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Innovation + Job News

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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

Jeff Perry is new UPHS COO

Upper Peninsula Health System in Marquette has named a new chief operating officer, Jeff Perry. 

The new administrator will work with CEO Ed Banos to manage and develop hospital operations in Marquette.

"Jeff will help us in overall operational management and with continued development of organizational structure, working closely with the department directors that are reporting to him," says Banos.

Perry previously was COO at Legacy Community Health Services in Houston, Texas, where he was in charge of operations for 20 clinics covering the full range of medical care. He also has COO and chief nursing officer experience from the Oklahoma State University Medical Center. 

Before moving into administration, Perry had a background as an RN and an active-duty combat medic in the U.S. Army. He has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and he is working on his doctorate in health administration from Central Michigan University.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: UP Health System 

Michigan Tech tests under-ice equipment

It's just a fact -- the U.P. is a pretty great place to study tech that’s built to be used in the winter.
That's why a new research project at Michigan Technological University in Houghton is working on tests for the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii (more on why they care in a minute.)
Researchers at Tech's Great Lakes Research Center are trying out 17 different instruments used to study and record in water under ice. They include a video camera, water testing equipment, a hydrophone and light and oxygen sensors. All will be deployed under the frozen Portage Canal this month for testing, until April.
The U of M and the University of Hawaii are both contributing to the research, despite the lack of icy waters in Hawaii, as part of their work with the Alliance for Coastal Technologies, which studies all manner of water-related equipment and tech for use in environmental research.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University

Comfort Suites celebrates renovation

Those traveling to Marquette this winter or looking for a nice place to put up out-of-town guests can't go wrong with the most recent renovations at Comfort Suites.

The hotel, which shares property with the Perkins restaurant on U.S. 41, announced it has now completed a total renovation. That means everything from the lobby, pool and meeting rooms to each and every interior room, as well as a full exterior renovation. 

Comfort Suites announced the changes along with the Lake Superior Community Partnership at a recent event attended by area business representatives, hotel owners Frank and Linda Stabile, and hotel staff.

The hotel is part of the Superior Oasis group of businesses and is located at 2463 U.S. 41 West in Marquette.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior Community Partnership

U.P. author releases new book

Marquette author Tyler Tichelaar has a new book out in his King Arthur-inspired fantasy series, The Children of Arthur.

It's the second book in the series and is titled Melusine's Gift. It's based on historical accounts and legends regarding Melusine of Lusignan, a much-debated figure--sometimes a fairy, sometimes a mermaid--in European mythology, from whom several royal families in Europe claim to be descended.

"As for the connections to royalty, the whole premise of my Children of Arthur series is that King Arthur's descendants live among us today. I believe Melusine played a key role in that lineage," says Tichelaar of his theme.

Melusine's Gift traces the mystery of Melusine to possible ties to Avalon and King Arthur, as the thesis of each book in the series does, through the eyes of a modern American who is hunting for answers to his own past and the prophecy of King Arthur's return.

Tichelaar is the author of many historical fiction novels, including The Best Place and Narrow Lives. His books, including Melusine's Gift, are available at U.P. bookstores and online, as well as in e-book form

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Tyler Tichelaar/Marquette Fiction

New pediatrician joins Bell team

A Marquette pediatrician is joining the team at Bell Hospital in Ishpeming. 

Dr. Stephanie Humpula-McMahon will continue her Marquette practice, and also offer services at UP Health System - Bell on Tuesdays starting this week. She will work with Dr. Kurt Lehmann and nurse practitioner Beth Beams in their offices at Bell.

Humpula-McMahon is a Marquette native and received her bachelor's degree at Northern Michigan University. She received her medical degree at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, and recently completed her pediatric residency at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System

NMU names Larkin new provost

Northern Michigan University has appointed a new acting provost, Lesley Larkin. 

Larkin is a current English department faculty member and also will act as chief academic officer in the role. She will take over the duties until the university completes a national search to replace the late Paul Lang.

Larkin has been on the faculty since 2008 and specializes in literary theory, African-American literature and American literature. She has a bachelor's degree from Linfield College, and both a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Washington. She has served on NMU administrative committees in the past, including as chair of the president's committee on diversity and as co-chair of the provost search committee.

Lang, who passed away Jan. 9, had been on an extended medical leave and had previously announced he would step down from the position at the end of the academic year, so a search was already under way for a replacement. The interim appointment was made, says NMU president Fritz Erickson, in the best interests of the school.

"The appointment is needed now for many reasons, but most importantly for continuing in the forward movement of the university's strategic planning and core values development," Erickson says in the announcement.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Health innovation grants given to several U.P. agencies

Two health care innovation projects in the Upper Peninsula are getting grant funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health this year.

A total of 44 recipients were announced for Michigan's Health Innovation Grant, all one-time projects that could get up to $35,000 in funding each; more than $1.3 million was granted across the state. The goal of the grant program is to help bridge the gap between creative, collaborative health care ideas and their implementation, in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery in Michigan.

In the U.P., Great Lakes Recovery Centers received $35,000 for services in Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Iron, Marquette, Dickinson, Menominee, Alger, Delta, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac and Chippewa counties.

The funding will go to advanced, secure video and teleconferencing equipment to help expand the quality of GLRC's rural behavioral health services and provide mental health and substance abuse treatment services all over the U.P.

Also in Baraga County, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan received $34,755 to fight prescription drug abuse. They'll use the money to conduct training with staff, develop a tribal-specific prescription drug abuse screening and referral system, create educational materials for the community, conduct a take-back event for prescriptions, and increase the tribe's drug abuse policy to cover twelve tribes instead of one.

