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Biz buzz for Aug. 8


  • David Mickelson Professional engineer David Mickelson of Hibbing was hired as a mechanical engineer for St. Paul-based engineering and architectural firm TKDA’s Duluth office. Mickelson has 25 years of engineering experience specializing in the mining and industrial fields. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is a member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, American Society of Plumbing Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
  • Essentia Health announced the following new hires:
  • Joseph Doerer Cardiologist Dr. Joseph Doerer joined St. Mary’s Heart and Vascular Center in Duluth. Doerer earned a medical degree from both the University of Minnesota Duluth and Twin Cities. He finished his internal medicine residency and cardiovascular disease fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

    St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth welcomed Dr. Jose Gomez and Dr. Esther Enu.

    Jose Gomez Gomez, a critical care medicine physician certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Internal Medicine, completed a medical degree and residency in pediatrics and internal medicine from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He then did a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif. Gomez served nine years active duty in the Navy and continues to serve in the reserves.

    Esther Enu Enu joined as a hospitalist. She received a medical degree from Ross University in Portsmouth, Dominica, and completed her residency in internal medicine at PinnacleHealth Polyclinic Campus in Harrisburg, Penn.

    Family physicians Dr. Amanda Carlson and Dr. Stephen Smith joined Superior Clinic and Virginia Clinic, respectively.

    Amanda Carlson Carlson obtained a medical degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and did her residency in family medicine at Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program in Duluth. She is certified by American Board of Family Medicine.

    Stephen Smith Certified by American Board of Family Medicine, Smith earned a medical degree from Ross University in Portsmouth, Dominica, and finished his residency in family medicine at Central Michigan University in Saginaw, Mich.

    Aboubaker Sharaf Dr. Aboubaker Sharaf was hired as a stroke neurologist at Duluth Clinic. Sharaf acquired a medical degree from Al Fateh University of Medical Science in Tripoli, Libya, and completed his residency in neurology, a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and a fellowship in neurovascular medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. He is certified in neurology by American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry.

    • The city of Duluth announced the following promotions and new hires:

    Roberta Pirkola was hired as assistant city clerk and Chris Kibler joined the city as land-use technician. Kibler earned a mathematics degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and has 10 years of working experience in the energy industry, particularly nuclear power generation.

    Employees Tom Anderson, Armella Monohan and Chris Edwardson each received promotions.

    Anderson is now manager of fleet services after six years with the city.

    Monohan, who has an architectural technologies degree from Lake Superior College and eight years of drafting experience with Duluth’s Northern Trends Building and Design prior to joining the city, is now a city plans examiner.

    Edwardson was promoted from land use technician to permitting services lead worker. He holds a wood products degree from University of Maine in Orono and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Minnesota Duluth. Prior to joining the city, he was a remodeling contractor.

    Britt Buerskin was hired as a plan examiner. She previously worked as a project manager and designer-drafter with a local construction company. She has a design technology degree from Bemidji State University.

    Hired as a land use technician, Adam Schminski, was a project manager and estimator for Hunt Electric in Duluth and worked for Zierden Builders of Duluth for nine years. He has a degree in building construction technologies from LSC.

    Kate Van Daele and Chris Lee were hired as planner one’s in the community planning division.

    Van Daele has more than 10 years of working experience funding homeless and low-income programs in Denver.

    Lee previously worked as a regional planner with Southern Iowa Council of Governments in Creston.

    New construction services information and communications specialist, Michelle Warner, previously worked as a field cost analyst for Lake Superior Consulting and has a bachelor’s degree from American Military University in Charles Town, W.V.

    Alyssa Bryant was hired as administrative information specialist with the City Clerk’s Office. She has six years of administrative experience.

    • Stephanie Jago Stephanie Jago of Duluth was hired as benefits coordinator for Community Memorial Hospital and Sunnyside Health Care Center in Cloquet. She previously worked at St. Ann’s Residence in Duluth for 11 years — part of the time as CEO. She holds a legal assistant associate degree from Lake Superior College.
    • Rob Polson DBS Residential Solutions hired Rob Polson of Duluth as a service technician. Prior to joining DBS, Polson was a manager at Sprint.
    • Wayne Bruns of Grand Rapids was hired as a commercial lender at Woodland Bank’s Grand Rapids office. Bruns has more than 25 years of financial experience and community banking including his time as a board member and treasurer with Itasca Economic Development Center and as a past board member of Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining Woodland Bank, Bruns was the business manager at Pro Blast Technology in Keewatin.
    • Matthew Steinbrink Minneapolis-based law firm SiebenCarey named Chisholm native Matthew Steinbrink a partner of the firm. Steinbrink practices personal injury and wrongful death claims law. He has practiced with SiebenCarey for four years and also serves on Board of Governors and on various committees for Minnesota Association for Justice. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and his juris doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.
    • Maurices and Ascena Shared Services, Duluth offices, announced the following hires and promotions.

