|Meet Northspan's experienced team of business, economic, and community development professionals.|
President & CEO
Randy Lasky has led Northspan since 1989 and has more than 35 years of experience in regional economic and community development. His public and private sector body of work includes economic strategic planning and organizational development, business financing and community project funding development, marketing, downtown and waterfront redevelopment, and economic adjustment crisis management.
Senior Business Developer
Bob Palmquist provides technical and financial assistance to large and small businesses, financial institutions, local units of government, and development organizations. His work includes local and regional revolving loan fund administration, technical loan reviews, grant and loan application packaging, business valuation and succession planning, and feasibility assessments. Palmquist spent 17 years in commercial lending prior to joining Northspan in 1991.
Director, Marketing & Business Recruitment
Director, Northland Connection
Chris Maddy oversees Northland Connection, a public/private-funded marketing and business attraction program for seven counties in Northeast Minnesota and Douglas County, Wisconsin. Prior to joining Northspan in 2001, Chris spent a combined 24 years in broadcast journalism, public relations, and hospitality marketing; and as director of marketing and communications at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth.
Justin Riemer is Northspan's newest member serving as business developer/analyst. His primary responsibilities include grant and loan application packaging, assisting the Senior Business Developer with the ARDC's revolving loan fund, and SBA 7A loan packaging. Justin spent seven years working in the financial services industry and most recently worked at Enbridge Energy.
Director, Upper Minnesota Film Office
Riki McManus manages the Upper Minnesota Film Office (UMFO), which promotes the region to filmmakers. She brings to the office years of experience as a radio talk show host, actor, agent, and owner of a casting company. One of her early career successes was securing all of the Minnesota speaking roles and extras for the film Purple Rain. She has helped cast more than 17 feature films, and dozens of television movies, series, and commercials. McManus is past president of the Minnesota Film and TV Board.
Lisa Bonow oversees day-to-day office operations and provides major support to the board of directors, president, staff, and various programs. She supports the work of Northland Connection and maintains a database of commercial/industrial properties on NorthlandConnection.com. Prior to joining Northspan in September 2000, she worked in administrative and human resources positions with a local restaurant chain, management consulting firm, elder care, and nonprofits.