Weather Forecast


Biz Buzz for September 29

Hires and promotions

  • Richard Selz joined Canal Park Brewery in Duluth as general manager. Selz has nearly 30 years of restaurant experience, including working in restaurants in Chicago and Santa Fe, N.M. More recently, Selz worked as the food and beverage director and executive chef at Radisson Duluth Hotel, as general manager at Midi Restaurant in Duluth, and as general manager and executive chef at Papa Charlie’s Restaurant and Tavern in Lutsen.
  • Taylor Wink joined the Duluth News Tribune as a customer service field representative. He will work at the DNT’s distribution center on Garfield Avenue.

Wink is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he majored in wellness/fitness. He previously played professional baseball for three years in the Independent League, including with the St. Paul Saints. Wink continues to coach and assist the UWS baseball team, as well as serving as a volunteer coach with the local summer league youth camps.

  • Maurices announced the following:

Ali Wing joined Maurices as chief marketing officer and executive vice president of digital commerce. Wing spent the past 10 years as founder and CEO of Giggle Baby Store. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Amanda Johnson joined Maurices as a digital communications specialist.

Marie Kavajecz joined Ascena Retail Group Inc. as an accounting technician.

Greg Simpson was promoted to technical operations and project management director for Maurices.

Traci Warren was promoted to vice president of digital commerce for Maurices. Previously, Warren was associate vice president of online marketing.

  • Joe Johnson joined the Joe Golcz State Farm Agency in Duluth. A Duluth native, Johnson is licensed to sell property and casualty insurance.
  • Essentia Health announced the following:

Physician assistant Jillian Reed joined the emergency department at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. Reed earned a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Bethel University in Paris, Tenn., and is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Dr. Michael Wolz, a dermatologist, joined Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic in Duluth. Wolz earned his medical degree from the University of Oxford Medical School in Oxford, England, and served a residency in dermatology at the Mayo School of Graduate Education in Rochester, Minn.

Nurse practitioner Natalie Gustafson joined the family medicine department at Essentia Health-Grand Rapids Clinic in Grand Rapids. Gustafson earned a master’s degree in nursing from the University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines in Grand Forks, N.D., and is certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Dr. Angela McAllister, a comprehensive ophthalmologist, joined the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic. She will care for both children and adults. McAllister earned a medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison and completed a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

  • McGladrey announced the following hires in its Duluth office:

Sue Lane joined as a tax manager; Hui Huang and Ben Jacobson joined as tax senior associates; Alysa Bjorklund joined as an administrative assistant; Michael Anderson and Zach Kuchinski joined as casino industry audit associates; John Dahmen joined as a health care industry assurance associate; Kim Hollencamp and Dave Wadsworth joined as manufacturing and distribution industry assurance associates; Tim Smith, Jarvas Polk and Ashley Sylte joined as casino industry assurance associates; and Dani Stock and Amy Bainbridge joined as tax associates.

  • Cirrus Aircraft announced the following:

Ben Kowalski joined as vice president of marketing and will be responsible for developing marketing, branding, communication and distribution strategies to support the company’s strategic growth plan, including activities around the launch of the Vision SF50 jet in 2015. He brings more than 15 years of experience leading initiatives in sales, marketing, operations and training for both regional and global companies. Before coming to Cirrus, Kowalski held key roles in Garmin’s aviation business segment, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing for worldwide original equipment manufacturers and military and government markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign. Kowalski is an active instrument-rated commercial pilot holding single and multi-engine flight instructor ratings. Also a certified flight instrument instructor, he has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours in aircraft ranging from business jets to amateur-built aircraft.

David Moser joined as vice president of fleet and special mission sales. In this role, Moser will oversee the Cirrus fleet and special mission platforms sales team responsible for delivering the most innovative, capable and flexible solutions to customers around the world. His aviation career began at Diamond Aircraft where he was director of fleet sales. He then founded Flightline Solutions LLC, where he represented Cirrus Aircraft and other products and services for the flight training market. Previously, Moser held several key positions with leading high-technology companies, including General Electric, GTE, Sun Microsystems and Advanced Energy. Moser is an active instrument-rated commercial pilot and holds CFII and multi-engine flight instructor ratings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, a master’s degree in finance from Loyola University of Chicago and a master’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

  • Chad DuMars was promoted to vice president of operations with Lake Assault Boats in Superior. DuMars is responsible for all engineering and production activities of Lake Assault, as well as joint ventures with Fraser Shipyards, its sister company with which it shares operations, manufacturing machinery and a location at a 124-year-old shipbuilding headquarters on Lake Superior.

