Biz Buzz for May 14, 2012

--HIRES AND PROMOTIONS Young & Associates Insurance hired Peter Young and Jill Gustafson. Young is a licensed insurance producer. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor's degree in business management and las...



  • Young & Associates Insurance hired Peter Young and Jill Gustafson. Young is a licensed insurance producer. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor's degree in business management and last year from an intensive three-week training program through Westfield Insurance Company in Ohio. Young has two years of insurance experience and his main focus is selling business and personal insurance and managing and servicing the protection of his customers. He is working toward completing the certified insurance counselor program.

    Gustafson is a commercial risk manager and has eight years of insurance experience. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in international business and is a licensed agent currently working toward completing the certified insurance service representative program. Gustafson will assist and advise customers on their commercial insurance protection.

  • Essentia Health announced the following new hires. Ashley Rivera joined Essentia Health as director of volunteer services in the eastern region. He'll be responsible for volunteer services at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center, Essentia Health-Duluth and Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital-Superior.

    Rivera comes to Duluth from Florida, where he was regional volunteer coordinator for the State Department of Health, covering six counties. He oversaw volunteer programs in 42 clinics.

    Terry Jacobson was named administrator of Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital-Superior. Jacobson served as the CEO of St. Mary's Hospital in Superior from 1995-2005.

    Jacobson returns to Essentia from Northern Community Health Cooperative, where he served as chief financial officer; before that, he was president and CEO of FirstSolutions. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

  • Mark T. Gardeski was named president and CEO of Security State Bank in Hibbing. He succeeds Patrick J. Gates, who retired May 1.
  • Spirit Mountain announced John Thomas was hired as director of finance.
  • Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation announced Jill Hess was named administrator and Laurie Bahr was hired as director of business development. Hess has more than 12 years of experience as a licensed nursing home administrator. Hess served as a human resource director before obtaining her LHNA and has expertise in employee relations, training, staff development, wage and hour and labor management. She has been actively involved in development of person-centered care programs, serves as a member of an LTC Culture Change Task Force for Aging Services of Minnesota, and has been active in Pioneer Network training. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and communication from Concordia University in St. Paul and received her certificate of long-term care administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a licensed nursing home administrator in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    Bahr, of Duluth, is responsible for all community activities and public relations and marketing. She has many years of experience marketing in various disciplines in the health-care arena. She also has a background in consulting, process improvement and business growth. Bahr earned her bachelor's degree in business from the University of Wisconsin and her master's degree in organizational leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul. She serves on the Aging Services Task force for the 2013 Institute and is a former board member of Minnesota Medical Networking.


  • Weight Watchers announced the following awards for central and northern Minnesota: Roberta "Bobbi" Ronning was named Receptionist of the Year.

    Carol Hesch received the Diamond Leader Award.

    JoAnn Paul received the Diamond Leader Award and was recognized for 25 years of service.

    Karen Penny Ross was recognized for 10 years of service.

    All awardees work at the Weight Watchers Center in Duluth's Stone Ridge Shopping Center. In addition, Hesch and Ronning staff at-work meetings in the Duluth area.

  • Deidre Quinlan was named the recipient of the 2012 Esther Tomljanovich Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was established by the Advisory Task Force on Female Offenders in 2004 to honor the lifelong commitment and advocacy of retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Esther Tomljanovich on behalf of women in the criminal justice system. Each year, the Task Force recognizes an individual or organization whose contributions and advocacy have demonstrated a sustained commitment to improving the lives of women in the criminal justice system and promoted the belief that women need and deserve responsive services. Quinlan has demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of women and girls during her almost 30-year career as a clinical social worker.

  • Jamie Harvie, executive director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future, was named to the Food Service Director 2012 20 Most Influential list. The eclectic compilation includes food service directors, suppliers, educators and even the first lady, Michelle Obama. Harvie is the creator of Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative and was named the 2009 National Thought Leader by the Natural Resources Defense Council for his work at integrating an ecological health agenda into health-care food service. He led the development of the Green Guide for Healthcare Food Service Credits, the nation's only sustainable health-care food service metrics and benchmarks. In 2011 he created the Commons Health Care Network, a network of health professionals working to imagine a new health paradigm.

