Biz Buzz for Sept. 24, 2012

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has made the following leadership changes. Jim Korpi was named director, growth initiatives of North American Iron Ore. In his new role, Korpi will focus on executing key components of the North ...

Jim Korpi


  • Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has made the following leadership changes. Jim Korpi was named director, growth initiatives of North American Iron Ore. In his new role, Korpi will focus on executing key components of the North American Iron Ore business unit's strategy and driving projects to support growth initiatives. Korpi brings more than 30 years of experience to his new position. Ed LaTendresse has been named general manager of Northshore Mining. He also will maintain certain management responsibilities for the Hibbing operation to ensure business continuity. LaTendresse brings more than 35 years of experience and leadership to his new role. Jack Croswell will assume the role of interim general manager of Hibbing Taconite. Croswell, currently senior area manager of mining, has more than 30 years of experience with the company.

  • Bay West Inc., a Twin Cities-based environmental and industrial services company, announced the hiring of Chuck Deye and Hillary McGowen to its Duluth office. Deye, a certified hazardous materials manager, was hired as project manager, responsible for tracking new client prospects and expanding services out of the Duluth office. He has been involved in the environmental consulting industry for the past 10 years, with projects focused primarily in soil/groundwater remediation, railroad environmental, facilities/infrastructure, industrial hygiene, petroleum refining and emergency/disaster response for a variety of clients throughout the United States. Before that, Deye worked in reforestation, silviculture and herbicide application. He is pursuing OSHA 501 instructor training and certified safety professional certification.

    McGowen was hired as a field geologist. She has three years of experience providing geological field support for various environmental assessments. She has overseen more than 25 abandoned tank removals in Silver Bay and has a strong background in asbestos contamination. Her certifications include asbestos building inspector, supervisor and air monitoring technician. McGowen is a registered asbestos analyst through the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

  • Citon Computer Corp. hired Jon Heyesen as director of business development. He will focus on helping businesses leverage the known operational and financial benefits of cloud computing.

    Heyesen has more than 11 years of technical expertise and business acumen, serving Duluth and the surrounding area for more than six years. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

  • Ben Martin was promoted to branch manager at G&K Services in Duluth. As branch manager, Martin has operational and directional responsibilities for the company, including overseeing all routes and daily operations, human resources, sales and marketing and the financial operations.

    Martin graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a degree in marketing and spent the past several years in restaurant management.

  • The Duluth Children's Museum hired Peter Nels Jacobsen Northland Country Club announced Blaine Raway was appointed food and beverage manager. He is responsible for supervising staff and member service and satisfaction. Raway previously was assistant manager of Axel's Charhouse in Roseville, Minn., and held management positions at country clubs in California and Minnesota.

  • Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women promoted Brittany Robb to shelter supervisor. She will provide support and leadership for the direct service staff as they assist battered women who are navigating their way to a life free from domestic violence.

    Robb was hired as a women's advocate in February. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.

  • Fortune Bay Resort Casino hired Cheyenne Draszt as resort sales manager and Bob Sulkosky as director of sales. Draszt, an Eveleth native, previously was employed by Iron Range Tourism Bureau and Giants Ridge, where she worked in central reservations and assisted customers in planning vacations. She spent 14 years working at the Iron Range Tourism Bureau in a variety of capacities, including financial manager, travel counselor and, most recently, executive director. At Fortune Bay she is responsible for booking weddings and social, military, education, religious and fraternal groups.

    Sulkosky originally is from Orting, Wash., and oversees the sales department, which specializes in corporate groups, association groups, golf groups, wedding receptions, class reunions, family reunions, bus groups and family vacations.

    He has been in the hospitality field for 14 years, including stints as regional group sales manager, director of sales and marketing and director of catering. Most recently, Sulkosky was sales manager of the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Oregon. Before that, he worked as a general manager of an online advertising business and was director of sales and

    marketing/acting general manager of the Red Lion Hotel Wenatchee in the state of Washington.


  • Andrew Jackola was named a Minnesota Rising Star for 2012 by Super Lawyers. Jackola is a 1998 graduate of Chisholm High School.
  • The International Wolf Center in Ely was given a three-star rating by Charity Navigator, the nation's largest and most-used charity evaluator. The highest ranking an organization can get is a four. The International Wolf Center has been teaching the world about wolves since 1985 and has played a significant role in the recovery of the gray wolf. The center has thousands of donors and members in 32 countries and provides resources to more than a million people each year through its website, .

