Did you recently receive an advanced degree, certificate or award? What about a promotion or new job?
Keep your Alumni Association informed about developments in your career and we'll add them to the next Class Notes section! We like to brag about our alumni!
Rick Fitzpatrick, att. ’86, Sault Ste. Marie, was elected to the Board of Directors of Central Savings Bank, an area bank more than 100 years old with multiple regional branches. Rick has owned and operated Pingatore Cleaners, Inc. since 1986. Both Rick and his business have been recognized with several awards from the Sault Chamber of Commerce and Lake Superior State University. Rick’s love of his community has led him to contribute philanthropically to multiple area organizations, including an annual scholarship to a Sault Area Schools Skills Center student. LSSU has also been a frequent beneficiary, as Rick has supported numerous capital projects, golf tournament fund raisers, Laker athletics and various other LSSU projects and departments. Rick is very involved with Immanuel Lutheran Church, serving at various times on Church Council, Board of Elders and the school board. Read more.
Mike Mayer ’83, Shanghai, China is the vice president and managing director AP for ABC Technologies Inc. in China. Previous to this, he worked 20 years at Ford and 10 years at FCA. 70% of that time was spent living outside the US in places like Mexico, Germany, Japan and China – the lion’s share of that in China, 16 years. He returned to Michigan in the summer of 2017, retired from the big boys and joined the supplier ranks. More details on Mike’s adventures overseas
Craig Remsberg ’80, Boyne City, retired in August after 39 years as a police officer with the Boyne City Police Department. After graduating from LSSU Craig worked for one month on Mackinac Island and has been with Boyne City PD ever since.
Garfield “Gar” Atchison ’91 has been named chief executive officer of UP Health System-Marquette and market CEO of UP Health System. A veteran healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience, Atchison joins UPHS-Marquette from Frye Regional Medical Center (FRMC), another Duke LifePoint facility in Hickory, North Carolina. During his tenure there, he served in several leadership positions, including as chief operating officer (COO), vice president of business development and market operations director for the hospital’s physician network, before assuming the role of CEO in 2016.
Bryan Fuss ’98, Minneapolis, now works at Sioux Falls Power Hockey where he is a head coach for the U18/15 teams. Prior to this Bryan worked as a Director of Hockey Operations for Madison Capitals Youth Hockey.
Rita (Schultz) Gordon ’90 & ’94, Belleville, graduated with her PhD in higher education administration from Western Michigan University in April 2019. Dr. Gordon’s research investigated university auxiliary services: a review of factors impacting privatization decisions. She currently serves as administrative director at University of Michigan-Dearborn and previously served as the business affairs officer at Wayne State Law School.
Jill (Dolphin) Leonard ’98, Marquette, recently completed the Marquette half-marathon. That’s 13.1 miles, in case you’re counting. And this from a woman who used to dread the one-mile timed run during basketball practice! Read the whole story. Jill played basketball for LSSU for two seasons in the 1990s; she was a recipient of the Christine Comito Scholarship and was involved in Student Government.
Theresa Heindlmeyer (McGuire) ’95, Holland, MI, is Vice President of Nursing Excellence: Project Management for Healthlinx. Prior to this she worked at Mercy Health St. Mary’s.
Representative Pete Stauber ’90, Hermantown, Minn., proudly displays a Laker flag outside his office door. Congressman Stauber is currently serving his first term in Congress as the Representative from Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. In September he had an opportunity to be a passenger aboard the Roger Blough on a journey from Duluth harbor to Sault Ste. Marie. Rep. Stauber was accompanied by Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman, and they made the trip to highlight the critical importance of the Soo Locks system to the iron ore and shipping industries, and thus the iron industry nationwide.
Theresa Turmel ’98, Sturgeon Falls, Ont., completed her PhD in Indigenous Studies from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Her dissertation is being published and will be available in 2020 from ARP Books in Winnipeg and Vancouver. The title is: “Mnidoo Bemaasing Bemadiziwin: Reclaiming, Reconnecting and Demystifying ‘Resiliency’ as Life Force Energy for Residential School Survivors.”
Tabitha Bergman ’03, Anchorage, Alaska, is a teacher at Kasuun Elementary School in Anchorage. She received a flag from the LSSU Alumni Association and had it hung with flags from the schools of other teachers in the gym. If you are a teacher or work in a school and would like a Laker flag to hang in your classroom or elsewhere in your school, let us know and we will send you a flag free of charge!
Nikki (Harrer) Brown ’03, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is currently a physical therapy assistant at War Memorial Hospital Rehab Center. Nikki is specializing in Aquatic Workouts.
