News & Events

January designated Finnish-American Heritage Month in Michigan


LANSING — State Rep. Scott Dianda’s (D-Calumet) resolution declaring January 2017 as Finnish-American Heritage Month won approval in the House of Representatives on Thursday, Jan. 12. Michigan is home to the highest density of Finnish-Americans, and more than 30 percent of the Upper Peninsula’s Copper Country residents can claim Finnish ancestry.

“Finnish ‘sisu’ —grit and determination — helped build Copper Country,” said Dianda. “Finnish immigrants went to work in U.P. mines and helped make Michigan the world’s largest provider of copper for decades. Their work ethic, their strong cultural heritage and their belief in the value of a good education have created strong communities throughout District 110, and I’m pleased that my House colleagues have recognized these contributions by approving my resolution.”

Dianda will present the resolution to community leaders later in January at Hancock’s Heikinpaiva, the annual mid-winter celebration of Finnish ethnic identity and culture that marks the midpoint of the winter season. Hancock is also the home of the only institution of higher education founded by Finns in the United States, Finlandia University.

“It’s not at all surprising that Finnish immigrants founded Finlandia University, as Finland is known for its excellent system of education that follows children from their first days in school, and prepares them for either the university or training for a good-paying skilled trade job,” said Dianda. “We would do well to study their system and adapt their ideas to improve our public education system so we do a better job of preparing our students for college or meaningful careers in the trades.

“I look forward to joining my friends and neighbors at Heikinpaiva later this month,” said Dianda. “I invite my downstate friends to join us up in Copper Country for an important and fun celebration.”



Reception for Consul General of Finland Mr. Jukka Pietikäinen on Friday, January 29 at 3pm at the Jutila Center in Hancock

Meet Consul General Pietikäinen and hear about developments in governmental and business relations with the USA. 

The public is welcome and refreshments will be provided

Finland’s Independence to be celebrated at Finlandia University on Sunday December 6 at 2pm

One of the Copper Country’s top cultural actresses will debut a one-act play honoring the 150 years of Finns in the Copper Country at Finlandia University’s annual celebration of Finland’s Independence on Sunday, December 6. The university has commemorated the establishment of the Republic of Finland since the beginning in 1917.

Kris Kyro, who established herself as a leading Finnish-American stage performer for her work in FinnFest USA 2013’s opening ceremony, has written a short play from the perspective of an immigrant woman. She will act in one of the play’s two roles, and will share her vocal talents during another segment of the Independence Day program.

The event gets under way at 2 p.m. at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC), and along with Kyro’s contributions, the program will include performances by the Kivajat Dancers and the Ilon Kaiku kantele ensemble, as well as remarks by Finnish American Historical Archive intern Emppu Siltaloppi, a Finland native who will discuss pre-independence Finland. Throughout the program, Michigan Techstudent and Ewen-native Daniel Grayvold will provide piano accompaniment, as well as a solo performanceof Sibelius’ “Finlandia.”

Also, the city of Hancock’s Finnish Theme Committee will announce the recipient of this year’s Hankooki Heikki award, which is annually bestowed upon a person whose efforts to preserve and promote Finnish culture in the Copper Country are exemplary.

The Theme Committee will also provide refreshments after the program, which is expected to last about one hour. For more information about the program, call FAHC Director Jim Kurtti at (906) 487-7302.

European Commerce Roundtable in Houghton on Tuesday, October 13

We’re going global and you’re invited!

On Tuesday, October 13, the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan will host a European Commerce Roundtable.   The meeting will provide an opportunity for local companies to discussprograms, services and support that are available for key European markets.  MEDC provides statewide international trade assistance and this meeting will provide an opportunity to begin or extend our company’s global business development.


 Attending from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be Terry Potter, Project Director of the UK Trade Office and Chris Bosio, International Trade Manager serving the State of Michigan.



