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Innovation + Job News

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Yooper Goddess puts out a venison e-cookbook

We here in the Upper Peninsula have our very own domestic diva, the Yooper Goddess

Also known as Lori Kulju, she posts creative, healthy how-to-cook videos on YouTube and has a good following on Facebook too. Her YouTube show also offers tips and tricks on other Yooper endeavors like gardening.

Her latest endeavor, in time for deer season, is an e-cookbook of venison recipes available for download at Amazon.com in either a PDF or for Kindle. It's titled "Venison Vixen" and is $1.99 for the PDF or $3.99 for the Kindle version. An iPad/iBook version is also available at Blurb.com.

New e-cookbooks are in the works for later, collections of Kulju's pickling and drink-making recipes.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Yooper Goddess 


Back in Balance Massage moves to new location

We here at Upper Peninsula Second Wave sit in front of a computer a lot. Like, 40 hours a week, if not more. While that doesn't sound like it's real "back-breaking" work, it still plays havoc on your back nonetheless, and we often talk about how nice it would be to have a masseuse around.

If you feel the same way, you should head on over to 119 West Baraga Ave, Suite 1, in Marquette. That's where the massage experts of Back in Balance Massage have moved their offices.

The company, which has massage therapists like Liz Cragg, Kylee Fosco and Susan VandeWalle right on staff, offers up various styles of massages, including Swedish, relaxation, hot stone, and sports. What's more is they have services like trigger point therapy and prenatal massages to help meet clients' needs.

For more information, check out their website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Back in Balance Massage

Angel investor network being developed in the U.P.

It's hard to start up a small business, but MTEC SmartZone, along with Michigan Technological University, is trying to build a network that will help connect new businesses to angel investors.

Beginning steps were taken in October, when investors attended a Marquette workshop to test interest in creating such a network in the U.P., with help from Ken Kousky of the BlueWater Angels in northern lower Michigan and the MidMichigan Innovation Center.

The network offers investors support, shared diligence and diversification, while providing financial support, mentorship and advice to new or growing companies.

The ultimate goal, says MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark, is to create sustainable small business growth and jobs.

The next step is the formation of a steering committee this month, with the network beginning operations in 2015.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: MTEC SmartZone

Salon West & Spa hires Paige LaBonte

Salon West & Spa, located at 1615 Ludington Street, Suite C, in Escanaba, recently announced they have hired Paige LaBonte to the staff.

Does the name sound familiar? That's because LaBonte formerly worked at Salon West before moving to Madison, Wis. to take a position at a salon.

"She has taken the knowledge she has gained during her time in Madison and has brought it back to share with all of our clients," owner Ashley Westlund writes on the company's Facebook page. "We are proud to say that she is back and here to stay!"

LaBonte will be offering up a variety of services, including bridal and formal make-up application, facial waxing, dimensional coloring, precision shampoo, cut and styling as well as gel and classic manicures and pedicures.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Salon West & Spa

Ironwood uses crowdfunding to build Art Park

Downtown Ironwood is aiming for a more creative community feel by creating a new downtown Art Park.

It's doing so with the help of a crowdfunding campaign through a new Michigan crowdfunding platform, Patronicity. The city of Ironwood, the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation all are banding together to build the art park. If $10,000 can be raised through the crowdfunding campaign, it will serve as the local matching funds needed to obtain a grant through the MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program. The deadline to do so is December 6.

The Art Park would be located on Aurora Street right across from the Downtown Art Place and the Historic Ironwood Theater, both of which are behind the project as well. It would offer up a public location to display art, host public performances and art classes, and establish an artistic center in the downtown.

The Patronicity campaign funding plus the grant would go toward constructing elements of the park, including a concrete sidewalk and performance area, art and sculpture displays, a mural wall, benches, tables, landscaping, and a parking lot.

"The Ironwood Art Park will be a great addition to the city by providing a creative destination that will bring the community together," says MEDC president and CEO Michael Finney. 

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

New HR director hired for Lifepoint U.P. hospitals

Ruth Solinski has been promoted to a new position with UP Health System and has taken on the role of Regional Vice President of Human Resources. 

HR is no strange job for Solinski, who was previously the senior director of human resources for the company. 

In her new role, Solinski will oversee the HR departments at Bell Hospital, Marquette General and Portage Health. 

She has nearly 20 years of experience directing human resources in Marquette. Solinski holds a bachelor's degree in business and international management from the University of Texas. She also has a master's degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System

Bays de Noc CVB has new director

Sara Cole is the new executive director at the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau. Cole will be overseeing events and tourism in Delta County and working with the Delta County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Development Authority to promote the area.

Cole has eight years of marketing, events planning and public relations experience; she comes to the CVB from the Delta County College Access Network and also has worked at Michigan Works! previously.

She has a bachelor's degree from Lake Superior State University and is finishing up a master's degree in public administration at Central Michigan University this year.

"The strong cross-sector partnerships and beautiful natural resources that Delta County has to offer make us a prime location to attract many large scale events. We have a lot to offer, and it will be great to have the opportunity to promote Delta County tourism," says Cole.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau

CCI Systems names new director of managed services

CCI Systems in Iron Mountain has a new director of managed services, Brian Farwell.

Farwell will work within the operations division and has been with CCI since 2007, in both networks integration and sales groups.

