The Regional Business Climate
APEX investor-members are focused on growth. Their successes and achievements have a positive impact on the region. Browse recent headlines to get a sense of how investor-members are impacting, and demonstrating their commitment, to the region.
APEX hosts insider event at Wheeler Associates new office space
Monday, June 13, 2022
Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) was pleased to host an APEX Insider Event at Wheeler Associates’ new office space on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. The event featured Wheeler’s beautifully renovated, state-of-the-art space downtown Duluth in the Medical Arts Building on Superior Street.
“APEX is thrilled to bring back Insider Events after a two-year hiatus. This was an excellent opportunity to celebrate Wheeler’s investment in its space, the Wheeler team and the greater community,” said Lisa Bodine, APEX Chair. “Wheeler’s new space accommodates a hybrid business model, creating spaces to meet with clients and partners both in-person and virtually. The wa...
APEX board of directors announces 2022 executive committee
Monday, January 31, 2022
The APEX board of directors elected its 2022 executive committee members at its annual meeting Jan. 27.
APEX 2022 Executive Committee Officers and At-Large Members
To view full list of elected Officers, visit BusinessNorth
APEX looks at impact of health and wellness on economic development
Monday, January 31, 2022
The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted its annual board of directors and investor-member meeting and reception on Jan. 27 at Pier B Resort in Duluth and virtually via Zoom.
At the event, APEX welcomed virtual keynote speaker Andrea Walsh, president and CEO of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed nonprofit healthcare organization in the nation. Walsh shared insights on the importance of business partnerships in improving health and wellbeing, highlighting the Itasca Project: First 1,000 Days as an example of a successful, meaningful business/community partnership.
To view full article, visit BusinessNorth
A push to spur rural relocation
Friday, January 21, 2022
APEX’s Brian Hanson, along with Investor-Members Itasca Economic Development Corporation and several community partners are quoted in BusinessNorth’s continued reporting on our regional workforce shortage and what industry leaders are doing to find and retain crucial staffing during the pandemic. This article focuses on relocating remote workers to rural areas, including Itasca County, and what’s being done to draw and retain those workers to those areas.
Northeastern Minnesota’s small town life, community unity, available jobs and recreational opportunities are key advantages for those looking to relocate, said Brian Hanson, president and CEO of the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX...
Addressing the workforce shortage
Friday, January 14, 2022
APEX’s Brian Hanson and Ian Vincent, along with Investor-Members The Entrepreneur Fund and Lake Superior College, are quoted in BusinessNorth’s January edition on our regional workforce shortage and what industry leaders are doing to find and retain crucial staffing during the pandemic.
Keeping talent in the Northland is key, said Hanson, noting that primary and secondary schools in the region are addressing this issue through a variety of programs. Low and no-barrier training programs are also ways the community and companies can help keep people in our area, said Ian Vincent, senior business developer at APEX and president of th...
APEX Board & Investor-Member Meeting Highlights
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
APEX hosted its bi-monthly Board & Investor-Member Meeting virtually on May 6, 2021. Steve Licari, CPA with Licari, Larsen & Company, shared the results of APEX’s 2020 financial audit. The audit went well, due in large part to solid accounting practices, reasonable checks and balances, and oversight from Brian Hanson and the Finance Committee.
APEX has hosted several roundtable discussions this year, bringing regional leaders together to discuss and develop solutions for key challenges in specific areas. Ian Vincent, Senior Business Developer, and Matt Shermoen, Business Developer, shared updates on three recent discussions.
Childcare - APEX continues to help with childcare attractio...
Celebrating the Long-Lasting Impact of Dr. Pat Johns, Outgoing Lake Superior College President
Monday, July 15, 2019
Economic development is all about people, and it truly begins with education. In northeast Minnesota, we are fortunate to be home to several of the state’s finest higher education institutions. The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) has been proud to partner with Dr. Pat Johns, recently retired president of Lake Superior College (LSC), on many levels over the years, creating opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in the type of jobs that lend strength to our economy.
Dr. Johns led an impressive career in academia and always recognized the important role that higher education plays in the overall wellnes...
APEX Welcomes Bailey Plemel as Operations Specialist
Monday, July 15, 2019
Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to welcome Bailey Plemel to the team as Operations Specialist. Plemel brings a strong background in customer service, having worked in insurance, regional retail, hospitality, news/media and restaurant industries.
“Bailey’s energy and passion for the region make her a great fit for APEX; we’re pleased to welcome her to the team,” said Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “Her diverse experience, organizational skills and drive to learn will help her provide excellent service to APEX and our investor-members.”
The APEX Operations Specialist serves as the first point of contact for client...
APEX Annual Meeting Focuses on the Connection Between Industry and the Economy
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Duluth, Minnesota: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted their annual Board of Directors and member-investor meeting and reception on January 15, 2019 at the Kitchi Gammi Club. APEX was pleased to welcome Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc. (Cliffs) as the featured guest speaker. Goncalves shared insights and opportunities for clean steel manufacturing in Minnesota and discussed Cliffs’ leadership role in addressing climate change issues.
