Q&A: Zack Filipovich

Zack joined the Northspan team in 2022. As consultant and finance manager, he provides community, organizational, and business development services to clients, in addition to administering and monitoring Northspan financials. Zack brings over 10 years of accounting and financial experience and eight years of public service experience from his election as Duluth city councilor. He grew up in Duluth with Iron Range roots and in 2016 was selected as one of the Duluth News Tribune’s “20 Under 40,” which recognizes professionals who are making a positive impact in their communities. 

Zack is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Minnesota Duluth with coursework in estate planning, business ethics, entrepreneurial finance, and strategic management. Zack is a certified management accountant and a certified valuation analyst, in addition to being a certified exit planning advisor. 

What are some key highlights from projects you’ve worked on so far?

The first and most intense has been the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) programs that the Northspan team has been developing for regional partners in conjunction with DAWN (Driving Access to Wealth and Networks). This program is an important resource for banks and Indigenous business owners in our region. I am happy to help answer questions and get businesses and lenders the resources they need to grow our regional economy.

The second project type has been our business valuation service that we provide. I love this work because I am able to apply the skills that my Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential has taught me. I also enjoy this work because I am able to learn about how a wide variety of businesses operate in the region. Business valuations are also often the first step in succession planning, an important topic for the economic health for our region.

Northspan’s work with Small Business Administration (SBA) loans continues to be an important resource for banks and business owners. In this time of uncertain interest rates, it is important to provide loan enhancement services and boost the bank’s ability to lend to local businesses. We are also happy to offer feasibility studies as a service as they are sometimes required to help get SBA 504 projects across the finish line.

Can you share a little about what you enjoy the most about this work? 

Working with multiple businesses to help them achieve a greater level of success in an ever-changing world is really appealing. I love all the dynamic projects the Northspan team is involved with which adds a huge amount of variety to the day-to-day work. Being an accountant, I enjoy analyzing financial statements to get a sense of how organizations conduct business. This analysis is helpful for business valuations and SBA loan packaging.

I have also enjoyed getting more involved with Northspan’s internal financials. I get to work with an amazing team to help our region’s economy grow and flourish. It is exciting to be a part of that growth and anticipate what the future has in store.

Contact Zack by phone at (218) 481-7737 or by email at zfilipovich@northspan.org.