Operating as an Extension of Your Team
APEX works well with business because we understand business. Our leadership and staff are comprised of seasoned professionals and executives with extensive experience leading private sector organizations.
President & CEO
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....
Senior Business Developer
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...
Senior Business Developer
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...
Manager, Member Relations & Administration
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...
Janet Windus is a life-long Duluthian and in 2018 joined APEX in the newly created position of operations specialist. She is responsible for general office administration, assisting with the hiring and training of interns and the coordination of APEX events and promotional activities to maximize...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
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...
"2016 Top State for Business"
"Minnesota lands back in top 10 of tech-business rankings"
"#1 State for Quality of Life"
"Fastest-Growing State for Technology Jobs"
"Among the Top 10 Most Innovative States"
"Among the Top 15 Best States for Doing Business"
"#3 in Overall Healthcare"
U.S. News & World Report