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.


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...

Sandy Johnson
Director, Member Relations & Administration

Economic Development

Sandy Johnson joined APEX in September of 2008. Her responsibilities include overseeing 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 also leads the APEX Membership Committee and organizes effort...

Bailey Plemel
Operations Specialist

Economic Development

Bailey Plemel joined APEX in June of 2019. As the Operations Specialist, Bailey utilizes her attention to detail and organizational skills to help the APEX team achieve their goals. She is responsible for general office administration, APEX's social media pages, assisting with the hiring and trainin...

Matt Shermoen
Business Developer

Economic Development

Matt joined the APEX team in 2019 as Business Developer.  Matt is responsible for attracting, expanding and retaining key strategic employers within the region, and leverages his sales expertise to build relationships with management personnel, demonstrating how expanding in or relocating to the APEX region lead...

Ian Vincent
Senior Business Developer

Economic Development

Ian Vincent joined the APEX team in May of 2014. His key responsibilities include team leadership in manufacturing and workforce development. He played a managing role with NORTHFORCE.org from 2013-2018, and continues in an oversight capacity. Vincent was also elected president of the Duluth workforc...

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Economic Development Board

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