APEX News - August 2017

In This Issue

APEX Welcomes New Investors

Cirrus Aircraft
Headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, Cirrus Aircraft has been creating state-of-the-art aviation technology for the past 30 years. The company’s mission is to deliver an aviation experience that is the pinnacle of innovation, quality, and safety. Along with the goal of leading global general aviation, Cirrus emphasizes being the employer of choice in the industry. In 2011, Cirrus became a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Ltd.
As of Fall 2016, Cirrus sells the most affordable private jet in the world, called the “Vision Jet,” priced at $1.96 million. More than 600 orders have already been placed, which amounts to $1 billion in revenue secured. Read more about the Vision Jet.
BNSF Railway
Today’s BNSF Railway is a product of nearly 400 different railroad lines that were merged or acquired over the last 160 years. BNSF operates 32,500 miles of track in 28 states and 3 Canadian provinces. The railway is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food, and beverages. These shipments help feed, clothe, supply and power American homes and businesses every day. The railroad hauls enough coal to generate roughly 10% of electricity produced in the United States and serves over 1,500 Midwest grain elevators.
The Company’s corporate office is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. The railway has three transcontinental routes and is one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America.
Lake View Memorial Hospital, Inc.
As part of the St. Luke's system, Lake View Memorial Hospital provides residents of Two Harbors and the North Shore with compassionate, quality care. For over half a century, the staff at Lake View has been committed to improving the health of the people in our region.
The Lake View campus includes Lake View Memorial Hospital, Lake View Medical Clinic, and Lake View Pharmacy. The hospital has an emergency department that is open 24/7/365. Getting to know patients means providing better care that is tailored to their needs, and arranging for advanced care when required.

In Case You Missed It: July Board Meeting Recap

On Thursday, July 6, 2017, APEX hosted the Board of Directors and investor-member meeting at the recently remodeled Holiday Inn & Suites Lyric Conference Center. The interactive meeting focused on talent recruitment and human resources – one of the key critical business areas identified by APEX membership to focus on in 2017. 
Several human resources professionals led investor-members in small group discussions and provided advice based on their specific experiences:
Roundtable discussion regarding human resources and talent recruitment at the July APEX Board meeting.

Enbridge Hosts Event to Thank APEX Investors

APEX has been a strong advocate of the Enbridge projects in Minnesota for the past five years. Whether supporting office expansions, Line 67 Upgrades, or the Line 3 Replacement project, APEX staff and investor-members have been proponents for keeping the projects moving. To show appreciation, and provide an update on the project, Enbridge hosted APEX investor-members for breakfast on August 23rd at the Kitchi Gammi Club.
Al Monaco, President and CEO of Enbridge, Inc., began his remarks with gratitude. “It’s the people in this room that count most in helping projects like ours get completed,” stated Monaco. “We wouldn’t have made the progress we have without you.”
Al Monaco, Enbridge President and CEO, addressing APEX investor-members.

APEX Helps the Aitkin Action Alliance Develop and Implement Strategy

The Aitkin Action Alliance is a group of individuals from industry, government, Aitkin Growth and the Aitkin Chamber that came together several years ago to find ways to drive economic and business development in the Aitkin Area. The Alliance recently selected APEX to help them assess and leverage the County’s strengths for attracting and retaining businesses. Nearly 30 businesses in Aitkin and the surrounding area were surveyed to provide a framework for an economic development strategy and roadmap. In addition to the survey, a dialogue with the public sector and elected officials further articulated the region’s opportunities and challenges.

Driving Small Business R&D with NRRI’s Business Assistance Fund

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has developed a Business Assistance Fund (BAF) program to drive small business growth and expansion in Minnesota. NRRI is committed to helping entrepreneurs secure funding for important research and development projects in NRRI’s focus areas:
  • Minerals, Metallurgy, and Mining
  • Forest and Land
  • Wood Products and Bioeconomy
  • Water
  • Renewable Energy
The BAF was created to help small (<500 employees) business owners and entrepreneurs bring ideas to market faster, with less risk and at a lower cost. This drives business, strengthens the economy and creates jobs in many sectors. NRRI works directly with entrepreneurs to research, develop and test new products made with Minnesota’s natural resources. NRRI strongly encourages and invites all small business owners and entrepreneurs to seize this unique opportunity to secure funding assistance and access NRRI expertise, labs and technologies.

Economic Impact Study Shows Dramatic Growth in Aviation Sector

Area business leaders and city officials gathered at the Lake Superior College Advanced Aviation Center on August 16, 2017, were impressed with the results of a 2017 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) economic impact study. While the regional economy is diversified, the aviation sector continues to grow and expand, providing an excellent source of living-wage jobs in the APEX region.
From left to right: Commander Jon Sandstrom, 148th Fighter Wing; Sue Boudrie, Northern Aero Alliance Chair and with IKONICS; Mark Ketterer, AAR; Dr. Patrick Johns, Lake Superior College; Emily Larson, Duluth Mayor; Brian Hanson, APEX; Tom Werner, Duluth International Airport; Bill King, Cirrus Aircraft

APEX Investor-Members Recognized with Top Project of 2016 Award

In 2016, APEX investor-members maurices and McGough Construction (McGough) completed work on the new maurices headquarters and City of Duluth parking structure in downtown Duluth. APEX nominated this extensive and important construction project for 2016's Finance and Commerce's Top Projects.

On July 26, 2017, maurices and McGough were recognized at the Finance and Commerce's Top Projects celebration at the Minneapolis Events Center. The maurices Headquarters building is a beautiful, modern addition to Duluth’s historic downtown. Because the eleven-story building is really three buildings in one, it was one of the most complex construction projects the city of Duluth has ever seen – excellent cooperation among all teams made the project a success.

Meet APEX’s New Intern

Emma HartiganWe are pleased to welcome Emma Hartigan to the APEX team as our Administrative Intern. Emma is an honors student at UMD focusing on human resources management, psychology, and Spanish. This summer, Emma interned with SISU Healthcare IT Solutions, where she assisted the HR Director in reorganizing employee files, helped with the hiring process and gave a presentation on medical insurance benefits to the CEO, CFO, and Board. After attending our July Board meeting with SISU, she expressed interest in working with APEX. To say Emma is driven is an understatement. In addition to her duties with APEX, Emma will carry a full course load and maintain her job as Manager on Duty at the Inn on Lake Superior. We are excited to have Emma on board this fall and look forward to helping her further her career in HR.
Upcoming Investor-Member Events


Upcoming APEX Investor-Member Events:
Oct 31, 2017
7:00-9:00 AM
DECC – Lake Superior
Duluth, MN
Topic:  The Economics of
   Water Resources
Register @

   Staff Events

North Star Expo
Sept 15, 2017
Itasca County Fairgrounds
International Economic Development Council: 2017 Annual Conference
Sept 18-20, 2017
Toronto, ON
Northeast Minnesota Workforce Investment Board Meeting
Sept 26, 2017
Cotton, MN
Water Environment Federation Technology Conference (WEFTEC)
Sept 30 - Oct 4, 2017
Chicago, IL
World Dairy Expo
Oct 8, 2017
Madison, WI
Industrial Asset Management Council Fall Forum
Oct 7-11, 2017
Richmond, VA
Duluth Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner
Oct 19, 2017
Duluth, MN
Incredible Ely
Small Business Conference
Nov 1-2, 2017
Ely, MN
FabTech Expo   
Nov 6-9, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

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