Biz Buzz for Sept. 3, 2012

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS Otis-Magie Insurance Agency Inc. welcomed Natalie Peterson to its team as group health department manager. Peterson started her insurance career in 1995 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. She is licensed in Life and He...



  • Otis-Magie Insurance Agency Inc. welcomed Natalie Peterson to its team as group health department manager. Peterson started her insurance career in 1995 with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. She is licensed in Life and Health and works closely with clients to help them understand market trends, legislative updates and other factors that affect their business.

    Peterson sits on the board of directors with the Hermantown Chamber of Commerce, is an alumna of the Blandin Leadership program and is involved in

    several other community initiatives and projects.


  • Allan Johnson Sr., co-owner of A Plus Cruise and Travel in Duluth, earned the designation of cruise manager by Cruise Lines International Association. Johnson completed the organization's certification requirements and is recognized within the cruise industry as an accredited cruise manager.

  • Eisenmann and Associates in Superior announced that Anna Downs and Richard Eisenmann recently received honors from Ohio National Financial Services. Downs recently attended the Ohio National Financial Services Council of Honor sales convention in Banff, Alberta. To qualify for this meeting, Downs had to meet certain production requirements. Fewer than 5 percent of eligible associates meet the stringent requirements for this recognition. This was her second consecutive year to receive the honor.

    Downs also was recognized by Ohio National for her achievement as a two-year qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table. Fewer than 1 percent of the world's life insurance and financial services professionals achieve this. Downs has been affiliated with Ohio National since June 2006.

    Richard J. Eisenmann, CLU, was recognized by Ohio National Financial Services as a 2011 Wall of Fame qualifier. To qualify for this award, Eisenmann was required to meet stringent production requirements and exhibit a high volume of quality business throughout the 2011 business year. Less than 2 percent of Ohio National producers qualified for this prestigious award. In addition, he was recognized by Ohio National Financial Services for his achievement as a 21-year qualifying and life member and Court of the Table member of the Million Dollar Round Table.


  • Ayla Salter of Duluth graduated from the Nonprofit Certificate Program offered through the Center for Continuing Education/Extension at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Aug. 3. The program provides training specific to managing a not-for-profit organization or government agency. Participants 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.
  • Members Cooperative Credit Union announced Steven Raj recently completed the USA Cares Military Housing Education Program. USA Cares is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that helps post-Sept. 11, 2001, military families bear the burdens of service, with financial and advocacy support. The program included instruction on housing assistance resources, foreclosure prevention and various regulations that protect service members. Raj is manager of the Mortgage Lending Department at MCCU.
  • Dean McCall, a financial adviser in the Duluth office of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, was appointed as a corporate retirement director after completing advanced training and taking the examination for the CRD designation. McCall is among only about 180 of more than 16,000 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisers who have qualified for the designation. The curriculum involves in-depth study of plan design, investment strategy, plan administration, fiduciary issues and other related retirement topics. In addition, financial advisers must have $50 million in retirement assets and five years of industry experience and maintain a clean compliance record.

    McCall has about eight years of experience in the financial services industry and joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in 2003 as a

    financial adviser. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and passed his certified public accountant exam in 1980.


  • The American Indian Child Welfare Advisory Council selected Donna Ennis to serve as the Duluth Urban Indian Community representative. Ennis is the regional director of North Homes Children and Family Services. The council is tasked with helping the Minnesota commissioner of human services formulate policies and procedures relating to Indian child welfare services and to make recommendations regarding approval of grants.


  • Stephanie Balmer was elected to the Board of Governors of the Minnesota Association of Justice, the governing organization for attorneys who represent injury victims throughout Minnesota.

    Balmer is an associate at the law firm of Falsani, Balmer, Peterson, Quinn & Beyer in Duluth. She practices workers compensation and personal injury law and has been recognized as a Rising Star by the Minnesota Journal of Law & Politics every year since 2007.


  • Paul Davis Emergency Services has opened a new office in Bayfield, owned by JP and Jamie Korpi. The business provides fire, water and mold damage restoration services for residential and commercial properties. The firm also specializes in rapid emergency mitigation services, including board-ups and crime and trauma scene and biohazard recovery. JP Korpi worked in the construction industry for more than 15 years in the Marquette, Mich., area and in Bayfield. He also has career experience in the restoration field. He owned and operated a residential homebuilding company, served as a construction analyst for the U.S. government and served in the Marine Corps with military duties throughout Europe. Additionally, Korpi invented and built a prototype for a round hay-bale cover that is sold and distributed worldwide.

    Jamie Korpi will run the Paul Davis office and handle business administration.

    The business telephone number is (715) 779-0266; e-mail is ; and the company's website is .


  • Anytime Fitness-West Duluth at 215 N. Central Ave. in the Spirit Valley Mall, has expanded and updated its look and equipment. The fitness center now has cardio with television, a group fitness room and more showers. A grand reopening will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the center. The event includes tours, refreshments, drawings and prizes. Call (218) 624-1311 or go to for more information. ETC.

  • Jeff Corey, executive director of One Roof Community Housing in Duluth, was one of 50 leaders selected nationwide for the NeighborWorks America's Achieving Excellence in Community Development Program, conducted in conjunction with Harvard University's Kennedy School of


    The 18-month educational program is for senior leaders in community organizations that have a focus on affordable housing,

    community revitalization or other community development endeavors. At the start of the program, participants select a significant challenge facing their organizations. By the end of the course, they can expect to have achieved measurable successes to address that challenge.

    Achieving Excellence includes three formal sessions at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the first of which takes place early this month. It also includes executive coaching, intensive peer learning and guidance from Douglas K. Smith, a lead architect of the program and renowned expert on performance, learning, innovation and change. Between academic sessions, participants actively work on a challenge critical to their organization's success and will be working closely with their executive coach and peer group.

    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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