Who got married, had a baby, or got a new job? Catch up on what your classmates are doing!
Keep your Alumni Association informed about developments in your life and we'll post your Class Notes as well! Tell us whenever you get married, have a baby, start a new job, get a promotion, receive an award or recognition. We like to brag about our alumni!
Jim Maki ’64, Newberry, was inducted into the Newberry Sports Hall of Fame posthumously at the 7th annual induction banquet. He won numerous races and broke records including the 880-yard run in 1962. While at LSSU (then called Sault Tech) he won the Clifford Everett Award as best athlete. Following college, he served in Vietnam. He died February 3, 2008.
Robert Eggle ’64, Tustin, was remembered in a “Today in History” news story in the Cadillac News. The newspaper reprinted a story from November 1969 when First Lt. Eggle was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with a “V” device for valor, after being wounded in Vietnam. The award was made “for heroism not involving participation in an aerial fight, in connection with military operations against a hostile force,” according to the citation. Eggle was an Army Ranger and a platoon leader. He received the Michigan Tech Board of Control Distinguished Student Scholarship to the Sault Branch of Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1963, after graduating from Cadillac High School. He later transferred to University of Michigan where he completed his bachelor’s degree and then, as a member of ROTC, was commissioned as a “Distinguished Military Graduate,” entering active duty in 1968.
Kevin Borseth ’76, DePere, Wisc., coach of the Green Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team, picked up his 500th career Division I victory. He is 500-188 overall at the Division I level in his 22 years on the bench. Borseth has been named the Horizon League Coach of the Year seven times.
Dan Coombe ’76, Arvada, Colorado, is a bio process engineer ll with AveXis.
Patrick Gabrion ’76, Hallowell, Maine, retired after a 44-year newspaper career, finishing up as page-one editor at the Brunswick (Maine) Times Record. In retirement, he edits a community center’s monthly newspaper, works at a bicycle shop, and writes his own cycling blog.
KP Pelleran Mahoney’78, Montague, is a deputy clerk for the City of Montague as it prepares for a busy election year. Once KP completes clerk accreditation, she will become the city clerk. The office of the clerk serves as the official record-keeper for the city and overseas elections and voter registration. Pelleran has a strong background in public policy and public administration at the local, state, and federal levels. She has been a deputy registrar, elections monitor, and most recently served as an alternate on the Muskegon County Board of Canvassers.
Joel Post ’79, Berthoud, Colorado, is retiring after 35 years in law enforcement with the Longmount Police Department. During his tenure, Post served in a variety of roles. He was among the first people to serve on the brand-new, eight-person SWAT team that started in the late 1980s. He spent 23 years as a sergeant, six years as a patrol officer and six years as a commander. His roles also included working as a detective, in internal affairs and he was among those on the Boulder County Investigations Team, which analyzes officer-involved shootings across the county. Looking back on his police career, which was exclusively with the Longmont department, Post said he is most proud of the opportunities to help his community provided by his work.
Gino Chitaroni ’88, Cobalt, Ont. has been added to the advisory board for RJK Explorations Ltd., a mineral exploration company with a focus on diamonds, gold, silver and base metals. Gino is the president of the Northern Prospectors Association and also a board member of Ontario Prospectors Association. He served on the Cobalt Town Council for 17 years and is currently the president of Polymet Resources, Inc. and Blackstone Development.
Laurie (DeNeve-Ewing) Thalacker ’85, Muskego, Wisc., is a procurement specialist at Konecranes, which helps businesses with all of their lifting needs. Prior to her many promotions at Konecranes, she worked with Spirit Manufacturing Inc. in human resources. Laurie has exceptional knowledge of career services, as she helped students find their dream jobs at LSSU for over 16 years.
