News and Events


UMD-CED Data Security for Business Owners

Friday, September 18, 2015

Is your business at risk for a data breach? Many companies keep sensitive personal information about customers or employees in their files or on their network. Customers and employees expect that every business - large or small - that collects their personal information will protect it. How do you protect your company from a data breach? What should you do if a data breach occurs?

Join us Tuesday September 22 at the UMD Center for Economic Development to hear Bradley Hammer of Dorsey & Whitney LLP discuss data security for small business owners and Karen Brehmer with the IRS who will share information on how the IRS is working to prevent identity theft and what the IRS is doing to help victims of identity theft.

Sign-in and a light breakfast will be from 7:30 - 8:00 am 

and the session will begin at 8:00 am.

Register for the workshop HERE 



Local Technology Firm Doubles Footprint in Downtown Duluth

Friday, September 18, 2015
Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO, with the Compudyne Leadership Team at the APEX Insider event (R to L: Mark Baron, John Marinac, Brian Hanson, Patrick Gibson, Tom Vidovic).
Compudyne’s new office space features several amenities, including a gym and shower rooms, to attract and retain talent.

Duluth, MN - On Thursday, September 17, 2015, Compudyne celebrated the company’s office expansion in downtown Duluth. To fulfill existing and future workforce demand, Compudyne nearly doubled its footprint to 14,500 square feet. To commemorate the completion of the expansion, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted a private celebration to provide investor-members a rare look inside the first-class space, after being at its new location for nearly two years.

Compudyne, founded in Hibbing in 1988, began operating in the region with a focus on building and selling computers. Over the years, the company has transformed the business and today focuses on professional services, managed services, network services and hosted/cloud services.

After two years of communicating between two separate offices in Duluth, the expansion heightened the company’s potential by bringing all Duluth staff into one central location, which has allowed for increased service offerings and better collaboration between teams.

“Previously coming from a space with half the size, we’re excited for the opportunity to provide our team with a large, welcoming office space with room for expansion,” said Compudyne President and CTO, John Marinac. “The build out took six months and the move itself took more than a month. Every employee pitched in to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

“Compudyne recognizes that our region offers many competitive advantages for IT services,” said APEX President and CEO, Brian Hanson. “APEX is proud to celebrate Compudyne’s expansion in Duluth. Our investor-members were impressed by the nature of the facility and commitment to its clients.” 

The new facility features a variety of engaging amenities that includes front offices with full glass for enhanced visibility, a private employee gym with state-of-the-art equipment, and multiple desks and conference tables that are hand-carved by local woodworking artists.

Based in Duluth, Minnesota, Compudyne has five additional locations in Hibbing, St. Paul, Marquette (MI), Houghton (MI) and Anchorage (AK), while also providing services on a global scale with a total of 77 employees.

“As a team, we are committed to working together to provide total customer satisfaction,” said Marinac. “And, we plan to grow and build out within the next five years, adding three to six more office locations.”

# # #

About APEX
The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is the private-sector led business development engine for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. APEX investor-members represent some of the most influential companies in the region, with a collaborative approach to promoting sustainable economic growth. APEX attraction, expansion and retention efforts focus in areas including aviation, data centers, manufacturing, professional services and next generation forest products. Since 2003, APEX has impacted over 3,640 jobs in the region, resulting in an annual regional payroll of over $133 million and contributing to over $18 million in state and local taxes annually.


McGladrey's Three Part Series on Cloud Strategy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Technology moves quickly and, as the cloud evolves, many businesses debate which cloud solutions best benefit and effectively integrate into their overall business strategy. 

Join us for a three-part lunch and learn series to take part in a discussion about what the cloud is, how it works and how it can address your unique business needs. You can register for all three sessions or just those that best fit your interests and schedule.
 Session topics will be:

  • Thursday, Sept. 17 – Cloud security
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 – Clarity, definition and strategic fit of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 17 Unified cloud collaboration tools

We hope to see you at these informative and insightful events.
 
Time
All sessions are 11:30 a.m.–
1 p.m. and lunch will be provided.
 Location
Kitchi Gammi Club
Charter Room
831 E. Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802

Questions?
Contact
Erin Pearson
 

Learn more or register now.

