Category Archives: Alumni Spotlight

Don’t let the bed bugs bite…

New U.P. business putting bed bug fears to rest

Victoria (Tannehill) Gariepy uses SBE degree to start her own business!

A new Upper Peninsula business is helping find and rid the region of a returning pest, the bed bug.

Lady Killers Bed Bug Management was formed by the duo of Munising-area mo

tel owners Victoria Gariepy (2004 School of Business and Economics Alumn) and Angela Tiernan over the summer, when they realized a need to have bed bug abatement services more readily available in the U.P.

“Wherever there’s travel and tourism, there are bed bugs” Tiernan said. Munising just happens to be one town that sees travelers from all over the world, and as a result, bed bugs have indeed shown up. With the nearest abatement specialists several hundred miles away in Minnesota, however, Gariepy and Tiernan realized that they – and all U.P. motel and hotel owners – would be left with possibility of having to keep rooms closed for weeks while awaiting treatment.

“It’s such a growing problem. It’s a fear that we all have,” Gariepy said about potential bed bug infestations in their motel rooms. “It was about June, and a friend was concerned that she had one,” she added. At that time, Gariepy and Tiernan realized that something more could be done locally in the cases where bed bugs are found, to help alleviate the fear and to decrease the response time when extermination services are needed.

By August, after much research, the pair had purchased equipment that could take care of bed bugs for good, or at least until the next customer unknowingly carries more in. Now operating under the “Lady Killers” name, the women began to utilize special extreme heating units in affected rooms to safely and cleanly kill the bugs, which tend to hide in dark, tight corners, including in bed creases, behind headboards, and more. The heating unit is placed in the room, until it reaches and maintains a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. To reach all of the bugs, the room is taken apart to expose as many hiding places as possible, and room components rearranged a couple times during the heating period in order to negate any cold spots.

In addition to leaving no residues, the heating process differs from chemical treatments in that it more effectively kills bed bugs in all life stages, including the eggs, thus preventing natural reinfestation.

Now, after just a couple months of success using the heating units and gaining feedback from customers, Gariepy and Tiernan have decided to expand Lady Killers to include another step, a bed bug diagnostic service.

Beginning in December, the duo will begin using special bed bug-sniffing dogs to help facility owners assess whether or not they do have bed bugs present. “The first defense against bed bugs is their customers in the room,” Tiernan said, adding that this is just about the last thing motel owners want to have to discuss with their guests on any given morning. She and Gariepy were not alone in this thinking; owners of larger U.P. motels asked if Lady Killers would offer the dog service locally, since, like the Minnesota heating unit service, the nearest trained dog comes from quite a distance, out of downstate Kalamazoo.

Like those trained to sniff out drugs or bombs, dogs can be taught to smell and indicate the presence of live bed bugs. Humans can inspect a room, too, the women said, but the process takes a substantial amount of time, and each room must be torn apart in order to look in all types of hiding places. The dogs can perform the same task much more quickly, and without the need to take apart anything. “With the dogs, you’re in and out of a room in minutes,” Gariepy said. Tiernan also noted that the dogs can execute the task at a much higher accuracy rate than humans.

The duo opted to go straight to the person considered to be the country’s authority on the issue, Bill Whitstine, who has been featured with his trained bed bug-sniffing dogs on the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible.” Gariepy and Tiernan will soon spend a week at Whitstine’s training facility in Florida, learning how to work with their two new dogs and to read their cues, before returning with them ready to get to work in the U.P. and the Upper Great Lakes region.

Lady Killers Bed Bug Management’s heating and bed bug diagnostic services will be available to more than just motels and hotels; Gariepy and Tiernan will happily work with any facility that may harbor the pests, including nursing homes, apartments, and even houses. “You can get a bed bug anywhere,” Tiernan said. More information about Lady Killers’ services may be visited online at www.ladykillers.me. They may be contacted directly by emailing BedBugHitman@gmail.com, or by calling Gariepy at 906-202-0812 or Tiernan at 920-737-8349.


Trethewey Honored by Michigan Tech

School of Business and Economics alumni James Trethewey was selected as the recipient for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award.

HOUGHTON, MI (08/07/2013)(readMedia)– James Trethewey, an Ironwood native, was recently honored at the Michigan Technological University Alumni Reunion. Trethewey, a 1967 alumnus in business administration, received the Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to alumni “who have made outstanding contributions both in their careers and to Michigan Tech over a number of years.”

Trethewey began his career with Copper Range and soon joined Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Resources), advancing through management positions over the years. From Ishpeming to Ontario to Cleveland, he worked in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president-controller and chief accounting officer. Along the way, he also earned his MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College.

In his final years with Cliffs, Trethewey was senior vice president of business development and worked with the senior corporate team in reshaping the company, adding international experience to his career. He was a member of the American Mining Association, the Society of Mining Engineers, and other organizations, retiring in 2007.

