• June 2019

June Faces & Places

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    Lynda Billars
    The Lynda B. Advantage Corp-Lynda Billars KW
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    Eric Anderson
    Black Hills Federal Credit Union
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    Mark Lee
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    Stacy Wrightsman
    Sanford Health
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    James Payer II
    Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons
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    Shannon Ward
    Thrive After Birth
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    Gita Hendricks
    MG & Assoc./Yoli BB
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    Craig Lindes
    Hom Furniture/Gabberts Design Studio
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    Debra Peterson
    CorTrust Bank

Recognition of Chamber Volunteers

The Ambassador Committee promotes the Chamber and assists in bringing new members into the organization. The Diplomat Committee works to maintain membership strength in the Chamber and provide outstanding customer service to members. Their volunteer service helps keep the Chamber strong.

Featured Ambassadors and Diplomats this month are: Lynda Billars, The Lynda B. Advantage Corp-Lynda Billars KW, 18 years as an ambassador; Eric Anderson, Black Hills Federal Credit Union, 14 years as an ambassador; Mark Lee, Reliabank, one year as a diplomat; Stacy Wrightsman, Sanford Health, 11 years as a diplomat; James Payer II, Girl Scouts – Dakota Horizons, five years as a diplomat; and Shannon Ward, Thrive After Birth, one year as a diplomat.

Diplomats who complete all their member service calls each month are part of the 100 Club. One member of the 100 Club is recognized as the Service Star. The April Service Star was awarded to Gita Hendricks, MG & Assoc./Yoli BB. Craig Lindes, HOM Furniture/Gabberts Design Studio was recognized as the Event Champion for consistently attending Chamber events.

Diplomat Team of the Month for April went to Captain Brad Nelson, Keller Williams Realty of Sioux Falls; David Johnson, DAKOTACARE; Marshall Selberg, Keller Williams Realty of Sioux Falls; Sharon Haselhoff, Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort; and Stefan Szwarc, Great Western Bank.

Debra Peterson, CorTrust Bank, was recognized for 20 years of service as a diplomat.

New Faces & Promotions

Mike Cooper has joined Landscape Garden Center as a landscape consultant. Cooper recently retired from the City of Sioux Falls as Director of Planning & Zoning Services, and will bring his expertise in working with public and private entities with him. He will work to help educate citizens on taking action against the Emerald Ash Borer.

Nancy Kunz has been promoted to vice president/retail banking manager at First PREMIER Bank. Kunz has more than 30 years of professional banking experience and joined the bank in 2001.

Spherion Staffing has promoted Greg Stafford to client service manager. Stafford is accountable for operational excellence and service delivery as it relates to talent placement. He is also responsible for managing the internal service team along with Spherion's field employees for the Sioux Falls office.

RAS has hired Janese Bonner as policy services representative. Teresa DeBoer joins as the human resources manager, bringing over 30 years of experience. Erica Hunter was promoted to claims services supervisor. She was previously the policy services supervisor.

Eide Bailly is pleased to announce two additions to the partner group. Cory Van Maanen is an audit partner who focuses on healthcare, dealerships, manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries. Stacey Nelson is an audit partner who focuses on the nonprofit and hospitality industries.

MarketBeat has hired Maureen Ohm as its new customer support lead. She will be responsible for leading customer support and success for MarketBeat's nearly 1 million email subscribers.

Tony Venhuizen joined Redstone Law Firm on June 3. Venhuizen previously served as chief of staff to Governor Daugaard and as senior advisor to Governor Noem. He will focus his private law practice on trust and estates, government relations and business law.

Brienne Maner is the new executive director for the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship. She will lead staff in promoting and driving entrepreneurship throughout the Sioux Falls area.

Kristine Chrisopulos has joined Seniorlink as the community engagement specialist. Chrisopulos will work in partnership with the State of South Dakota to offer the Structured Family Caregiving caregiver support program designed for family members who take care of their loved ones at home. Chrisopulos most recently served as a long-term services and supports specialist, providing case management support to individuals with disabilities and their caregivers and coordinated in-home support services to keep individuals in their home and surrounded by family.

