Biz Buzz for March 18, 2013

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS The Superior National Forest named Scott Snelson district ranger at the Laurentian Ranger District in Aurora. The Laurentian Ranger District includes 353,267 acres of national forest system lands with three campgrounds and mo...

Krista Kelbe


  • The Superior National Forest named Scott Snelson district ranger at the Laurentian Ranger District in Aurora. The Laurentian Ranger District includes 353,267 acres of national forest system lands with three campgrounds and more than 300 miles of trails, and an emphasis on multiple use. Snelson was the Superior National Forest's first aquatic ecologist 10 years ago. For the past three years, Snelson served as district ranger of the White River National Forest's Aspen and Sopris districts in Colorado. Before that he served as forest staff officer for fish, wildlife, watershed, soils and subsistence for the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska for seven years. He also served as acting district ranger for the Ketchikan and Misty Fiords districts in Alaska. Before that he was the watershed coordination biologist for the Kootenai River Drainage for the state of Montana and also worked for the Forest Service as a trail crew foreman, firefighter and fisheries technician.

    Snelson holds a bachelor's and master's degree in biological sciences from Montana State University in Bozeman.

  • United Way of Greater Duluth announced Krista Kelbe was hired as its community impact director. Kelbe earned a degree in international studies from Taylor University in Upland, Ind. She has a wide range of international and nonprofit experience. She was an AmeriCorps member for the Idaho Office of Refugees followed by a competitive overseas internship with International Justice Mission in Uganda, a nonprofit legal firm that seeks to strengthen legal infrastructure in the developing world. She also is certified to teach English as a second language with a range of teaching experience.

  • St. Luke's Mental Health Services hired Annie Leusman, a licensed independent clinical social worker. Leusman holds a master's degree in social work and brings 23 years of experience to St. Luke's Hillside Center.

    She has special interests in treating childhood trauma, depression, attention deficit disorders, anxiety and behavioral issues, and works with children as young as 2.

    Leusman received her master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a post-master's fellowship at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan. She previously practiced at Essentia Health in Duluth.

  • The North American Bear Center in Ely announced Nadine Long was named executive director, and Judy Thon was named director of operations and bear curator. Both positions were created recently to help manage the expanding education and science facility. Long has 40 years of business administration, marketing and advertising skills and was living in the Lake Tahoe area when she became interested in bears. In 2010, Long became a full-time volunteer at the NABC, which led to organizing a network of more than 200 volunteers.

    Thon is a native Minnesotan who started volunteering at the bear center in 2011. She has a master's degree in organizational management from the

    University of Bellevue in Omaha, Neb.

  • Jon Hinkel joined the Duluth office of MSA Professional Services as a senior project hydrogeologist. He will be involved with environmental property assessments, leaking underground storage tank projects and environmental compliance projects. Hinkel previously worked at a testing firm for 21 years. He holds a master's degree in environmental studies from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

    Hinkel, a professional geologist in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is a member of the Geological Society of America, American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Minnesota Groundwater Association.

  • The Duluth Art Institute announced Whitney Saurer was hired as volunteer and program coordinator. Saurer, a recent University of Minnesota graduate, previously served as an intern at the Art Institute.
  • Amsoil Inc. hired LeAnn Nowicki as business intelligence analyst. She will work with all departments to help analyze information using advanced reporting tools and technology. Nowicki was born in Milwaukee and raised in the Twin Cities area. She previously was manager of the business systems group at Jack Link's, where she led an SAP implementation. Before that she was the information technology director at Falk's Pharmacies.

    Nowicki graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in computer science and from the College of St. Scholastica with a master's degree in information technology leadership.


  • Heritage Window & Door in Superior was presented with the Homeowner Satisfaction Decade Award by Renewal by Andersen, the window replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corp.

    The award is given to retail locations that have provided superior customer service to the communities in which they serve throughout the past 10 years. Winners of the award are outstanding examples of leadership and best exemplify the values of Renewal by Andersen.


  • Northern Service Co., owned and operated by Jeff Leusman, is a cleaning and restoration business based in Duluth. Leusman offers commercial and residential pressure washing, wet blasting and other services that rejuvenate and beautify the exteriors of commercial and residential buildings, as well as decks, concrete, stone, boats, cars, trucks and more. Northern Service Co. operates throughout Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin and can handle large commercial buildings to small residential decks and patios. Specialty work includes: removing ice dams from gutters of homes; cleaning and protecting boat bottoms; and removing stuck-on chewing gum from parking lots and sidewalks.

    The telephone number is (218) 343-7138; e-mail is ; and the website is


  • Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota announced it is the first organization in Minnesota to become certified as a Safe Place organization and is bringing the program to Duluth. The national outreach program is designed to help youth in crisis. To celebrate the program's arrival, a ribbon-cutting and celebration will be held at noon Wednesday in the Ordean Building, 424 W. Superior St. LSS will outline how the program works and announce current safe place locations and a campaign to recruit additional locations and volunteers. There also will be a reading of a National Safe Place Week proclamation by the city of Duluth.


  • Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin is the first housing development in Minnesota to connect permanent supportive housing with an American Indian community center, and it's in Duluth. The name means "Together we are beginning a good life." The development is providing stability for formerly homeless American Indian families. Gimaajii has 29 units that were renovated by American Indian Community Housing Organization. It offers affordable, permanent supportive housing for homeless American Indians and houses Duluth's American Indian Center, which provides community events and cultural activities, a wellness clinic, art gallery, gymnasium and meeting rooms.

    Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin is featured this month in the Minnesota Housing Partnership's Impact Spotlight to celebrate the work of affordable housing partners in creating healthy, sustainable communities.

    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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