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Innovation + Job News

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New surgeon joins Dickinson Medical staff

Dickinson County Healthcare System has a new surgeon on staff, and his name is Dr. Jeffrey Kreyer.

Kreyer, who hails from the Chicago area, joins doctors Cecconi, Terrian and Donohue in the practice of general surgery.

Kreyer completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, earning a bachelor's of science degree in cell and structure biology and another bachelors in phsychology. He went on to earn a master's degree in biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His medical degree was earned from Southern Illinois University.

He went on to complete his five-year surgery residency at UIC Mt. Sinai in Chicago.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Dickinson Medical

Pepin on staff at UP Rehab Services

UP Rehab Services announced recently that the company has added to its staff with the addition of Jeff Pepin to their rehabilitation team. He will be working for Marquette General Therapies and UP Rehab Services and will be at Doctors Park Rehab Services in Escanaba.

Pepin brings experience in post-operative, sports and return-to-work rehabilitation as well as manual therapy. He originally hails from Gladstone.

You can find out more about UP Rehab by visiting its website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Rehab Services

NMU works with tech company to develop new pathogen test

Micro Imaging Technology announced the latest news from its ongoing collaboration with Northern Michigan University--a new test method for pathogens. 

Researchers and students at NMU will look into a pathogen sample preparation method that could shorten testing time for bacteria culture tests to just a few hours. The tests currently used have a culture growth time of 16 to 24 hours; the new method would improve MIT's testing methods and develop a completely new service to offer clients in clinical health and food safety.

At NMU, the project is headed by Josh Sharp, assistant professor in the biology department. His lab is using the current testing system developed by Micro Imaging Technology to work on the method, which would capture staphylococcus aureus bacteria more directly from samples for testing.

"If Dr. Sharp's efforts are successful, and we are highly confident they will be, this will be a major game changer since this new method can easily be extended to other significant clinical and food safety pathogens," says Jeff Nunez, president of MIT. The MIT testing system also identifies listeria and salmonella bacteria.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Micro Imaging Technology, Inc.

Portage Health home to two new doctors

Portage Health will be employing two recent graduates from the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program.

Six doctors graduated after three years with the residency program hosted at Marquette General Hospital this year; Mandeep Gill, Timothy LaBonte, Thomas Massie, Ashwaty Menon, Michelle Seguin and Tara Varoni.

LaBonte and Seguin, who both also earned their medical degrees at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, will make the journey to the Keweenaw to work with the Portage Health team. 

LaBonte is a Laurium native and will be returning to the Copper Country to work at Portage Health's Lake Linden clinic.

Seguin is an Iron Mountain native and will be serving patients at the Hancock clinic, focusing on outpatient family medicine.

"While we are sorry to bid farewell to these fantastic individuals, we are pleased that they will be utilizing their outstanding skills with their own patients, some right here in the Upper Peninsula," says Dr. Stuart Johnson, director of the program.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program

Stephenson Bank promotes Hofer

Sam Hofer has a few new responsibilities at Stephenson National Bank & Trust after earning himself a promotion recently. 

Hofer is now the assistant vice president and manager of financial advisory services for the financial institution. Previously, he was a financial advisor with Stephenson Bank. 

Hofer has nearly 30 years in the financial field. He joins Paul Aftanas, Maria Berlin and Karen Fehrenbach on the financial advisory services team at Stephenson National Bank & Trust. The team will be expanded soon with more financial advisors as the bank continues to grow. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Stephenson National Bank & Trust

Bay College hires digital technology coordinator

Bay College will be working on its digital presence with the addition of a new digital technology coordinator to its staff.

Shawn Curtin will fill that role at Bay College Library on the college's main Escanaba campus. He is an Escanaba native with ties to Bay already; he received an associate's degree there before completing a bachelor's degree in electronic imaging at Northern Michigan University. 

He also brings several years of web design, marketing and technical experience to the new job, which will include promoting the library's online presence, implementing and using new technology within the library to better serve its students and users, and managing social media.

