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Innovation + Job News

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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

NMU opens new digital learning lab

Northern Michigan University cut the ribbon on a new technology lab this week. 

The Hannewald Digital Learning Design Lab features 3D printers, iPads, GoPro cameras, robotics and other devices that all are designed to help education students and local teachers engage youth in technology projects. 

The dedication of the lab on October 3 included demonstrations of the tech available, and activities for school-aged children. One of the specialized devices available in the lab, for example, can sew circuitry into clothing to create wearable tech. 

The lab is named after the late alumnus and teacher Florence Hagberg-Hannewald, and was supported by a $100,000 to the NMU Foundation in her name.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Lasco adds new hire

Lasco in Marquette announced they've hired a new staffer, Craig Wilson.

Wilson will be filling the role of support technician at the IT company. He is a Northern Michigan University graduate and is certified in several software certifications. 

He's previously worked as technical support at NMU Public Safety, as a security systems administrator at MPI Research Inc. in Mattawan, Michigan, and as a systems engineer for EPS Security Inc. in Grand Rapids.

"I am glad to be back in Marquette, and looking forward to re-immersing myself in the culture and lifestyle that makes the U.P. a great place to live," says Wilson.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Lasco

MacInnes hired by Michigan Municipal League

The Michigan Municipal League will have a pretty knowledgeable Upper Peninsula field consultant, according to the organization's recent announcement. 

Scott MacInnes, recently retired Houghton city manager, was hired as the northern field consultant for the league. He will help U.P. cities and townships on league initiatives, and be the liaison to the MML for the U.P.

MacInnes retired this fall from the City of Houghton and had served in various roles there since 1974, when he started as recreation director. He also has been on the board of the Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation's SmartZone and the MTU Corporate Board for Institutional Diversity.

"We are extremely excited to have Scott representing the League in the U.P," says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. "He's a very familiar name and face to our Northern Michigan member communities and he is extremely knowledgeable of the issues and challenges being experienced in our cities and villages."

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Municipal League

Upper Hand Brewery shows off bottle artwork

If you've stopped at very many stores around the Upper Peninsula lately, you've probably noticed some signs going up announcing that Upper Hand Brewery will be distributing their suds in bottled form in the very near future.

The brewery, which is part of the Bell's Brewery family that is headquartered in lower Michigan, recently added to the visual aspect of their upcoming wares by showcasing the packaging and labels for three beers.

The UPA -- Upper Peninsula Ale -- bottle art has a campsite with a lighthouse on it, while the Escanaba Black Beer has a family in a vehicle watching a bear (hopefully not imbibing in the process!). The final art, which is for the Upper Hand Lager, has a "logger" cutting down a tree he has climbed.

Upper Hand's brews, which are expected soon, are going to be crafted in a 11,500-square-foot facility located in Delta County.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Bell's Brewery

Tech students work on charcoal kiln for developing world

A French company, AFI, is partnering with students at Michigan Technological University to help develop a biochar manufacturing process for the developing world.

If you're not sure what biochar is, think of a campfire that's partially burned out; the black charcoal-like charred wood before it turns to ashes is biochar. It's being explored as a fuel source to replace wood in cookstoves in Benin through this new partnership.

The benefits biochar offers are that burning it produces less smoke, and since wood-burning smoke is one of the biggest disease and death causes in the developing world, that's important.

Of course, you don’t want to have burn wood to produce the charcoal in the first place. So, the students and AFI are working on a way to use leftover palm kernel shells for the feedstock to create biochar. The manufacturing facility they propose would then form it into briquettes and sell it affordably. Tech Enterprise students have built a small demonstration kiln earlier for a South American project, and now aim to commercialize it on a large scale for use in Benin with AFI.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

Portage Health welcomes new women's health physician

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, which is part of Portage Health, announced they have added a new physician to their women's health team of providers. 

Emily Kenny, M.D., is now part of the obstetrics and gynecology team. It's a return home for Kenny, who is a Copper Country native. She received a bachelor's degree from University of Michigan and followed it up with a M.D. at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, as part of the Rural Physician Program. She also served a residency at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.

Her duties will include working in the obstetrics and gynecology clinic along with Dr. Julie Meyer in Hancock, during business hours, and also will assist with deliveries in the Portage Health Family Birthing Center, as well as performing outpatient and inpatient surgery.

"We are so excited to have Dr. Kenny join our team," says Shannon Richter, director of operations at Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. "Dr. Kenny's modern medical knowledge and excellent patient interaction will be a wonderful complement to our team."

