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Innovation + Job News

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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

NMU gets grant to create coastal weather observation system

With the efforts of scientists at Northern Michigan University, a coastal weather observation system is getting underway along Lake Superior.

The college is leading the project, which is funded by $100,000 from the Great Lakes Observing System. The system to be established will include two monitoring buoys placed from Marquette to Grand Marais on the coastline. 

One, more permanent, will be near Munising in the Pictured Rocks area, logging observations of weather, water temperature and wave activity for boaters and kayakers. The other is more portable and will be moved along the shore to measure wave activity at places like Granite Island Light Station, Grand Marais and Whitefish Point. Together, they should provide better information about lake hazards.

"The hope is that this will allow for greater preparedness for coastal weather events, which will benefit the Coast Guard and fire departments for rescue purposes, as well as fisheries and recreational businesses that depend on the lake. It will also provide more advance warning of swimming and boating hazards, since waves tend to build up offshore first," says Norma Froelich, a professor in NMU's Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences department. 

The buoys will be positioned on the lake from May to November and will log data in real time to both a public website and to scientists and weather monitors. Also participating in the project are the Superior Watershed Partnership and LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor environmental consulting firm that specializes in buoys and weather stations.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University

Schoolcraft County EDC has new director, new location

The Schoolcraft County Economic Development Corporation is taking a new direction this year. 

Not only does the county EDC have a new director, it's also moving to new offices.

Paul Garber will now head the EDC, as its new director. He brings extensive private-sector and business management experience to the role and will help not only the EDC but other local businesses struggling with issues like expansion and hiring.

Along with that change, the EDC now has moved to new offices. Still within the Schoolcraft County Courthouse at 300 Walnut Street in Manistique, the address now is Room 154, a larger, more professional expanse of space for the EDC to work in. It will now share space with their partner, Michigan Works!, which should aid resource sharing and communication.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Schoolcraft County EDC

Yooper Goddess puts out a venison e-cookbook

We here in the Upper Peninsula have our very own domestic diva, the Yooper Goddess

Also known as Lori Kulju, she posts creative, healthy how-to-cook videos on YouTube and has a good following on Facebook too. Her YouTube show also offers tips and tricks on other Yooper endeavors like gardening.

Her latest endeavor, in time for deer season, is an e-cookbook of venison recipes available for download at Amazon.com in either a PDF or for Kindle. It's titled "Venison Vixen" and is $1.99 for the PDF or $3.99 for the Kindle version. An iPad/iBook version is also available at Blurb.com.

New e-cookbooks are in the works for later, collections of Kulju's pickling and drink-making recipes.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Yooper Goddess 


Back in Balance Massage moves to new location

We here at Upper Peninsula Second Wave sit in front of a computer a lot. Like, 40 hours a week, if not more. While that doesn't sound like it's real "back-breaking" work, it still plays havoc on your back nonetheless, and we often talk about how nice it would be to have a masseuse around.

If you feel the same way, you should head on over to 119 West Baraga Ave, Suite 1, in Marquette. That's where the massage experts of Back in Balance Massage have moved their offices.

The company, which has massage therapists like Liz Cragg, Kylee Fosco and Susan VandeWalle right on staff, offers up various styles of massages, including Swedish, relaxation, hot stone, and sports. What's more is they have services like trigger point therapy and prenatal massages to help meet clients' needs.

For more information, check out their website.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Back in Balance Massage

Angel investor network being developed in the U.P.

It's hard to start up a small business, but MTEC SmartZone, along with Michigan Technological University, is trying to build a network that will help connect new businesses to angel investors.

Beginning steps were taken in October, when investors attended a Marquette workshop to test interest in creating such a network in the U.P., with help from Ken Kousky of the BlueWater Angels in northern lower Michigan and the MidMichigan Innovation Center.

The network offers investors support, shared diligence and diversification, while providing financial support, mentorship and advice to new or growing companies.

The ultimate goal, says MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark, is to create sustainable small business growth and jobs.