Craig Hewson ’88, Vancouver, BC is a benefits consultant at HUB and Chairperson at CPBI Pacific Region. HUB provides employee benefits, business and personal insurance products and CPBI is the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, which works to provide best practices in the benefits industry. When asked for a comment, Craig said, “I have always contributed to the employee benefits industry and now I’m just taking on more of a leadership role. Go Lakers!”
Nevin Buconjic ’94, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, has started a new position as manager of trade and investment with the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. A serial entrepreneur, Nevin founded Startup Canada, a business that helps other businesses get the support they need when in their starting stages of planning. He also holds a position on the Entrepreneur Success Advisory Council. To date, Nevin has published two books entitled 25 Money Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time and Starting Your Own Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide.
Jennifer (Miller) France ’98, Sault Ste. Marie, won the Creative Advocacy Grant for her proposal to enhance the Michigan Chippewa Country’s rural training of local attorneys. In a personal statement, she says “I am truly honored to be selected for the grant. It has always been my belief that in order to truly serve and protect the rights of our indigent clients, that we must have all the tools to do that job. Experience is knowledge and my 16 years of experience in doing indigent defense will now be able to be shared with other public defenders in my area. I want to thank the NAPD for assisting me in furthering my goal of helping my fellow defenders to become the best judicial warriors for the indigent that the U.P has ever seen.”
Jeff Hagan ’97, Sault Ste. Marie, was appointed to the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation as a member of the Board of Directors. Hagan is the CEO of Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission, one of 14 regional agencies in the state of Michigan created to assist local governments with grant writing, community surveys, land use planning, recreation planning, economic and community development, transportation and GIS mapping. The EUPRPDC covers multiple counties in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.
Amy (Tonkin) Metiva ’93, Standish, was featured in the February 2020 version of NATA News, the trade magazine of athletic training.
Jodi (Bye) Orm ’92, St. Ignace, is the regional vice president of Academic Services for Orbis Education, a company that offers accelerated BSN programs for universities that already have a BSN and wish to increase enrollment. Orbis will build simulation centers and labs from the ground up, staff them and run them for the students. Jodi was formerly a member of LSSU’s nursing faculty and also the director of the LSSU Sim Center.
Matthew Saxton ’93, Battle Creek, has been named the new executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, representing Michigan’s 83 county sheriffs. Matthew had worked for the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office since 1994, holding various positions within the law enforcement and corrections divisions.
David A. Smith ’92, St. Clair, is a business development manager at MISUMI USA. Prior to this he worked as a territory manager for three years, which included work in accounts management and procurement of factory automation components. Since graduating LSSU with an engineering degree, David has played many roles in project coordination, and parts consignment among others.
Spencer Streeter ’96, Mattawan, is a corporate human resources business partner for Talent Acquisition, specifically for pipelining and talent flow. He has been with Talent Acquisition since 2006. Spencer is also a human resources business partner with Charles River Laboratories. He volunteers as a unit commissioner for Troop 161 of the Boy Scouts of America in Mattawan.
Jennie Sweet-Cushman ’98, Pittsburgh, assistant professor of political science at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, received The CQ Press Award for Teaching Innovation, which recognizes a political scientist who has developed an effective new approach to teaching in the discipline. In 2019 Jennie was awarded a Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for research on women and politics, funding a project with two other women. Watch a TV interview with Jennie about women in Pennsylvania politics.
Terrance Augustine ’02, Grand Ledge and his wife Bethany spearheaded efforts to raise funds for the firefighting efforts in Australia via their business – Flour Child Bakery. Through their efforts and the generosity of their customers, they were able to wire $8,500 US ($12,650 Australian) to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Terrance is hopeful that this publicity will inspire others to leverage their network and step up to help those in need. See the post on Facebook and while you’re there, check out the photos of their incredible baked goods! They look wonderful!
Nikki (Harrer) Brown ’03 with Stephenie (Gakstatter) McLeod ’11, Sault Ste. Marie, were featured in the November 2019 issue of War Memorial Hospital’s Healthbeat magazine. Residents of Sault Ste. Marie are benefiting from aquatic therapy, a type of physical therapy that alleviates pain in the rehabilitation process. People who have joint replacements or low back pain can benefit from this low pressure, high buoyancy exercise program.
