APEX hosts annual Board of Directors meeting

The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) hosted its Annual Board of Directors and Investor-Member Meeting and Reception at Pier B Resort on Thursday.

Aaron Brickman, Senior Principal U.S. Program at RMI (founded as Rocky Mountain Institute) was featured as the event’s keynote speaker. Brickman leads economic development initiatives at RMI, a nonpartisan energy nonprofit.

Brickman shared insights on clean energy and cleantech-led economic development, the game-changing nature of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as an economic development tool, and how northern Minnesota and Wisconsin should approach this moment to boost regional competitiveness.

“The IRA can help communities across the Great Lakes region become global players in emerging and expanding clean energy industries, provided that communities strategically leverage their strengths,” said Brickman. “The Duluth-Superior region has so much to offer, especially given its diverse economy and skilled workforce. I am thrilled to share with APEX how to build on these strengths to maximize key economic opportunities.”

“RMI’s work has led to a multi-state attraction plan to target clean tech and energy transition in the Great Lakes region, and we believe the APEX region can play an important role in driving economic growth that creates net positive impacts on our communities and environment,” said Rachel Johnson, APEX President and CEO. “By strengthening our existing workforce, prioritizing cross-industrial collaboration and promoting suitable locations for clean tech projects, northern Minnesota and Wisconsin can support the clean energy transition.”

After Brickman’s keynote address, Tracy Ramsay, Realtor with Tracy Ramsay + Partners and Re/Max Results announced the launch of North, a new real estate magazine highlighting the people, places and experiences that elevate the region.

Phil Steger, founder and CEO of Brother Justus Whiskey Company also spoke, sharing his vision of bringing people and the natural world together to put Minnesota—and its potential for incredible Cold-Peated® whiskey—on the map.