Biz Buzz for Oct. 4

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS National Bank of Commerce announced Laurie C. Edgerton was hired as human resources director. Her office is in the bank at 1127 Tower Ave. in Superior. Edgerton has about 20 years of employee and business relations experience...



  • National Bank of Commerce announced Laurie C. Edgerton was hired as human resources director. Her office is in the bank at 1127 Tower Ave. in Superior. Edgerton has about 20 years of employee and business relations experience. She previously was human resources manager for Falk's Pharmacies for three years and was a business owner and a human resource generalist at TQ3 Navigant. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication from Concordia College in St. Paul.

  • Wells Fargo in Duluth announced Matt Cochran was named a business banking relationship manager. He will provide financial products and services to Duluth-area businesses. Cochran joined Wells Fargo in 2006 and most recently served as a business specialist based at Wells Fargo's Miller Hill store. A native of Virginia, Cochran holds a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University. He is on the board of directors for Choice Unlimited, a Duluth organization providing employment and support services for adults with disabilities, and the Congdon Park Hockey Association.

  • The following physicians joined the staff at St. Luke's. Dr. David Hutchinson joined the Lester River Medical Clinic in the Lester Park/Lakeside area of Duluth. Hutchinson received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He completed his residency in family medicine through the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program, where he also was a faculty member for many years. He is board certified in family medicine.

    Dr. Brigid Pajunen joined P.S. Rudie Medical Clinic in downtown


    Pajunen received her medical degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She completed her residency in family medicine at the Duluth Family Practice Center and is board certified in family medicine.

  • Soar Career Solutions hired Anne Hammer and John Bartikoski. Hammer was hired as an office assistant in August. A graduate of Renton (Wash.) Technical College, she has seven years of administrative assistant

    experience, most recently at Northwest Center Industries, the largest nonprofit in western Washington.

    Bartikoski, a Duluth native, was hired as a career specialist in June. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with degrees in psychology and communication. Bartikoski has more than six years of experience in nonprofit human services. As a career specialist, he helps clients set career goals, identify their strengths and overcome their barriers to employment. He also teaches Steps to Economic and Personal Success, a workshop contracted through the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment that helps people increase self-esteem and stay focused on their goals.

  • Maribeth Mark was hired as new business/account manager at Nelson & Co. in Duluth. She is responsible for increasing brand awareness for Nelson & Co., building relationships with advertising agency search firms, developing a referral network and account development and planning. Before joining Nelson & Co., Mark worked at American Express, where she spent time in trust services, client service, national relationship management, and ultimately marketing and business development. She spent the last six years of her corporate career with Wells Fargo in Minneapolis.

  • Krech Ojard & Associates announced Aaron Soderlund was hired as a civil engineer in training. Soderlund graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Anne Scherer of Anne Scherer the Tax Lady, received the Minnesota Tax Person of the Year award during the state conference of the National Association of Tax Professionals Sept. 22 in St. Cloud, Minn. Scherer has been a tax professional for 39 years and has been a member of the Minnesota Chapter of Tax Professionals since 1989, serving in many capacities within the state and volunteering at the national level.
  • Patricia Francisco, an independent long-term-care planning specialist, received a 2010 Long Term Care Achievement Award from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. The annual award recognizes insurance and financial professionals working to meet the long-term-care planning needs of consumers nationwide. Francisco, of Duluth, graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth and has specialized in the design and implementation of long-term-care plans for individuals and businesses since 1996. She earned the designation of Long Term Care Professional in 2003.

  • Coldwell Banker East West Realty announced Tom Little was named sales agent of the month for August and Kathy Mathias was listing agent of the month.
  • Citon Computer Corp. in Duluth was recognized by Microsoft as a Gold Certified Partner, the highest partner status offered by Microsoft. Citon staff demonstrated technical expertise, strategic thinking and hands-on skills to earn the status. As a Gold Partner, Citon has access to additional Microsoft tools, resources and administrative support that help Citon effectively deliver technology solutions and a variety of benefits to its customers. Citon achieved the Gold status by training engineering staff and sales representatives in various Microsoft products, providing customer references, participating in an independently audited customer satisfaction survey and maintaining a sales volume determined by Microsoft.

    Joe Berini, Citon's Microsoft product champion, managed engineering and sales staff and gathered the required information to reach Gold Partner status. Berini recently was featured on the September 2010 cover of Channelpro magazine, a nationally recognized publication for information technology resellers.

  • Julie Myhre, the director of the Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board, received the Jim Parker Leadership Award at the 2010 Minnesota Community Health Conference on Sept. 29. The award recognizes Myhre's significant statewide contributions to public health through her leadership, vision, originality and innovation. She was applauded for bringing groups of people, disciplines and agencies together to work toward a common purpose and goal, for the way she includes all parties at the table, and for her ability to think beyond traditional boundaries.


  • All nine programs in Essentia Health's Miller-Dwan Rehabilitation Services were re-accredited by the Commission on

    Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF accreditation demonstrates a program's quality, transparency and commitment to the satisfaction of the people it serves. CARF, an independent nonprofit, recently completed a two-day survey of Miller-Dwan Rehabilitation Services.

    The nine programs, each earning standard three-year re-accreditation, include: Brain Injury Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- hospital, adults; Brain Injury Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- hospital, children and adolescents; Brain Injury Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs --adults; Brain Injury Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- children and adolescents; Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- hospital, adults; Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- hospital, pediatric family-centered; Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs -- hospital, stroke specialty programs; Spinal Cord System of Care -- adults; and Spinal Cord System of Care -- children and adolescents.

  • Northern Pines Orthopaedic Clinic in Grand Rapids was granted accreditation in the area of musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Magnetic Resonance Laboratories. Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary, indicating a facility's willingness to meet ICAMRL's nationally recognized, intersocietal standards for the performance of quality magnetic resonance procedures. Laboratories applying for accreditation are required to document detailed information about all operational and technical components, and submit protocols and case studies for review by a panel of experts.
  • Lake Country Power's service center in Mountain Iron received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification. The 43,000-square-foot service center, designed by DSGW Architects and built on an old mining dump site, opened in February 2009. It has office space, heated warehousing, a maintenance garage with wash bay, an electrical shop and cold storage. Energy-efficient features include a solar wall for preheating ventilation air, in-floor heat and generous window space to provide employees with natural light and views to the outside. When compared to Lake Country Power's old service center in Virginia, the new center in Mountain Iron uses about 45 percent less natural gas and electricity, saving the cooperative $50,000 in the new building's first year of operation. The DSGW design team included: Boldt Construction, Fosters Jacob and Johnson, Benchmark Engineering and Northland Consulting Engineers.


  • Dr. Michael Zakula, a Hibbing orthodontist, was named president-elect of the Minnesota Dental Association during the Minnesota Dental Association House of Delegates on Sept. 25 at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.
  • The Minnesota State Bar Association announced Joe Leoni was certified as a MSBA board-certified civil trial law specialist, an achievement earned by fewer than 2 percent of licensed Minnesota attorneys. The designation is earned by attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, a peer review and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and can use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials.

    Leoni has been an attorney for 26 years, and a member of Trenti Law Firm in Virginia for 20 years. He specializes in civil trial work and

    focuses his practice on helping people injured as a result of the carelessness of others. He also has an active business law and criminal law practice and is a member of the Federal Bar Association.


  • Maytag Laundries has opened at 402 Doddridge Ave. in Cloquet, next to Arby's and Queen City Federal. The business is owned and managed by Bob Frandsen and features large-capacity Maytag front-load washers and dryers. Go to for more information. 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.

  • What To Read Next
    Get Local