Kali (Burch) McKenna ’07, Midland, is the principal at Parkview Elementary School in Charlotte. Kali returned to Michigan last May after living in Phoenix for 12 years, teaching elementary school and then becoming an assistant principal in the Kryene School District.
Randy Constantino ’08, Salina, Kansas is a patrol officer with the Salina Police Department, where he has been working for nine years. In the article, he is pictured with his brother Geno, who also works for the Salina PD. Prior to this Randy worked at a prison in Oklahoma.
Nicole Craven-Holton ’06, Hastings, has accepted a position as Camp/Site Director for Wesley Woods United Methodist Camp. Nicole said she has loved Wesley Woods since she started going in the 1990s. She is looking forward to meeting all the new deans and campers and coordinating the retreat in the off season! Prior to this, Nicole had been employed in park maintenance for Ada Township for the past four years.
Dan Felsner ’08, Chesterfield, is a senior account specialist for Solta Medical, covering the northeast. Dan has been with Solta since 2016.
Jessica (Eash) LaMarch ’00, Gladstone, was named director of admissions of Bay College in Escanaba in 2016. Jessica worked as a recruiter at Bay College for two year before being promoted to director. Prior to coming to Bay College, she worked in events management for the University of Michigan and then for Michigan State. Jessica majored in recreation management at Lake State and still speaks very highly of her advisor, retired professor Deb McPherson.
Rebecca Missler ’04, North Pole, Alaska has been chosen to receive a Milken Educator Ward, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 grant. Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. The honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network and attendance at the Milken Educator Forum in Indianapolis in March 2020. Rebecca did her graduate work at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. Congratulations to Rebecca! Read more
Theresa Ouimette ’03, Bruce Mines, Ont., recently moved her women’s clothing store – BOHO – to the core of downtown Sault Ste. Marie on Queen Street. Theresa, who is BOHO’s sole owner and operator, said “… we strive to have Canadian brands. We’re very patriotic.” Theresa was born and raised in Iron Bridge and lives now in Bruce Mines, “because I want my kids in a smaller community with me, still being in business in the Sault. It’s like the best of both worlds for me.” Theresa worked in social services for the federal government in Ottawa, Manitoulin Island and Alberta before returning to Ontario. Opening the clothing store was a leap of faith, and Theresa said, “This profession is where I’m meant to be.” Learn more about BOHO on the shop’s Facebook page.
Debbie Ragogna ’03, Toronto, has joined Optimum Talent as vice president of its Toronto Executive Search Team. Debbie has worked in the recruitment industry for fifteen years at three of North America’s most respected executive search firms. Most of her recruitment is at the CEO, president, vice president, general manager and board member level. Optimum Talent collaborates with organizations to recruit, develop, engage, retain and transition talent.
Craig Salvalaggio ’03, Rochester Hills, was recently named chief operating officer (COO) of Applied Manufacturing Technologies. Prior to this Craig had been the Vice President of Operations Services at AMT. As COO, Craig will lead overall operations of AMT services along with sales, engineering and talent management. Craig said: AMT’s culture has been based on a foundation of hiring the best people, treating them well, and advancing high performers with expanded career paths – much like Lake Superior State University’s engineering program teaches all of its graduating students. The foundation set by Jim Devaprasad and all the professors who demand excellence has created a brand for the program and recipe for success in the robotics and automation industry. The countless evenings and weekends at the lab and CAS have prepared me, and all of AMT’s LSSU alumni employees, with the notion that nothing is free and you need hard work and preparation for what our industry demands. As Chief Operating Officer at AMT, we are looking to continue growing our business as a systems integrator and engineer firm to ensure that we continue to create a home for graduating students in robotics and automation.
