Northspan Team Changes in 2023

Northspan is announcing staffing changes with the upcoming retirement of Vice President Bob Palmquist and internal promotions, effective January 1, which include Karl Schuettler as Northspan’s new vice president.

Bob Palmquist Retiring

Celebrating over 30 years with Northspan, including five as vice president, Bob will officially retire February 28. He started at Northspan in July 1991 as a business development specialist. Prior to joining Northspan, in his capacity working for Norwest Bank and Republic Bank in Duluth, Bob utilized the non-traditional lending sources and services that Northspan provided.

Over the course of his career, Bob has worked with many local and regional large and small businesses, financial institutions, government units, and development organizations to finance projects, administer loan funds, develop loan pools, and provide appraisals to help businesses grow and transition.

“I’ve been involved in successfully structuring and facilitating financing for numerous business development projects over the past 30 years that have given me great satisfaction,” shares Bob. “I have enjoyed the diverse work I have been able to be involved with over the years, the success and reputation that Northspan has earned, and the staff I have worked with at Northspan.”

Karl Schuettler Promoted to Vice President

Bringing established relationships with local and regional partners together with a deep knowledge of both the opportunities and challenges for the area, Karl Schuettler will continue to provide organizational, business, and community development support services to Northspan clients in his new role as a senior member of the leadership team.

Karl joined Northspan in 2016 and for the past six years has managed regional economic development partnerships and provided services to local communities as Northspan’s research director and senior consultant. He served as interim vice president from September through December 2022. As vice president, he will be responsible for the development of Northspan’s portfolio of work, informing stakeholders on key issues, maintaining external networks and partnerships, and contributing to the overall strategic direction of the organization.

Internal Promotions

Two other members of the current Northspan team are also taking on new roles and added responsibilities:

Miriam Kero Promoted to Senior Consultant & Northland Connection Program Manager

Miriam joined the Northspan team in 2022 as a consultant and Northland Connection program manager, providing support to Northspan’s partners through demographic data, economic analysis, and information on commercial real estate. As a senior consultant, she will take on clients’ toughest problems, cultivate talented groups of people, and collaborate with multiple teams while building relationships and serving as a leader both for Northspan teams and clients. She will also intensify Northspan’s commitment to social impact while coaching and empowering others to build skills and confidence.


Zack Filipovich Promoted to Consultant & Finance Manager

Zack joined the Northspan team as a consultant in 2022. In addition to continuing to provide community, organizational, and business development services to Northspan clients, he will bring his background experience in accounting and finance to administer and monitor Northspan financials. In his consulting capacity, Zack will facilitate conversations, conduct business valuations, package loan applications, and design loan fund services, among other areas of focus.

“These new internal promotions bring added dimension to our work and will allow team members to utilize their specialties and strengths to the fullest extent,” said Northspan President & CEO Elissa Hansen. “It’s very exciting to head into 2023 with these organizational changes in place.”

For more information, please contact Northspan President & CEO Elissa Hansen at

With a vision to engage and elevate, Northspan’s mission is to be expert navigators, transforming ideas into accomplishments. Learn more at