Innovation + Job News

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MDOT taps Johnson for top U.P. spot

The U.P.'s regional Michigan Department of Transportation office has a new administrator, Aaron Johnson.
Johnson has been with MDOT for 18 years, most recently managing the Ishpeming Transportation Service Center. His new title is Superior Region engineer, replacing Randy Van Portfliet, who has been at MDOT for nearly 40 years.
His new duties will include overseeing 1,900 miles of state trunkline across the Upper Peninsula, 187 employees, and managing both capital and maintenance budgets for the region.
Johnson is originally from Bruce Crossing and is a graduate of Michigan Technological University. He's served as an operations engineer, traffic and safety engineer, maintenance engineer and bridge design engineer with MDOT, after a stint as a U.S. Army officer. He's also chaired the U.P. Traffic Safety Committee, and served on several statewide transportation teams.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation

Northbound starts production of second season

The web series Northbound, filmed in the U.P., announced it will start producing its second season, thanks to a successful fundraising campaign.
The official start date of production is November 29 for the next four episodes of the post-apocalyptic show, which is available online at GeekNation.
The producers say the community support through Kickstarter, arts support from Dickinson County Community Theater and Wild Rivers Realty, and sponsorships they landed from several national brands including GoPro, allowed them to start filming this fall.
Northbound is produced by Lullskull, Ltd. and A Street Films, and began life as a webseries attached to a feature film titled Northstar. The eight-episode second season's storyline is designed to lead directly into Northstar, say creators Seth and Nathan Anderson and producer Jason Hagen in the announcement.
Filming is planned for Iron Mountain, Norway, Channing and KI Sawyer, with the new episodes slated for premiere on GeekNation in the spring of 2017.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northbound Productions

Wise Owl hires new employee

Wise Owl Technologies in Sault Ste. Marie hired its first employee recently.
A family-owned and run computer business in the Sault area since 2010, Wise Owl is expanding in its downtown location with the hiring of a new office manager.
She is a Sault Ste. Marie resident and will be overseeing administrative and customer service roles for Wise Owl. Wise Owl offers services including data management, servers and networking, web, email and cloud services, computer repair and service, and even pickup and delivery. It serves the entire eastern U.P.
Wise Owl is located in downtown Sault Ste. Marie at 211 Osborn Boulevard.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Wise Owl Technologies

Buy Local app hits Marquette County

The Marquette Chamber of Commerce recently launched a new promotional program designed to encourage local shoppers to connect with local businesses.
The Be Local, Buy Local program offers up a mobile app on Apple and Android platforms, similar to national shopping apps, that allows shoppers to register their purchases from participating local businesses and get rewards.
Those include a weekly $300 giveaway, and a seasonal $1,000 giveaway. According to the Chamber, the app is meant to help support local Marquette County businesses, and reward patrons for their local buying habits.
Among the participating businesses are 906 Sports Bar, Border Grill, Campus Pharmacy, Down Wind Sports, Getz's, Jandron's, Lawry's, Marquette Food Co-op, Midtown Bakery, Ralph's Italian Deli, all the local Snyder Drugs, TruNorth Federal Credit Union, Valle's Market, and a long list of others across the county.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Marquette Chamber of Commerce

VAST adds four new hires

Four new hires are on board at insurance company VAST in Marquette.
The firm announced Colleen Posey, Molly Strohm, James Gwinn and Alison Neumann all have been hired recently, all Northern Michigan University grads.
Posey and Strohm will serve the company as benefits accounts managers, both licensed in accident, health and life insurance. Posey is from Naperville, Illinois and graduated in 2012, while Strohm is from Gwinn and graduated in 2010.
Gwinn and Neumann both were hired as commercial lines account managers, and are licensed in property and casualty insurance. Gwinn is from Marquette, a 2014 NMU grad, and Neumann is from Alpena, with a degree in business management.
VAST is located at 300 S. Front Street in Marquette and provides solutions for insurance and risk management.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: VAST


