continued his career at Kennesaw (Ga.) State University, where he was a tenured professor and served as vice president for academic affairs from 2002 until he was promoted in 2006 to provost and vice president for academic affairs, a position he held until he came to UMD in 2010.

* Pinehurst Inn, an eight-room bed and breakfast operated by Nancy and Steve Sandstrom in Bayfield, received the Governor’s Tourism Stewardship Award during the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism on March 4. The annual award is presented to a business or community that uses and promotes sustainable practices.

* Re/Max 1 announced Linda Johnson was named sales leader and Jonathan Thornton was named listing leader for February.

* Susan Stelman qualified for Waddell and Reed’s annual Circle of Champions conference, which recognizes the company’s top financial advisers. The event will be held in Grapevine, Texas, this year. Stelman counsels clients throughout the Duluth and Hinckley communities on their long-term investment goals. She joined Waddell and Reed in 1999 and holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University.

* JNBA Financial Advisors was named the mentoring category winner in the 2014 Community Impact Awards presented by Minnesota Business Magazine Feb. 27. The company was recognized for its efforts to provide the next generation of financial planners with real-world experience by helping to establish one of the nation’s first experiential financial planning learning labs at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

* The Minnesota Associated Press announced WDIO/WIRT-DT’s Eyewitness News will receive the following awards during the annual awards banquet scheduled for Friday in Bloomington, Minn.:

Alan Hoglund will receive Best in Show and first place in the feature category for “Into the Tunnels,” which explored Duluth’s hidden underground tunnels. Hoglund also will receive first place in the documentary category for “Life on Uneasy Street,” which recorded the problems on Superior Street with the sale of synthetic drugs. Laura Kennedy will receive first place in sports reporting for “The Hit You Can’t Shake Off” about the growing awareness of concussions in sports.

Eyewitness News at Five will receive an honorable mention for Best Newscast for its Nov. 8, 2013, broadcast. The newscast featured coverage of the Minnesota deer hunting opener, updates on wolf hunts in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a story about a University of Minnesota Duluth graduate’s efforts to launch a line of Minnesota-themed clothing.

Maarja Anderson will receive an honorable mention in Spot or Hard News for “Germann  Road Fire.” Anderson reported on the first evening of the Germann Road fire in Douglas County. Eyewitness News at Five also will receive an honorable mention in the same category for its coverage of the Germann Road Fire. This newscast was from day two of the  fire in Douglas County.

Eyewitness Sports will receive an honorable mention in the Series and Special category for “Conquering Cancer with Kayak.” Eyewitness Sports reporters Dan Williamson and Laura Kennedy and photojournalists David Cowardin and Carl Sauer profiled a young Minnesotan who conquered the Mississippi River after conquering cancer.

Brittany Falkers will receive an honorable mention in the Documentary and Investigative category for “Wounded, Not Broken,” which told the stories of two women who know the pain of sexual assault, but with support found courage in the darkness.

* The Duluth Transit Authority named Steven Barnstorf as Employee of the Year for 2013. The award was given during the annual Employee Safety and Recognition Award Breakfast held at the DTA Operating Center on Wednesday.

* Pensions and Investments, an international newspaper of money management, announced Essentia Health received an Eddy Award. Eddy Awards honor firms for dedication and persistence in educating their employees about the value of preparing for retirement and continually investing in their company’s defined contribution plan.

* Re/Max 1 of Cloquet announced Diane Siltanen was named to the 100 Percent Club, and Debra Switzer was named to the Executive Club.

The 100 Percent Club is the fourth-highest regional honor for sales in a year, and the Executive Club is the fifth-highest regional honor.

CERTIFICATIONS AND ACCREDITATIONS * The Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ Health Care Management Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth attained the Association of University Program in Health Administration Full Certified Undergraduate Program Membership.  

Only bachelor degree programs that are certified by AUPHA may be Full Certified Undergraduate Members of the organization. This is LSBE’s Health Care Management Program’s first year of being certified. The certification process requires rigorous peer review, and about 45 undergraduate programs nationwide have attained AUPHA certification.

* St. Luke’s Acute Rehabilitation Program received re-accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. This three-year accreditation extends through February 2017. CARF accreditation is an indication of the program’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of people served. Services, staff members and documentation must clearly indicate an established pattern of practice excellence.

Board elections * Will Norman, co-president and chief operations officer of Como Oil and Propane, was elected president of the Minnesota Propane Association. The Minnesota Propane Association represents the propane industry to the public and the state Legislature and played a key role in creating the Minnesota Propane Education Promotion and Safety Council. Norman brings nine years of leadership at Como and five years on the MNPEPSC board to his new role.

Relocations * Beacon Bank moved its downtown Duluth headquarters to a newly renovated location at 331 W. Superior St. The bank’s downtown office phone number remains (218) 722-0238.

Former Superiorite * Superior native Brad Paine was named a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Paine is director of product marketing in Honeywell’s environmental and combustion controls business and pushed Honeywell into being not just a maker of hardware, but innovative software. He hass driven year-over-year growth of 60 percent in the division’s highest-profile category and introduced the world’s first voice-operated thermostat. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in strategy and marketing from the University of Minnesota.

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, e-mail, or fax (218) 720-4120. The deadline for submissions is noon Friday.