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Three officers promoted at Stephenson National Bank and Trust

Three new vice presidents are joining the ranks at Stephenson National Bank and Trust.
 
Dave Denby, Sam Hofer, and Kadie Truitt, all previously trust officers of the bank, now will step up to VP roles.
 
Denby joined the bank in 2010 and brings more than 20 years of experience in banking and financial services to his new position. He'll be responsible for serving clients with investment management, estate planning, trust and IRA services. Denby has a MBA from the University of Colorado and bachelor's degree from Washington & Lee University. He's also certified as an IRA services professional and a trust and financial advisor.
 
Hofer manages the financial advisory services team at Stephenson National Bank and Trust, and has more than 30 years of experience in financial planning and advising. He works with clients to provide solutions in personal estate, retirement and financial planning. Hofer has a bachelor's degree in insurance and management from Ferris State University, and is a licensed investment and insurance agent, a certified financial planner, and a chartered life underwriter.
 
Truitt has been with SNBT since 2000 and has 15 years of experience in banking and administration. She specializes in company retirement plans, 401(k), profit sharing and defined benefit pension plans, and is responsible for audit, compliance and risk management oversight for the bank's trust department. She also has implemented an effective employee education program to help local workers with retirement planning. Truitt has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin--Green Bay and has also trained in employer-sponsored retirement plans. She is a certified IRA services professional and trust and financial advisor.
 
"These individuals have demonstrated expertise and sound leadership within our trust and investment management department," says Greg Salmen, executive VP and trust
Manager for the bank.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Stephenson National Bank and Trust

Huron Mountain Bakery adds wood oven pizza

The Ishpeming location of Huron Mountain Bakery is offering up a new and tantalizing fresh-baked product--wood-fired pizza straight out of a new wood oven.
 
The bakery, originating in Marquette, is only offering the pizza at its Ishpeming store for now, located at 626 Teal Lake Road, also known as U.S. 41. (The former location of Peggy Sue's Café; the bakery opened its doors in a newly renovated store there in the fall of 2014.)
 
The first pizzas rolled out of the oven this week and we have to say, they look delicious.
 
Huron Mountain Bakery opened in Marquette on South Front Street/U.S. 41 in 1996 and is owned by John and Darci Scheidt.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Huron Mountain Bakery

Upper Peninsula SBDC hires Billington

The Michigan Small Business Development Center's Upper Peninsula offices have brought aboard a new business consultant to help companies from the Eastern U.P. and down to West Branch in the lower peninsula.

Josh Billington brings with him a background as an entrepreneur, and also has experience in business development and website design. He has a bachelor's of business administration from North Park University and earned a master's in business administration from Cornerstone University.

Billington, who is a veteran of the United States Navy, has an eclectic work history, having held positions in teaching, sales operations, operations management, financial analysis and real estate.

According to the MI-SBDC website, the organization enhances Michigan’s economic well-being by providing counseling, training, secondary market research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MI-SBDC

Nault promoted at River Valley Bank

It looks like Ashley Nault has a new title over at River Valley Bank in Marquette thanks to a recent promotion.

Nault was recently promoted to the position of universal bank supervisor (quite the nifty title, if we say so ourselves!) and will be based out of the newly renovated Third Street location. Nault has been with River Valley Bank since she first joined the financial institution as a personal banker before earning a bump up to bank manager and cash management specialist.

Nault will have plenty to keep her busy, as River Valley Bank has continued to grow thanks to their customer service and drive to be a key part of the 12 communities it has locations in. The bank has more than $1 billion in assets thanks to a diversification in consumer lending, mortgage and insurance.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: River Valley Bank

Marquette declared Connected Community for broadband access

Marquette County has been working with Connect Michigan to improve broadband and Internet access and use throughout the county.
 
Those efforts recently resulted in the county becoming the first certified Connected Community in the U.P., and one of 11 in Michigan. The certificate comes through Connected Nation's Community Engagement Program and through the work of the Marquette County Broadband Initiative team, which is made up of members from government, education, medical and business fields.
 
"Broadband has been recognized for a long time as something that we need to improve," says Robert Eslinger, director of Northern Michigan University's Center for Rural Community and Economic Development, who is part of the broadband team. "This recognition demonstrates how a lot of people have been working on the issue in their own ways and really how those small pieces can fit together to make a big difference."
 
Now, the work is continuing with the announcement of a new technology action plan for the county, at an event hosted at Northern Michigan University on Feb. 13 with Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Steve Arwood scheduled to speak.
 