Brian Stearns ’00, Oscoda, a fire engineering equipment operator for the Huron Manistee National Forest, traveled to Australia as the only Michigan firefighter to assist with the thousands of wildfires spreading across the continent. He spent about a month there. Upon arrival he said there had already been 12 million acres of land that had been burned. Stearns received the call to depart on December 28 and returned on January 29. While he was there, Brian said he worked with a crew of five men to control fire, operate equipment, plan and map the future work they were going to do among other things. He said about 15 to 20 days were spent fighting fires and the five days were spent planning and mapping and fulfilling other responsibilities.
Ian Bowyer ’12, Rudyard, is the director of sales marketing at Smart Start Michigan. Prior to that he worked in outside sales for Manufacturer’s Supply.
Landon Cooke ’19, Cape Coral, Florida, got an internship in Vienna with the US State Department working on nuclear security.
Benjamin Eckola ’14, Petoskey, has been promoted to sergeant by the Gaylord State Police Post. He joined the Michigan State Police in 2014 and has served as a road trooper, field training officer, firearms instructor, department wellness instructor, recruiter and temporary staff instructor.
Emily Estep ’17, Cheboygan, has one more year of medical school and dreams of returning to northern Michigan to serve there.
Tyler Fielder ’17, Indian River, was accepted to American University for a masters in International Affairs.
Ryan Laprade ’19, Orlando, is working for Disney in their college program. The Disney College Program is for students who want to take a semester off and work at Disney. Ryan was one of 12,000 students hired from a pool over more than 120,000 applicants. Program participants fulfill a variety of jobs throughout all of Disney and at their hotel resorts. The program is a foot in the door for those who want to work at Disney for a career.
David Lockhart ’11, Sault Ste. Marie, is the director of business development for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. His role is to connect with Sault Tribe business owners (or prospective business owners) to support business start-ups, doing business on Tribal lands, and business growth. The Tribe partners with regional service providers (such as Michigan Small Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, Michigan EDC, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, EUP Regional Planning and Development, etc.) to offer business consulting in the areas of job creation/retention, business start-ups, formation on/relocations to Tribal lands, sales growth, government contracting, and capital formation. David and his wife Matty also operate Bloom Co., a home-based floral business, and they are pretty excited by the community support they’ve received in the first 6 months. They have some really fun projects in the works for 2020 and can’t wait to share them with everyone! To get the latest Bloom Co. news follow them on Facebook or Instagram @bloomcosault or check out our website bloomcosault.com.
Kassidy Matthews ’18, Evansburg, Alberta, graduated from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Academy and is a mountie in Alberta.
Tracy McDonald ’10, Rochester, is a business development representative at Health Information Associates, Inc. Prior to this Tracy worked in sales at Exela Technologies in Troy.
Logan Methner ‘16, Detroit, passed the Michigan bar exam and began practicing tax law in Detroit.
Christine Moffett ’19, League City, TX, was accepted into the master’s program in global environmental policy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Noelle Mongene ’17, Pontiac, graduated from Oakland University in December with a master of science degree in psychology, with a concentration in behavioral health. She has been awarded the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship to continue working toward a doctorate in psychology at Oakland University.
Stephanie Porath’19, Escanaba, is the assistant airport manager for Delta County Airport. Prior to this, Stephanie was a staff accountant at Besse Forest Products Group for four years.
Jordan Tianen ’19, Rapid River, is in the manager training program at Marshall’s. She is part of the National Society of Leadership and Success at the highest level, and she utilizes this knowledge in her manager training program. Jordan was promoted from a coordinator to key holder within two months of employment at Marshalls, and is hoping to be an assistant manager within three months.
Richard Wells ’13, Beulah, is a partner for Modern District Financial, powered by American Senior Benefits. Modern District Financial is a retirement planning company, which helps with Medicare. Prior to that, he worked as a deputy sheriff in northern Michigan for four years.