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Innovation + Job News

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New VP/general manager to take over WJMN

One of our local television stations is under new management. Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced they have promoted Michael Smith to the role of vice president and general manager of WFRV-TV and WJMN-TV, which also runs the website upmatters.com.

Smith replaces Joseph Denk, who was promoted and now runs the operations for Nexstar in their Tennessee markets of Memphis and Jackson.

Smith brings with him nearly three decades of experience in local broadcast television and sales management. He has spent the past 15 years in Green Bay with WFRV-TV and has been the general manager of that station since 2013. He has also een the national sales manager for WFRV and WJMN since 2000. Prior to his time with Nexstar, Smith was with WGBA and WACY in Green Bay for 12 years.

Smith also has a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Writer: SamEggleston
Source: Nexstar Broadcasting Group



Marquette orphanage seeks to be listed on historic register

Could the old orphanage in Marquette land itself on the National Register of Historic Places? It's quite possible since it was recently included as one of three Michigan historic sites to be nominated for the distinction, along with Swayze Apartments in Flint and Blissfield Downtown Historic District in none other than Blissfield.

The Holy Family Orphanage (it does have a name!) is over 100 years old. It was built in 1914-1915 following a 10-year fundraising campaign. In the 1960s, it housed Cuban children  brought to America during the early years of Fidel Castro's leadership in Cuba during "Operation Peter Pan."

"This is quite an achievement for the Holy Family Orphanage and for the entire Marquette community," says state senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba. "Having served the western U.P. for more than 50 years, the orphanage is deserving of this prestigious distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With this development, I am hopeful that the building can be rehabilitated and put to good use soon."

Being on the National Register would allow the property to possibly apply for tax credits for its current owner for rehabilitation. 

Michigan has more than 1,600 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, including some 250 districts comprising more than 20,000 properties.

Historic sites are nominated to the national register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which considers nominations to the register three times per year. On behalf of the review board, the State Historic Preservation Office forwards nominations to the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior, which acts as keeper of the National Register, for listing. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: MSHDA

Calumet curling club pursues MEDC grant through crowdfunding

The Copper Country Curling Club in Calumet is going after a grant to redevelop a historic site into a year-round community and curling center.
 
They're aiming for a Michigan Economic Development grant of $32,000, but to do so, they need to raise a matching $32,000 and are using Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity to do so--that means they're seeking donations to meet their goal, here. So far, they've raised more than $8,000, and the campaign runs until mid-July.
 
It's part of the MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative, which funds programs and groups that have enough proven community funding support through this crowdfunding platform.
 
The curling club will use the money, if received, to redevelop the Drill Shop in Calumet Township. It was built in 1885 to manufacture drilling equipment for the nearby copper mines, and closed in 1968. It's owned by Calumet Township currently, and some work has already been done by the township and curling club, as in 2005, two curling rinks were installed in part of the building for use during winter months.
 
The grant would allow completion of the building's transformation into usable space, including handicap accessibility upgrades, a hockey shooting and goal tending area, a batting and pitching area, and two regulation horseshoe courts along with the existing curling rinks.
 
"We are very excited about this project which will create a year round indoor space for several popular activities while restoring a historic building," says Paul Lehto, Calumet Township Supervisor.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Marquette County Community Foundation has new name, new location

The Marquette County Community Foundation is changing its name and moving to a new office.
 
Now to be found at 250 North McClellan Avenue, Suite B, in Marquette, the foundation is hosting an open house June 17 to mark the new location and occasion.
 
The new name will be the Community Foundation of Marquette County, to put the emphasis on the "community" part of the name.
 
Gail Anthony, CEO of the foundation, says that's to help area residents understand the mission and nature of the group.
 
"We want to be recognized as the grass roots organization we truly are," says Anthony. "Local donor gifts invested over time create the earnings to reinvest in the form of grants and scholarships for the benefit of Marquette County residents."  
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette County Community Foundation

New Gather app launched by MTU alums

Two Michigan Technological University alumni are launching the beta version of a new social media app here in the U.P.
 
As members of the Keweenaw Young Professionals organization, MTU alums Jacob Northey and Craig Otis are launching their new app, Gather, in conjunction with KYP.
 
A launch party took place this week at Continental Fire Co. in Houghton to celebrate the event, as KYP members got familiar with the beta-testing version of the app.
 
