Bill Hansen was born in Duluth. He spent most of his life at Sawbill Canoe Outfitters on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Tofte. His parents, Mary Alice and Frank Hansen, founded the business in 1957. Bill and his wife, Cindy, owned and operated it for 30 years before selling it to their daughter and son-in-law, Clare and Dan Shirley, in 2016. Bill was named Tofte Townships Citizen of the Year in 2015. Bill has been an active in the DFL, serving in party leadership positions, working on campaigns and twice running for the legislature as the DFL endorsed candidate. He has also been active in the regional philanthropic community, serving on the boards of the Northland Foundation, Entrepreneur Fund and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, among many other community non-profits. Bill most recently served in Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer – brought back to Cook County by rules around Covid-19. Bill currently lives in Grand Marais, where he is a busy professional musician, part time canoe outfitting employee and busy community member.