Biz Buzz for Dec. 21

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS The Lake Superior Medical Society announced the following awards were presented to area physicians on Dec. 1. Dr. Vicki Anderson was presented with the community-nominated Physician of the Year award for "consistently demo...



  • The Lake Superior Medical Society announced the following awards were presented to area physicians on Dec. 1. Dr. Vicki Anderson was presented with the community-nominated Physician of the Year award for "consistently demonstrating qualities recognized as defining excellence in medical care delivery." Anderson has practiced at Raiter Clinic in Cloquet since 1975.

    Dr. Ruth Westra was given the Educator Award for "excellence in teaching and education." Westra is a family practice physician at Gateway Family Health Clinic in Moose Lake and also serves as chairwoman and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. She is being recognized for her extraordinary efforts with educating medical students, for "Docs On Call," WDSE-TV PBS local programming and for the Health of People Everywhere "HOPE" Clinic for underserved and uninsured populations in the Duluth area.

    Dr. Kenneth Ripp received the Elizabeth C. Bagley Merit Award for "Commitment to the Medical Profession and the Lake Superior Medical Society." Ripp has been a family practice physician at Raiter Clinic in Cloquet since 1995. He is a University of Minnesota Medical School graduate, is certified by the American Academy of Family Practitioners and past LSMS president.

    Dr. Thomas Wiig was presented with the 2009 President's Gavel Plaque in appreciation of "outstanding leadership and commitment." Wiig is a general surgeon who practices at the St. Mary's Medical Center and the Duluth Clinic.

    Drs. Martha and Johannes "Hans" Aas received the 2009 President's Award for personal, professional and community contributions to the profession. The work of Martha and Hans has touched the lives of many around the world -- especially in Cameroon, Africa. Martha Aas was unable to attend the event.

    Dr. James Koberstein received the Thomas A. Stolee Exceptional Dedication to the Practice of Medicine Award for demonstrating "a lifetime of exceptional dedication to the practice of medicine." Koberstein practices at Duluth Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology and his efforts helped launch an obstetric fellowship for family medicine physicians who plan to practice in rural areas.

    Dr. Robert Wahman received the John B. Sanford Community Service Award for demonstrating "exemplary service to the community through extensive volunteer activities outside the field of medicine." Wahman practiced internal medicine at the Duluth Clinic beginning in 1968 and became the medical director of St. Mary's Medical Center for seven years before retiring in 1997. Since retirement, he has served as a mentor for Mentor Duluth and on a number of boards, including the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Duluth-Superior Community Health Clinic's board.

  • Re/Max 1 in Duluth announced Andrew Frielund was named the sales leader for November and Lynn Nephew was named listing leader. HIRES AND PROMOTIONS

  • John Baker of Duluth was hired as a technical writer for the marketing communications team at Amsoil Inc. in Superior. Baker graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in English. He was a member of the university's school newspaper and worked as a freelance writer for Enbridge Energy.

  • Randy Feehan of Saginaw was named a financial representative for Country Financial. Feehan recently completed the organization's training on guiding clients toward setting and achieving their goals. He can provide clients with auto, home, life and long-term care insurance, annuities, mutual funds and college education funding options. He also can offer investment management, retirement planning and trust services provided by Country Trust Bank, which is part of Country Financial. He is a certified long-term care professional and also earned the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow designation. His office is at 815 Cloquet Ave. in Cloquet.
  • Steven Hanke was hired as assistant attorney for the city of Duluth attorney's office. He will work primarily in the office's civil division. Hanke earned a bachelor's degree in airport management, international studies and Spanish from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and his juris doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School. He is currently licensed to practice in Minnesota and U.S. District Court.

    He previously worked for Olmsted County in Rochester, Minn., and in private practice. He is a member of both the American and Minnesota bar associations. Before his law career he worked for Air Wisconsin Airlines and the city of La Crosse (Wis.) Municipal Airport. He is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives.


  • The following people earned nonprofit administration certification after graduating from Center for Continuing Education/Extension at the University of Wisconsin-Superior: Gordon Mesedahl, Duluth, Salvation Army; and Kimberly Schlecht, Chisholm, Range Center Inc. Participants complete workshops on strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, human resources and program evaluation.
  • National Bank of Commerce is now certified by Count Me Green, a joint program of the city of Superior and Douglas County. It is the sixth business to complete the Count Me Green certification process. The Count Me Green program is funded with grants from the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources and the Duluth Superior Community Foundation. To find out how your business or organization can become Count Me Green certified, call Mary Klun at Douglas County Recycling at (715) 395-1293.


  • Community Action Duluth announced that Eric Blomstrom and Xavier Bell will participate in the inaugural 2010 Minnesota Community Action Emerging Leaders Institute focused on building leadership skills. The institute is led by the Humphrey Institute's Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to develop leaders identify and execute strategies to reduce and end poverty in Minnesota.

    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 , or fax (218) 720-4120.

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