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South Dakota Rural Enterprise Board of Directors profiles
Cheryl Chapman, Vice Chair

Cheryl Chapman, Chair. Cheryl is a registered engineer and President of MATRIX Consulting Group, Inc., an environmental, community and government relations consulting firm. She is also a member and serves on the Board of Directors for the SPECTRUM Group, a Washington, DC firm specializing in corporate business strategies on federal issues. She is currently Vice President of the Black Hills Council of the Girl Scouts, chair for the Calvary Lutheran Church Endowment Fund and member of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Academic Advisory Board.

Chapman is serving her first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Dr. Gary Lemme, Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Gary Lemme, Vice-Chair. Dr. Gary Lemme is currently the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University. Lemme has a BS and MS from SDSU in ag education and agronomy. His PhD is in agronomy from the University of Nebraska. He has held faculty positions at Michigan State University and South Dakota State University. He has served in administrative roles at the University of Hawaii (academic programs), University of Minnesota (regional research and outreach center and agricultural experiment station) and Michigan State University (research and agricultural experiment station) prior to coming to SDSU. Dr. Lemme has been involved in community development activities in many of these professional roles.

Lemme is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Christine Hamilton   Christine Hamilton, Secretary/Treasurer . Christine Hamilton owns and operates a large diversified farming and ranching business in South Central South Dakota. Christine has a MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. She has established a non-profit family foundation to participate in projects that address how to improve rural communities, and co-founded two groups dedicated to developing South Dakota investments – PrairieGold Ventures and South Dakota Ag Producer Ventures. Christine is a member of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, and serves on several Boards: SDSU Foundation, South Dakota State Art Museum, Northern Great Plains Initiative for Rural Development, the State Chamber Board, State Junior Achievement and Home Federal Bank.

Hamilton is serving her second 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Linda Salmonson, Chair   Linda Salmonson, Immediate Past Chair, is currently the Economic Development Manager at East River Electric Power Cooperative.  Since 1996 she also has been an administrator of Rural Electric Economic Development, Inc. a non-profit loan fund comprised of twenty-one rural electric cooperative members. She serves as a director of the National Association of Development Organizations, and as past president of the National Rural Economic Developer's Association. Linda also serves on the Board of the Minn-Ia-Kota Girl Scouts.

Salmonson is serving her third 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Larry Atkinson
  Larry Atkinson. Larry Atkinson is president of Bridge City Publishing, Inc., Mobridge. Atkinson holds an MA in executive development for public service and a BS in journalism. He served six years as public relations officer and publisher of US Air Force base newspapers in Albuquerque, NM and Wiesbaden, Germany. Atkinson served on the South Dakota Tourism Board, and is a past president. Other service includes Governor's Task Force on Tourism, Missouri River Development Committee and the Governor’s Missouri River Reservoir Access Improvement Advisory Task Force. Atkinson is also past president and board member of the Mobridge Economic Development Corporation. He currently serves on the board of North Central South Dakota Economic Development and the North Central Power Plant Task Force. In the newspaper industry, he served on the Board, and is a past president of, the South Dakota Newspaper Association and served on the board of the National Newspaper Foundation. He is current South Dakota chairman of the National Newspaper Association. Atkinson has been active in many community organizations.

Atkinson is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Paul Batcheller   Paul Batcheller. Paul Batcheller is a Principal at PrairieGold Venture Partners, a Sioux Falls, SD-based early and growth stage venture capital firm.  At PrairieGold, Paul oversees all aspects of the firm’s investment activities, from sourcing, structuring and negotiating investments to serving as a board member for portfolio companies.  Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of iCentera.  Prior to joining PrairieGold, Paul served as an economic policy advisor to Senator Tom Daschle.  He worked on tax and economic policy legislation and oversaw appropriations, small business, rural development, science and technology issues as part of his legislative portfolio.  As Senator Daschle’s senior staff member covering these issues, Paul monitored, researched and developed legislation and legislative strategies in these areas.  He received his B.A. in economics from Macalester College.

Batcheller is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.
Jim Doolittle
  Jim Doolittle. Jim Doolittle currently serves as Executive Director of Black Hills Community Economic Development, Inc. In recent years, Jim has been active in regional economic development activities throughout western South Dakota. Prior experience includes being an educator at the administrative level in Rapid City, