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Biz Buzz for May 11


* Essentia Health announced the following:

Dr. Ramin Artang, a cardiologist, joined Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Heart and Vascular Center in Duluth. He has a special interest in echocardiography and other cardiac imaging, and also does research on monitoring new anti-clotting drugs. Artang earned his medical degree from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) School of Medicine. He served a residency in internal medicine at the Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic in Marshfield, completed a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.

Mark Hayward will join Essentia Health as the East Region’s senior vice president of outpatient practice in June. He will oversee outpatient care in Northeastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Previously, Hayward served as administrator for the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, where he also served as vice chairman for the department of facilities and support services: engineering, media and systems coordination. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and a master’s degree in industrial engineering/health systems from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ty Erickson joined Essentia as senior vice president of regional practice, overseeing facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Previously, Erickson oversaw Regina Medical Center in Hastings, Minn., which includes a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility and three clinics. Before that, he led Columbia Gorge Service Area in Hood River, Ore., and Rainy Lake Medical Center in International Falls. Erickson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with master’s degrees in health administration and business administration, both from St. Louis (Mo.) University.

Ron Alston joined Essentia Health as senior vice president of surgical and procedural practice. He oversees surgical care at Essentia Health’s East Region facilities. Previously, Alston served in many leadership roles during his 35-year career at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Most recently, he led the divisions of cardiovascular surgery and thoracic surgery. Alston has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Madison University in Gulfport, Miss., and a master’s degree in human and health care administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Rochester.

* Aaron Kolquist was hired as an associate attorney at Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick in Duluth. He holds a law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks and a master’s degree in business administration from UND School of Graduate Studies. He has worked as a law clerk over the past year at Fryberger.

Kelly Gross, a certified massage therapist, was hired at Avenue 45 Hair Designers in Duluth. Gross was trained in relaxation, deep tissue, hot stone and chair massage at the Ashmead School of Massage in Tacoma, Wash. She has practiced massage since 2006 and previously provided massage service in a hospital maternity award, chiropractic office and in spas.

Linda Nervick of E-lynx was hired by Archer Brothers Racing in Duluth to broaden the racing team’s marketing and communications strategies. Nervick developed marketing strategies and successful campaigns for clients such as ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.


Acme Tools, with a location in Duluth, was named a 2014 Distributor of the Year by Evergreen Marketing Group during the group’s 26th partnership conference in Addison, Texas. The award was given after distributors were divided according to size and ranks based on the following criteria: contribution to the group, growth, participation and member and supplier input.

Tom Stender, chairman and CEO of Otis-Magie Insurance Inc. in Duluth,was named 2015 Minnesota Insurance Agent of the Year by the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association during the annual convention April 29 in Minneapolis. A Duluth resident, Stender holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Thomas University in St. Paul. He joined Otis-Magie in 1998 as an account executive and served as vice president of property and casualty lines, sales manager and principal before being named chairman and CEO in 2011. Under Stender’s leadership, Otis-Magie revenue has grown 50 percent and more than doubled its size, becoming the largest independent insurance agency in the region.

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth was recognized for superior performance in workplace safety and health during the Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon Thursday in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The awards program is coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.

WLSSD also was recognized by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry as a Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program worksite. MNSHARP is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration program that recognizes organizations where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health programs that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses. WLSSD is the only public organization to earn the MNSHARP certification.

* University of Minnesota Duluth announced the following winners of its Outstanding Service Awards:

Lisa Sundberg of UMD’s Large Lakes Observatory was recognized for her work as outreach coordinator for LLO as well as the ship steward on UMD’s research vessel Blue Heron. Sundberg has worked with LLO for nearly eight years and is in her fourth year with her current position. The award specifically honors Sundberg’s efforts in creating and coordinating monthly Science Friday events in the summer on the Blue Heron. Open to the public, the events educate people of all ages about freshwater lakes and the research being done by UMD students and faculty on Lake Superior.

Helen Sandwick was recognized for her many years as an executive assistant and administrative specialist with UMD’s aerospace studies department. The department is a collaborative effort between UMD and the Air Force ROTC, and Sandwick is the department’s only civilian employee. She started working at UMD almost 30 years ago and during her 25 years in ROTC, has seen more than 200 cadets commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force and remains in contact with many today. As military staff members frequently change, Sandwick is a source of stability, coordinating efforts and acting as a liaison between the Air Force and the students’ campuses.

Shey Peterson of UMD’s electrical engineering department was recognized for her willingness to go above and beyond by organizing engineering summer camps at UMD for youth in middle school and high school. Peterson has worked at UMD for 13 years, and her current position as an executive secretary involves a wide variety of duties. She has a passion for encouraging youth to pursue careers in science and coordinates the weeklong camps annually with the help of staff and faculty in other UMD engineering departments.

Shawn Nagy and Darlene Nagy, Norwex independent sales consultants, received their second leadership promotion as sales leaders in 2015. June will mark the duo’s third year of providing Norwex cleaning products to the Twin Ports area.


* James Masterson and Tyler Simonson of Lipe Brothers Garage Doors in Duluth were designated as certified commercial rolling door systems technicians by the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation. The certification is available to individuals who document training and demonstrate a high degree of knowledge and expertise in the installation and service of commercial rolling door systems.


* Mayor Don Ness appointed Ann Glumac, principal at Glumac Executive Enterprise, and Rachel Johnson, crossing coordinator of Sandpiper Mainline with Enbridge, to the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority board of commissioners. They join existing HRA board members Robert Reichert, chairman; John Ivey Thomas, vice chairman; Tony Cuneo, secretary; Ron Bushey; and Phil Rolle.


Blue Heron Trading Co. in Duluth will celebrate its 30th anniversary Friday with homemade treats and free coffee as well as a drawing for one of six Thymes Bath and Body Gift Baskets. The store is on the first floor of the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace, 394 S. Lake Ave., Duluth. For more information, call (218) 722-8799.


Aerostich Design & Mfg. Co. in Duluth, producers of motorcycle safety apparel and equipment, will have an open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 8 S. 18th Ave. W. There will be on-site seminars, product demonstrations, factory tours and in-store only specials in its newly expanded retail showroom. For more information go to


* Laura Zahn, independent financial advisor with Zahn Investment Group in Duluth, joined Securities America Inc., a broker-dealer serving independent financial advisors based in LaVista, Neb. Zahn has served the Duluth area since 2002 and holds an accredited asset management specialist designation from the College on Financial Planning. She specializes in helping with retirement transition and women investors. Her office remains at 2311 Woodland Ave., Suite 1, the phone number is (218) 728-1445 and the website is

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.