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Portage Health

Marquette's Landmark Inn officially acquired by Graves Hospitality Corporation

The Landmark Inn in Marquette has a new owner, the Graves Hospitality Corporation.

It's not quite as much of a local-business-gets-bought-by-giant-corporation story as it sounds; a main partner in Graves Hospitality is Matthew Mering, a Marquette native.

The Landmark will join a portfolio of 19 hotels and restaurants owned by Graves in the Midwest, and will continue operating its in-house restaurants and bars, with some improvements, according to the announcement.

"We look forward to repositioning Capers restaurant into a fun and approachable concept that appeals to both hotel guests and Marquette residents alike," says Benjamin Graves, president and COO of Graves Hospitality.

The historic hotel has become something of a destination in Marquette, and Mering says that will be approached with the same care that former owner Christine Pesola gave it.

"It was important to the ownership group that whoever acquired the hotel continue with their philosophy of reinvesting in both the property and the local community, so GHC was a natural fit," says Mering. "I realize the importance the hotel holds for the community. It really is the living room of Marquette. We look at ourselves as long-term stewards of the Landmark Inn."

Graves Hospitality has developed and managed more than 100 hotels and restaurants, and also has worked with residential and commercial developments over the past 35 years.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Graves Hospitality Corporation 

Verardi takes over Marquette Edward Jones office

The Edward Jones financial advisors offices in Marquette have a new leader. Christian Verardi will step into the role. 

He's been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2013, but has a long background in business and entrepreneurship. Verardi has a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and has been a project manager for several contractors as well as having owned his own company, CMV Building Company in White Lake, Michigan.

The Edward Jones offices are located at 115 South Lakeshore Boulevard, Suite B, in Marquette.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Edward Jones

UP Labor Federation adds new staffer

The newly-formed Upper Peninsula Regional Labor Federation announced it has hired on a new employee.

Kathleen Carlson will serve as field coordinator, which means she'll be responsible for developing solidarity across the varied labor groups belonging to the federation, and overseeing labor mobilization. That includes training and organizing union leaders and members, and helping to strengthen the U.P.'s local labor councils and build them into self-sustaining organizations. 

Carlson has an accounting degree and has been a delegate to the Marquette County Labor Council for 16 years. She also has experience on the labor advisory planning committee of the council and has planned conferences and events. 

The new federation was created from the unification of the Marquette County Labor Council and the Delta County Trades and Labor Council, both AFL-CIO chartered councils. Next is planned unifications with three other AFL-CIO councils; the Dickinson-Iron Counties Labor Council, the Eastern Upper Peninsula Central Labor Council, and the Northwest Upper Peninsula Labor Council, according to the federation's website.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: U.P. Regional Labor Federation

LSSU welcomes 12 new faculty and staff

Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie introduced its 12 new faculty members who are joining the campus this fall.

In the school of biological sciences, Kevin Kapuscinski is a new assistant professor, although he's familiar to some at LSSU already from his role as co-director of the Aquatic Research Laboratory.

Jude Rariden is a new assistant professor in criminal justice, and in the sociology department, Heather Shay is a new assistant professor.

Thomas Tobin is a visiting assistant professor of geology, and James Allen is an assistant professor in psychology. Sandra Allen-Cary is a new assistant professor in nursing. Lloyd Eddy is a new assistant professor of arts and humanities, specifically art and design.

New associate professors include Michael Everett in the College of Arts, Letters, Social Services and Emergency Services; he specializes in emergency services. Zakaria Mahmud is a new associate professor in engineering, specializing in experimental fluid mechanics.

David Leach is also joining the engineering faculty as an instructor of mechanical engineering and engineering technology.

Some of the new hires are temporary instructors. Marta Diaz and Shellie Masters both are temporary instructors in the Lukenda School of Business, while Lucas Kirby is a temporary instructor of aquatic ecology.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior State University

New employee comes on board at LSCP

Economic development agency Lake Superior Community Partnership announced it has hired a new staff to focus on marketing and public relations.

Ashley Szczepanski is the partnership's new assistant to events and marketing. Her duties include assisting with membership, marketing, events and public relations.

She comes to Marquette most recently from Denver, where she worked as a graphic designer. She also earned a bachelor's degree in commercial recreation and facility management from Central Michigan University.

"We are very excited to welcome Ashley to the LSCP team," says Betsy Morais, director of marketing and communications. "She comes to us with great experience in marketing, event planning and graphic design and we look forward to tapping into her expertise."

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior Community Partnership 

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