Engage & Elevate

Engage & Elevate

Mission

To improve the economic well-being of our clients by delivering workable, creative solutions that enhance their effectiveness.

Creative Solutions

Team

Elissa Hansen

Elissa Hansen

President & CEO
ehansen@northspan.org

Elissa Hansen invests her time creatively advancing others' capabilities. Recently, she has facilitated strategic planning processes for numerous public, private, and nonprofit organizations in the Upper Midwest. She also spearheaded the creation of the Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative and has worked to expand and enhance Northspan’s programs. She leads Northspan with over 20 years of experience in business and economic development across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

A Typical Week

Elissa Hansen

Elissa Hansen

President & CEO
ehansen@northspan.org

Elissa Hansen invests her time creatively advancing others' capabilities. Recently, she has facilitated strategic planning processes for numerous public, private, and nonprofit organizations in the Upper Midwest. She also spearheaded the creation of the Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative and has worked to expand and enhance Northspan’s programs. She leads Northspan with over 20 years of experience in business and economic development across Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Bob Palmquist

Bob Palmquist

Vice President
bpalmquist@northspan.org

Bob Palmquist provides technical and financial assistance to large and small businesses, financial institutions, local units of government, and development organizations. He also provides professional services in the area of succession planning facilitation and valuations to businesses in northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. He spent 17 years in commercial lending prior to joining Northspan in 1991.

Karl Schuettler

Karl Schuettler

Research Director & Senior Consultant
kschuettler@northspan.org

Karl Schuettler manages the Northland Connection program, provides support services to local communities, and researches and analyzes economic trends. In the past year, Karl’s work has included numerous economic analyses, reports on business visit programs, and staffing support for several regional partnerships. He holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota. 

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Amanda Vuicich

Associate Consultant & Operations Manager
avuicich@northspan.org

Amanda Vuicich provides technical and financial assistance for business development clients, supports strategic planning work, and oversees administrative operations for the Northspan team. Over the past year, she conducted numerous business visits, assisted with Northspan’s programs, and assisted clients who use loan fund programs administered by Northspan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth. 

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Ashley Luna

Operations Specialist
aluna@northspan.org

Ashley Luna assists in administrative operations for the Northspan team and provides logistical support for regional partnerships. She also works on Northspan powered programs such as Northland Connection, NORTHFORCE, and the Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative.

Work

Welcoming Community Resources

July 27, 2021

Welcoming Community resources cited in our Master Programming document include:  Our baseline will use the Intelligent Community Forum’s indicator benchmarking tools: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/method As part of the Arrowhead Intelligent Region (AIR), this report was recently completed and will assist in the creation of our progress indicators: Arrowhead Region Analytics Report v2 (blandinfoundation.org)  Northspan reviewed both academic literature on concepts related to…

What We’re Reading: June 2021

June 9, 2021

Wall Street Journal: Investors bet on commercial real estate, undeterred by empty offices and hotel rooms. Read More New York Times: Warehouses are sprouting up in fields in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, part of a boom driven by the area’s proximity to New York. Read More Area Development: What’s driving record industrial real estate…

Featured Partner: Duluth Seaway Port Authority

June 9, 2021

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority (DSPA) is an independent public agency created by the Minnesota State Legislature to foster regional maritime commerce, promote trade development, facilitate industrial development, and serve as an advocate for port interests in the Twin Ports and around the world. Led by Executive Director Deb DeLuca, the Port Authority staff provide…

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