    In 2011 he was one of four co-creators of the Lake Superior Good Food Network, a bioregional network of organizations working to create a healthy, sustainable local food system. In 2012, he launched the Western Lake Superior Food Hub, a producer-buyer aggregator of anchor institution food demand.

    The list was compiled by the editors of FSD based on input from the FSD Advisory Board and the recommendations of respected professionals throughout the industry. The honorees will be profiled in the June issue of FSD. FSD is the premier national magazine for informing non-commercial foodservice operators about innovations and innovators through trends, news and insights.

  • Angie Rosas of Duluth received the Excellent Beginnings Program Achievers award from Lia Sophia, a direct sales jewelry business. The award recognizes outstanding sales and accomplishments. Rosas has been an independent sales representative with the company for 15 weeks. Visit for more information.
  • Tom Little, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker East West Realty in Duluth, was recognized with the Coldwell Banker International Presidents Circle award. This honor is awarded to the top 3 percent of the approximately 85,000 sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system. Little has been with Coldwell Banker since 2002.
  • The following University of Minnesota Duluth faculty received UMD and University of Minnesota awards this spring. Colleen Belk, an instructor of biology in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at UMD, received the UMD Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Belk has written a leading non-majors biology textbook, now in its fourth edition, as well as several other texts.

    Imran Hayee, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at UMD, received the UMD Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research. Hayee holds 13 U.S. patents and has published more than 50 research articles in distinguished journals, and has presented many times at prestigious conferences.

    Susan Perala-Dewey, an instructor of writing studies in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth, received the UMD Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Public Service for her work to facilitate professional development for area teachers through UMD's College in the Schools program and the Lake Superior Writing Project, a satellite of the Minnesota Writing Project.

    Linda LeGarde Grover, associate professor of American Indian studies in the College of Liberal Arts at UMD, was awarded the UMD Albert Texla Teacher/ Scholar Award. LeGarde Grover is a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and author of poetry and fiction, as well as research articles about American Indian literature, history and pedagogy. Her poetry chapbook "The Indian at Boarding School" was published by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Sequoyah Research Center Native Writers Series, and her book "The Dance Boots," published by the University of Georgia Press, has received both the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.

    Steven P. Sternberg, associate professor of chemical engineering in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at UMD, is the recipient of the University of Minnesota Alumni Horace T. Morse award. Sternberg helped create the Environmental Science program at UMD in 2005 and was the first director of the program. He maintains the environmental engineering minor in the Chemical Engineering Department.


  • The Range Mental Health Center Board of Directors announced its 2012-13 elected executive officers. Mark Muhich of Eveleth was re-elected president. Muhich has been a general practice attorney in Virginia since 1994 and is a past president of the Range Bar Association. He also serves as an assistant public defender for the Sixth Judicial District and has been an adjunct instructor of political science, criminal justice and business law at Mesabi Range College. Muhich earned a bachelor's degree in English and political science from Augsburg College and his juris doctor from Hamline University School of Law. He has served on the board since 2006 and is chair of the Governance Committee.

    Tom Krause of Virginia was re-elected vice president. Krause retired from the Virginia Police Department in 2006 after 31 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and after peace officer certification he joined the Virginia Police Department. He currently serves as an instructor for Diversion Solutions in Red Wing, Wis. He is a member of the Governance Committee and has served on the board since 1998.

    Gayle Dibley of Mountain Iron was re-elected secretary. For the last 35 years, Dibley has been employed by the Virginia Regional Medical Center with responsibilities in hospital administration, governing board, and medical staff. She has also held several officer positions in the Minnesota Association of Medical Staff Services. Dibley is member of the Governance Committee and has served on the board since 1996, having previously held the offices of secretary, vice president and acting president.

    William Parker of Side Lake was re-elected treasurer. Parker retired from U.S. Steel Corp. after a 32-year career as an engineer and later in management at the Minntac Plant in Mountain Iron. Upon retirement, Parker joined the faculty at Mesabi Range College, teaching in the Industrial Mechanical Technology Program. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota; a master's degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica; and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota. Parker has served on the board since 2007 and is chair of the Finance Committee.

