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Technical Advisory Committee

The following individuals provide guidance to the Northland Foundation staff and Board of Trustees in regard to business lending decisions.

William M. Arezzo
Senior VP - Private Banking Manager
National Bank of Commerce

Michael Colclough
Market President, Duluth/Superior
BMO Harris Bank

Dean Fries
Vice President
National Bank of Commerce

Brian Murphy
Chief Lending Officer
North Shore Bank of Commerce

Heather Rand
Economic Developer
State of Minnesota

Tom VanHale

Curt Walczak
UMD Center for Economic Development

Term Ended 6/30/14
Pam Sarvala
External Affairs Manager
Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation

Steve Utech
Senior VP/Senior Loan Officer
Republic Bank


Timely loan highlights an entrepreneur’s determination

If timing is everything, IHS Development (doing business as IHS Door) probably wouldn’t be here to tell their tale. Owner Keith Richmond leveraged his decades of wood products industry experience to launch his own interior door manufacturing company with high hopes in the spring of 2008.  The Superior, Wisconsin-based business opened just months before the Great Recession cut the housing and construction sectors off at the knees.

“The Northland Foundation financing allowed us to clean up our balance sheet and access critically needed cash.”

– Keith Richmond, President
of IHS Door

As one might predict, the first few years of IHS’ sales did not equal projections and cash flow was stretched to the maximum. A Royalty Loan from the Northland Foundation gave the company breathing room to continue production, cover receivables, expand its marketing efforts, and simply hang in there until the economy started to turn around.

Today IHS is up from 5 employees to 15, the company is gaining market share nationally, and overall numbers are 50% higher than one year ago. This past July, Richmond was able to pay off his Northland Foundation loan just two years in. Maybe timing is on his side after all.

Business Finance Program Summary

During the past fiscal year, lending provided by the Northland Foundation’s Business Finance Program helped to support the creation and retention of 373 jobs with an average remuneration of $36,798 per year.

Total Loans:



Dollar total:


Jobs created/maintained:


Dollars Leveraged: 



  • Rural Living Environment, Inc., Babbitt
  • Vikre Distillery, LLC, Duluth
  • Horizon Health Care Supply, Duluth
  • Jason Kylven, Duluth
  • K&L Buck Properties, LLC, Duluth
  • Northshore Manufacturing, Two Harbors
  • Champion Life Ministries, Inc., Duluth
  • Amundsen Farms, Inc., Wrenshall
  • NK-G Transportation, Inc., Nashwauk
  • Landsmenn Energy Service Partners, LLC, Duluth
  • Duluth Steel Fabricators, Inc., Duluth
  • Ground Effects Excavating, Inc., Saginaw
  • Junction Properties, Inc., Babbitt
  • Vaughn, Inc., Babbitt
  • Athenaeum Wellness Center, LLC, Duluth
  • Midwest Safety Consulting, Inc., Grand Rapids
  • Aero Design & Manufacturing Company, Inc., Duluth
  • BG Innovations, Inc., Duluth
  • Blumberg 1831, LLC, Duluth
  • Archer Properties, LLC, Two Harbors
  • Scott C. Properties, LLC, Cloquet
  • Randall’s Heating & Cooling, Inc., Cloquet
  • A.G. O’Brien Plumbing & Heating Company, Duluth
  • Sundell Eye Properties, LLC, Virginia
  • Three Families Brewing, LLC, Grand Rapids