DuMars came to Lake Assault in 2010 after an extensive career in maritime design and manufacturing that included building passenger vessels, car ferries, work boats and luxury yachts. He most recently was Lake Assault’s managing director, a role that included manufacturing responsibilities. DuMars has been responsible for overseeing the design and launch of nearly 50 boats that Lake Assault has manufactured since he arrived at the company and led an expansion of the design and manufacturing staff.

In his new role, DuMars will bring a full-time focus to design and manufacturing of boats for Lake Assault’s clients, which include fire departments and law enforcement agencies across the country.

  •   Laura Johnson joined Reliable Insurance Agency’s Cloquet office. Johnson holds a degree in mass communication from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Johnson began her insurance career in 2005, specializing in group Medicare sales and individual sales and continued into small and large group and individual sales for the under-65 market. Johnson has experience working with all types of health insurance plans, including long-term care, as well as life and disability plans.
  • Joe Harrison joined National Bank of Commerce in Superior as part of the commercial lending team. Harrison is a career financial professional with more than 25 years’ experience in banking, with a strong emphasis on commercial lending and business banking. He also serves as the treasurer of the Superior Library Foundation and is a member of the local Kiwanis club.
  • In Motion Therapy in Duluth announced the following:

Monica Bertani, physical therapist, joined in August. She earned a doctorate of physical therapy in 2014 from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. Bertani’s clinical interests include mechanical evaluation of the spine and the cranio-osteopathic approach, as well as patients with headaches and chronic neck pain.

Physical therapist Stephanie Grieger joined in July. She holds a doctorate in physical therapy at CSS in 2012. Griegger’s clinical interests include pregnancy, pelvic health, lymphedema, manual therapies and holistic approaches. She has two years of previous experience in her field.

  • Tanya Nichols, financial adviser, joined Ascential Wealth Advisors as a partner. Nichols is a certified financial planner and works with families, professionals and business owners in all aspects of financial planning. She has more than 15 years of experience and was previously a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors in Duluth. Nichols is a member of the Arrowhead Estate Planning Council and serves on the board of Duluth Bethel.
  • Republic Bank announced the following:

Seth Mathews was promoted to personal banking officer in the downtown Duluth location. He will be responsible for consumer loan originations and will work closely with the commercial department in offering the most-appropriate products and services to the bank’s business clients. He previously worked as a teller coordinator for U.S. Bank and joined Republic Bank in 2008, most recently as a personal banker at the Decker Road location.

Julie Dallmann was promoted to vice president of commercial lending in the downtown Duluth location. She holds bachelor’s degrees in accounting and economics from the University of Minnesota Duluth and earned her master’s degree in business administration from the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics. She joined Republic Bank in 2005 as a credit analyst.

Jeanne Nolan was promoted to senior credit analyst for commercial lending at the downtown Duluth location. Nolan holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica. She previously held positions at U.S. Bank and M&I Bank, joining Republic Bank as a credit analyst in 2006.

Rod Kinnee was hired as a mortgage loan originator in the downtown Duluth location. In this position, he will be responsible for obtaining prospects for all types of mortgages, including construction loans, real estate purchases, and refinancing and lease-land financing. Kinnee earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of

Wisconsin-Superior. Before joining Republic Bank, he worked as a mortgage consultant with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and as an account representative with U.S. Bank.

Nancy Rislov-Johnson was hired as assistant vice president/

branch manager of the Decker Road location. In this position, she will be responsible for building and maintaining customer relationships by offering the most-appropriate products and services that will fulfill immediate and future financial needs. Before joining Republic Bank, Rislov-Johnson worked as an assistant bank manager with BMO Harris Bank in Superior and as a personal banking officer at Wells Fargo Bank in Duluth.

Elise Jochims was hired as a credit analyst in the downtown Duluth location. She earned bachelor’s degrees in financial management and leadership and management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Before joining Republic Bank, she worked at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Minneapolis.

  • Tracy Hansen joined Saturn Systems’ Duluth office as an administrative assistant. Previously, she was an office manager at a local dental office. Hansen will be assisting the chief financial officer and office and human resources administrator with various activities.