Gather is available to the public to download on the App Store or Google Play for Apple and Android devices.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Keweenaw Young Professionals

Michigan Tech names new dean

Michigan Technological University named a new dean in their college of engineering, Adrienne Minerick.
 
Minerick is a current professor of chemical engineering and also teaches biomedical engineering courses. She will serve as the college's associate dean for research and innovation.
 
The position consists of coordinating faculty and staff engagement on research projects and connecting with agencies which provide funding for research, whether short- or long-term. It was created after the retirement of former dean for research Carl Anderson, but the role is now expanded to push toward also supporting projects through economic and social development goals including commercialization.
 
"Adrienne is one of our leading researchers, working in the constantly-expanding areas of health science and engineering," says dean of the college, Wayne Pennington. "But she has also successfully created a start-up company based on some of her research, and the interaction of that company with the university, the SmartZone, Superior Innovations and other groups engaged in economic development, provides valuable experience that she can use to assist others to do the same."
 
Minerick has been at Michigan Tech since 2009, was recently promoted to professor, and has received many awards including an NSF Career Award.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

UP DNR office appoints new spokesman

 
A longtime Marquette journalist has been hired on as a new deputy public information officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
 
John Pepin comes to his new role with the DNR from the Mining Journal in Marquette, where he was a reporter for 21 years, covering topics including government, natural resources, forests, agriculture and tourism. His articles have also appeared in magazines such as the Timber Producer, Michigan Out-of-Doors and Bird Watcher's Digest.
 
His other interests coincide well with the new job; they include fishing, birdwatching, photography and hiking. A dedicated birdwatcher, he also has taught birding through several groups in Michigan and California.
 
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Northridge. 
 
Pepin, an Ishpeming native, will be working from the DNR's Marquette office.
 
"We are thrilled to have John on board, helping to shape and tell the important stories about our state’s unmatched natural and cultural resources," says DNR Director Keith Creagh. 
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

 

Portage Health partners with local farm market for produce

The Portage branch of UP Health System in Houghton-Hancock has announced they'll be partnering with a local farmer to provide fresh, local produce in the hospital's cafe.
 
Niemela's Market Gardens in Pelkie started bringing in fresh-grown vegetables to the Portage hospital this week. Owner and farmer James Niemela says they started growing produce for market in 2008 and grow naturally, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
 
"We are happy to partner with UP Health System - Portage to provide fresh, local, naturally-grown vegetables for their patients, staff, and visitors," says Niemela. "We appreciate the opportunity to broaden our market and share our produce with more residents of the Copper Country."
 
Among the produce the hospital cafe will use from Niemela's is lettuce, carrots, beets, chard, kale, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, escarole, endive, leeks, green onions, cabbage, and broccoli.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Portage Health

NMU has new director for master's degree program

As Northern Michigan University builds its postgraduate programs, the school announced it's hired a new director for the master's degree program for higher education in student affairs.
 
G. Blue Brazelton will lead the program, having recently joined the faculty of NMU's School of Education, Leadership and Public Services.
 
He comes to NMU with an extensive background in student affairs at several institutions, and is an active advocate for under-represented groups in higher education, including first-generation college students. Brazelton is a founding member of the National Study of LGBTQ Student Success, where he also has led research.
 
Brazelton has a bachelor's degree in multicultural American literature and the philosophy of science from Texas Tech University and a master's degree in education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is pursuing a doctoral degree in Michigan State University's higher, adult and lifelong education program.
 
"Blue is the leader we've been searching for," says Joe Lubig, director of the education college at Northern. "His enthusiasm for higher education and student affairs and his scholarship in the discipline will develop leaders who have a deep understanding of the practical application of theory in the field."
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Bogan will take over as UPHS-Marquette CEO

UP Health System-Marquette has a new CEO, but it's a temporary gig.
 
Previous CEO Ed Banos left the area for a job with University Hospital in San Antonio, so Jim Bogan, named market president for UP Health System last year, is stepping up to fill the role while another candidate can be chosen.
 
Bogan has experience in the top dog role, having earlier served as CEO of Portage Health before it became part of UP Health System.
 
"I am pleased to step into the top leadership role at UP Health System – Marquette to help ensure a smooth transition and facilitate a successful national process to find the best candidate to lead the hospital into the future," Bogan says of the move. He adds the change won't have any impact on the construction planning of the new hospital UP Health System plans to build in Marquette, or the growth in other medical service areas.
 
