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

Karen Weium

  • Works inventory and marketing
  • Hobbies include kettlebells and violin
  • Finished 34 Birkies
  • Has a Finnleo sauna

Bjorn Adelsman

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2013
  • Skied for Irondale High School 6 years – 2013 graduate
  • Graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a degree in Chemistry

Nate Rhode

  • Started at Finn Sisu in 2014
  • Skied for Irondale High School – 2013 graduate
  • Graduated from the University of St Thomas in 2017 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering
  • Avid cyclist