Jacob Fleck has joined TSP, Inc. as an engineer-in-training. Fleck recently completed his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Honors & Awards

Avera Health has been named one of the best-performing U.S. health systems in a study by IBM Watson Health. Avera was ranked among the top 15 systems based on a scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction metrics and data. The study evaluated 337 health systems and 2,961 member hospitals.

The Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau recognized businesses and individuals who have made an impact in the visitor industry. Tyler Larson, Holiday Inn City Centre, received the First Impressions Award. The Outdoor Campus received the Business Award. Former City of Sioux Falls Planning and Zoning Director Mike Cooper received the Heart of the City Award.

Todd and Patty Pharis, owners of the Pizza Ranch franchise in Sioux Falls, have been named one of 50 Rock Star Franchise Owners in 2019 by Franchise Business Review, out of 27,000 franchises surveyed. The couple owns the Pizza Ranch location at the corner of 41st Street and Kiwanis Avenue in Sioux Falls, along with partners Mark Moeller and their son Michael.

Elisa Coequyt, Spherion Staffing, was recognized as one of Spherion's top professional recruiters nationally. Coequet specializes in connecting top talent to employers in the areas of Accounting & Finance, Engineering, Legal, Human Resources, Technology and Executive Leadership. She has been with Spherion for 12 years.

Stensland Family Farms was named the Family-Owned Business of the Year by the South Dakota District Office of the U.S. Small Business Association.

Sales and Marketing Executives Inc. of Sioux Falls honored five women with Women of Excellence Awards. Excellence in Marketing: Krista Orsack, Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau; Excellence in Sales: Annette Adams, Midco; Entrepreneurial Excellence: Alana Snyder, 605 Magazine; Supporting Excellence: Amy Kooistra, Wireless World; and Excellence Through the Decades: Candy Hanson, Sioux Falls Thrive.

SourceMedia named Expansion Capital Group one of the Best Places to Work in Financial Technology in 2019. Expansion Capital Group was selected out of hundreds of companies nationwide for its high-scoring workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, demographics and survey of overall employee experience.

The Sioux Falls Business Resource Network recognized Campbell's Supply (E. 10th St.), ABC Rentals, Dakotabilities, HDR Engineering, Inc. and Landscape Garden Centers with a Disability Friendly Recognition Program award.

The Helpline Center recognized 84 nominees and six award winners at their annual Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. The winners are: Youth Volunteer Award: Grace Bowar; Up and Coming Volunteer Award: Sharon Jorde; Shining Bright Volunteer Award: Dawn Stephens; Lifetime Volunteer Award: Linda Schulte; Group Category: Call to Freedom Volunteer Administrative Team; and Corporate Humanitarian Category: Celebrate Community Church. In addition, 12 Volunteer of the Month award winners were recognized during the program and three local high school students received a Youth Leadership Award scholarship.


Marcus Mahlen, NAI Sioux Falls, earned designation as a Certified Commercial Investment Member. The CCIM lapel pin denotes that the wearer has completed advanced coursework in financial and market analysis, and has demonstrated extensive experience in the commercial real estate industry.

Sidney Smith has attained her professional credentials as a mechanical engineer. She is licensed in South Dakota and practices in TSP, Inc.'s Sioux Falls office. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from South Dakota State University. She is a LEED Accredited Professional with the additional Building Design + Construction designation.

Michelle Klobassa has been elected to serve a second three-year term on the TSP, Inc. Board of Directors. Klobassa is a principal/senior architect with the firm–and the first woman to serve as a voting board member during its nearly 90-year history.


VIKOR Teleconstruction announced it will add an office in Missoula, Montana. The office will be the fifth office for the company and third office in the Mountain Region.

Every day we hear about exciting accomplishments, historic milestones and other positive aspects of our member businesses that deserve to be shared. Faces & Places appears in each issue of Chamber News and features information about Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce members and volunteers. Submissions may include new hires, promotions, changes in management, expansions, award recognition and more.

Contact us with your submission here.

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