Awards and recognitions

  • Carolyn Phelps, Human Development Center’s director of outpatient therapy, received an award for community collaboration and inter-agency cooperation at the Sept. 18 plenary session of the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs annual conference held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The award is presented annually in recognition of an individual’s creation of partnerships, which enable organizations to overcome barriers to service delivery and better meet the needs of people.
  • Bob Falsani, Jim Balmer, Jim Peterson and Sean Quinn, partners of the law firm Falsani, Balmer, Peterson, Quinn & Beyer in Duluth, were selected for inclusion in the 2014 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. Only 5 percent of Minnesota lawyers are awarded this honor each year.
  • Bart Olek, a financial representative of Northwestern Mutual in Duluth, qualified for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Quality Award. This is Olek’s 10th time earning an NAIFA honor, which recognizes financial representatives for their competence and dedication to the insurance industry and their clients.

Certifications and accreditations

  • The University of Wisconsin-Superior announced Rebecca Haavik of Mentor Superior and YMCA Duluth graduated from the nonprofit administration and fund development certificate program offered through the Center for Continuing Education.

The combination certificate program provides training specific to managing a not-for-profit organization or government agency, including a specific area of focus. Participants complete a minimum of 100 hours of training aimed at strengthening their skills in a variety of areas including: strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, human resources and program evaluation.

Board elections

  • The Entrepreneur Fund in Duluth announced Jason Serck and Chris Fulton were added to its board of directory.

Serck is the director of the Superior planning department, which focuses on economic development, land use planning, zoning, port development and the Community Development Block Grant program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Fulton is the executive director of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. A Grand Rapids native, Fulton attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and spent 30 years on active duty in the U.S. Army before returning to Grand Rapids in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from West Point, a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana University in Bloomington and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Fulton also completed the Senior Executive Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

In addition to Serck and Fulton, the Board of Directors for the Entrepreneur Fund also includes: Sandy Layman of Layman Consulting, chairwoman; Scott Bradt of Wells Fargo Bank, vice chairman; Tony Palm of Bremer Bank, secretary/treasurer; Kelly Klun of Klun Law Firm; David Clusiau of Hibbing and Superior Chrysler Center; Don Negley of Rural Living Environments; and Jack Ryan of Ryan-Kasner-Bialke LLC.

  • The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board announced the election of officers. LeRoy Forslund of Superior will serve another term as the board chairman. Richard Nystrom of Superior and Walt Jaeger of Hayward were elected vice chairman and secretary, respectively.

Grand opening/open house

  • Chequamegon Food Co-op in Ashland will open its new, expanded store at 8 a.m. today at 700 Main St. W. The building has undergone extensive renovation since March, making it more energy efficient and environmentally sound.

Former Duluthian

  • James McGregor, formerly of Duluth and chairman of APCO Worldwide Greater China, received an Asia-Pacific Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for his more than 25 years of work promoting business connections and honest communications between the United States and China at the Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards dinner in Beijing.

A Duluth East High School graduate, McGregor began his career in China as a one-man bureau for the Wall Street Journal in 1990. Since he served as chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China; was the founder and CEO of J.L. McGregor Inc., a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds; and he leads APCO Worldwide’s China operations with a staff of more than 100 professionals in offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

McGregor and his wife, Cathy, still own a home in Duluth and split time between Duluth and Shanghai.


  • Genesis Recovery Services LLC announced the following student interns for the 2014-15 school year:

Kristi Melby, a student intern through Mesabi Range Community College, is pursuing a chemical health certificate. Melby attended Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston and received her doctorate degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Marina Thiry, a student intern through the College of St. Scholastica is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work. Thiry earned an associate degree and chemical health certificate from the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet.

Joyce Zou, a graduate student intern through the University of Minnesota Duluth is pursuing a master’s degree in social work. Zou obtained her bachelor’s degree at the Beijing University of Technology and is focused on clinical social work.

Linda Burhans, a graduate student intern through UMD, is pursuing a master’s degree in social work. Burhans holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in social work and another from University of Wyoming in fine arts. Burhans is focused on clinical social work.

Grady O’Neil, a graduate student intern through UWS is pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy. Before attending UWS, O’Neil attended the Gobebic Community College in Ironwood. He applies therapeutic interventions through the use of art therapy for individuals in recovery.

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.