Engage & Elevate

Engage & Elevate

Mission

To be expert navigators, transforming ideas into accomplishments.

Creative Solutions

Team

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Elissa Hansen

President & CEO
ehansen@northspan.org

Elissa Hansen leads Northspan with more than 20 years of experience in business, community, organizational, and economic development across Minnesota and Wisconsin. She invests her time creatively advancing others’ capabilities. In Elissa’s role at Northspan, she engages with and elevates every client by facilitating tough conversations and moving organizations forward with action-oriented strategic methods. She works to create a setting for meaningful communications that respects diverse perspectives, creates joint resolve, and inspires individual and group action.

A Typical Week

EHansen500

Elissa Hansen

President & CEO
ehansen@northspan.org

Elissa Hansen invests her time creatively advancing others' capabilities. She pilots Northspan's facilitation of strategic planning processes for public, private, and nonprofit organizations in the Upper Midwest. She also spearheaded the creation of the northeast Minnesota Welcoming Community programming 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 has over 30 years of experience at Northspan providing technical and financial assistance to large and small businesses, financial institutions, local units of government, and development organizations. He also provides professional services for 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 helps to guide Northspan strategic planning processes and conducts research and analysis on economic and demographic trends. His work includes using data to tell stories for communities and organizations, community development project management, and support for Northspan’s programs. He joined Northspan in 2016 and 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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MIRIAM KERO

CONSULTANT & NORTHLAND CONNECTION PROGRAM MANAGER
mkero@northspan.org

Miriam Kero joined Northspan in 2022 and provides community and organizational development services. Miriam manages the Northland Connection program and provides support to Northspan’s partners through demographic data, economic analysis, and information on commercial real estate. Miriam brings over 25 years of experience in industry, government, non-profit, and education. With a specialty in communication, Miriam is practiced in engaging people, communities, and organizations in strategic development work.

www.lynnettesportraitdesign.com

ALI BILDEN CAMPS

CONSULTANT & NORTHFORCE PROGRAM MANAGER
acamps@northspan.org

Ali Bilden Camps joined Northspan in 2022 as a consultant and provides community and organizational development services. She manages the NORTHFORCE program by connecting career-minded individuals with professional advancement opportunities and supporting our regional employers’ current and future workforce needs. Ali brings over 15 years of nonprofit management and community development experience including working with organizations and individuals across all sectors. She has roots in northern Wisconsin and has called northeast Minnesota home for almost 20 years.

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ZACK FILIPOVICH

CONSULTANT
zfilipovich@northspan.org

Zack Filipovich joined Northspan in 2022 and provides community, organizational, and business development services such as facilitating conversations, conducting business valuations, packaging Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications, and designing loan fund services. Zack brings over 9 years of in-depth accounting and financial experience and 8 years of public service experience including reviewing and approving budgets. Zack holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is currently pursuing his master’s of business administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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AMANDA VUICICH

CONSULTANT & OPERATIONS MANAGER
avuicich@northspan.org

Amanda Vuicich oversees Northspan operations, supports community banks by providing SBA 7a loan packaging services, and assists with business, organizational, and community

development clients as led by other Northspan staff. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from

the University of Minnesota Duluth, with a major in International Studies. She joined Northspan in 2018 and has previous operations experience in the accounting and hospitality sectors.

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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. Ashley previously worked for a non-profit organization providing advocacy and case management services to at-risk youth in the Duluth area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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Amber Lewis

WELCOMING COMMUNITY PROGRAM COORDINATOR | LEAD FOR MINNESOTA FELLOW SERVING NORTHSPAN 
alewis@northspan.org

Amber Lewis coordinates the Welcoming Community program focused on finding ways to bring community solutions to challenges while bringing people together across differences. Her work involves fostering a more welcoming community in northeast MN and supporting talent retention and community engagement in the region through facilitating community conversations, learning opportunities, and community projects centered on belonging and inclusivity. She joined Northspan in 2021 on a two-year fellowship with Lead for America and has a master's degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.  

Work

Local View: Welcoming Efforts Face Shared Challenges

September 22, 2022

A version of this article originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on September 21, 2022. You can view it here. No matter how many strategies you have in place, if employees do not feel respected, your business will not thrive. This is one of the major takeaways from my summer as Northspan’s justice, equity,…

Welcoming Community: Historical Equity 

September 19, 2022

The telling of history in our families, schools, and communities is shaped by the perspectives and experiences of those telling those histories. Historically, power imbalances between different groups have centered the telling of history from the majority population’s perspective. There are members of our community from non-dominant groups who may have experienced the same event,…

Second Annual Equity Summit This Nov. 10

September 7, 2022

Duluth-based nonprofit consulting firm Northspan Group, Inc., is set to host the second annual Equity Summit, Belonging in Northeast Minnesota, on November 10 in partnership with regional and statewide collaborators. The equity summit is an opportunity for community leaders, businesses, educators, creatives, workforce and economic development, government, health care, philanthropy, and YOU to engage around…

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