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Our Team
Meet Northspan's experienced team of business, economic, and community development professionals.

Elissa Hansen

Elissa Hansen
President & CEO


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 through strategic & business planning, facilitation, grant management & writing, financial solutions & packaging, site selection & due diligence, community project funding development, and communications & brand development.

Bob Palmquist

Bob Palmquist
Vice President of Finance and Business Development


Bob Palmquist provides technical and financial assistance to large and small businesses, financial institutions, local units of government, and development organizations. His work includes local and regional revolving loan fund administration, technical loan reviews, grant and loan application packaging, business valuation and succession planning, and feasibility assessments. Palmquist spent 17 years in commercial lending prior to joining Northspan in 1991.

Justin Riemer

Justin Riemer
Business Developer/Analyst


Justin Riemer serves as a business developer/analyst, and joined Northspan in February 2016. His primary responsibilities include grant and loan application packaging, assisting the Senior Business Developer with the ARDC's revolving loan fund, and SBA 7A loan packaging. Prior to joining Northspan, Justin spent seven years working in the financial services industry and most recently worked at Enbridge Energy.

Karl Schuettler

Karl Schuettler
Director of Marketing, Research & Analysis


Karl Schuettler manages regional economic development partnerships, provides support services to local communities, and researches and analyzes economic trends for Northspan’s clients. He joined Northspan in September 2016, and has previous experience in local economic development, organizational planning and analysis, public relations, and freelance journalism. A northern Minnesota native, he holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota.

Riki McManus

Riki McManus
Director, Upper Minnesota Film Office


Riki McManus manages the Upper Minnesota Film Office (UMFO), which promotes the region to filmmakers. She brings to the office years of experience as a radio talk show host, actor, agent, and owner of a casting company. One of her early career successes was securing all of the Minnesota speaking roles and extras for the film Purple Rain. She has helped cast more than 17 feature films, and dozens of television movies, series, and commercials. McManus is past president of the Minnesota Film and TV Board.
"Northspan is the expert in accessing government funding and has a track record of attracting tens of millions in federal and state grants to the region. The value of this contribution is multiplied by the capital these grants leveraged, the tax base generated, and the quality job opportunities created as a result of the projects."

Nancy Norr
Director
Regional Development
Minnesota Power

Nancy Norr