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: Kristin Hoefert-Redlinger, Northwestern Mutual, three years as an ambassador; Nathan Stallinga, DakotAbilities, eight years as an ambassador; Stefanie Engebretson, Goosmann Law Firm, eight years as a diplomat; Derrick Karsky, Farmers Insurance Group/Karsky Agency, six years as a diplomat; Angie Wahl, J. Wahl Home Inspection, 10 years as a diplomat; and Christy Menning, McCrossan Boys Ranch, two years as a diplomat.
The Ace Award is given monthly to one ambassador in recognition of their sales efforts. Lynda Billars, The Lynda B. Advantage – Lynda Billars KW was the December Ace award winner.
Diplomats who complete all their member contact calls each month are part of the 100 Club. One member of the 100 Club is recognized as the Service Star. The December Service Star was awarded to James Payer II, Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons. Event champion honors went to Brian Spader, New York Life.
Diplomat Team of the Month for December went to the Captain James Payer II, Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons; Jordan Huisman, First PREMIER Bank; Christy Menning, McCrossan Boys Ranch; Stefanie Engebretson, Goosmann Law Firm; and Dino DePerno, Crew Construction and Restoration.
New Faces & Promotions
Expansion Capital Group has appointed Brittney Newell to chief financial officer. Newell will oversee the company's finance, accounting, human resources and underwriting departments. Newell joined ECG in early 2015 and has played a critical financial leadership role in the transformation and growth of the company.
Julie Norton has been named the new chief financial officer for Avera Health. Norton has held financial positions with Avera for 20 years. She previously served as vice president of operational finance. As CFO, Norton is the senior financial steward of Avera, supporting a transparent, metrics-driven approach to financial business planning while developing and aligning measures of success across the organization. Norton succeeds Jim Breckenridge, who will retire in April after 45 years with Avera.
Mark Brown is the new president of the USD Discovery District. Brown will use his robust experience in research, development and leadership to guide the corporate and academic research park in its mission to foster innovation-focused development throughout the state. Brown holds a doctorate in molecular genetics and microbiology from the University of Texas. He has more than a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is certified in Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Clinical Practices and Good Laboratory Practices.
Raven Industries, Inc. has named Wade Robey as executive director of Raven Autonomy™, one of the company's two strategic platforms for growth. Robey will oversee and direct all business development and operational efforts related to accelerating autonomous agricultural solutions to the marketplace. He previously served as director of engineering and director of product management and business development for the company. Robey earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, a master's degree in avian physiology from Auburn University and a doctorate in animal nutrition from Virginia Tech.
Alexandra Gilbert-Schrag has been named the new executive director of the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society. Gilbert-Shrag previously worked for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She also worked at the United Nations Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. Gilbert-Schrag has a bachelor's degree in music and arts management from American University in Washington, D.C.
Jeff Schmidt is now the chief executive officer of Voyage Federal Credit Union, following the retirement of long-time CEO Darla Erb in December. Schmidt has been chief operating officer for the past eight years and has been in the credit union industry for almost thirteen years.
Voyage Federal Credit Union has promoted three staff members and hired two new employees. Mindy Brouwer was promoted to vice president of consumer lending. She has been with Voyage for 19 years, most recently as consumer loan manager. Heather Schutz was promoted to vice president of mortgage and business lending. She has been with Voyage for eight years, most recently as mortgage manager. Brett Stanley was promoted to financial services specialist at the Dawley Farm branch. He will be responsible for assisting members and servicing all of the credit union's products and services. Alyssa Bainbridge joined as HR specialist/admin. She is a recent Iowa State University graduate. Brittany Moore joined as accounting manager. She holds a bachelor's degree from Rasmussen College and has 13 years of accounting experience.
Justine Murtha has joined Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls as the community engagement director. Murtha will lead marketing and communications for the local affiliate, bringing nine years of experience from local marketing agencies and higher education.
Insight Marketing Design has promoted Kelcey Goetschius from office manager to production manager. Goetschius plays a key role in managing workflow throughout the agency, as well as managing vendor relationships and accounting tasks. A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Goetschius holds degrees in contemporary media/journalism and advertising.
Shane Stredde joined AmesburyTruth as a financial analyst. Stredde will provide analysis for the sales financials and will be a key business partner for the sales team. He has his bachelor's degree in business management from the University of South Dakota. Nicole Muehler was promoted to HR Generalist. She is a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM – CP) and has been with AmesburyTruth since May of 2017.
Honors & Awards
Jack Hopkins, President and CEO of CorTrust Bank, has been selected as BankBeat magazine's 2020 Banker of the Year for his ongoing commitment to growing his bank in an era of increasing consolidation, along with his career-long commitment to leading the community banking industry forward.
Xcel Energy has been honored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for its response to the tornadoes that hit Sioux Falls in September. The association awarded its Emergency Recovery Award to Xcel for its extraordinary efforts to restore power after several EF-2 tornadoes and a corresponding line of storms caused 26,800 outages in the utility's service territory. Power was fully restored within two days following 16,000 man-hours.
The Sioux Falls Business Resource Network recognized Fryn' Pan (East 10th St.); Josiah's Coffeehouse, Café & Bakery; Jimmy John's (Minnesota Ave.); Sioux Falls Skyforce; and Sanford Health Home Medical Equipment with Disability Friendly Recognition Program awards.
Insight Marketing Design won two W3 awards for websites created for their clients. The W3 is a digital-focused award show sanctioned by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts and the website category is judged based on creativity, usability, navigation, functionality, visual design and ease of use. Insight received Silver Awards for a websites created for the National Association of Tower Erectors and Rausch Granite Monuments.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Midwest Business Advisors, a Sioux Falls-based boutique finance and management consulting firm, has joined ELO CPAs & Advisors, a leading eastern South Dakota CPA firm with offices in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Yankton, Huron, Chamberlain and Miller. Eric Christensen, principal/owner of Midwest Business Advisors, joins ELO CPAs & Advisors as the practice leader for consulting. He has more than 20 years of financial and operational leadership with various companies and industries.
Business Resource Network's Board of Directors elected new officers and members for 2020. Leadership includes Chair Bonnie Duffy, Duffy Appraisals; Vice Chair Vicki Nelson, Division of Rehabilitation Services; and Secretary/Treasurer Pat Herman, USD Center for Disabilities. Kory Allen, First PREMIER Bank, joins the board as a new member. Other board members include: Sara Garbe, South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation; Kellie Hauglid, Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired; Dawn Ingalls, Raven Industries, Inc.; Heather Springer, Woods Fuller Schultz & Smith P.C.; Joel Sylvester, Five Star Call Centers; Katie Medema, Private Job Provider; and Lyla Pedersen, Esurance.
Voyage Federal Credit Union marketing manager Jessica Stienstra was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas for a three-year term.