About_Us

Our Staff

Ahvo Taipale – Owner

  • Born in Finland
  • Started Finn Sisu in 1978
  • Member of the Finnish Ski Coaching Association
  • Coached the University of Minnesota women’s team to two national titles
  • Numerous age class wins, including races such as Vasaloppet and Kortelopet
  • Started Team Birkie with Steve Gaskill
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Armen Hitzemann

  • Retired junior high science teacher
  • Started in the ski business in 1982
  • 20 American Birkebeiner finishes
  • Skied his first Birkie in 1976 on wooden skis
  • Meet his wife while working at Finn Sisu
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Tom Novak

  • Started in the ski business in 1971 and with Finn Sisu since 1992
  • 25+ years cross-country skiing (“middle pack” racer, retired. Current “fitness” skier)
  • Expert stonegrinder and tuner since 1975
  • Enjoys hockey
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Greg Weier

  • Worked in ski business since 1974
  • Finn Sisu staff member since 1997
  • Head Coach Mahtomedi Nordic 20+ years
  • Vakava Juniors and Masters coach
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Devin Arenz

  • Finn Sisu employee since late 1990s
  • Expert waxer
  • Builds and races canoes
  • Enjoys lake racing winter and summer
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Tony West

  • Started skiing in High School
  • Finn Sisu employee since 2007
  • Statistics student at the University of Minnesota

Kevin Johnson

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2011 and became General Manager August 2013
  • Has repped for Bjorn Daehlie and Salomon
  • Waxed several athletes to Birkie wins and National Championships.
  • In store trail running expert
  • Is getting a Finnleo sauna

Doug White

  • 38 years on skis
  • Coach/volunteer for Roseville HS since 1997, Head Coach since 2013
  • Has skied all the Great American Ski Chase marathons
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Karen Weium

  • Works inventory and marketing
  • Hobbies include kettlebells and violin
  • Finished 30 Birkies
  • Really wants a Finnleo sauna

Jonah Gilbert

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2010
  • Skied for Irondale High School for 6 years – 2012 graduate
  • Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Minnesota
  • Officer for the University of Minnesota Ski Club
  • Wave 1 Birkie Skier
  • Uses the family Finnleo sauna

Tyler Gilbert

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2011
  • Skied for Irondale for 5 years – 2013 graduate
  • Environmental Engineering student at the University of Minnesota
  • Elite Wave Birkie Skier
  • Uses the family Finnleo sauna

Sarah Tokos

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2012
  • Skied for Irondale High School -2014 graduate
  • Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Meet participant
  • Junior National paddler

Nick Acton

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2013
  • Skied for Eagan High School 6 years-2013 graduate
  • Avid skier/cyclist
  • University of Minnesota ski club officer
  • Economics student at University of Minnesota

Bjorn Adelsman

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2013
  • Skied for Irondale High School 6 years – 2013 graduate
  • Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry student at the University of Minnesota

Sam McVey

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2014
  • Skied for Central High School – 2013 graduate
  • Student at the University of Minnesota
  • Avid rugby player

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