Nicolet National Bank, a subsidiary of Nicolet Bankshares, has expanded its commercial banking team in the region with the hiring of three local, veteran bankers. Keith Baars will serve as senior vice president, commercial banking manager and lead a team of experienced commercial bankers in the region. Tony Braun and Mark Tushkowski also will join the team as vice presidents. All three will have offices in the Wausau office and serve all of Central Wisconsin. Baars is a 22-year banking veteran and most recently was with Peoples State Bank. He will lead the commercial banking team in the region. A graduate of Wausau West High School and UW-La Crosse, he started his banking career in credit and collections at a community bank while building a commercial loan and deposit portfolio. Braun has been in banking for 30 years, having come to Nicolet from a long career at Peoples State Bank. He is a graduate of Athens High School and UW-Stevens Point and started his banking career as a teller in college. Tushkowski has 30 years of banking experience in the Wausau community, most recently working with Peoples State Bank. He is a graduate of D.C. Everest High School and UW-La Crosse with an MBA from UW-Oshkosh.


Alexey Markelov joined Surgical Associates and Elevé MedSpa, both at the same Wausau location. Markelov is a board-certified aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon and facial rejuvenation and body-contouring specialist. After earning his medical degree from Astana Medical University in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Markelov came to the U.S. for his general surgery residency at Easton Hospital, Drexel University College of Medicine. Following that, he completed his plastic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center before going on to serve as a plastic surgeon at North Bend Medical Center in Coos Bay, Oregon. As a teacher in the field of medical science, Markelov holds a clinical assistant professor position at Ohio State University School of Medicine.

Robert Devine, a doctor of chiropractic, has joined Baker Borski Chiropractic of Wausau. He interned with Baker Borski Chiropractic in 2019 before joining the practice.


Krista Hoglund was named to a newly expanded role of chief actuary and financial officer with Security Health Plan of Wisconsin in Marshfield. Hoglund most recently served as chief actuary. Hoglund oversees actuarial, underwriting, finance and accounting functions for the company. Her expanded responsibilities include developing and implementing policy, planning and analysis. She has been with Security Health Plan since 2008, serving its actuarial and business intelligence departments. Hoglund is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Stout with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics.

Metal finishing

Jeff Fochs Jr., has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing at Linetec in Wausau, an architectural metals finishing company. In his new role, Fochs will oversee Linetec's national outside sales, inside sales and marketing teams. For now, he also will continue to serve as the east-central regional sales manager. Since joining Linetec in 2012, Fochs has led the eastcentral territory to significant growth by developing long-term customer relationships across nine states. He has 20 years of experience with architectural metal building products and services. Prior to joining Linetec, he worked as a territory manager for Vicwest Inc., a manufacturer of exterior metal building products. He previously was employed by a Seattle-based design/build firm with sales and design responsibilities. His career path also includes territory management positions with a window manufacturer, building materials providers and contractors headquartered in Wisconsin.


Tiffany Rodriguez-Lee was hired as grants and outcomes director for the Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area. Rodriguez-Lee spent the last two years as assistant executive director of the Wausau River Distric-Wausau’s Main Street organization, helping provide leadership and coordination to efforts to create and preserve a downtown that benefits the entire community. She also worked with the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.

New officers/Board members

The Portage County Business Council (PCBC) Board of Directors recently named new officers and board members. 2020 Officers include President Derek Nest, CliftonLarson Allen; Vice President Ray Ackerlund, Skyward; Treasurer/Secretary Craig Aittama, Delta Dental of Wisconsin; Past President Jim Firminhac, WoodTrust Bank; Kate Budd, Ki Mobility; Todd Schroeder, Sentry; Lisa Sobczak, ABR Employment Services and Kelly Zagrzebski, WEC Energy Group. Sarah Klein Duescher, Frank Hardware Co.; Rachael Gadbois, The Pineries Bank; and Nancy RothMallek, Aspirus Stevens Point Campus were all re-elected to a second term. JoAnn Rutta, Investors Community Bank, will serve again as the Ambassador representative on the PCBC board of directors. Tim Worth, The Worth Company, has been elected to his first-term on the board of directors. Tim’s father and grandfather, David and Bob, also served on the PCBC board of directors. Worth graduated from Stevens Point Area Senior High and continued his education at the Savannah College of Art and Design where he graduated in 2003 with a degree in Industrial Design. He spent six years in Phoenix as a professional musician before returning to Stevens Point in 2009 to join The Worth Company. He became operations director in 2012 and has also served as interim plant manager.

Heidi Fischer, a dairy farmer from Hatley, was elected by members of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative to its board of directors at the co-op’s annual business meeting. Fischer, of FischerClark Dairy Farm, will serve three years on the board in a position that had been open. She works on her farm in Northcentral Wisconsin with her husband, John, and his parents, Mike and Sue. She manages the cows and calves. Fischer participated in a Dairy Speaks in D.C. lobbying visit to Washington, D.C., last year, where she met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to talk about issues important to the dairy community. Incumbent board member Jerry Meissner, who farms in region, was re-elected. Brody Stapel, who farms in eastern Wisconsin, remains Edge’s president. Other directors are Todd Doornink, vice president; Mitch Davis, treasurer; Jim Winn, secretary; Michael Crinion; and John Umhoefer, an adviser.

Amy Penterman was named president-elect of the Dairy Business Association. Penterman owns and operates Dutch Dairy in Thorp with her husband. Penterman also worked as a crop insurance agent for 19 years and was in farm lending for 15 years.

Mark Forbis joined IncredibleBank’s board of directors. Headquartered in Wausau, it has branches throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Forbis most recently was executive vice president and chief technology officer of Jack Henry & Associates (JHA). He was with JHA for 32-years. He began his career at Jack Henry while attending the University of Arkansas and he has held a variety of positions ranging from general manager of technology services to vice president and ultimately executive vice president. Forbis also sits on the board of directors at Teslar Software, a company that empowers financial institutions to better serve their customers.


The CoVantage Cares Foundation presented checks totaling $382,183 to local non-profit groups that serve communities where CoVantage Credit Union has branches. The funds were made possible thanks to donations by CoVantage Credit Union members, staff, and community members who responded to the Foundation’s 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign. Charities selected to receive funding from the fourth annual Giving Tuesday initiative and their sponsoring CoVantage branches include The Neighbors’ Place (Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain, Rothschild); Operation Bootstrap Inc. (Stevens Point); United Way of Langlade County (Antigo); Elcho Food Pantry (Elcho); Bridge the Gap, Inc. (Shawano); Midwest Indian Mission, Inc./New Hope Shelter & Transitional Housing (Crandon); National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Northern Lakes (Rhinelander); Suamico Fire Department (Suamico); Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Fox Cities (Neenah, Menasha, Appleton); Iron Endurance/Crystella Rec. Assoc. (Crystal Falls, MI); Sons of American Legion Reino Squadron No 21 (Iron River, Mich.); and Menominee Opera House (Menominee, MIich.)