Rubin is new VP for Marketing Department

The Marketing Department, a full-service marketing firm in Houghton, announced a new addition to their staff, as Kyle Rubin joins them as VP of account services.
The hire was made, says CEO Karyn Olsson, to help the firm's clients grow and support their successes so far, and increase the company's reach.
Rubin comes to the Marketing Department as a Michigan Technological University grad, and has experience as an educator, an organizational marketer, and in technical communication.
"Kyle's experience and style is very relevant for most of our clients, especially our manufacturers and tech companies," says Olsson.
The Marketing Department provides marketing strategy and planning, research, branding, promotion, graphic design, copywriting, website design, social media, lead generation, customer service training, photo and video.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: The Marketing Department


New ER doc joins UP Health System-Marquette

A new doctor will be seeing emergency patients at UP Health System - Marquette.
Dr. Sean Hendren comes to the area from Kalamazoo, where he recently finished a residency in emergency medicine at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine. He's also been a flight physician for West Michigan Air Care, medical control physician for the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority, and served as a clinical instructor of emergency medicine at WMU.
He earned his medical degree with a teaching distinction at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, in Iowa City. Hendren is board eligible by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and is licensed and certified in cardiac life support, trauma life support, pediatric and obstetrics life support, critical care support, and disaster life support.
Writer:  Kim Eggleston
Source: UP Health System


Downtown Sault crowdfunds community mural project

Crowdfunding is the way to get public projects done--the new iteration of community fundraising.
Sault Ste. Marie's downtown, along with state help, is launching a new crowdfunding campaign to put up four large murals in touchstone locations around the downtown. They'll be painted by local artists and appear in locations such as near the Lake Superior State University campus, near the downtown farmer's market, and as a public space between the Soo Locks and the downtown.
"The city already has a rich, diverse arts culture, and this dynamic artwork will only serve to showcase that further," says MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer. "We see these pieces engaging the community in a new way with the added benefit that visitors will be able to experience them, too."
The project will be on the state's crowdfunding platform for local communities, Patronicity. Its goal is to raise $16,000 from the community in order to get a matching grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
To find out more about the murals or support the project, visit it online here.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Sault Area Chamber of Commerce


New staffer joins Dickinson Ear, Nose and Throat

Patients at the Dickinson Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic have probably been seeing a new face around the office. That's Aaron Lanning, a certified nurse practitioner who joined the staff at the clinic recently. 

Lanning, who hails from metro Detroit, will be working with Dr. Ray Cameron at the Dickinson clinic. 

The clinic, which is part of the Dickinson County Healthcare System, is focused on medical conditions of the ears, nose and throat as well as testing and treatment of inhalant allergies. Dr. Cameron also specializes in head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. 

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Dickinson County Healthcare System

Dia de los Tacos, Slows BAR BQ set to fuse flavors in summer event

When you ask foodies about their favorite place to eat in Marquette, odds are more than a few of them are going to name the award-winning Dia de los Tacos food truck. Ask the same question of Detroit fare, and you're likely going to get the same response about Slows BAR BQ in Corktown.

In a collision of tastes that could quite likely destroy the fabric of space and time, Slows and Dia de los Tacos are planning a fusion for a single event on August 13 at 5 p.m. at Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette

Dia de los Tacos owner Mike Walker was employed at Slows when the restaurant first opened its doors in Detroit. He and Slows owner/chef Brian Perrone have been friends for about 15 years, and Walker said he and Slows chef Mike Metivia have been talking lately about collaboration.

"Chef Mike Metivia and I have been talking for a bit about smoking a pig together," says Walker. "Once that ball started rolling, we thought it would be fun to do it as Slows meets DDLT."

So later this summer, the chefs and some of the Slows crew will be making the trek north and getting the smoke rolling.
"We'll smoke a pig together, and turn it into delicious BBQ-inspired tacos," Walker says.

Keep an eye on the Dia de los Tacos Facebook page for a time and place.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Dia de los Tacos


Trenary Toast fans rejoice -- a new flavor is here

Fans of the popular Trenary Toast from Trenary Home Bakery are in for a real treat, and a very rare one at that. The company, located right in the heart of Trenary in Alger County, has a brand new product that will be hitting the shelves in the near future.

With the wide success of their cinnamon and sugar Trenary Toast, the owners of the bakery have announced that they will be producing Trenary Toast Cardamom.