    Other RMHC Board members include: Luke Chopp of Mountain Iron; Dr. Edmund Draper of Eveleth; Pat Ives of Hibbing; Shelly Lindberg of Virginia; Dr. Keith Peterson of Virginia; Shannon Plombon of Hibbing; Angie Rogers of Virginia; John Soghigian of Ely; Dr. Kathleen Sulentich of Virginia; and Rob Tomassoni of Virginia.

  • Linda Sherman of Duluth was elected to the board of directors of the Music for Healing and Transition Program, based in New York. She will serve a three-year term as a board member and the organization's secretary. The objectives of the Music for Healing and Transition Program are charitable and educational and include: serving the ill and dying with live music to facilitate and promote healing or assist in the life/death transition; teaching the practice of this service; establishing centers for education all over the U.S.; publishing information, research findings and other material about this unique profession; providing continuing education opportunities for program graduates; and developing affiliations with healing, charitable and educational organizations where this service may be provided by Certified Music Practitioners.

  • Integrity Health Network in Duluth announced four new members to its Board of Governors: Dr. Christopher Tacl, St. Cloud (Minn.) Medical Group; Dr. John Hering, Buffalo (Minn.) Clinic-Monticello (Minn.); Dr. Todd Greatens, Central Minnesota Sleep Specialists of Baxter, Minn.; and Dr. Quinn Carmichael, Radiological Associates of Duluth Ltd. IHN also announced the following new board officers: Dr. Patrick Hall, chairman of the board, Orthopaedic Associates of Duluth PA; Dr. Brent Kelley, vice chairman, North Woods Community Health Center-Hayward; Dr. Barbara Hemenway, treasurer, Northland Family Physicians of Duluth; and Dr. Kevin Treacy, secretary, Austin and Treacy PA (ophthalmologists and optometrists) of Duluth.

  • The Board of Directors at Security State Bank of Hibbing announced the retirement of the chairman of the board, Joseph J. "Jack" Banke.
  • Grand Rapids State Bank announced the election of Jim Hoolihan and Steve Burggraf to its board of directors. Hoolihan is CEO of Grand Rapids-based Industrial Lubricant Company and Can-Jer. Hoolihan served as the Grand Rapids mayor from 1990-95. He was the Blandin Foundation's president and CEO from 2004-11 and has served on several civic boards and commissions, including Ready for K board of directors; the Governor's Task Force on Mining and Minerals; United Way of Grand Rapids as campaign chair; and chair of Itasca Development Corp/Jobs 2020. He is a past trustee of the College of St. Scholastica.

    Burggraf graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in small business management and sales and marketing. He is a co-owner of four Ace Hardware stores, including Burggraf's Ace Hardware and Paint Co. in Grand Rapids since 1989. A Grand Rapids resident since 1989, he is active in several business and community organizations. Burggraf is the current Ace Hardware Dealer Group Leader for the Northern Minnesota Group, a member of Big Ace Dealers and a board member of the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. He also owns the Grand Rapids Ground Round and eight Verizon Wireless stores throughout northern Minnesota.

  • The Duluth Airshow Board of Directors announced the addition of U.S. Sen. Al Franken as the honorary chairman of the Duluth Airshow. Franken has been instrumental in securing aircraft for the event including the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier III. He will play an active role in the event and will host the Sept. 21 Chairman's Ball in Duluth. Thomas Albright, a field representative for Sen. Franken will also join the board and handle the day-to-day updates to Franken and will take on the role of co-education director.

    Minnesota Sen. Roger Reinert changed roles and now is the public relations/media director. Reinert has been on the Duluth Airshow board since 2001, previously as education director.

    Dan Hartman has been promoted from NASA liaison to co-education director. Hartman is currently the Duluth City Council president and director for the Veterans Memorial Hall.

    Lindsay Kern was promoted to the events director and will handle all of the non-flying events planned in and around the Duluth Airshow. Kern has been on the Duluth Airshow board since 2003 and currently works as human resources manager at Maurices in Duluth.

    Scott Andrews will take over the role of finance director. Andrews is currently the bank manager at National Bank of Commerce in Hermantown.


  • St. Luke's Diagnostic Imaging department received six accreditations from two different accrediting organizations. From the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission:

    St. Luke's Nuclear Cardiology was granted a three-year term of accreditation. Early detection of life-threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of nuclear cardiology procedures. St. Luke's is the first facility in the Duluth area to achieve accreditation in Nuclear Cardiology.