"I think Bay College is such an important part of our community and I am thrilled to be a part of an institution working to serve students, the public and surrounding communities," says Curtin.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Bay College

MGH hires two new doctors from its recent class of residents

The Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program announced it has six new graduates--and what's more, two of them are going to be sticking around in Marquette, since they've been hired on at MGH.

The program offers residencies to a few physicians graduating each year from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine or the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, and has been doing so since 1978.

This year's graduating class consisted of Mandeep Gill, MD, Timothy LaBonte, MD, Thomas Massie, MD, Ashwaty Menon, MD, Michelle Seguin, MD, and Tara Varoni, DO, all of whom have spent the last three years in the Marquette residency program.

Massie and Varoni both will be staying within the Marquette General system. Massie, of Ishpeming, will join Sound Physicians and become part of the hospitalist team of physicians at MGH in Marquette. 

Varoni, of Manistique, will be a little closer to home, joining the staff at Doctors Park Family Physicians in Escanaba, which is also part of Marquette General.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette General Hospital

Biologist gets grant to research grain genetics

Grain crops are what feeds most of the world, but they're also one of the most complex plants as far as genetics go, making research on their characteristics difficult. 

A Michigan Tech biologist is working on a way to advance the study of grain genetics, with the help of a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant and colleagues at Kansas State University and the University of California at Riverside.

Guiliang Tang, who joined the Tech biology faculty in 2011, will head the project, which aims to undertake a three-year study of the key genetic processes for corn, rice, and soy plants. They hope to identify genes that can help agricultural scientists develop crops with higher yields and greater pest and drought resistance.

Tang plans to use a new technology he has pioneered that gives his team a way to block small snippets of RNA in the plants from acting. The tool, called a small tandem target mimic, should allow different genes in the plants to be expressed depending on which RNA molecules are blocked. Part of the grant also will fund workshops in which Tang will introduce that technology to students in other U.S. universities.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

Wattsson and Wattsson hires two

Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers of Marquette has two new faces in very notable roles as it announced the hiring of Dar Shepherd and Isaac Taylor to the positions of general manager and customer service manager, respectively. 

Shepherd is no stranger to Wattsson & Wattsson, having co-founded the store before leaving to run a small business consulting and development business. She brings with her plenty of experience in the business and will be responsible for store operations, inventory, marketing, and community relations. 

Taylor's position will require him to focus on improving customer service, something Wattsson & Wattson has always prided itself on. 

The store, which is located downtown on Washington Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers

Island Resort names Mancilla new general manager

The Island Resort and Casino in Harris has a new general manager who will be overseeing all the casino and resort operations, Tony Mancilla. 

He's sort of worked all the way around the position already; Mancilla has most recently been an attorney for the owners and operators of the resort, the Hannahville Indian Community, but he's also been co-chair of one of the resort's biggest annual events, the Island Resort Championship.

The championship is a professional LPGA-qualifying golf tournament held at the resort's Sweetgrass Golf Club each year on the Symetra Tour, and Mancilla was one of the driving forces bringing it to the U.P. in 2011. 

Mancilla will be in charge of keeping budget goals on track, managing operations and overseeing staff across the Island Resort and Casino. Besides the golf course, that includes a 24-hour-a-day gaming floor with slot and table games, five restaurants, private banquet and dining rooms, hotel accommodations, and weekly live entertainment.

"Working closely with Tony for many years, I've seen firsthand how his sharp mind, amicable personality and relentless work ethic directly contributed to the growth of our resort and success of the Island Resort Championship," says Kenneth Meshigaud, tribal chairperson. "I expect the Hannahville Indian Community to be gratified with their selection of Tony Mancilla for years to come."

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Island Resort and Casino

Dia de los Tacos hires new staffer

If you went to get some tacos slung in your direction at the Dia de los Tacos in Marquette last week and there was a new face greeting you at the window, that's because owners Mike and Teri Lynn Walker recently added a new staffer. 

Alexis Mahler is the newest addition to the taco truck staff, and she was tossed right into the frying pan with a full lunch service last week. 

