About Dakota Resources

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So far Dakota Resources has created 68 blog entries.

Laura Zabel

Laura Zabel is the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development agency run by and for artists. Springboard provides programs that help artists make a living and a life, and programs that help communities connect to the creative power of artists. Springboard is a nationally recognized leader in artist-led community development, creative placemaking and cross-sector collaboration. Springboard’s work has been featured by the New York Times, PBS, Wall Street Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review and The Guardian and directly impacts over 25,000 artists each year in their home state of Minnesota. Through their free toolkits, training and resources Springboard’s programs have been replicated in over 80 communities across the U.S. and internationally. Zabel has been honored with numerous awards, including the YBCA 100, Gard Foundation Award of Excellence, Common Future Local Economy Fellowship and the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship. Zabel is on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers and serves as an advisor to Dakota Resources, The Laundromat Project, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the University of Kansas Department of Theater and Dance.

By |2024-07-08T15:49:33+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Alisha Vincent

Alisha Vincent is a dedicated and innovative educator who cares about creating practical and relevant learning experiences that matter to her students and make a difference in the communities that students come from, reside in, and go back to. In addition to being an educator for the past ten years, she has also been a long-time small business owner with her husband. She is proud of her three children and thankful to have them attend a thriving school at Sioux Valley. She loves SD and is an outdoor enthusiast as well.

By |2024-07-08T15:49:29+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Heidi Zeller-Crawford

As a successful Independent Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics and co-owner of Brown County Choppers, LLC, Heidi’s ambition, enthusiasm and genuine love of South Dakota provides the Dakota Resources board with unique ideas and the perspectives of a home-based business owner. She grew up in South Dakota and her love of the state led her to pursue a job with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and an internship with the SD Department of Tourism. Her roles on the Dakota Resources board and RuralX Design Team allow her to be part of something bigger, where she can feel like her efforts are directly making a difference. Her experience as a successful home-based entrepreneur is a great asset to Dakota Resources, as working from home is a rapidly growing option for people in rural communities.

By |2024-01-03T19:12:27+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Rebecca Undem

Rebecca Undem learned early in her life that people are what matters most. As the author of How Mommy Got Her Groove Back™, inspirational speaker, and community advocate, she’s helped hundreds of companies and leaders improve their people processes. Today, she inspires people to live BIG no matter their zip code through her speaking events, retreats/workshops, and podcast, The Small Town Big Talk Show, where she serves up a passionate and playful take on how to bloom where you’re planted. In 2019, Rebecca founded a non-profit organization called Growing Small Towns, which offers dynamic co-working space, entrepreneurial supports, and innovation services to the people who work and live in small towns. Rebecca believes that everyone has something positive to contribute, that if you’re not growing, you’re dying, and that anything really is possible. Her biggest champions and daily dose of reality are her 3 kids under the age of 12, Andrew, Carter, and Brynlee, along with her farmer husband, Jeremiah. They both ground her and keep her from taking herself too seriously. Rebecca and her family call Oakes, North Dakota, home, where her roots are the deepest, and her heart belongs.

By |2024-07-08T15:49:23+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Erica Stone

Erica Stone is the Director of Future of Work Strategy for Citibank, based in Sioux Falls, SD. She oversees Citi’s Home Office Program across North America and is heavily involved in long-term roadmap activities for Operations. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Citicorp Trust South Dakota. Erica has been at Citi for decades, holding a variety of Chief of Staff and Program Management leadership roles.

By |2024-07-08T15:49:18+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Linda Salmonson

In addition to living in rural places her entire life, Linda spent 30 years as the Economic Development Manager for East River Electric Power Cooperative, where she managed a diverse portfolio of community and business development loans andworked with communities in a 60,000 square mile region of South Dakota and Minnesota. In addition to Dakota Resources, Linda serves on the boards of Interlakes Community Action Partnership, Girls Scouts Dakota Horizons, and Estelline Area Economic Development. She lives on a farm between Estelline and Lake Poinsett and is a diehard Jackrabbit.

By |2024-01-03T19:12:09+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Tanya Olson

Tanya is a landscape architect and managing partner at Tallgrass Landscape Architecture, with over 25 years of experience in areas as diverse as campus, park, and community master planning, streetscape design, wayfinding, playground and park design, stream restoration, ADA compliance, trail design and more. A longtime advocate for thriving rural places, her firm, Tallgrass Landscape Architecture, specializes in working with rural communities in the northern Great Plains, helping to create flourishing communities with high quality everyday lives through collaborative place-inspired design. She also serves as the President of Custer Area Economic Development Corporation and Foundation, is an organizer of the annual AIA SD Design in the Hills conference and promotes rural issues nationally through the American Society of Landscape Architecture. Tanya brings a friendly team-oriented approach and extraordinary creativity balanced with pragmatic solutions to every pursuit.