Bogan also had leadership roles previously at Trinity Medical Center in Minot, North Dakota. He has a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University and an MBA from the University of North Dakota, and is a graduate of the Hospital Administration Program at Concordia College in Minnesota, and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System  - Marquette

Local man invents and markets paint scrubber device with help of NMU

Ever come up with a neat homemade fix to one of those persistent household problems and then wondered why no one had done it before?
 
That's what Miles Parkkonen of Negaunee did, but he took it a step further, patenting his new invention and getting it to market with the help of Invent@NMU, Northern Michigan University's entrepreneurial program.
 
Parkkonen invented the Paint Scrubber in his own garage a few years ago--it's a little wooden tool with a ridged surface that easily removes paint from brushes, pads and rollers to clean them. The production model now available on store shelves is made of 100 percent recycled, environmentally friendly wood, and is moisture and rot-resistant.
 
"Miles had already completed a large amount of product development before coming to us," says Dave Ollila, Invent@NMU founding director. "He had produced a number of units ready for sale and obtained a patent. While the program is set up to help people from the concept stage on through market introduction, we are also able to take on projects mid-stream to help move things along. We still brought the Paint Brush Scrubber through the validation stage, so we could all be on the same page, but then quickly were able to start working on details."
 
Now the Paint Scrubber is available online for purchase and also at local stores Ace Hardware in Harvey, Marquette Wallpaper and Paint in Marquette, and Cattron's Lumber in Negaunee.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

 

Two new physicians join MGH specialty practices

Two new physicians are joining UP Health System in Marquette, both in specialty clinics.
 
Dr. Nathan Taylor joined the UPHS-Marquette Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Program, where he'll be part of a team including medical director Kristofer Dosh, podiatrist John Niemela, Nicole Roth and Amanda Beerman. Taylor specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
 
Dr. Paul Kemmeter, a bariatric surgeon, joined the UPHS-Marquette Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. He's a board-certified general surgeon and is trained in bariatric surgery and surgical critical care. He also is an assistant professor of surgery for the Michigan State College of Human Medicine and the medical director of bariatric surgery at St. Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids.
 
Essentially, Kemmeter is on loan for a while; Grand Health Partners in Grand Rapids, where he is a senior partner, signed a three-year contract with UPHS so Kemmeter can offer his services to U.P. patients. Maybe the good doctor will like Marquette enough to stay on afterwards.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System

Honor Credit Union announces Marquette branch manager

Honor Credit Union's Marquette location has a new branch manager.
 
Ross Anthony will oversee daily operations at the credit union's U.S. 41 location in Marquette. Anthony comes to the job with nine years of experience in the financial industry and is an NMU grad with a degree in finance.
 
Anthony is a founding member of 40 Below, the young professionals group associated with the Lake Superior Community Partnership, is the president of Superiorland Kiwanis, and is involved in the South Shore Fishing Association and the UP 200. He lives in Negaunee Township with his family.
 
Honor Credit Union has several branches in the U.P. (formerly Superior Iron Range Credit Union) and many downstate, serving a total of 55,000 members in Michigan.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Honor Credit Union

Templin joins Hanson Realty

Hanson Realty in Iron Mountain announced the addition of a new agent, Terri Templin.
 
Templin has plenty of experience as a Wisconsin real estate agent, and the move also marks a return to Michigan for her. Templin is originally from lower Michigan, but has taught English at the college level, owned and operated a hardware store in Colorado, and most recently, worked in real estate from her Pembine, Wisconsin home., as part of Hanson Realty's Beecher office.
 
She says she uses her varied background to focus on building good relationships with buyers and sellers, and looks forward to bringing her experience to the Michigan real estate market.
 
Templin can be found by appointment at the Hanson Realty office at 945 Oslo Avenue in Iron Mountain.
 
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Hanson Realty

LaChance joins Fox Negaunee

Stephanie LaChance is the newest service advisor at the Fox Negaunee dealership and service center in Negaunee.
 
LaChance has 12 years of experience in auto dealerships and is a U.P. native.
 
She'll be helping customers as part of Fox Negaunee's service team at its U.S. 41 location.
 
LaChance says she enjoys watching NASCAR, four-wheeling, camping, playing volleyball and spending time with her family.
 
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Fox Negaunee
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