"On her first day, she greeted us and the patrons with a smile that rivaled the sun," says Mike Walker. "With each question asked, she might have needed to confirm a response with me or Jaki, but her overall presence is so incredibly calming that no one minded waiting the extra four seconds for an answer."

Dia de los Tacos' popularity has continued to climb, especially since they were recently named as one of the best tacos in the entire state and the best in all of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. They currently have nearly 3,900 likes on Facebook, and selling out during lunch is becoming more and more commonplace. 

You can keep tabs on where the truck is going to be by following them on Facebook

Oh, and as a side note, the taco truck has also been having an unofficial "taco challenge" where customers try to eat the most tacos in one sitting. So far, the record is 12. Drop them a note and let them know you'd like to challenge that record. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Dia de los Tacos

Marinette Marine names new CEO

Marinette Marine has a new CEO, as Jan Allman will replace Chuck Goddard in that role. 

Allman's new position is as president, CEO and general manager, effective July 7, according to an announcement from Marinette Marine's parent company, Fincantieri Marine Group.

"We are extremely pleased to add Ms. Allman to our U.S. leadership ranks," says Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, FMG's Italy-based parent organization. "With her background in manufacturing and lean processes, Jan brings the caliber of production and operational expertise for which Fincantieri is known. This is the logical next step in Fincantieri's unwavering commitment and continued investment in the U.S. market."

Allman was most recently VP of global manufacturing at Navistar Corportaion, and began her manufacturing career with the Ford Motor Company.

Goddard is moving on to a position of senior VP for Washington operations, leading the group's government business development efforts. One of the main contracts for Marinette Marine is with the U.S. Navy, building small advanced warships called littoral combat ships. 

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marinette Marine 

NMU names two new deans

It looks like the two new deans at Northern Michigan University won't have to do much adjusting to the climate and the community. David Rayome and Kerri Schuiling are both familiar faces at NMU, and have been named as the dean of the College of Business and the dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies, respectively. 

Schuiling has most recently been the dean of Oakland University's School of Nursing but prior to that was the head of NMU's School of Nursing and was the associate dean of the College of Professional Studies. She returns to the area to take the position on July 1. 

Rayome has most recently been serving in his new permanent role but previously on an interim basis. He has been with NMU since 1991 and has been a full professor and the chair of the graduate programs committee and directed NMU's MBA program when it was launched in 2010. 

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: NMU

Local author releases new book

Almost everyone has heard of the legend of King Arthur in one way, shape or form. It's quite the captivating story that has stood the test of time, and now a local author has his own take on the legend. 

Award-winning Marquette author Tyler Tichelaar is taking a different approach to the classic tale, suggesting that Camelot's story was twisted by its enemies and reveals the role of King Arthur's descendants throughout history. 

Tichelaar's new novel, Arthur's Legacy: The Children of Arthur, Book One, is now available, and focuses not only on Arthur, but on his son Mordred and spins a tale that their lineage is still going today and is ready for the truth to be told -- and that truth could change history as the world knows it. 

The novel is available now and can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit the novel's website

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Tyler Tichelaar 

Transportation grants fund growth in Chippewa, Delta counties

Six Michigan counties, including two here in the Upper Peninsula, are receiving economic development grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation that are expected to support 939 jobs. 

The grants total more than $6.8M and will leverage more than $329M in private investment. 

The two Upper Peninsula counties receiving funds are Chippewa and Delta. 

Work in Chippewa includes West Easterday Avenue, which connects Industrial Park Drive to I-75. Industrial Park Drive is the new location for AMI House's facilities. The company's new investment in the area includes $2.7M in new equipment and 40 new jobs. The improvements will help Easterday Ave. with the increase in heavy traffic and all-season use. 

In Delta County, work will be done on Mead Road (County Road 59), which is a severely deteriorated all-season route with poor drainage. Work will allow continued use of the road for full logging trucks and employees. The work will assist the new manufacturing plant of Omya, Inc., which shares property with the New Page paper Mill in Wells Township. They will invest $15M for the new plant and equipment and creating six new jobs and transferring one job to Michigan. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MDOT
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