Sandy Voigt
Regional Business Specialist
218-894-3233 ext 2


About Sandy:  Sandy joined Region Five in October 2014, bringing several years of experience in economic development. This includes extensive expertise in industry networking in Minnesota, as well as nationally and internationally. Sandy has worked in a variety of economic development organizations and been involved in all aspects of economic development including business planning, loan packaging and preparation, grant writing and technical assistance. Voigt’s educational background is in healthcare and former business/restaurant owner. She is certified by the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional and alumnus of the Blandin Foundation Community Leadership Program.


Cheryal Lee Hills
Executive Director
218-894-3233 ext 1

cheryalAbout Cheryal: With over 25 years of experience in community and economic development, Cheryal currently provides oversight of over $3 million in project, levy and grant annual income. Cheryal delivers program development/implementation, organizational planning and financial oversight. Cheryal’s credentials included Licensed Practical Nurse, Executive Director of the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association, a MN Realtor license, and an approved MN Dept. of Commerce and MN Dept of Labor continuing education coordinator.


Nichole Larson
Deputy Director
218-894-3233 ext 6


Nichole is responsible for all facets of the administration of the NCEDA lending programs and provides oversight for Region Five and NCEDA financial operations. Assists with annual budgets, HR policies/procedures and HR law compliance.

Nichole provides technical assistance in business development, financing and entrepreneurialism. She provides project management and oversight of specified annual specialty projects, grant writing, development and implementation of programs and projects of importance to the region.

Nichole joined Region Five in 2008 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree (CPA Emphasis) in accounting from Bemidji State University.


Sharon Gottwalt
Accounting and Lending Specialist 

218-894-3233 ext 4


Sharon comes to Region Five with 18 years of experience as a commercial loan assistant in the non-profit sector and 14 years of previous banking experience. As Controller, Sharon assumes the responsibility of preparing monthly financial statements, accounts payable, payroll procedures, tax levy certification, annual audit schedules, monthly, quarterly and semi-annual financial reports and fund requests for all departments, programs, grants and contracts with R5DC and NCEDA.

Sharon is also responsible for loan maintenance which includes entering all loan payments with loan payoff requests, loan modifications, and information for assessed loan payments, preparing all loan checks for borrowers, contractors and county recording fees.


 Alexandria Hanson


218-894-3233 ext 8

Alex is responsible for preparing monthly financial statements, accounts payable, audit schedules, and reports for R5DC and NCEDA. Her other responsibilities include preparing monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual financial reports and fund requests for all departments, programs, grants, and contracts within R5DC and NCEDA.

Alex joined Region Five in 2017 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from University of Jamestown while competing in four years of volleyball. She comes from a public accounting background specializing in financial statements and payroll.