Exploring the influences on our region's economy.

National Bank of Commerce, together with leading area educational institutions and business frontrunners, has launched a comprehensive research initiative to drive growth, prosperity and collaboration across our region.

The Goals of the project are to:

  • Support business owners in their business decisions by gathering key local economic indicators and trend information
  • Develop specific economic indicators for this region that are not readily available to decision makers
  • Develop tools to assess our progress in economic growth. Prepare baseline measures that will allow comparison with other regions and measure future progress of the region
  • Track the region’s participation in the “new economy” and development in the high tech arena
  • Bring professionals together with business owners for discussion about the local economy and related critical issues in a collaborative, non-political environment
  • Create a business recruitment and retention tool by publishing the information

Map of R.E.I.F countiesThe REIF Region is a 15-county area that covers Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. The 8 counties of Minnesota include the Arrowhead Region — Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties — along with Pine County. The 7 counties of Wisconsin include Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, and Washburn.

The R.E.I.F. is governed by a steering/advisory committee comprised of representative(s) from:

  • National Bank of Commerce
  • College of St. Scholastica
  • SBDC – MN
  • SBDC – WI
  • UMD
  • UWS
  • Resources such as APEX and the Development Association of Superior-Douglas County will be utilized as needed

Meet the Regional Economics Faculty Research Staff.

Next Forum: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7-9 am
Topic: Collaborative Marketing for Tourism and Economic Development
DECC: Lake Superior Ballroom
Keynote Speaker: AnnDee Johnson, Longwoods Intl.

Ann Dee JohnsonAnnDee Johnson is Vice President of Longwoods International, managing the firm’s Scottsdale office. Longwoods is a respected leader in marketing, advertising, and public opinion research, providing strategic guidance to help clients evaluate their image, fine-tune their campaigns, demonstrate accountability to budget decision-makers, and make the most of their marketing dollars.
AnnDee has a broad base of experience in research and strategic planning, international economic development, management and marketing. Prior to joining Longwoods, she was Director of Research and Strategic Planning at the Arizona Office of Tourism for seven years, where she built a respected research program that supported the work of the agency, industry partners and constituents. Highlights include the state’s first comprehensive economic impact study of the $19 billion travel industry, analysis of the $2.7 billion economic contribution of Mexican visitors to Arizona, and intimate involvement in creating marketing strategies for promoting Arizona as a leisure destination.

AnnDee served on the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s (TTRA) International Board of Directors and has been an invited speaker at numerous industry conferences. She is currently on the Board of the Greater Western chapter of TTRA. She holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of International Management degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

To view the  2016 annual R.E.I.F report, please click here:

November 2016 Presentation
March 2016 Presentation
2015 Annual Report
October 2015 Presentation
March 2015 Full Report
March 2015 Presentation
October 2014 Full Report
October 2014 Presentation 
March 2014 Full Report


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