    St. Luke's Vascular Ultrasound was granted a three-year term of accreditation in vascular testing in the areas of extracranial cerebrovascular testing, peripheral arterial testing and peripheral venous testing. Early detection of life-threatening heart disorders, stroke and other diseases is possible through the use of vascular testing procedures.

    Accreditation by the IAC includes a thorough review of a facility's operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards, through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.

    St. Luke's was awarded a three-year term of accreditation by the American College of Radiology in:

  • Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body parts to help in the diagnosis of illness, injury or other medical problems.
  • Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or PET scan, which is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material injected into the patient to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, and certain other abnormalities within the body.
  • Mammography, which is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
  • CT imaging or CAT scan, which uses an X-ray imaging system to produce thin-slice X-ray pictures of the body area of interest. These images are then interpreted by a specially trained doctor -- a radiologist. This diagnostic test is helpful in diagnosing many different medical problems. St. Luke's CDI MRI imaging unit is also accredited through the ACR organization. MRI uses a magnetic imaging system to produce highly detailed images of the body area of interest.


  • Nancy Rosemore of Crosby was appointed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to the Minnesota State Council on Disability. MSCOD is an agency that advises, provides technical assistance, collaborates and advocates expanding opportunities, improving the quality of life and empowering all persons with disabilities. Rosemore is the senior director of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in Brainerd. She has 33 years of experience working with people with disabilities, most recently overseeing the operation at LSS.


  • The Center for Advanced Aviation at Lake Superior College will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 4525 Airport Approach Road, where the center is located. The event includes tours, refreshments and flight simulator demonstrations. Call (218) 733-7700 for information or directions.
  • Pineapple Art Center and Supplies will celebrate its second year with a celebration from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at 124 W. First St. The event includes a volunteer art show; musical performances by Jessica Myshack, Lion or Gazelle, and I and The Sky; face painting (from 5-6 p.m.); and food and drinks. RELOCATIONS

  • Elysium Salon & Day Spa has moved to 5008 Matterhorn Drive. The business consolidated to one location and offers hair services, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and massage. They were recently voted Best Spa, Best Pedicure, Best Massage and Best Skincare by readers of Duluth-Superior magazine. FORMER RESIDENTS

  • Joyce Spehar, a native of Duluth, received a 2012 Above & Beyond Award from Anoka-Hennepin School District. She was one of 10 staff members to receive an award this year. Spehar is a physical education teacher at Evergreen Park World Studies School in Brooklyn Center, Minn., and at Oxbow Creek Elementary School in Champlin, Minn. Her class motto for her students is "You are the best of the best."

    Spehar was an all-conference volleyball and track athlete at and received her degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She started her career teaching and coaching at the middle and high school levels. While working for the Anoka-Hennepin school district, Spehar made the change to teaching elementary students and didn't look back. A teacher at a number of elementary schools in the district, Spehar has taught at EGP for the past 23 years.

  • Great American Insurance Group announced the promotion of Duluth native Aaron Latto to corporate senior vice president. He will lead the Property and Casualty Group's corporate claims function and will be responsible for oversight of all U.S. and international claims operations, including execution of claims strategy, philosophy and quality management. Latto, of Cincinnati, joined the company in 2010 as a divisional senior vice president in the Corporate Claims Division in Cincinnati. Previously, he was a vice president with Travelers Insurance, where he managed the Business Torts Claim organization. Before joining Travelers he was a lawyer in private practice, with a concentration in nationwide representation of insurers.

    Latto graduated from Marshall School in Duluth and is an honors graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He is the son of Susan Beasy Latto of Duluth and the late Lewis Latto.

  • Robert A. Alsop III, a 1985 graduate of Duluth East High School, was inaugurated as the 16th president of Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Alsop attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and earned his doctorate in English literature from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. He is the son of Bob and June Alsop of Duluth. ETC.

  • Hidden Valley Preschool announced Katie Rosenthal will return for her third year as head teacher. Rosenthal graduated summa cum laude in 2006 from the College of St. Scholastica with a degree in elementary education. 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 biz@duluth, or fax (218) 720-4120.

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