For Michigan Tech, he’s been on the Advisory Board for the School of Business and Economics since 1994 and has served as a trustee for the Michigan Tech Fund. He and his wife have funded the James and Dolores Trethewey Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) Professorship, given to APMP creator Dean Johnson, and have supported students through scholarships.

Since his retirement from Cliffs, Trethewey has remained active in social, business, and industry activities. He serves on the board of two charities, participates as a member and CEO of the limited partnership DJD Investments, and is a board member of Steel Dynamics Inc., a major US steel producer, where he also serves as chairman of the Audit Committee.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

This story was written by Dennis Walikainen from Michigan Technological University’s University Marketing and Communications.


Par-Tee Time Golf Outing: Success!

The third annual Alumni Reunion ‘Par-Tee Time Golf Outing’ was a big hit among the alumni, students, staff, and faculty of Michigan Technological University as well as with local community members. The scramble was hosted by the student volunteers of the MBA Association and the American Marketing Association as well as the staff of the School of Business and Economics.  Ten four-person teams competed for a variety of cash and sponsored prizes in a fun-filled atmosphere on the greens of the Portage Lake Golf Course. The winners of the tournament were Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics faculty members Josh Filzen, Soonkwan Hong, Dean Johnson, and Joel Tuoriniemi.

Held on a beautiful summer afternoon, the event provided participants a great opportunity to network, golf, and enjoy delicious food and beverages provided by the golf course restaurant, Par and Grill. In addition to cash prizes and a 50/50 raffle, local businesses sponsored over  40 prizes for the post-tournament raffle.  Throughout the day, participants also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the School of Business and Economic’s new dean, Gene Klippel.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the School of Business and Economics, the MBAA and AMA student organizations, the support of the Michigan Tech community and the local businesses the event continues to be successful.  Plans for next year are already underway, and participants can look forward to another weekend of fun, friendly competition, and a valuable opportunity to expand their business network.


Kasza Hired as Women’s Assistant Basketball Coach

Maria KaszaMichigan Tech head women’s basketball coach Kim Cameron announced Monday that former Husky Maria Kasza has been hired as the team’s new assistant coach.

“I am extremely excited to have Maria on staff,” said Cameron. “Since she came to Michigan Tech in 2007, she has continuously shown an insurmountable passion for this school and this team. Her competitive nature, energy and her basketball mind will be huge assets to our team’s ultimate goal.”

Kasza has spent the previous two seasons coaching high school girls’ basketball in Michigan. She spent the 2010-11 season as the varsity assistant coach at Kalkaska High School where she helped the Blazers to a 23-2 record. That season she also coached the seventh-grade boys’ basketball team at Kalkaska Middle School. Last season she was the head coach of the freshman girls’ basketball team at Williamston High School.

Kasza was on the Tech squad for three years, competing only one season due to injury and transfer rules. She was an integral part in two of the team’s NCAA Division II Elite Eight Appearances.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to be back with Michigan Tech basketball, and I can’t wait to get up to Houghton and start working with Kim and the Huskies,” said Kasza. “I believe in everything that this program is, and I’m thrilled to be a part of continuing Tech’s tradition.”

She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Michigan Tech. Kasza was a member of the Dean’s List and Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Fraternity.

In addition to coaching, she spent the past two years working as a project lead for the Michigan Public Health Institute.

Kasza will begin her duties on June 1.

by Ian Marks, assistant director, athletic communications and marketing


Economics Graduate Accepted into top 100 Law School

Coleman Segal to attend McGeorge School of Law.

The School of Business and Economics wants to congratulate Coleman Segal for his acceptance into the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. We’re so proud!

Despite being accepted to UC Berkeley out of high school, Segal chose to pursue his undergraduate degree at Michigan Tech.  After visiting his Aunt and Uncle in the Houghton as a child, he has always loved the area. The wild, beautiful surroundings, the opportunity to participate in the vibrant folk music scene, and the impressive academic reputation were all factors in his decision to come to Tech.

After researching universities, he learned of the Economics program at Michigan Tech.  Economics interested Segal in high school because it can be applied to so many different aspects of life.  Segal said, “The study of economics is in large part an effort to understand the mechanics of a functioning society, and so it relates to many different fields. It also provides a good background for law school, which I have planned to attend since high school.” 

Segal is a California native and will soon return to his home state to pursue his law degree from one of the top 100 Law Schools in the nation.   Applying and being accepted to five law schools –Marquette University in Milwaukee, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, and Albany Law School– Segal selected the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and will begin classes next fall. In addition to their impressive reputation, Segal said he chose McGeorge School of Law based on their location in Sacramento, California.  He finds the area interesting as a center of government, with multiple courthouses at different levels in the immediate area. 

Crediting his experiences with extracurricular activities such as the iOMe Challenge and the Pavlis Institute for advancing his goals of attending law school, Segal noted that Michigan Tech prepared him well for continuing his education.  Mastering skills such as writing and researching papers, in many different subjects, have been instrumental for the pursuit of his law degree.