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Biz Buzz for March 31, 2014

Hires and Promotions

* Richard Thomas joined the Duluth Budgeteer as an editorial assistant and copywriter. Thomas worked at a number of other community newspapers and will help write special section content for the Budgeteer and other local community newspapers.

* Citon Computer Corp. announced the following hires:

Betsy Carr was hired as a service manager, where she is responsible for communication work flow, customer service and service profitability. Carr graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth and served as Target’s senior team leader for logistics and replenishment. Carr’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure Citon’s customers are satisfied and receiving the best service for their information technology needs.

Trisha Marczak joined as a marketing

manager. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Marczak brings more than seven years of experience in the marketing and editorial fields. Her role will be to support Citon’s sales team and expand brand awareness through creative marketing efforts, social media and event planning.

Jeff Gasele was hired as a project manager. Gasele graduated from UWS and immediately began working at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was employed for nearly a decade in a number of different capacities, most recently as the cytogenetics lab supervisor. At Citon, he is responsible for communication, planning and documentation of Citon customer projects.

Chris Tracey joined as an information technology specialist. Tracey has worked in the IT field for the past six years, with experience ranging from technical support to sales. At Citon, Tracey will assist with business growth and development, while also supporting existing Citon customers with their IT needs.

* Members Cooperative Credit Union announced Jason Malmstrom joined as vice president of lending. In his new role, Malmstrom is responsible for managing all aspects of the credit union’s lending operations, including indirect, mortgage and business services.

Previously, he worked in the mortgage banking industry for more than 12 years in a variety of roles, most recently with a large regional mortgage bank. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth and has owned several successful businesses in the Duluth area.

Malmstrom also has been involved with many local organizations and participates in the Hermantown and Duluth Chambers of Commerce, Fuse Duluth, Gitchi Gummi Soccer, and St. James School’s Home and School Association.

* Real Estate Services of Duluth announced Erica M. Erickson was hired as a new agent team member. Erickson has assisted buyers and sellers with their real estate needs since 2006 and specializes in residential real estate.

* AimClear announced Jeremy Mayes joined the Duluth office as a senior analyst. Mayes brings 20 years of experience managing and directing online marketing initiatives for agency clients and in-house organizations to the position with a background in conversion optimization, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing, search engine

optimization and social marketing.

Mayes comes from Illinois-based Triumph Higher Education Group, where he led paid and organic search efforts as marketing director. In his new role, he will provide strategic online guidance to agency clients ranging from incredible startups to blue-chip brands.

* LHB Inc. announced the following hires in the Duluth office:

David Polson joined as a civil designer working for the Public Works Group.

Roger Logdahl was hired as a structural lead with the Industrial Group.

Jean Farmakes was hired as general counsel for the company.

Nickolas Johnson joined as an electrical designer working for the Pipeline Group.

* National Bank of Commerce announced John Lund and Kevin Runyon were added to the mortgage solutions team.

Lund is a graduate of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and has 35 years of experience in lending and real estate, most recently at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. He will join the Superior office.

Runyon is a graduate of the University of Kansas and will work in the Duluth office. He also previously worked at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

* Grandma’s Restaurant Co. announced the following promotions:

Jill Toms was named general manager of Grandma’s Saloon and Grill in Canal Park. Toms has been with the company since 1987 and was promoted to general manager of Adventure Zone in June 2010. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and she is a Minnesota certified food manager.

Teresa Boder was promoted to general manager of Adventure Zone in Duluth. She started with the company at Grandma’s-Fargo in 1998 and most

recently was operations manager of Adventure Zone. Boder is a Minnesota certified food manager.

LeeAnn Smith was promoted to general manager of Bellisio’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar in Duluth. She started as a server at Little Angie’s Cantina in 1999 and most recently was the assistant general manager at Bellisio’s. Smith holds a nursing degree and associate degrees from Lake Superior College and is a licensed practical nurse. She also is a Minnesota certified food manager.