The next step is the formation of a steering committee this month, with the network beginning operations in 2015.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: MTEC SmartZone

Salon West & Spa hires Paige LaBonte

Salon West & Spa, located at 1615 Ludington Street, Suite C, in Escanaba, recently announced they have hired Paige LaBonte to the staff.

Does the name sound familiar? That's because LaBonte formerly worked at Salon West before moving to Madison, Wis. to take a position at a salon.

"She has taken the knowledge she has gained during her time in Madison and has brought it back to share with all of our clients," owner Ashley Westlund writes on the company's Facebook page. "We are proud to say that she is back and here to stay!"

LaBonte will be offering up a variety of services, including bridal and formal make-up application, facial waxing, dimensional coloring, precision shampoo, cut and styling as well as gel and classic manicures and pedicures.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Salon West & Spa

Ironwood uses crowdfunding to build Art Park

Downtown Ironwood is aiming for a more creative community feel by creating a new downtown Art Park.

It's doing so with the help of a crowdfunding campaign through a new Michigan crowdfunding platform, Patronicity. The city of Ironwood, the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation all are banding together to build the art park. If $10,000 can be raised through the crowdfunding campaign, it will serve as the local matching funds needed to obtain a grant through the MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program. The deadline to do so is December 6.

The Art Park would be located on Aurora Street right across from the Downtown Art Place and the Historic Ironwood Theater, both of which are behind the project as well. It would offer up a public location to display art, host public performances and art classes, and establish an artistic center in the downtown.

The Patronicity campaign funding plus the grant would go toward constructing elements of the park, including a concrete sidewalk and performance area, art and sculpture displays, a mural wall, benches, tables, landscaping, and a parking lot.

"The Ironwood Art Park will be a great addition to the city by providing a creative destination that will bring the community together," says MEDC president and CEO Michael Finney. 

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

New HR director hired for Lifepoint U.P. hospitals

Ruth Solinski has been promoted to a new position with UP Health System and has taken on the role of Regional Vice President of Human Resources. 

HR is no strange job for Solinski, who was previously the senior director of human resources for the company. 

In her new role, Solinski will oversee the HR departments at Bell Hospital, Marquette General and Portage Health. 

She has nearly 20 years of experience directing human resources in Marquette. Solinski holds a bachelor's degree in business and international management from the University of Texas. She also has a master's degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: UP Health System

Bays de Noc CVB has new director

Sara Cole is the new executive director at the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau. Cole will be overseeing events and tourism in Delta County and working with the Delta County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Development Authority to promote the area.

Cole has eight years of marketing, events planning and public relations experience; she comes to the CVB from the Delta County College Access Network and also has worked at Michigan Works! previously.

She has a bachelor's degree from Lake Superior State University and is finishing up a master's degree in public administration at Central Michigan University this year.

"The strong cross-sector partnerships and beautiful natural resources that Delta County has to offer make us a prime location to attract many large scale events. We have a lot to offer, and it will be great to have the opportunity to promote Delta County tourism," says Cole.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau

CCI Systems names new director of managed services

CCI Systems in Iron Mountain has a new director of managed services, Brian Farwell.

Farwell will work within the operations division and has been with CCI since 2007, in both networks integration and sales groups.

He'll be responsible for seeing that projects are completed on time, preparing and managing processes, budgets, and forecasts, maintaining performance and production, and collaborating with other divisions to develop and deliver solutions for customers.

"Every day provides an opportunity to improve our processes and make life better for our employees and customers," says Farwell. 

CCI Systems provides communications network services to commercial and industrial clients.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: CCI Systems

Gladstone's First Bank hires new director

First Bank Upper Michigan in Gladstone announced it will have a new director, as Brian Larche joined its board. 

Larche is president and CEO of Engineered Machine Products in Escanaba and a Michigan Tech graduate.

"We are excited to have Brian elected to our board of directors; he brings a great depth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of management, leadership and finance, along with a strong sense of community," says chair Jeanine Dagenais in the announcement.

First Bank has offices in Gladstone, Escanaba and Garden. It turns 100 years old in 2016.

Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: First Bank Upper Michigan
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