  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency presented a Certificate of Commendation Award to Micheal Appelwick for the city of Virginia's Wastewater Treatment Plant, recognizing exemplary effort made in 2011 to comply with the MPCA permit program. This award is the facility's 10th certificate of commendation since 1984. The Water Environmental Federation also presented Appelwick with a 2012 Central States Water Environmental Association Treatment Facilities Operations Award for Minnesota. The award went to the city of Virginia-NTS Wastewater Treatment Plant operations and management staff for performing duties in an outstanding manner and demonstrating distinguished professionalism. The annual award is presented to one operator and operations staff within each state.

  • Re-Max 1 announced Lynn Nephew was named the listing and sales leader for August.
  • Rural Living Environments Inc. and its affiliate, Aspen Employment Partners LLC, announced two employees were awarded the 2012 Direct Support Professional of the Year award by the Direct Support Professional Association of Minnesota. Mike Maxson of Rural Living Environments and Laurel Kaercher of Aspen Employment Partners were recognized during the Sept. 15 DSPAM annual event in Edina, Minn.

    The DSPAM Selection Committee made its decisions based on criteria in three areas: commitment, quality of support services and compliance with the

    National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Code of Ethics.


  • Bob Barto, vice president-investments in the Duluth office of Raymond James & Associates Inc., completed the Advanced Estate Planning Institute at the Raymond James Institute of Finance. The three-day program for financial advisers focuses on developing strategies and recognizing opportunities within estate planning, philanthropy and wealth management process and how to leverage this new knowledge to serve the needs of clients. Among the topics covered are the changing federal estate tax laws, strategies for high-net-worth families, long-term-care

    alternatives, irrevocable trusts and charitable techniques.

  • Enventis, a subsidiary of HickoryTech with an office in Duluth, achieved the Cisco Master Managed Services Certification. As a Cisco Master Managed Services certified partner, Enventis demonstrated the ability to deliver sophisticated solutions, met stringent requirements that reflect a depth of capabilities and underwent an independent audit by an objective third-party auditor. Enventis also was required to offer at least two managed services using the resources and procedures necessary to deploy, manage and support Cisco solutions.

  • Jennifer Jubenville graduated from the Nonprofit Administration Certificate Program offered through the Center for Continuing Education/

    Extension at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Sept. 13. Jubenville is employed by Catholic Charities Bureau Foster Grandparent Program in Superior.

    Participants of the program complete 14 to 17 full-day workshops (a minimum of 100 hours of training) aimed at strengthening their skills in a variety of areas including: strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, human resources and program evaluation.


  • The Northeastern Chapter of Minnesota Women Lawyers announced its 2012-13 executive board: Nora Sandstad of Hanft Fride PA and Tracy Johnson of Reyelts Law Firm are co-chairs; Bridget Brine of Brine Law Firm and Katrina Viegas of Gerlach Beaumier & Trogdon are co-vice chairs; Lindsey McLean Egan of Reyelts Law Firm is secretary/treasurer; and Laura Weintraub of aimClear LLC is liaison to the Minnesota Women Lawyers board of directors. The chapter meets at noon on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Porter's.


  • Involta LLC will celebrate the opening of its newest data center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday at 3401 Technology Drive in Duluth. Facility tours will follow the ribbon-cutting.

    The new data center covers more than 26,000 square feet and is LEED

    silver-certified. Involta will be able to provide businesses and organizations with secure data storage in a cutting-edge environment.

  • An open house for Duluth Hub will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 1001 E. Ninth St in Duluth. The event is sponsored by DIV Ventures and Clarity Interpreting Services and includes refreshments, drawings and tours of the newly remodeled entrepreneurship incubator center. Duluth Hub features office spaces for artist-entrepreneurs to showcase their work at no charge. Grass-roots organizations can apply to host meetings in the Duluth Hub's community room in exchange for part-time staffing of the reception desk in the lobby.

    Clarity Interpreting Services is one of the first tenants to lease space at Duluth Hub. Clarity was seeking a space for its video remote

    interpreting services, and having Duluth Hub's studio close to clinics and universities was ideal for bilingual and sign language interpreters.

    E-mail or 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.

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