APEX News - August/September 2019

 New Investor-Member


HDR, Inc. is a world-renowned engineering and architecture firm specializing in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. HDR operates from over 200 locations spanning the globe. The company is most well-known for adding beauty and structure to communities through high-performance buildings and smart infrastructure. HDR creates an unshakable foundation for progress with teams including scientists, economists, builders, analysts and artists.

In Minnesota, the HDR team collaborates from offices in Minneapolis and Thief River Falls. Multidisciplinary teams work throughout the APEX region to provide support to their clients in power, mining, industrial, oil & gas, transportation, water and architecture.

September Board & Investor-Member Meeting Highlights

On Thursday, September 5 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in downtown Duluth, APEX Board of Directors and investor-members had the opportunity to learn more about Essentia Health’s Vision Northland Initiative at their bi-monthly meeting. Mark Hayward, Senior Vice President of Operations at Essentia Health, presented project development updates and visuals regarding the $800 million project – which is the largest private investment in Duluth’s history. 

The three-year construction project will completely transform the Essentia campus and Duluth’s Medical District. Investment in a new hospital bed tower, clinic space and surgical suites are the forefront of the project. The economic impact of the construction project will surely spur additional investment in the community as well.

Highlights of the project include:

  • $800 million investment
  • Over 5,600 on-site construction jobs 
  • 3,600 off-site construction-related jobs 
  • 800,000 square feet of new space, 120,000 square feet of renovated space and 130,000 square feet of shelled space
  • All hospital rooms will be private (with the exception of neonatal rooms prepared for twin deliveries

Brian Hanson, APEX CEO and President (left), pictured with Essentia Health Senior Vice President of Operations, Mark Hayward (middle), and APEX Chairman of the Board and CEO of National Bank of Commerce, Steve Burgess (right).

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What does your organization/company do?
Enbridge is North America’s leading energy delivery company, operating in locations throughout Canada and the U.S. to fuel the economy and people’s quality of life. Enbridge connects energy supply with growing markets in North America through liquid pipelines and natural gas pipelines as well as utilities and green energy assets. Enbridge safely delivers affordable energy that individuals and businesses rely on every day. 

How long have you been a member of APEX?
Enbridge has been an APEX member since 2013.

What do you value about APEX?
Our APEX membership has made Enbridge a part of a strong network of businesses that share our focus on building a sustainable economy. APEX and our fellow investor-members have been great advocates for our Line 3 Replacement (L3R) project for the past several years as we’ve navigated the regulatory process. Enbridge greatly appreciates that APEX leadership and investor-members have advocated for our efforts to replace the aging pipeline. Between attending and speaking at public meetings, submitting written public comment and vocally sharing the message about the importance of Line 3, APEX’s support has been invaluable. 

What do you want fellow members to know?
The L3R project is more than just a replacement, it’s part of an essential network of pipelines that support safe and affordable energy to our region, the state and the rest of North America. We all use and rely on energy resources – they’re essential to keeping our economy moving and thriving.

It’s so important to have voices speak up in support of these types of infrastructure projects. The opposition is never afraid to speak up. Having the APEX network of business leaders advocate for Enbridge has helped us show our legislators how important the project is to the community and our economy.

What does your organization/company do?
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority (DSPA) is a public economic development agency created by state statute in 1955. Our mission is to bring business to the Port of Duluth-Superior, economic development to the region and to advocate for the maritime and transportation industries. We also foster Great Lakes maritime commerce by promoting port interests both locally and around the world.

Our revenues are generated by cargo handling, warehousing and leasing. We own and operate industrial properties in Duluth, most importantly the Clure Public Marine Terminal, the harbor’s only public terminal and only maritime general cargo terminal. As our agent, Lake Superior Warehousing operates the terminal on our behalf as a logistics hub that features:

  • 400,000 square feet of warehouse space
  • 40 acres of secure outdoor laydown area for cargo staging and assembly
  • 5 seaway-depth ship berths
  • Significant heavy lift capacity (twin 80-ton gantry cranes plus a 200-ton crawler crane)
  • On-dock ship-to-shore power
  • Access to four Class 1 railroads through a unique switching agreement
  • Access to uncongested highways
  • The only intermodal (container) terminal in Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities
Our goal in operating these assets help regional businesses remain competitive in the marketplace with significant supply chain cost savings.

How long have you been a member of APEX? 
We have been an APEX member since its inception in 2004. We’ve always been supportive of APEX and the incredible work the organization does to support regional economic growth.

What do you value about APEX? 
We appreciate all that APEX does to help grow and strengthen our economy. APEX has always been a strong supporter of the industrial sector, understanding that we are an essential engine for the economy. APEX is also a leader in strategic research; for instance, their recent Talent Forecast study is helping to drive regional workforce development strategies. APEX is respected and respectful, having contributed to many initiatives and strategies to attract and grow regional business, diversify our economy and strengthen our workforce.

What do you want fellow members to know?
The Port of Duluth-Superior is the largest port in the Great Lakes and the 19th largest port in the country, as measured by tonnage. As Minnesota’s only deep-water international port, we connect regional industries such as mining, manufacturing, agriculture, power generation and more to the world via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. For more than a century, the Port of Duluth-Superior has been one of the region’s largest economic drivers. Our maritime work alone supports 8K jobs and $1.4 billion in business revenues annually.

APEX Insider Event at North Shore Bank

On Tuesday, August 27, North Shore Bank hosted over 50 APEX investor-members for an APEX Insider event at the bank’s newly renovated downtown location. The building was originally designed in 1962 during the peak of mid-century architecture design. The renovation was inspired by the idea of bringing people together to collaborate and build relationships.

