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Finlandia’s Business Faculty Feature Strong Local Connections

September 21, 2021

Finlandia University’s International School of Business (ISB) lives up to its name by maintaining strong international partnerships, teaching students from a variety of countries, and overseeing internships and a range of business activities with an international flavor. However, our faculty also have strong connections to our local area. Five of the six full-time faculty are graduates of local high schools including Calumet, Houghton, Jeffers, and Ontonagon. Additionally, three of our faculty members have extensive work experience from living in other parts of the country and many have worked internationally.

  • ISB Dean Kevin Manninen is himself from the community of Dodgeville, located just south of Houghton. He lived for fifteen years in Finland where he taught at the university-level, worked in regional business development, and coached numerous entrepreneurial ventures from Finland and Russia.
  • Accounting professor Laura Sieders, from Calumet, has over 16 years of executive experience working in Washington D.C. and Virginia for the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the Partnership for Public Service.
  • Sports Management professor Steve Nordstrom, from Atlantic Mine, has years of relevant experience working in athletic administration for both Michigan Tech and Finlandia.
  • Like Nordstrom, management instructor Nathan Perreault is active in sports and other community activities, even serving as a substitute teacher at Calumet High School, his alma mater. Perreault commented that, “our goal is to provide practical business education that gives the students the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their chosen career field. Our faculty are able to combine their connections to the local community with their extensive experience to achieve that very goal.”
  • New marketing professor Gary Kruzich—while not originally from the Keweenaw—has lived and worked locally for over ten years. Kruzich brings 25 years of marketing experience to Finlandia, including the last five years as Director of Athletic Marketing at Michigan Tech. 
  • In addition, this spring new adjuncts with local ties joined the faculty: Eli Karttunen, originally from Houghton, teaches economics, while Finlandia alumnus Haley Makela, also from Atlantic Mine, teaches business computing.

According to ISB dean Kevin Manninen, “We are fortunate to have a faculty team with a wealth of real-world experience combined with strong ties to the Keweenaw and the U.P. in general. Not only are they able share valuable knowledge and perspectives with our students, but they are active and dedicated members of our community. Our faculty have a vested interest in seeing the International School of Business succeed. I see this everyday in the passion they bring to their teaching and student advising.”

Article provided by Finlandia University’s International School of Business.

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