By |2024-01-03T19:11:57+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Amy Miller

Amy Miller was born and raised a South Dakotan. Growing up in Faulkton instilled in her small-town pride from a young age: Believing that with the right tools anything is possible. She has been a teacher and spent the last 10 years as an administrator for Webster High School. In 2020 she joined the SD Department of Education as the Assistant Director of Career and Technical. Helping students identify career paths that keep our rural life viable and connecting existing industry to our schools to keep the workforce pipeline strong are two of her greatest passions.

By |2024-01-03T19:17:17+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Mark Litton

Mark was born in Breckenridge, MN and attended Moorhead State University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Finance. He served the banking industry for 35+ years within the states of SD, ND, NE, CO, and MN. Mark retired in 2018 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of BankWest, Inc., in Pierre, SD. He held this position since 2004 and was elected as a Director in 2011. Mark supervised the lending, sales and branch functions of all nine BankWest branches throughout the state of South Dakota. Mark’s community involvement starts with Team BankWest, which is a group of employees who volunteer their time each year on various community projects including: raising money for various community fundraising efforts, Meals on Wheels, stocking the shelves at the local food banks, etc. He has also held positions within the following clubs: Optimist Club, Habitat for Humanity, Elks Member, President – Huron Community Development Corporation, Board Member – Huron Clinic, President – Huron Sertoma Club and Board Member – Community Counseling. He has also been very active in his church and numerous hockey boosters clubs.

By |2024-01-03T19:11:33+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Kelly Melius

Kelly is a farmer, an inventor, a business owner, a former Dakota Rising Fellow and is involved in economic development for Faulk County, where he was born and raised. His love of rural brought him back to his family’s farm after moving to Minneapolis to pursue a career as an electrician. After moving back home, he began designing and patenting farm equipment to help make feeding cattle easier. His products eventually grew into Common Sense Manufacturing, one of the largest employers in the county. His experiences as a “rural risk taker” make him a valuable asset to the Dakota Resources board, where he offers his insights as farmer and rancher, a Dakota Rising alumni and a mentor for other business owners. He believes in giving back to his community and knows that it takes a village to help rural communities thrive—something he has been able to witness first-hand through the significant economic and community growth in Faulk County–considered a “poster child” of success for Dakota Resources.

By |2024-01-03T19:17:12+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Connie Halverson

Rural South Dakota is in Connie’s DNA. Her deep-rooted connection to her hometown of Lemmon, where her father served on the economic development board for many years, allowed Connie to witness both the challenges and rewards of community development from an early age. After earning her BA in Communication Studies from the University of South Dakota, Connie’s professional journey led her through various roles within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the SD Department of Tourism. Today, she serves as the VP of Public Benefit for both Delta Dental of SD and the Delta Dental of SD Foundation. She has actively managed programs serving SD reservations, recognizing the the importance of healthy rural communities to the overall economic well-being of our region. Beyond her professional roles, Connie has volunteered her time and expertise on the boards of various local and statewide non-profit and government organizations. She brings a wealth of experience in board governance, grant writing, and rural healthcare to the Dakota Resources Board.

By |2024-01-23T16:48:55+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Glen Marshall

Glen’s journey of community service began in 2009, when he joined the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud, where he has played various pivotal roles over the years. Notably, he served as the Executive Director from 2014 to 2023, leaving an indelible mark on the organization and its mission to empower young minds. Beyond his dedication to youth development, Glen has proudly served in the United States Army Reserve, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to his country. He has also shared his knowledge and passion for economics as an educator at Todd County High School, shaping the minds of future leaders. Glen has contributed to his community by serving on the Mission, SD city council, advocating for positive change and progress. Currently, he shares his expertise as an adjunct faculty member in the business department at Sinte Gleska University, inspiring students to reach their full potential. Glen is currently engaged in full-time doctoral studies in Sustainability at the University of South Dakota. Outside of his professional pursuits, Glen enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, dogs, and chickens.

By |2024-01-12T14:45:53+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Justin Gray

Justin is the Market President with Central Bank in Brookings. With more than 22 years of experience in the financial services industry, Gray assumed his current role in 2019. Prior to Central Bank, he was employed with Wells Fargo. He joined Wells Fargo in 1997 with their Management Development Program. He has held leadership positions within Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking since 2010. Gray holds a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings. He has served on leadership boards for the Rapid City YMCA, United Way of the Black Hills, and United Way of Siouxland.

By |2024-01-03T19:10:43+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Kelsea Kenzy Sutton

Kelsea Kenzy Sutton works as an attorney for First Fidelity Bank in her hometown of Burke, South Dakota. She is a passionate "homecomer," and when she isn't lawyering she likes to spend her free time working on community development and rural advocacy. She helps run several local nonprofits, and together with her husband launched a statewide leadership initiative to help empower more community-minded, courageous, servant leaders. She loves historical fiction, hot yoga, and spending summers on the Missouri river with her family.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:51+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Caleb Finck

Caleb Finck is a born and raised 6th Generation Farmer and Rancher from a small farm south of Tripp, South Dakota where he lives today with his wife Toni. He is an active member of his community, volunteering on the Tripp Economic Development Corporation Board as President, the Tripp Area Community Foundation, and Tripp Action Group. Caleb also serves on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Professionals Association of SD and Rushmore Music Camp. Caleb graduated from SDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Leadership after serving two terms as Student Body President. Since then, Caleb realized his passion for public service and served two terms in the SD House of Representatives (2018-2022). During the legislative session in Pierre, Caleb served on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and chaired the House Transportation Committee. Currently, Caleb works for the SD Office of School and Public Lands as the Analytics Architect and GIS General Manager. Outside of the farm and public service, Caleb is an accomplished Classical Tenor and Tuba player and has performed across the nation and in over a dozen different countries worldwide.

