Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is APEX’s governing body who serve as the officers on our Board of Directors.

Brian Hanson
President & CEO

Economic Development

Brian Hanson became APEX’s President and CEO in June of 2012. During the 15 years prior to joining APEX, he was involved in business and community development in both the public and private sector, specializing in economic development finance, regional marketing, and executive-level prospect development....

Ian Vincent
Senior Business Developer

Economic Development

Vincent joined the APEX team as a Business Developer in May of 2014. His key responsibilities include support of the APEX mission and vision for private sector business development. Ian contributed significantly to the Heat Treating, Plating & Powder Coating business retention and expansion strategy...

Tamara Lowney
Senior Business Developer

Economic Development

Tamara Lowney joined the APEX team as a Business Developer in August of 2015. Her key responsibilities include attracting, expanding and retaining business in the APEX Region. She also works closely with the Itasca Economic Development Corporation in support of business attraction, retention and expansion...

Sandy Johnson
Manager, Member Relations & Administration

Economic Development

Sandy Johnson joined APEX in September of 2008. Her responsibilities include overseeing all administrative details required to support a dynamic, high-energy office environment, while further coordinating company events and assisting APEX investor-members in a variety of capacities. Sandy graduated from the University of Maryland in College...

Steve Burgess
Vice Chair


CEO National Bank of Commerce National Bank of Commerce CEO, Steve Burgess, has over 30 years of banking experience, joining NBC almost two years ago (June 2012 started at NBC), from State Bank Financial in La Crosse, Wisconsin, there he was president and CEO for 11 years. Steve,...

Ravi Dharnidharka
At-Large Member


Senior Vice President, Business Development of Cirrus Aircraft. Ravi relocated from San Diego, CA to Duluth in 2016 to join the Cirrus Aircraft leadership team as Senior Vice President, Business Development.  Ravi leads Cirrus Aircraft in developing strategy and creating new business opportunities.  He has served...

Dr. Daniel Nikcevich
At-Large Member


East Region President & Chief Medical Officer Essentia Health Dr. Nikcevich is a board-certified hematologist/oncologist who also continues a busy clinical practice. Dr. Nikcevich joined Essentia Health in 2002, after he completed his hematology/oncology fellowship and internal medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center.  A Chicago native,...

Brian Thun


Senior Vice President/CFO maurices Brian Thun is the senior vice president and chief financial officer at maurices and has been with the company for more than 20 years.  Brian has been in his current role since 2012 after holding the position of vice president, controller for the...

Brian Maki
At-Large Member


Chairman President & CEO Lakehead Constructors Past Chairman Minnesota Association of General Contractors Board of Directors Iron Mining Association Past President Engineer’s Club of Northern Minnesota Born in Aurora, Minnesota and graduated High School in 1979. Brian worked construction his entire life starting at the age of 15.  He worked...

John Strange


President & CEO St. Luke's Since 1996, John Strange has provided leadership at St. Luke’s in the role of President/CEO. He came to St. Luke’s in 1992 as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining St. Luke’s, Mr. Strange moved his way up the...

Chancellor Lendley Black
At-Large Member


Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth. Lendley C. Black began his tenure as Chancellor of UMD on August 1, 2010.  Dr. Black came to UMD from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2002 until he...

Lisa Bodine
At-Large Member


Co-Owner & President Giant Voices, Inc. Lisa Bodine is Co-Owner and President of Giant Voices, Inc., a Duluth-based strategic marketing and communication firm. Bodine spearheads business growth and dissects business issues with incisive strategic insight honed by 20 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies, the Minnesota...

Bill Bennett


CEO, LHB LBH Corp. Bill is a registered Professional Engineer and serves as the CEO for LHB, a 265 person Engineering, Architectural, and Planning firm with three offices in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. He has been actively engaged in economic development activities in Northern Minnesota and...

Nancy Aronson Norr
Immediate Past Chair


Director of Regional Development Minnesota Power Nancy Aronson Norr of Duluth, Minn. is Director, Regional Development at Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company. She has extensive experience in board governance, loan fund portfolio management, issues advocacy and community relations. Her leaderhsip responsibilities cover a broad array of economic development activities and...

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