Erin Echternach, Greater Bemidji Assistant Director

Random Fact About Me – My husband and I dream of one day owning and operating a Christmas Tree farm

Favorite Quote – “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”– Dr. Seuss

Favorite Places in Bemidji – Old Downtown- I love all of the shops and restaurants. It’s the place in Bemidji all of our family and friends continually request to visit.

Three Words to Describe Me – Honest, Determined, Organized

If I could have one superpower it would be – The ability to teleport! I want to get to new places quickly and skip the “traveling” part.

When I am not at the Mayflower building you will find me – At home, likely with visitors checking in and out of the Echternach Inn. I love spending time with our family and friends while enjoying our yard and gardens. We love having company and sharing our home!

Experience – I graduated from Mayville State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. With a deep connectedness to the Bemidji business community through previous roles at Northern Dental Access Center and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, I am able to provide a working knowledge of relationships and partnership opportunities within the Greater Bemidji area to build a stronger future. I love problem solving and thinking ahead to plan for the endless opportunities for our region.

I have a wonderfully supportive partner in my husband, Jesse, who works as a carpenter. We have a one-year-old son and a ten-year-old Husky.


Paul Muller, LaunchPad Marketing

Random Fact About Me – I was the very first member of the Launchpad!

Favorite Quote – “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

Favorite Places in Bemidji – Lake Bemidji (all seasons).

Three Words to Describe Me – Positive, Dependable, Resourceful.

If I could have one superpower it would be – The ability to end racism.

When I am not at the Mayflower building you will find me – In the great outdoors enjoying everything that Northern Minnesota has to offer.

Experience – I have both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bemidji State University, where I was fortunate to spend a 25 years career working in enrollment management & marketing. In addition, I was part of many different start-ups over an 11 year period where I learned to pivot, pivot again and then keep pivoting. Strategic marketing rooted in data became my mantra.


_DSC2558-1Dave Hengel, Greater Bemidji Executive Director

Random Fact About Me – My childhood nickname was Julio. I grew up in Lake Wobegon (well Stearns County—same thing). I was on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. (Hint—one of these is a lie).

Favorite Quote – “I want to put a ding in the universe”—Steve Jobs

Favorite Places in Bemidji – Bemidji Brewing, Tutto Bene and anywhere around a bonfire.

Three Words to Describe Me – Impatient, Frenzied, Focused

If I could have one superpower it would be – The ability to change the future (oh wait, I already have that!)

When I am not at the Mayflower building you will find me – Chasing kids around (seven in all), opening my wallet (see previous comment about seven kids) and traveling (I love Europe).

Experience – Graduated from Cathedral High School and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud. Degrees in Economics and Public Administration. Graduate work in leadership (Notre Dame) and Management (BSU).

During college, my buddies and I stayed a week at a Bemidji area resort.  I said to them, “I am going to live in this place someday”. The day after I graduated, I accepted a job offer with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission right here in Bemidji.  After 25 years with the HRDC, I became the Executive Director of Greater Bemidji, where I am today.

I am married to a wonderful wife (Kelley) and have seven kids ranging from 18-31 in age. Whew.