Chris Kemmet was promoted to service and beverage manager of Grandma’s Saloon and Grill-Miller Hill in Duluth. Kemmet joined Grandma’s-Canal Park in April 2010 as bar staff and was promoted to front-of-the-house supervisor. Previously, he served six years with the Marine Corps Military Police. Kemmet is a Minnesota certified food manager.

Ian Hanger was named operations manager of Adventure Zone. Hanger joined Grandma’s in the kitchen, and in February 2012 he started working at Adventure Zone as cashier and supervisor. He holds an associate degree from LSC, and he is a Minnesota certified food manager.

Laury Legutko was named service and beverage manager of Little Angie’s Cantina in Duluth. Legutko started working for Grandma’s in 2002 and was promoted to supervisor in 2004.

He worked multiple Grandma’s locations until being promoted to service and beverage manager at the Miller Hill location in 2006. Legutko is a Minnesota certified food


* Pioneer National Bank announced Debbie Demianiuk was hired as vice president and commercial lender. Demianiuk has extensive banking experience, is a 2011 graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and will work out of the West Duluth office.


* Re/Max 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.

* LHB Inc. announced David Williams and Nick Vreeland were certified as Green Globe Professionals.

Williams has 32 years of mechanical design experience and specializes in solar energy systems, unique and special system design and sustainability.

Vreeland has 11 years of architectural design experience and works on a variety of commercial, education and multifamily housing projects with a focus on sustainable design.

Green Globes is a green building-rating system that offers an alternative to the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system as a way to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of buildings.

* LHB Inc.’s Becky Alexander won the Best Romance award in Architecture Minnesota’s Videotect competition for her video entry, Searching for Morels.

* Joseph Prohaska, professor emeritus of biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota Medical School

Duluth Campus, will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition at the annual meeting in April. The ASN Fellows program, in existence since 1952, recognizes scientists who have led distinguished careers in the field of nutrition. To be inducted as a Fellow of the Society is the highest honor that ASN bestows. As of April 2013, 408 Fellows have been inducted.

* JNBA Financial Advisors was named the mentoring category winner in the 2014 Community Impact Awards presented by Minnesota Business Magazine on 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.

* Holiday Stationstores announced Jamie Finn, store manager of the Duluth Holiday Stationstore, will be inducted into the organization’s 2013 Pinnacle Club. The Pinnacle Club is reserved for store managers and district managers with consistently exceptional results in the areas of sales growth, expense control, age-restricted sales compliance and overall business efficiency.


* The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Transportation and Logistics Research Center was awarded full membership in the Council of University Transportation Centers. Membership in the council is limited to any organized center, institute, division, unit or specifically identifiable organization devoted to transportation research, education and technology transfer that is an integral part of a university or four-year college. There must be a director who devotes at least part time to the work of the organization. In addition it must  have at least two other faculty or senior professional staff members engaged in the conduct of transportation research, education and technology transfer. There must be evidence of a statement of purpose, proposal or strategic plan for the organization, and it must provide for a continuing program with ongoing financing.

Expanded Services/New Name

* Northwoods Care Partners, formerly Northwoods Hospice Respite Services, announced it has expanded its services to include transportation both locally and long distance for medical appointments, friendly visits, exercise programs, Matter of Balance classes, memory care support and caregiver consultant services as well as

two support groups for caregivers in Ely and Babbitt. NCP services the communities of Ely, Winton, Babbitt, Tower and Soudan.

New Business

* Sport Clips Haircuts announced the opening of second Duluth location at Miller Hill Mall. The hours of the new store are: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (218) 727-2380, and the website is


* Twin Ports Golf Studio celebrated its new location in the Town Square Mall in Superior with a Jan. 16 ribbon-cutting. The studio offers indoor and outdoor lessons as well as indoor practice. The phone number is (715) 392-1872 and the website is


* Gov. Mark Dayton announced the following appointments.

Jan Sivertson of Grand Marais was appointed to the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Brian Napstad of McGregor was appointed to the Board of Water and Soil Resources.

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.