He'll be responsible for seeing that projects are completed on time, preparing and managing processes, budgets, and forecasts, maintaining performance and production, and collaborating with other divisions to develop and deliver solutions for customers.

"Every day provides an opportunity to improve our processes and make life better for our employees and customers," says Farwell. 

CCI Systems provides communications network services to commercial and industrial clients.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: CCI Systems

Gladstone's First Bank hires new director

First Bank Upper Michigan in Gladstone announced it will have a new director, as Brian Larche joined its board. 

Larche is president and CEO of Engineered Machine Products in Escanaba and a Michigan Tech graduate.

"We are excited to have Brian elected to our board of directors; he brings a great depth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of management, leadership and finance, along with a strong sense of community," says chair Jeanine Dagenais in the announcement.

First Bank has offices in Gladstone, Escanaba and Garden. It turns 100 years old in 2016.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: First Bank Upper Michigan

Bell Hospital has new CEO, CFO as new name is announced

Amid some big changes at Bell Hospital are a new CEO, a new CFO, and a new name for the regional health system of which Bell is a part.

Duke LifePoint, which owns Bell, Marquette General Hospital, and Portage Health, announced the three hospitals together now will be called the U.P. Health System. The new name, accompanied by a new logo and marketing materials, reflects the many changes to the three hospitals in recent years, like collaboration on patient care.

"These hospitals represent more than three centuries of combined service in the UP and, together as part of Duke LifePoint and LifePoint Hospitals, we see incredible potential for the long-term impact the UP Health System will have in the region as a unified system of care," says U.P. Health System President Jim Bogan.

At Bell, the changes at the top include the hiring of Mitch Leckelt as CEO. Leckelt had been serving as interim CEO since July, and previously was assistant administrator at MGH. He will work with MGH and Portage Health on regional health care delivery.

For the U.P. Health System as a whole, Steve Embree will now serve as regional chief financial officer overseeing Bell, MGH and Portage. It's a promotion for Embree, who has been a CFO in the health care field for more than 25 years, according to Bogan.

Embree, also a CPA, will oversee the finance departments at each hospital.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Bell Hospital

Sault Ste. Marie to get downtown facade grant

The city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is getting some increasing funding for a community revitalization project that should have the downtown looking new.

As part of a Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant, the city received $497,615 in community development block grants to improve five buildings. 

They're part of the city's downtown façade project, and all are located on Ashmun Street and East Portage Avenue in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The grant funding will be accompanied by about $165,000 in private investment from the property owners.

"These projects will strengthen and further revitalize our communities and help generate new job opportunities for Michigan residents," says MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney. "Michigan's unemployment rate has just dropped again, and today's projects offer even further evidence of Michigan's improving economy and the success of our strategy to help companies grow and add jobs here."

Marine City and Petoskey got similar grants at the same time.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Pediatrician joins MGH

Marquette General Hospital has a new pediatrician on staff. 

Dr. Stephanie Humpula McMahon has joined the team of Marquette General Pediatric Specialists, in Suite 226 at 1414 West Fair Avenue in Marquette. 

She is a Marquette native and is returning to the area from St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, where she recently completed her pediatric residency. Humpula McMahon provides comprehensive care for children and young adults.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette General Hospital

Western U.P. Health Department names new administrator

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has a new health officer and administrator, Kate Beer.

Beer started the new job at the beginning of October and is now the lead health official for the western U.P., serving Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. 

She previously was the director of accounting and finance for the WUPHD, and has been with the department since 1996. Beer also has executive experience, having served as the CEO for the health department's former home health company.

She is an Aura resident and has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in public administration. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Western U.P. Health Department

Laase-McKinney will be new Marquette DDA promotions coordinator

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority announced there will be a new person in charge of promotions and events. 

Tara Laase-McKinney is the new promotion and events coordinator for the DDA, and will be tasked with helping expand growth and recognition for Marquette and its downtown. Laase-McKinney most recently was an events ranger at the Keweenaw National Historic Park.

She also may be familiar to Marquette residents because of her experience as race director for the XTERRA Lake Superior Shore Run, or because she's an NMU alum with a degree in outdoor recreation and management.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Marquette DDA

Tech professor works on making an off-grid 3D printer

3D printers are great and possibly world-changing, but they are limited in one crucial regard -- they do require electricity.

A Michigan Technological University professor, Joshua Pearce, is working on a way to get 3D printers off-grid, for instance, using a solar photovoltaic panel array.

Pearce has researched both solar power and 3D printing in the past, and combined some of his work to look at two possible open-source solar-powered 3D printers, one designed for schools and businesses, and the other for remote communities with no electric access.

The first would have many uses in both the developed and developing worlds. Pearce envisions the panels being set up in a sunny schoolyard and connected to the stand-alone printer, which could be used to print anything from toys to tools. But that's a fairly big, non-portable setup. 

So he also designed a suitcase model. It can't make as large things, but it can replicate itself, and make parts for larger printers, and most importantly, can go almost anywhere.

"Say you are in the Peace Corps going to an off-grid community," Pearce says. "You could put your clothes in a backpack and take this printer in your suitcase. It's a mobile manufacturing facility that can make whatever you and the community need or value. It has nearly unlimited flexibility."

He'll be publishing his new work in the October issue of Challenges in Sustainability.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source:  Michigan Technological University
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