Cliffs has long been a global leader in iron ore pellet production, specializing in using ferrous scrap to create high-grade customized pellets that can be fed directly into blast furnaces. Thi...
APEX Insider Event Celebrates RSM’s 100 Years of Service
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Duluth, MN: Yesterday, RSM celebrated 100 years of serving the region with tax, audit and consulting services at the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion’s (APEX) Insider Event at their newly-renovated RSM office in Downtown Duluth on September 26, 2018.
“RSM’s long history of service has been critical to the success of many regional businesses. The RSM team helps drive investment every day by sharing their deep understanding of the accounting nuances facing mid-market businesses in the region,” explained Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “The APEX Insider Event celebrated RSM’s investment in the the Duluth office, and highlights 100 years o...
Future Forest Stewards Invites High School Juniors and Seniors to North Star Expo
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Grand Rapids, MN: Future Forest Stewards (FFS) is pleased invite high school juniors and seniors to learn more about careers in Minnesota’s forestry industry at the Minnesota Timber Producers Association’s 65th annual North Star Expo. The expo will be held on September 14-15, 2018, at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
The expo will provide students first-hand opportunities to learn about the importance of the forestry industry in Minnesota and the wide variety of jobs that make Minnesota a strong timber and timber products producer. The industry includes career opportunities in logging, trucking, foresters, millwork, mechanics, research, manufacturing, forest products an...
APEX Hires New Operations Specialist
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to welcome Janet Windus to the team in the newly created position of Operations Specialist. Windus comes to APEX with a wealth of experience in accounting and payroll services, customer service, and administrative functions. She joined the APEX team on April 11, 2018.
“We’re so pleased to have Janet as part of our team,” said Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “Her 18+ years of professional office experience and organizational skills will help streamline our operations. She is already a great addition to APEX.”
As Operations Specialist, Windus is responsible fo...
APEX Annual Meeting Focuses on the Connection Between Water and Industry
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Duluth, Minnesota: On January 25, 2018, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted their annual Board of Directors and investor-member meeting and reception at the Kitchi Gammi Club. The meeting featured guest speaker LaMarr Barnes, CEO of U.S. Water Services, Inc. (U.S. Water) speaking about the interconnection of water and industry in our region and the importance of understanding and managing water in a sustainable way.
Barnes shared valuable insight into the changing hydrological cycle, explaining the intricacies of the water/energy nexus throughout industries. Generating electrical power, agriculture, public water and industry are the largest water-using sectors in our econom...
APEX Investor Members Support ISD 709 Construction Technology Program
Friday, December 15, 2017
Duluth, Minnesota: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) and several APEX investor-members are pleased to support ISD 709’s Construction Technology program. The Boldt Company, APi Group, Inc., United Piping, Inc., The Jamar Company and Northland Constructors donated much-needed cold weather work gear and safety equipment to the Construction Technology program.
“When the district reached out to APEX, we were more than happy to get involved,” said Sandy Johnson, Manager, Member Relations and Administration at APEX. “Many APEX investor-members seized the opportunity to support the next generation of trades workers.”
This fall, students in the Construction Technology program have been working i...
APEX Debuts 360-Degree Virtual Reality Tour
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Duluth, MN: The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) is pleased to announce the availability of a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tour that provides prospective business partners and site selection consultants a full-immersion experience of the APEX region from anywhere in the world. The Place VR tour, created by Golden Shovel Agency, highlights existing industry and infrastructure and showcases the region’s high quality of life.
“It’s one thing to see images or video of our region. It’s quite another to be fully immersed in the Place VR tour,” said Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “This innovative approach showcases many element...
Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project to Support 8,600 Jobs in Northeast Minnesota: New Economic Impact Study from UMD's BBER
Monday, June 12, 2017
Duluth, MN: The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics recently released the results of the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Construction Economic Impact Study (EIS). The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) requested this study be conducted to help stakeholders better understand the significant contribution this project will provide. The BBER concluded that the project will create approximately 8,600 jobs and will represent an investment of over $2.0 billion in the 15-county study area in the northern portion of the State of Minnesota.
“APEX supports the Enbridge Lin...
APEX Annual Meeting Highlights Economic Optimism for Region
Friday, April 07, 2017
Duluth, MN: On January 26, 2017, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted their annual Board of Directors and investor-member meeting and reception at the Kitchi Gammi Club. Nearly 100 regional, public and private sector leaders were in attendance for the event and to hear guest speaker John R. Elmore, Vice Chair of Community Banking and Branch Delivery at U.S. Bank. Elmore shared his insight into recent economic shifts.
Elmore expressed optimism for economic development in the region of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Equity markets and the treasury yield curve are trending upwards. Overall wages have been on th...