 


Involta Celebrates Three Years in the Region

Thursday, September 10, 2015

You're invited to celebrate Growth+ Innovation+ Impact

Join Involta as we celebrate three years of growth, innovation and impact on Minnesota's statewide and regional economy.

 

Friday, September 25th

11:30 AM Lunch Reception

Duluth Data Center

Lunch provided and tours will be available on request

 

*Please RSVP to JWisehart@involta.com by September 23.


Labovitz School 2015 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

October 1, 2015 (9 am-5:30 pm)

 UMD Kirby Ballroom and Rafters

The first annual 2015 Entrepreneurship & Innovation Conference is a one-day event featuring national, regional and local entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their respective industries. This milestone event brings together Twin Ports students, business professionals, educators, entrepreneurs and innovators for a day of learning, inspiration and celebration.

The 2015 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference, presented by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE), will feature two keynote UMD alumni, several panels, a buffet lunch and an entrepreneur & innovation exposition. The day will conclude with an evening reception from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm in the LSBE atrium.

The LSBE Conference is 100% student run and is an initiative of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. 

Register by September 8th to qualify for the Early Bird Rate!

Note: There are special rates for students and senior citizens,  

UMD Students, faculty and staff attend at no cost but must register.

 Click link to register: https://ibex.d.umn.edu/biz/umdced/workshops/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16

For more information and to see the conference schedule, go to: www.lsbeconference.com

 Click here to visit the Entrepreneurship Conference Facebook page

 


Opening of Lake Superior College's Center for Advanced Aviation

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

You are cordially invited to join LSC President Patrick Johns, Duluth Airport Authority Executive Director Tom Werner, and City of Duluth Mayor Don Ness for the official opening of Lake Superior College's Center for Advanced Aviation in its new home for our Professional Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Technician programs.

 

WHEN:

Wednesday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m.

 

WHERE:

Hangar 103

Duluth International Airport

4960 Airport Road

Duluth, MN 55811

Next to Cirrus Aircraft

 

PHONE:

(218) 733-7737

 


APEX Insider Event Showcases
New Consolidated Communications Facility

Thursday, August 20, 2015
Consolidated Communications hosted an event for APEX investor-members to showcase their new office in Hermantown.
Duluth, MN - On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted an APEX Insider Event at the new Hermantown office of Consolidated Communications. APEX investor-members toured the facility and received inside perspective on Consolidated’s merger with Enventis and the subsequent rebranding.

Previously located in downtown Duluth on Superior Street, the company’s employees have moved to Consolidated’s new office in Hermantown.The new location provides a larger space for the 40 local employees supporting the company’s expanded broadband network in addition to high-speed internet, data, phone, cloud services and wireless backhaul solutions.

“It’s an exciting time for our company as we unify as one brand and one team with greater scale and resources to provide our customers even more value,” said Carol Wirsbinski, chief sales officer at Consolidated Communications. “Our focus remains on providing local, reliable services at competitive prices and ultimately delivering a better experience.”

Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO with regional and national employees from Consolidated Communications.
Consolidated Communications is one of the largest independent communications providers in the United States. In 2014, the company reported revenue of $790.1 million and total connections of 849,452. Consolidated merged with Enventis in 2014 and rebranded the company under the Consolidated Communications name in June 2015.

“Consolidated Communications is a forward-looking company on a trajectory of growth,” said Brian Hanson, President and CEO of APEX. “Our region is fortunate to have access to the resources of a nationally-positioned company and the customer service of a local provider.”

For information on Consolidated Communications, please visit their website at www.consolidated.com.

APEX announces new hire in Business Development

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Tamara Benson
Tamara Lowney joins the APEX team as a Business Developer
Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to announce the addition of Tamara Lowney as Business Developer. Lowney’s role will span all aspects of attracting, expanding, and retaining business in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. She will also support APEX's partner, the Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in Grand Rapids, with business attraction and expansion efforts.

Lowney brings over 17 years of management experience and extensive knowledge in project management and business leadership to APEX. Her career achievements include managing million-dollar budgets, developing sales and marketing strategies, and developing and leading training courses.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Tamara join our teams at APEX and the IEDC,” stated Brian Hanson, President and CEO of APEX. “Her business and hospitality knowledge will add significant value to both of our organizations.”

