Curt Zaske retired last summer following a 41-year career with Wells Fargo. He began his career as an ag banker after earning his degree in ag business from South Dakota State University. Zaske eventually shifted his focus to business banking and ultimately concluded his career as the Sioux Falls Market President and Business Banking Manager.
Zaske currently serves on the Chamber's Board of Directors, the United Way Board of Directors, and is the honorary chair of the VOA-Dakota's current Community Appeal campaign for Homeplace. He recently completed nine years as the South Dakota representative on the Volunteers of America National Board of Directors – including positions as National Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee, Investment Committee and Master Board Committee. Curt and his wife, Darlys, have three adult children - Adam, Aaron (spouse Amanda) and Anitra (spouse Tommy), along with a 14-month old grandson Brennan.
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in Sioux Falls?
A: Besides the many great quality of life amenities – school system, healthcare systems, recreation and entertainment – my favorite thing is the great generosity of the community. In addition to the financial support for many charities, people are willing to step up and give their time and talents to be on boards, committees and task forces addressing social service and other concerns of the area.
Q: Why do you choose to be involved in the Chamber?
A: The Chamber is a great connecting place for all businesses in the Sioux Empire. Along with the monthly mixers, various workshops and activities provide opportunities to learn and share ideas while building friendships that have lasted for decades. As a member of the Chamber, you have an instant connection with everyone who attends the meetings. By participating in our Chamber Ag activities (Annual Livestock Show, Farmer Appreciation Day and Ag Business Division committee), I have been able to maintain some contact with my farm roots.
Q: What is one community or non-profit organization that you support? Tell us about it and why it is important to you.
A: I have been involved with Volunteers of America, Dakotas for over 30 years. Through their counseling, daycare and housing facilities this faith-based organization uplifts children, youth and families throughout the entire state. It gives you a wonderful feeling to know that your time and resources are helping people struggling from poverty, addiction, mental illness and homelessness make transformational changes in their lives.
Q: Is there anything that surprised you about retirement?
A: I haven't had as much "free" time as I thought I would. My non-profit board and committee work, along with spending a little more time when we visit our children out of state, has seemed to keep me busy. I definitely haven't been bored.
Q: If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?
A: I would like to go back to work on a farm during planting or harvesting. The farm machinery has become much larger and more complex compared to what I operated growing up on the farm. I would like the opportunity to train and operate the equipment and be able to analyze the data produced in today's precision agriculture. I find the combination of computer and mechanical technology of today extremely fascinating.