The mid-century modern design incorporates state-of-the-art technology, a reception desk and an open office concept. “Banking is personal and we believe that it shouldn’t be complicated,” stated Fred Lewis, President of North Shore Bank Financial Corporation and Vice Chairman of the North Shore Bank Board. “By bringing people closer together, we’ve created opportunities for customers to approach banking their own way so we can solve problems as a collaborative team.”

North Shore Bank also continues their legacy of commitment to local artists in the new space. The design includes a gallery space with custom lighting and seating and will feature local artists in a wide variety of mediums.

“We have always been supportive of local art and artists, and we are very proud to share our new gallery space with APEX investor-members,” stated Ken Johnson, North Shore Bank President & CEO. “Art is central to community development and identity, and our gallery space is creating opportunities for people to appreciate the tremendous local talent that exists in our region.”

“It’s clear North Shore Bank considered every detail with respect to serving their customers in this renovation,” stated Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO. “The space demonstrates their unique and mindful approach to the community and their customers."

North Shore Bank of Commerce President and CEO, Ken Johnson (left), pictured with APEX CEO and President, Brian Hanson (middle), and President of North Shore Bank Financial Corporation and Vice Chairman of the North Shore Bank Board, Fred Lewis (right).

Upcoming Investor-Member Events

Regional Economic Indicator Forum
Thursday, October 31, 2019
7:00 am - 9:30 am
Topic: Workforce Ahead - Putting Business and Industry in the Driver's Seat

DECC Harbor Side Ballroom, Duluth, MN

Upcoming Staff Events

Trans-Atlantic Business & Investment Council (TBIC) Annual Conference

Monday, November 11 - Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Richmond, VA
Monday, November 11 - Thursday, November 14, 2019
Chicago, IL

Investor-Members in the News

Please click the button below to read about recent announcements and acknowledgments amongst APEX investor-members.
Investor-Members In The News

IAMC - Fall Professional Forum

This year’s Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) Fall Professional Forum was held in Milwaukee on September 14-18. Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO attended the forum, which was themed around improving company performance through corporate real estate. As many businesses seek to expand in the APEX region, the lineup of workshops and keynote speakers was especially relevant.

The conference blended targeted professional development with world-class knowledge sharing from key industry leaders. The session began with a welcome reception and dinner at the Harley Davidson Museum. World-renowned journalist Bob Woodward shared insights on what’s going on in Washington with elections on the horizon. Milwaukee-based economic development leaders presented a case study on bringing Komatsu’s new manufacturing facility to Milwaukee.

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Future Forest Stewards Attend North Star Expo

On September 13, Future Forest Stewards (FFS) was proud to host over 200 high school students at the annual North Star Expo in Grand Rapids. Students from Grand Rapids, Deer River, Hibbing, Big Falls and Chisholm heard from industry experts and explored the many opportunities Minnesota’s forestry industry holds for their future careers.

“Many regional high school students are torn between finding a great career and staying close to home,” said Matt Shermoen, APEX Business Developer. “In the forestry industry, they don’t have to choose. FFS gives students a chance to see the wide range of career opportunities right here in northern Minnesota."

Students attended educational sessions at the expo, where they had the opportunity to experience the wide variety of careers that all support Minnesota timber and timber products. They were able to ask questions and learn more about careers in logging, trucking, forestry, millwork, mechanics, research, manufacturing and more. They even visited a live logging site to experience this important work first-hand. 

About Future Forest Stewards

FFS was founded to foster connections between high school students and forestry industry professionals. Through a partnership with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s Forestry Affairs Committee, FFS introduces the regional workforce’s next generation to careers in the forestry industry. In 2018, FFS organized a job fair in conjunction with the North Star Expo to provide high school students opportunities to explore the wide range of good-paying jobs in the forestry industry. For more information about FFS, contact Matt Shermoen.

Leadership Minnesota 2020

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Minnesota 2020 program kicked off in September with an exclusive look at Minnesota’s changing economy and the issues that will shape our state’s future.

Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO, is part of the Leadership Minnesota 2020 cohort and recently traveled to Mankato, Minnesota for the first of five two-day sessions. These sessions focus on giving our state’s business leaders valuable first-hand experiences in the industries that support our economy. After a brief orientation about the program, participants explored the financial services industry at Taylor Corporation, receiving an exclusive tour from Taylor Corporation’s Executive Vice President, Greg Jackson, and Bart Prins, President of Strategic Partnerships.

“Taylor Corporation is one of our state’s largest privately-held companies and they’ve adapted to drive tremendous growth,” said Hanson. “It was fascinating to walk through their modern manufacturing facility and the Technology and Innovation Center. At Taylor, innovation drives growth and I’m bringing back valuable insights to share with our region’s manufacturers.”

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APEX Welcomes New Staff

Haley Rinzel – APEX Intern

APEX internships are excellent opportunities for young professionals to gain essential business skills. Our new Business Development Intern, Haley Rinzel, will be using her skills to help drive business in the region.

Haley is finishing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and is on track to graduate this coming spring. She’s focusing on entrepreneurship as well as international business and marketing. Over the summer, Haley was a Direct Sales Intern at Renewal by Anderson, where she earned excellent ‘boots on the ground’ experience in generating leads by canvassing door to door. She clearly found a niche, earning a 57% sales rate that generated over $65K in sales. Haley recently spent a semester abroad in Ireland, where she studied current and historical Irish innovations and organizations. On campus, Haley is deeply involved in business-oriented groups. She currently serves as the President of Women in Business, the President of the Entrepreneurship Club and the Event Manager for the 2019 Entrepreneurship Conference. 

We’re excited to help Haley expand her business and economic development experience at APEX.
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