The new action plan sets community-wide goals for broadband connectivity that will support both economic development and residential use. Among its priorities are improving digital learning in schools and supporting school technology initiatives, developing a business case for future broadband expansion, and promoting telemedicine in remote areas of the county.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

UPHS brings on new cardiologist

A new cardiologist has been added to the staff at UP Health System.
 
Christine Rattin, D.O., is a board-certified cardiologist and will be working with the Upper Peninsula Health System Heart and Vascular Institute based in Marquette.
 
Rattin will see patients in Marquette, Newberry and Sault Ste. Marie starting this month.
 
She's most recently been with Oklahoma Heart Hospital Physicians in Oklahoma City. She is also board-certified in internal medicine. Rattin earned her medical degree at the University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, and followed it with an osteopathic internship in Carson City, Michigan, an internal medicine residency at Michigan State University, and fellowships in cardiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Mt. Clemens General Hospital in Mt. Clemens.
 
"I am excited to be returning home to the U.P. and joining a great team at UPHS," says Rattin. "Having lived and worked in Marquette previously, I am aware of the hospital's commitment to quality patient care and look forward to carrying on that proud tradition. I am eager to begin work with the cardiovascular team and their dedication to providing cutting-edge options for the prevention and treatment of heart disease to the residents of the U.P., and I look forward to reconnecting with the community and having the opportunity to help care for family and friends, both old and new."

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: UP Health System 

LSSU prototypes new ski pole

The Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone and the Lake Superior State University Product Development Center are working together to help make your skiing experience a bit more technologically advanced.

SSMart and the university worked together to help lower-Michigan entrepreneur Andy Liebner with the production of graphite-composite ski poles. The school's Product Development Center used the expertise of the engineering faculty as well as the students to design and prototype a new control system for the machine that creates the poles.

"Projects like these provide the engineering students at LSSU the opportunity to work on real world design problems, says Eric Becks, Product Development Center director and SSmart president.

Liebner, who is the owner of United States Ski Pole Company, manufactures the lightest ski poles available by using former golf club shaft manufacturing equipment. He formerly hails from Soldotna, Alaska, and was the Peruvian cross-country ski team coach in the last Winter Olympics in Sochi.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior State University

Houghton County makes bid for $5 million energy prize

Houghton County is in the running for a coveted energy prize from Georgetown University, and it's a Michigan Technological University student who is spearheading the effort.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition, which Houghton County recently advanced into the semifinals in, was created to encourage communities to come up with creative ways to slash the amount of energy being used. The competition will continue for another two years.

The idea behind the competition is for communities to create ways to reduce the use of natural gas and electricity, as well as educate students and the public and work with businesses, the government and local utilities to achieve those goals.

Michigan Tech computer science graduate student Abhilash Kantamneni found out about the competition and pitched an idea to the Houghton County commission and brought together the community, the university and student groups to develop the plan, which has already won a $30,000 grant to help hire an energy manager.

The Georgetown University Energy Prize is $5 million, and if Houghton County won, they would spend it on energy efficiency measures to benefit the community as a whole. 

"We want to build a sustainable Houghton, an affordable community for families and businesses well beyond the next two years of the competition," says Kantamneni.

If you are interested in becoming involved, contact Kantamneni at akantamn@mtu.edu or visit energizehoughton.org.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University 

UPHS hires two in management

U.P. Health System has announced two new management changes at two of its hospitals.
 
At U.P. Health System - Portage in Houghton, the former marketing director, Victor Harrington, has been promoted to regional director of marketing and business development. He'll now oversee marketing and business development in all three locations; Marquette, Bell and Portage.
 
He's a Finlandia University graduate and has been with Portage for several years.
 
At U.P. Health System - Marquette, a new director of operating room services has been chosen.
 
S. Randall Bibe, RN, will take over the role, overseeing management of both inpatient and outpatient operating room services. He comes to Marquette from Gritman Medical Center in Idaho, where he was the director of surgical services. Bibe has more than 24 years of health care management experience in various hospital services.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System

Portage Health has a new CFO

 U.P. Health System - Portage in Hancock is the latest UP Health System hospital to announce changes at the top.
 
They've hired on a new chief financial officer, Steve Bishop, who will be part of the hospital's leadership team.
 
The CFO oversees all the finances of the former Portage Health hospital and related health care services.
 
Bishop comes to the Keweenaw with more than 25 years of experience in finance in the health care field. He's most recently been assistant CFO at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho.
 
He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois--Springfield and an MBA from Amberton University in Garland, Texas.
 