Prior to her new role at APEX, Lowney was employed with the hospitality division of ARAMARK Corporation, holding positions for the company at various locations across the nation. She also directed food and beverage operations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. Following her time in London, Lowney moved back to Minnesota where she finished her degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in management.

APEX Organizational Updates

Wednesday, August 05, 2015
APEX’s Sandy Johnson recently graduated from the Duluth Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Duluth program
APEX’s Ian Vincent was recently promoted to Senior Business Developer.
Tamara Benson
Tamara Lowney joins the APEX team as a Business Developer
Congratulations to Sandy Johnson, Manager of Member Relations and Administration, for recently graduating from the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2014-2015 Leadership Duluth program.

Ian Vincent was recently promoted to Senior Business Developer. Vincent will continue to lead the marketing of NORTHFORCE and strategic business development projects for the organization.

“We are excited to provide opportunities for growth and development to our APEX team”, stated Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “Sandy and Ian continue to demonstrate leadership in their roles and I’m thrilled that our organization plays a part in their professional development.”  

In late June, Nick Larson, Business Developer, departed the organization to be the Regional Director of the Ruffed Grouse Society. “As an avid outdoorsman, this position will provide Nick the opportunity to engage in a leadership role that supports his passion. We wish him the best,” continued Hanson.
 

APEX is pleased to announce the addition of Tamara Lowney to the APEX team as a Business Developer. Lowney will support the Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in Grand Rapids, MN and lead other APEX attraction and expansion initiatives. She brings over 17 years of management experience and extensive knowledge in project management and business leadership into APEX.


For the majority of her career, Lowney was employed with the hospitality division of ARAMARK Corporation, holding positions for the Company at various locations around the US, as well as directed operations for both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics. Following her time in London, Lowney moved back to Minnesota where she finished her degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in management.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Tamara join our teams at APEX and the IEDC,” stated Brian Hanson, President and CEO of APEX. “Her business and hospitality knowledge will add significant value to both of our organizations.”


“Insider” Look at New St. Luke’s Surgical Expansion

Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Dr. Mary Boylan, Dr. Gary Peterson, Mark Emmel (St. Luke’s Board Chair) Dr. Scott Mikesell, and Sue Hamel at the APEX Insider Event.
John Strange, St. Luke’s CEO/President, with APEX’s Sandy Johnson and Ian Vincent.
The expansion features one hybrid operating room – a traditional operating suite augmented with cutting-edge surgical imaging technology. Other additions include 42 private pre- and post-op patient rooms, four traditional operating rooms, five endoscopy and special procedure rooms.
The 36,000 square foot Surgical Procedure & Care expansion opens August 10, 2015.

On August 4, 2015, as part of a special APEX Insider event, more than 40 APEX investor-members were given a private tour of the just completed St. Luke’s surgical floor expansion. St. Luke’s Surgical & Procedural Care will open August 10, after an extensive $22.5 million, 36,000 square foot expansion project.

John Strange, St. Luke’s CEO/President gave opening remarks to investor-members. “This high-tech facility is the future of St. Luke’s and will dramatically improve the way we deliver health care today. It also positions us to be adaptable in the future with the always-evolving health care landscape.” Strange indicated that the expansion had been part of the administration team’s vision since 1996, and that over the past three years St. Luke’s has invested more than $55 million in capital expenditures.

Dr. Mary Boylan and Dr. Scott Mikesell also addressed investor-members, while several St. Luke’s staff members provided tours of the expansion. The Surgical & Procedural Care floor includes one “hybrid” operating room – a traditional operating suite augmented with cutting-edge surgical imaging technology. Other additions include 42 private pre- and post-op patient rooms, four traditional operating rooms, five endoscopy and special procedure rooms, bedside registration and heated parking. These additions are expected to make the medical experience smoother for patients, patients’ families and health care providers alike.

ERDMAN of Madison, Wisconsin served as the general contractor for the project. Several Duluth companies played important roles in the construction process, including APEX investor-members The JAMAR Company and A.W. Kuettel.

“St. Luke’s has invested in a world-class surgical facility,” stated Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “Having access to advanced technology, superior patient care and hospitality-minded health care facilities, our region has yet another desirable feature to attract new businesses and professionals,” continued Hanson.