Two other projects got grant funding that will affect the U.P.; the Michigan Rural EMS Network got $35,000 to create a toolkit for rural counties across Michigan that will connect EMS agency leaders to national, state and regional resources and roll out the toolkit at meetings and conferences.

Also, the Michigan Primary Care Association, along with the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance, got $35,000 to create and implement a statewide business plan to address certification, financing and long-term planning for community health workers.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Community Health

Motions rolls out new DNA testing to help weight loss

Scientists have been working on discerning the links between genetics and obesity for decades, and one local fitness center is exploring the connection with personal DNA testing.

The program, called DNA Fit, is offered at Motions Fitness in Marquette. Clients send in a cheek swab to analyze their DNA, then staff at Motions will design a nutrition and fitness program based on the results that is tailored to the client.

Owners Mike and Sarah Koskiniemi say the genetic testing can yield recommendations for what, exactly, a person can do to optimize their health. The cost is about $500.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Motions Fitness

CCI adds new VP of sales

CCI Systems in Iron Mountain, a communications network services company, announced it has hired a new senior vice president of sales, Ryan Nicometo.

Nicometo worked at CCI Systems in the past, then moved to ARRIS and Motorola Mobility, both also in the communications technology industry. So the new role is both a return to CCI and a culmination of his experience in several skills. His background includes working with service providers, utilities and customers in a wide range of roles, like sales, sales engineering, product management and business development. 

In his new position as VP, Nicometo will develop and lead a central sales team, and focus on building relationships with customers and partners. Of course, problem-solving and helping revenue grow also will be part of the job.

"We're proud to welcome Ryan back home to the CCI team," says Joe Smith, chief sales officer. "With his leadership skills, sales experience and background knowledge of CCI, matched with his numerous certifications that speak to his technical knowledge, we're confident he will help CCI achieve a new level of success. We're lucky to have him."

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: CCI Systems

Workforce development grants go to U.P. companies

Twelve Upper Peninsula companies are getting help with developing their workforce. The Michigan Workforce Development Agency granted about $8.6 million in funding for skilled trades training to companies across Michigan, and about $340,000 of that is headed to the U.P.

The grants are being handed out through regional Michigan Works! agencies. From the Eastern Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! office, Precision Edge Surgical Products in Sault Ste. Marie will get $56,700.

In the Western Upper Peninsula, Ironwood Plastics will get $7,875 and Jacquart Fabric Products will get $15,750. Both are in Ironwood. 

The Michigan Works! Job Force Board in the central U.P. has the majority of the grants; here's a breakdown. In Houghton, Great Lakes Sound and Vibration will get $17,325. In Escanaba, Delta Manufacturing will get $3,150. In Hermansville, Stewart Manufacturing will get $16,610. In Menominee, Anchor Coupling gets the biggest grant, at $129,150, and Enstrom Helicopter Corp. gets $21, 554. 

As part of the Schoolcraft County Manufacturing Consortium, FutureMark Manistique will get $42, 525, and Graymont Western Lime in Gulliver will get $14, 175.

Finally, as part of the Delta County Rail Car Repair Consortium, Softek Car Services in Gladstone will get $10,442 and Softek Contractual Services in Escanaba will get $5,866.

Each company must agree to hire participants in Michigan Works! job training when they've successfully completed courses, or if the training happens on the job at the company, they must retain the employees after training. Jobs expected to be retained or added as a result of the program weren't broken down by company, but the statewide grant funding was calculated to create 771 new jobs.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

LSSU marketing students report on airport

The Chippewa International Airport near Sault Ste. Marie got an update on how it's doing recently from a group of Lake Superior State University marketing students. 

The students conducted a two-week survey during their marketing research class to determine demand for additional flights, the demographics of airport patrons, and overall satisfaction rates from customers. 

The survey was no mere exercise in research; the students were commissioned to conduct it by the Chippewa County EDC. Next up, the EDC plans to work with LSSU to track seasonal changes in passenger travel.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior State University

U.P. Rehab Services adds Stefanac to team

U.P. Rehab Services in Kingsford has a new physical therapist on its staff.
Paul Stefanac is a physical therapist and a doctor of physical therapy, and will be helping the U.P. Rehab team provide physical therapy care in Iron Mountain, Kingsford and the surrounding area. He joins the health care service's rehabilitation team and will work with patients with a variety of injuries or conditions.
"Paul brings his background in acute inpatient care, transitional/sub-acute care, outpatient orthopedics, work hardening, work conditioning and functional capacity evaluations. Our goal as a staff is to earn the trust of and develop a relationship with every patient, working with them to achieve their personal therapy goals. Paul will be a tremendous asset to our team and we are excited to have him join us," says Sara Edlebeck, physical therapist and clinic leader.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: U.P. Rehab Services

Holm hired at Northern Michigan Bank and Trust

Northern Michigan Bank and Trust announced it has hired a new associate vice president.

Kristine Holm will take on the role of associate VP for consumer banking, for the bank's northern district. 

Northern Michigan Bank and Trust was founded in 1892 as the Bank of Escanaba, and expanded throughout the U.P. after creating the Northern Michigan Bank and Trust holding company in the 1970s.

It now has locations in Escanaba, Bark River, Gladstone, Marquette, Ishpeming, Kingsford, and Iron Mountain.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Northern Bank and Trust

Chartier promoted at U.P. Health Systems

Craig Chartier's role with UP Health Systems has grown now that he has been promoted to the position of regional director of home care and hospice.

Chartier, who was previously the director of home care and hospice for the system's Marquette operations, has more than 25 years of experience in the field of home care and hospice. In his new role, he will oversee those services in Marquette and in Portage. He will be expected to guide UP Health Systems in clinical excellence, operational efficiencies, professional development and leadership mentoring in the field he is overseeing.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health Systems
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