We are inviting all local companies that would like to know more about global market opportunities, business practices and available support, as well as those already conducting international business to share their experiences.

 Program Schedule


 10:30 – 11:30     Overview of MEDC International Trade programs and roundtable discussion for all companies


11:45 – 1:00        MEDC will hold 20-minute appointments with individuals


There is no cost to attend and all interested people are welcome.  Individual appointments may be made at the time of the event.

 The program will be held at the Michigan Tech Advanced Technology Development Complex, 1402 East Sharon Avenue, Houghton, Michigan (Next to the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum)


 For any questions or more information, please visit our web page at:

 We look forward to seeing you!




Congratulations to Ponsse North America on 20 years in the USA!

Check out their 20th Anniversary in the USA webpage and video!





Michigan trade delegation to Finland being planned for 2016

To mark its first anniversary, the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan and Michigan Economic Development Corporation are organizing a trade delegation from Michigan to visit Finland in 2016.   The objective of the delegation is to develop business opportunities for Michigan companies and to showcase Michigan as an investment destination for Finnish companies.  Industries that will be emphasized include forestry, bio/alternative energy and advanced manufacturing.  Eight to twelve companies are sought to participate; financial and matchmaking assistance is provided from MEDC, subject to requirements.  For more information contact  


Celebrate St. Urho's Day! - Monday 3.16 from 5-7pm at the Keweenaw Brewing Company in Houghton

The Michigan Tech Keweenaw Alumni Chapter would like to invite you to join them for a social to celebrate St. Urho's Day!




Monday, March 16, 2015
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Keweenaw Brewing Company
408 Shelden Avenue
Houghton, MI  49931


No cost - A cash bar will be available


*The legend of St. Urho says he chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, thus saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers. He did this by uttering the phrase: "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen" (roughly translated: "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to Hell!"). His feast is celebrated by wearing the colors Royal Purple and Nile Green. St. Urho is nearly always represented with grapes and grasshoppers as part of the picture. To read more about St Urho, go to



Join us in welcoming the Lapland University of Applied Sciences Clean Snowmobile Challenge team. Friday, February 27 from 4:30-6:00pm at the Shelden Grill in Houghton

The Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan will be sponsoring an informal meet and greet to welcome the Lapland University of Applied Sciences Clean Snowmobile Challenge team on Friday, February 27 from 4:30-6:00pm at the Shelden Grill in Houghton. This is the first time a team from outside of North America will be competing in the Clean Snowmobile Challenge. There will be a cash bar. Everyone is welcome! 



Come hear about new forest product innovations by Hannu Vilkkilä, Project Engineer, JAMK University of Applied Sciences - February 25 at 4:30 at the Lakeshore Center

Date: February 25, 2015 – 4:30PM

Location: Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center Community Room

There is no charge; all are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Mr. Vilkkilä will discuss a forest products harvester sawdust collector, patented in Finland, along with new ideas that have resulted from it. He will discuss commercial product development and business opportunities in the United States and worldwide. The team at JAMK is currently developing a follow up product that is a biodiesel operating harvester for diesel/wood biodiesel or hybrid electricity and wood gas.

 This is an opportunity for firms who would like to join us in developing these innovations and then to develop commercial products from these methodologies.  

 For more information contact: Melissa Davis, Managing Director of the New Power Tour, Inc. (906) 281-5986.  This event is co-sponsored by KEDA.

Michigan Tech’s Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2015, March 2-7, 2015, to feature team from Lapland University of Applied Sciences.

For the first time, this year’s Michigan Tech SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge will feature a team from outside of North America as the Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland will be entering an electric snowmobile into the competition. The SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) is an engineering design competition for college and university student members that challenge engineering students to reengineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. In addition to the Finnish team, 20 other universities from across the USA and Canada will compete in the event. In the photo from left to right: Jori Niskanen, Matti Autioniemi, Jarno Hietalahti, Ari Karjalainen and Hanna Viertola