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Biz Buzz for July 20


* Paul Morton was hired as the multimedia sales representative for the Northland Smart Shopper in Superior. A Cloquet resident, Morton will assist businesses in the areas surrounding Superior develop effective marketing plans.

Angie Soderberg was hired as internship program director for Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Soderberg holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UMD and a master’s degree in education from Portland (Ore.) State University. She will provide teaching and instruction, direct student support and employer engagement for LSBE. Previously, Soderberg worked in the Career Services Department at the University of Wisconsin-Superior engaging with students, employers and academic departments to develop and facilitate career and internship programming.

Xavier Knight was appointed chief information officer at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. Knight holds a bachelor’s degree in business and computer systems from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, a master’s degree in management and telecommunications and a doctorate in education in leadership, all from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona. Previously, he was information technology director at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and held senior IT manager roles at the University of Minnesota and Medtronic, both in Minneapolis, and Carlson Cos. in Minnetonka, Minn.

* Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth announced the following:

Todd Simmons was promoted to president, customer experience. Simmons will lead all customer experience activities including sales, marketing, personalization, delivery, service and support, flight training, flight operations and the opening of the Vision Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

Pat Waddick moved into the role of president, innovation and operations. He will lead enterprisewide innovation and operations activities including research and development, engineering, program management, manufacturing operations, global supply chain and quality.

* Shepherd’s Little Lambs Early Childhood Center in Duluth announced the following:

Alana Laufman was hired as lead teacher in the toddler classroom and program music specialist. Laufman holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in oboe performance from McGill University in Montreal.

Kirsten Michael was hired as lead teacher in the 3-year-old classroom. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in early education from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn.

Jennifer Keske moved into the position of lead teacher in the 4-year-old classroom. Keske holds an associate degree in early childhood education from Rasmussen College and has 12 years of teaching experience.

Jennifer DeNoyer is the director of the center. DeNoyer holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Martin Luther College and has 12 years of teaching experience.

* LHB Inc. announced the following:

Donald Benson joined the Duluth office as senior survey crew chief working with the survey group. Benson has more than 17 years of survey experience on pipeline and utility projects.

Ryan Murphy joined the Duluth office as an intermediate survey crew chief working with the survey group. He received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and certificate in geographical information systems from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Paul Vartmann joined the Duluth office as a survey technician. Vartmann received his associate degree in civil engineering technology from Lake Superior College in Duluth.

Rhonda Ozzello is now a finance coordinator working with the corporate group in the Duluth office. Ozzello received her associate degree in accounting from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior and has been with LHB since 2012.

Terry King was hired as director of engineering for GPM Inc. in Duluth. King will oversee all aspects of engineering and design within GPM, as well as coordinate efforts for special engineered products. He is a graduate of Iowa State University in Ames, holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, is a certified practitioner of inventory management and a member of the American Production Inventory Control Society. King has more than 30 years of industrial manufacturing experience, including heavy machining plant management, foundry and fabrication, and previously worked as the general manager of American Precision Avionics in Duluth.


*Brock Slabach, senior vice president of member services for National Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, received the 2015 Calico Leadership Award during the State Flex Program Reverse Site Visit June 23-24 in Bethesda, Md. The award is presented annually to an outstanding rural health leader by Technical Assistance and Services Center, a program of the NRHSC, as well as TASC’s national advisory committee.

Slabach joined the National Rural Health Association in 2008 and is responsible for all areas of member services. He also coordinates the Healthcare Quality Technical Assistance Center. Slabach served for more than 21 years as a rural hospital administrator.

* Century 21 Gilderman and Associates Inc. in Duluth announced Jodi Olson was named top sales agent for June.

Bob Falsani of the law firm Falsani, Balmer, Peterson, Quinn & Beyer and Steve Reyelts of the Reyelts Law Firm, both in Duluth, were selected for inclusion in the 2015 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. Only 5 percent of Minnesota lawyers are awarded this honor each year.

Peter Greenlee of Greenlee Law Office in Duluth was awarded the 2015 Raeder Larson Public Service Award by the Minnesota State Bar Association Bankruptcy Section in recognition of outstanding service to the public through the provision of pro bono legal services and dedication to a system of equal access to justice for all.  


* Duluth Homebrew Supply recently opened in the lower level of Fitger’s Brewery Complex, 600 E. Superior St. Owners Katie Hagglund and Kelly Katoski offer homebrewing and winemaking supplies as well as classes for all skill and interest levels. The phone number is (218) 464-0060 and the website is

Alakef Coffee Roasters in Duluth opened the Alakef Cup kiosk in Super One at Kenwood Shopping Plaza, 1316 W. Arrowhead Road. The menu includes drip coffee, pour overs, espresso drinks, fresh juices, smoothies, protein replacement shakes and items from Alakef’s local business partners. The phone number is (218) 724-6849 and the website is


* GuardianPest Solutions will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new 12,000-square-foot headquarters and warehouse at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Susquehanna Avenue and Halvor Lane in Superior.

Eastridge Community Church in Duluth announced it will hold a 125th anniversary and groundbreaking for its expansion at noon Sunday at 3727 W. Arrowhead Road. the 16,000-square-foot expansion includes a new worship and multiministry center and a wellness facility open to all. For more information, contact lead pastor Thomas Asbury at (218) 722-1545 or or go to

Memorial Medical Center and Essentia Health will hold a construction celebration and groundbreaking ceremony for the Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center from 3-5 p.m. today at 1615 Maple Lane, Ashland. The $12 million dollar project will be located on the east end of the medical campus and is slated to open in March 2016. A new Essentia clinic also will be built as part of the project, bringing the total investment to $20 million.

The cancer center is the result of several years of ongoing discussions about how MMC and Essentia Health could collaborate to bring expanded cancer care services to residents of Northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


* Northland Party, formerly operating as Party America in Stoneridge Shopping Center in Duluth, opened a new location at 5009 Matterhorn Drive, Duluth. The phone number is (218) 720-4476 and the website is

Goodwill in Superior recently moved to 2911 Tower Ave. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and the phone number is (715) 392-1726.


* Ilona Moore, formerly of Duluth, accepted a position as assistant professor of international relations at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Moore, a 1998 graduate of Duluth Central High School, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Morris and a doctorate in human geography from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Previously, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Pacific Basin Research Center at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, Calif.

* Kristin Rowell, formerly of Grand Rapids, was named to the 2015 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. No more than 5 percent of lawyers in Minnesota are selected as Super Lawyers. Rowell is a partner at the law firm of Anthony Ostlund in Minneapolis.

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.