By |2024-02-21T15:06:50+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Clay Hoffman

Clay Hoffman was born and raised in the West River farming and ranching community of Winner, South Dakota. He went on to attend the University of South Dakota and graduated with a BA in Political Science in 2015. After a short stint in politics, Clay currently works as a Loyalty Giving Officer with the SDSU Foundation. In his current role, he works to cultivate relationships with alumni and friends of South Dakota's premier land-grant institution to discover their passions in support of the University. Clay is excited to be part of an organization that is dedicated to a thriving rural.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:40+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Jacqson Collins

As a Mitchell resident and Eastern Regional President for BankWest, Jacqson has a unique perspective when it comes to the challenges and opportunities available to rural businesses and agriculture operations. He is connected to rural people and places through his job and is dedicated to helping them succeed. His financial and lending expertise are an asset to the Dakota Resources team, while his connections across the region allow him to spread the word about the valuable programs and resources available to the people living here.

By |2024-01-09T14:47:49+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Erik Gaikowski

Erik Gaikowski joined AARP as the South Dakota State Director in March 2016, representing over 106,000 AARP members in the state. Erik is a highly respected non-profit leader specializing in volunteer leadership development, strategic staff deployment, and community engagement since 2000. Previously, Erik led the development and coordination of a statewide advocate network and partner organizations to successfully influence health policy, and also developed strategic partnerships with medical, corporate, and public employers to advance organizational priorities to improve the health of all citizens. Erik’s upbringing in South Dakota drives his focus on improving livability in communities across the state, which was the impetus for convening statewide stakeholders to enhance livability and grow community and economic development for all South Dakotans. Erik holds a degree in Political Science from Northern State University. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife Mandy and two daughters.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:34+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Jon Farris

Jon Farris joined BankWest in 2016 and serves as Special Assets Officer, providing assistance in debt recovery solutions. Previously he had worked for DuPont Pioneer as an Account Manager in east central South Dakota leading the sales efforts of Pioneer brand products.He worked for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) from 1994 to 2013, serving as Deputy Secretary, Acting Secretary and Director of the Agricultural Development Division. Prior to joining SDDA, Farris worked as an investment broker, served as an operations manager for a residential district and assisted in infrastructure development for local municipalities. Originally from Woonsocket, South Dakota, he grew up on a diversified farm and family business. Farris received his bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and his MBA from the University of Phoenix. He serves on the Mitchell Area United Way on the Board of Directors and is the current chair for the board for Dakotas America working with New Market Tax Credits.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:26+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Cecily Engelhart

Cecily Engelhart is an Ihanktonwan & Oglala mother, artist, coach, media nerd, foodie, bookworm, and kitchen dancing enthusiast. She was raised in South Dakota; her school years spent with her mother in the small college town of Vermillion and summers with her father, grandparents, and innumerable cousins on the Yankton Sioux Reservation along the muddy banks of the Missouri River. All her fondest memories relate to cooking delicious food, being in the sunshine, playing favorite games, and watching movies. She is unwaveringly passionate about how methods of expression shape our understanding of ourselves and each other. Her personal and professional work have consistently coalesced around storytelling in its various forms, most often through cooking, design, writing, and filmmaking. Through all her contributions to the world, she seeks to be a good relative, a good future ancestor, and a responsible steward of Unči Maka.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:20+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments

Patri Acevedo Fuentes

Patri brings over 20 years of design expertise, cultural sensitivity, and a wild and wonderful wit to her work. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Patri resided in New York, Florida and Texas before making the Black Hills her home. As an architect and community member, Patri finds joy in creating solutions that catalyze smart growth and renewal with a special love for rural and remote communities. An engaged and passionate civic leader, Patri is a 2021 Bush Foundation Fellow. During the fellowship, she expanded her knowledge of public policy and social justice and her capacity for intercultural development, with the goal of creating a more equitable approach to architecture through policy, planning, practice, and participation. She understands that architecture is powerful and permanent and seeks to make the design and construction of places and spaces more just.

By |2024-01-03T19:04:17+00:00January 1, 2024|Board|0 Comments

Brian Depew

Brian Depew is Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs based on Lyons, Nebraska. He provides strategic leadership for the Center’s community development, financing and policy change efforts. Brian also serves on the governing body of the National sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He was a 2018 BALLE Network Local Economies Fellow. When not at work, Brian can be found chopping wood, working in the garden and tending a small flock of sheep.

By |2024-01-03T19:16:14+00:00January 1, 2024|Advisory Council|0 Comments
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