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APEX announces new president, CEO

Rachel Johnson brings over 20 years of economic development experience to the organization.

Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson is the new president and CEO of the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion.
Contributed / APEX
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DULUTH — The Area Partnership for Economic Expansion recently appointed Rachel Johnson as its new president and CEO. The position was formerly held by Brian Hanson for 10 years.

APEX is a business development engine with a mission to leverage private sector resources to drive investment throughout the region. In her new role, Johnson will lead APEX to increase investor-membership and build relationships that create new growth opportunities in talent attraction, site selection and business expansion.

After serving a decade as CEO and president of the economic and business development organization, he is ready for a new challenge.

“I’m looking forward to promoting and positioning the APEX region for a prosperous future,” Johnson said in a press release. “Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin are ready for new business growth and development opportunities, and the APEX team is primed to attract new talent, companies and diversity of thought to the area.”

Johnson previously served as the public relations manager at Precision Pipeline LLC, where she focused on energy infrastructure public education and promoting workforce opportunities in the construction trade. Her background includes over two decades in economic development, commercial real estate, property management and corporate development.

She serves as a member of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Duluth Area Family YMCA Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees and is a founding member and board chair of Better In Our Backyard, a citizen-led advocacy group that educates and informs the public on industrial economy.

Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at bbredsten@duluthnews.com.
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