Currently the product is available only by stopping by the bakery itself or by contacting them and having a special order mailed to you. But, no worries if neither of those options are quite your style -- according to the Trenary Home Bakery Facebook page, they'll be up and producing it for distribution soon.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Trenary Home Bakery


Border Grill rebrands Third Street location, adds to menu

There is no doubt that Border Grill has legions of fans throughout Marquette County and beyond. A stop in any of their three stores on any given day spells out just how successful they've been over the past 19 years.

But Border Grill is proving that they are not satisfied simply resting on their laurels. Instead, they've announced a new lineup of dishes that are currently exclusively available at their slightly re-branded "Border Grill on Third Street" location.

"Street tacos" and tortas are the featured event at the Marquette location, each coming in beef barbacoa, chicken tinga or chorizo and potato flavors. Queso cheese tops each of them, as does a crunchy slaw. Each of those flavors can also be put in burritos.

Additionally, the Third Street location has also announced the return of fresh fish tacos to the menu on Fridays.

Third Street, by the sounds of it, will act almost like a test kitchen for Border Grill. Some of the items, the company states on their website, might "make their way out to the other stores." But the good news for traditional Border Grill lovers is their favorites are available right down the road at the Washington Street location and in Negaunee.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Border Grill

Michigan Tech rebrands with new campaign

Rebranding is often done by companies, nonprofits and even people. But this year marks the first time Michigan Technological University has ever done it.
After more than 130 years, MTU has rolled out a new university-wide brand and logo, which was presented on campus in late February.
University president Glenn Mroz talked about the reasons for the change, including a better identifier for what Michigan Tech does, and a university-wide consistent message about the school's identity.
The logo is a black-and-gold silhouette of the husky statue in the middle of campus, along with the school's founding date, 1885, and the school's full name. It was chosen by a task force including representatives of faculty, administration, alumni and students.
It touches on alumni pride, and uses the date to let people know that Tech is not a technical or online school, but a historic university. More changes will be coming, as the full rebranding makes its way across all departments, including athletics.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Michigan Technological University


Mikulich General Store & Deli expands menu in downtown Traunik

As we've mentioned before, the last place you really expect to come across outstanding barbecue and smoked food is in "downtown" Traunik, between Eben Junction and Trenary. Well, you can as long as you stop at Mikulich General Store & Deli.

It is located at E2902 H 44 Road, but it's really impossible to miss as long as you've successfully found Traunik.

What's more impressive than finding outstanding barbecue there is now you can find -- wait for it -- CARIBBEAN barbecue. Really. We're not even kidding.

Mukulich General Store, owned and operated by David and Laura Coleman, is now serving up Caribbean jerked chicken or pork, red beans and rice, "Germician" kraut salad and Cuban black bean and ham soup.

In addition to getting smoked, barbecue or Caribbean barbecue meals, you can also snag pizza, including the "take-and-bake" kind, as well as deli items, sodas and more.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Mukulich General Store & Deli

PC Medic wants to help you keep your data backed up and secure

It looks like the folks over at PC Medic are expanding their operations again, this time to help bring the security of system backups to businesses and private users alike.

The service, which owner Scott Martin says has already started getting plenty of attention, allows clients to sign up for a remote backup data solution that allows them to enjoy the safety and security of cloud storage but without having to learn how to use complicated software or buy additional equipment.

"We've had a few customers come into the shop in the last year who lost all of their data," says Martin, who has owned and operated PC Medic for over a decade. "One was a photographer who ended up paying over $2,000 to get her data recovered. We've shown people free data backup solutions, but many of them feel intimidated, or just don't want to deal with the installation and upkeep of backup software."

The company has developed a service known as PC Medic Data Safe, a comprehensive online backup and data storage solution that will backup a single or multiple computer systems as well as mobile devices. The service is done in real time and the data is always encrypted so that only the device that was subject to backup can read it.

What's more is that Martin and his team will do all the backup procedure for their clients. They can track when the last backups occurred and remotely have the service take place, eliminating scheduling and downtime for their clients.

Martin suggests clients reach out to PC Medic for a quote or to have any questions about the service answered.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: PC Medic
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