"Steve's impressive background makes him a great fit for his new role at Portage," says Jim Bogan, market president for UP Health System. "His expertise and leadership will prove to be a valuable asset as we move forward."
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: UP Health System - Portage

Veridea names new Holiday Express manager

The Holiday Inn Express in Houghton has a new general manager.
 
According to an announcement from Veridea Group, which manages the hotel, Carla Ann Beck has been promoted to general manager of the hotel.
 
She has been with the Holiday Inn Express Houghton-Keweenaw for 13 years, and has been a night auditor, front desk supervisor, and assistant general manager.
 
That experience plus a strong work ethic, attention to quality and knowledge of the industry, are what makes Beck a good choice, says Veridea's VP of hospitality, Charles Holsworth.
 
"Leadership and genuine concern for each person who enters the hotel, are characteristics we expect in a general manager; Carla embodies both," Holsworth says in the announcement.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Veridea Group

Lake Superior Community Partnership makes staff changes

The Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette announced it has made two new hires and a promotion.
 
New to the partnership, which works on community economic development in Marquette County, are Sandra Lambert and Linda O'Brien.
 
Lambert will be an administrative assistant, a newly created position. She'll be responsible for assisting the partnership's CEO and staff, working with committees and boards, helping with accounting, greeting and assisting partners and clients, and maintaining the office.
 
She comes to the LSCP as a recent administrative assistant at the First United Methodist Church in Marquette, and also has been a division director for the March of Dimes. Lambert is an NMU graduate with a bachelor's degree in social work.
 
O'Brien will be a business development representative, responsible for talent and workforce initiatives, the LSCP's foundation and assisting businesses and start-ups. She has a bachelor's degree in business management and entrepreneurship from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in education. She brings experience from the fields of education, accounting, financial management and human resources to her new role.
 
Also at LSCP, Ashley Szczepanski was promoted to marketing and events coordinator from her previous role as assistant to events and marketing. Her new duties include focusing on graphic design work, event planning and the partnership's overall marketing strategy. Szczepanski has a bachelor's degree in commercial recreation and facility management from Central Michigan University and has worked as a graphic designer.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior Community Partnership

Fox Negaunee hires two

Two new sales consultants are on board at Fox Motors in Negaunee.
 
Matt Forward and Trever Kruzel both are joining the auto dealership's sales team.
 
Forward is an Ishpeming resident and NMU graduate. Kruzel also is an NMU graduate with a degree in entrepreneurship. Both played football for Northern.
 
Fox Negaunee offers area customers Chevrolet, GMC and Buick cars and trucks, both new and used. It also has service and parts departments that can take care of repairs on any Chevrolet, GMC or Buick model.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Fox Negaunee

New veterans resources representative at NMU

Veterans at Northern Michigan University have a new resource on campus. Veterans resource representative Mike Rutledge is new to NMU and will have office hours at the Hedgcock administrative building to assist students who are veterans.
 
Rutledge's goal is to help veterans on campus and those in the community take advantage of all the educational and other benefits available to them due to military service.
 
He comes to NMU after serving in the U.S. Army for 22 years as a noncommissioned officer. After retiring from military service, Rutledge taught at a high school and a community college, so has both a military and educational background.
 
The new position is funded both by NMU and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency; he is the newest of twelve resource representatives at colleges or universities in Michigan.
 
Rutledge's office is located in 2607 Hedgcock, and he says, will be staffed by himself and his service dog, Onyx. He can help veterans with financial aid, access to benefits like the Post-911 Bill and the Montgomery Bill, as well as health care and other federal benefits.
 
"When I got out of the Army, I had no idea what benefits I was eligible for until I met with a counselor," Rutledge says. "I want area vets to know I'm here and ready to help. The benefits can range from education to health care to home loans. I can help people complete the required paperwork and point them to other resources, as needed. Even if a vet just wants to sit in my office and swap stories, that's fine, too."
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Keweenaw Community Foundation has new director

The Keweenaw Community Foundation announced it has hired on a new executive director, Jim Vivian. 

He replaces Barb Rose in the position and has a background in helping community organizations, such as working on a scholarship program with Copper Country Oldtimers Hockey, and the Alive Inside program to bring music to residents in long-term care facilities in the Keweenaw.

"Jim is a fifth-generation resident of the community. His rich family history dates back to the 1840s," says foundation board president Brent Peterson. "He comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and community leaders. His background and life experiences align perfectly with what the board sought in a new director."

Vivian moved into the role as of mid-December, and was officially welcomed at the Keweenaw Gold Gala held by the Keweenaw Community Foundation in Houghton this month. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Keweenaw Community Foundation
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