    Paige Duerksen Paige Duerksen and Callie Heimsness Callie Heimsness were promoted to planner IIs. Before their promotions, they were both planning analysts.

    Christie Och Christie Och, Olivia Green Olivia Green and Andrea Callahan Andrea Callahan joined as CARE specialists.

    Kelli Sisco Previously a sales associate at Maurices in West Burlington, Iowa, Kelli Sisco was hired to the Duluth office as an assistant buyer-bottoms.

    Leeza Kuznetsova Leeza Kuznetsova and Jodi Gerard Jodie Gerard were hired as a senior copywriter and financial analyst, respectively.

    Olivia Nelson For Ascena, Olivia Nelson is the new associate product manager and Jenna Jobe Jenna Jobe and Anna Bauman Anna Bauman were promoted to accounting technician and HRIS Support Center specialist, respectively. Prior to their promotions, Jobe and Bauman were CARE specialists with Maurices.

    Gayle Malcolm Other promotions include Gayle Malcolm from interim lead for brand editorial to brand content and creative; Molly Rider Molly Rider from temp visual associate to brand presentation coordinator; Kelly Barnstoff Kelly Barnstoff from temp executive admin assistant I to executive assistant II; Sarah Jennings Sarah Jennings from merchandise admin support associate to executive assistant II; and Jaclyn Priolo Jaclyn Priolo from IT finance temp to accounting technician for Ascena.

    • St. Luke’s announced the following new hires:

    Leif Christianson Board-certified cardiologist Dr. Leif Christianson, a member of American College of Cardiology, joined Cardiology Associates. Christianson earned a medical degree from American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles. He completed his internal medicine residency at University of Missouri-Columbia, where he also worked for a year as a clinical instructor of medicine and chief medical resident. He finished his cardiovascular disease fellowship as chief fellow at University of South Florida in Tampa.

    Kerri Harting Dr. Kerri Harting joined Consulting Radiologists as a board-certified radiologist for St. Luke’s Healthcare System. Harting received her medical degree from Southern Illinois University in Springfield, Ill., and completed a residency in radiology at University of Missouri-Columbia, and another residency at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. She did a breast-imaging fellowship at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.


    • Thomas Renier Lake Superior College Foundation board of directors elected Thomas Renier of Duluth to a three-year board term. Prior to joining the foundation, Renier worked in economic development with Arrowhead Regional Development Commission of Duluth, served for 12 years on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board of trustees, was president of Northland Foundation for 28 years until 2014, and formed Northspan Group, a nonprofit business and economic organization. He is a graduate of University of Minnesota Duluth.


    • Michele Vesel Century 21 Gilderman and Associates announced Michele Vesel was named July’s top sales agent.
    • Minnesota Lottery, which has a Virginia office, was awarded Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Accounting by the U.S. and Canada Government Finance Officers Association. The award, based on a review of the lottery’s 2015 fiscal year Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, recognized Minnesota Lottery for clearly communicating and fully disclosing its financial story.
    • Larry Nord Larry Nord, an attorney and partner with Orman Nord and Hurd law firm of Duluth, was named a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Super Lawyer magazine. Nord practices family law.


    • University of Wisconsin-Superior announced the following students completed the mediation certificate: Christopher Benton, Jacob Gondik, JordanMae Hanson, Torri Hendrickson and Brittani Mayberry.


    • Innovative Blood Resources, a nonprofit blood center that includes Twin Ports’ Memorial Blood Centers, joined forces with New York Blood Center to serve patients and hospitals in the Midwest, Northeast and nationally.
    • Midwest Alarm Services, which owns Per Mar Security in Duluth, acquired Electric Specialties Company, a life safety systems company of Omaha, Neb.


    • MetroPCS, a T-Mobile network and product dealer, will host a grand opening ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 27 at its location at 4602 Grand Ave. During the ceremony, Mix 108 will broadcast live while 200 backpacks filled with school supplies are given away to families with kids. There will also be children’s games.

    The cellphone technology company, which opened in its Duluth location in May, is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. MetroPCS can be contacted through email at, by phone at (218) 606-1092 or its website,

    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.