• Nurse practitioner Andrea Simek joined the Urgent Care Department at Essentia Health-Virginia Medical Arts Clinic in Virginia. She earned her doctorate degree in nursing from the College of St. Scholastica. Simek is certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

• Chad Watczak has joined the Duluth sales office of Edina Realty, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Prior to this, Watczak worked as a Realtor for Consulting, Management and Realty Associates. He specializes in single-family home sales and working with first-time homebuyers and investors. Watczak earned the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation and is a former member of the Duluth Area Association of Realtors government affairs committee. He has a bachelor's degree in human performance and health promotion from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

• Creative Arcade, a Duluth-based design and marketing agency, hired Stephen Pestalozzi as a graphic designer. He brings two-plus years of professional design experience with him and he recently provided design and marketing support for Northern Waters Smokehaus. Pestalozzi is one of the founding members of Stack Prints, a local group of screen printing artists and a contributor of work that is shown at Prove Gallery.

• Peace of Mind promoted Matt Haney to human resources director. He has been with the company for 11 years. Haney is working toward SHRM-CP certification.

• Ken Harness has been named senior vice president of product development at Cirrus Aircraft. Harness has 28 years of leadership experience in the aviation and aerospace industries. He most recently served as vice president of product development and engineering at Highland Group, an aerospace consulting firm. Harness holds a master's degree in business administration from Oakland University and a bachelor's degree in aviation technology from Purdue University. He also served six years in the United States Army as a helicopter test pilot.

• Joe Tribbey has been named interim director of Lake Superior College's Emergency Response Training Center. He has served as a faculty member in fire services AS and AAS degree programs since 2013, where he provided instruction and advisement for students and for rural fire departments in the region through LSC's Customized Training division. Tribbey holds a bachelor's degree in fire and emergency response management from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and an AAS degree in fire technology and administration from Lake Superior College. He is a 17-year veteran of the Superior Fire Department and currently serves as a captain at Station 2 in Superior's North End.

• Physician assistant Kelsey Miller has joined the orthopedics and sports medicine department at the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic. Miller earned a master's degree in physician assistant studies from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.


• Jodi Olson is top sales agent for the month of January at Century 21 Gilderman & Associates, Inc.


• Patricia Nordean, an employee of the city of Two Harbors, recently graduated from the Human Resources Certificate Program offered through the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

• Clayton Liend, vocational director of Peace of Mind, passed the Certified Employment Support Professional examination. Attaining this certification is a legislative requirement that allows him to provide extended employment support services to individuals with disabilities.


• Vanilla Bean Restaurant opened its second location on Feb. 8 at Duluth's Mount Royal Shopping Center. The restaurant is known for its signature dishes including oven-baked omelets, Swedish pancakes with lingonberries, Norwegian crepes, pasties and more. Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.