Spotlight on ...

Name: Mary Finnegan-Ongaro of Duluth

Company: Members Cooperative Credit Union's Members Financial Services program. She will work out of both the Duluth and Cloquet offices.

Hired as: Financial adviser. Her responsibilities include advising clients on financial decision-making to meet their short- and long-term financial goals.

Background: Finnegan-Ongaro is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to sell securities products and provide financial advice to members. The FINRA is the largest nongovernmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the U.S.

She was previously employed by Waddell and Reed, a financial planning firm, where she was the company's district and regional top producer among first-year advisers. She's active with Churches United in Ministry, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Eco Rotary, Duluth Woman's Club, Toastmasters and Animal Allies.

Who was the most influential person in your life? "My dad. I watched him suffer from a terminal disease with grace and dignity."

* Mary Ortiz was named executive director of the International Wolf Center in Ely.

Ortiz began work with the center as a volunteer in 1987 and has served as the organization's associate director and director of communications and marketing. She also was named interim executive director after the departures of former executive directors Walter Medwid in 2007 and Marc Anderson in October 2008.

While based in the organization's Twin Cities office, Ortiz helped raise money at the Legislature in 1991 to build the Ely Interpretive Center, which opened in 1993. She developed the center's membership and development programs; created and managed its quarterly magazine, International Wolf; and worked closely with the organization's many audiences as director of communications and marketing.

* Fairview Range appointed Jack Berland as senior vice president and chief operating officer. Berland succeeds Dr. Richard Dinter, who left in September 2006 for a sabbatical to pursue other professional interests and leadership roles.

Berland, of Hibbing, earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the College of St. Scholastica in 1976 and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis in 1990. He began his career as an active-duty member of the Army Nurse Corps and has served in various clinical, management, educational and recruitment roles. He completed his military career as a member of the 5501st Army Hospital at Fort Snelling, Minn., where he served in a number of leadership positions, as well as having served on active duty at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, during Desert Storm. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Nurse Corps in 1994. Berland has held leadership positions at Fairview Range for the past 20 years, including his role as the chief nursing officer and vice president of clinical services. He is a licensed registered nurse in Minnesota and is a member of and involved in the Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

* Krista Olsen was hired as a case manager for SOAR Career Solutions' Community Offender Re-entry Program. Olsen graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in criminology and psychology. She has experience working as a case manager in corrections, was an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and also served as a legal assistant for attorneys in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

In her new position she works with men and women who soon will be released from county, state and federal institutions. Olsen assists clients in their transition from secure correctional facility into safe, stable living situations and employment opportunities in the Duluth community.


* LHB announced Heidi Bringman and Lydia Major each received licensure to practice landscape architecture in Minnesota. Bringman and Major work in all areas at LHB.

Bringman works with the site design group at the Duluth office. During the past six years she has worked on projects including International Falls Gateway, the College of St. Scholastica and Lake Superior College in Duluth and the Duluth Neighborhood Revitalization Planning. She's currently working on Superior's Center City Park and the Duluth public schools eastern and western middle schools. She is a licensed landscape architect and a LEED accredited professional.

Major works with the urban planning and design group at the Minneapolis office. She has been with LHB for nearly two years and has worked on a variety of design and community planning projects. She's currently working on the Wayzata Bay Center Redevelopment, EdCampus in Chaska, Minn.; Douglas Drive Corridor Study in Golden Valley, Minn.; and the Mississippi Market in St. Paul.


* The Duluth City Council appointed Norm Voorhees to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. Voorhees, a native of Duluth, is the market development representative for Ironworkers Local 512. He has been a union ironworker since 1987, moved into an administrative role for the Duluth local in 2002 and now handles contract negotiations, trust funds, apprenticeship training and organizing efforts.

He was elected president of the Northern Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council in 2005 and serves on the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Alumni Board and the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board. He's a long-standing delegate to the Duluth Central Labor Council and to Superior Days lobbying efforts.


* On Dec. 4, Janet Anelli opened Hannah Johnson Fabrics at 5825 E. Superior St. in Duluth. The business specializes in fashion apparel fabrics for prom, bridal and casual wear and features Amy Butler fabrics and patterns, high-quality 100 percent cotton from Michael Miller and Andover fabrics, plus Sandi Henderson's Portabellapixie patterns. Specialty items like Ottobre pattern magazines from Finland and oilcloth from Oilcloth International will be added soon. Anelli plans to offer basic sewing skills and semi-formal dress-making classes in January. The business also does simple alterations. Call 464-0339 for more information.

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 biz@duluthnews.com, or fax 720-4120.