Sophie Chandauka ’00, London, England is the keynote speaker for Littler’s first European Employer Conference for senior HR and in-house legal professionals, which was held November 14. Sophie is the Global COO of Morgan Stanley’s Shared Services and Banking Operations. Prior to that, she was EMEA CAO of Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division. Previously, as Head of Group Treasury (Legal) at Virgin Money, she led execution of strategic M&A and corporate finance activity, including the acquisition of Northern Rock, the flotation of Virgin Money and other deals in excess of £13billion. As a former Senior Associate at global firm Baker McKenzie, she advised clients such as NIKE, The Body Shop and Macquarie. She has served on the Boards of Trustees of Sentebale and Protimos. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry to support children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Protimos supports development lawyers in resource-rich emerging economies. A Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and Cofounder of the Black British Business Awards, she is a recipient of many industry awards and featured as one of the top 100 most influential ethnic minority business leaders in various publications over the years, including in the Financial Times and Sunday Times. Sophie is the Strategic Adviser to Morgan Stanley’s African and Caribbean Business Alliance and a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) – the preeminent membership organisation committed to increasing the number of global black executives in c-suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. She serves on the International Presence Committee of the ELC. She was featured in the 100 Women to Watch Supplement of the Female FTSE Board Report and is an Ambassador of the 30% Club (a campaign that originated in the UK with the goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE 100 Boards). In 2018 she was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for her exemplary contribution to the Commonwealth.
Scott Collins ’08, Mattoon, Illinois, has been named assistant professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences in Texas Tech University’s Department of Natural Resources Management. Scott’s research centers on a better understand of how landscape disturbances, invasive species, climate change and other factors influence the health and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.
Steve Eles ’03, Houghton, placed 1st in the 2019 Duathlon National Championships sprint race in Greenville, South Carolina and 2nd in the Olympic Distance race. A duathlon is run/bike/run; the sprint race is 5km/20km/2.5km and the Olympic is 10km/40km/5km. He also competed in the 2019 Duathlon World Championships Olympic Distance race in Pontevedra, Spain placing 14th.
Craig Imeson ’00, Green Bay is a Senior Systems Engineer at BelGioioso Cheese Inc. Prior to this he worked at Natural Beauty Growers as a Network and Database Administrator.
Joel Jakubowski ’04 – After eleven years working for the Division of Parks and Recreation in North Carolina, he accepted the facilities manager position at Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Also, he came up to LSSU for Great Lake State Weekend, had a fun time, and can’t wait to return!
Tracey (Ordiway) Laitinen ‘02, Barbeau, was made operations manager at the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. Laitinen oversees business growth at the Sault Smartzone and Incubator and assists with operations at Sanderson Field Municipal Airport.
Nick Meldrum ’06, Littleton, Col. is the director of equipment room operations for the University of Denver. Nick got to return to his alma mater during Great Lake State Weekend 2019 when D.U. took on the hockey Lakers in Taffy Abel Arena. Nick said it was really cool to be back on campus for a game – his first time back in 11 years. When Alumni Director Susan Fitzpatrick asked Nick how he wound up at the University of Denver, he told this story.
Erik Smith ’01, Alpena has been named Undersheriff for Alpena County.
Shelby (LaBuhn) Brunner ’11, Silver Springs, Maryland, is a project specialist for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). In that role, Shelby helps NOAA manage two international ocean observing projects. She serves as a point of contact for the Tropical Pacific Observing System 2020 Distributed Program Office, which helps staff 6 task teams distributed around 12 nations. She is also involved with a larger, international Observation Coordination Group through JCOMM. Her portfolio also includes a small effort towards biogeochemical Argo floats, a novel take on profiling float technology that will transform our understanding of the global oceans.
Dwight Daniels Jr. ’16, Jackson, MI. Dwight works for Edward Jones. He previously worked for Anesthesia Business Consultants as an accountant.
Alexis Donovan ’18, Frankfort, played a key role in saving the life of a cheerleader at a high school football game.
Jason Kerr ’18, Pattaya, Thailand tied for 3rd place in the Sault Golf Club’s Centennial Labour Day Open, held September 2, 2019.
Erin Knight ’19, Shanghai, China figured it was time to see the world after she graduated, so she decided to use her Early Childhood Education degree to the fullest. She earned a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, researched job opportunities, and found the perfect fit in Giraffe English. Read about her adventure.
Katie Watchorn ’11, Sault Ste. Marie is now a CTE Readiness and Digital Business Instructor at Sault Area High School.
Rachel Williamson ’11, Horton, Mich., is an accountant for Hi-Lex Controls in Litchfield. Prior to that Rachel was an accounting specialist for Thome PACE.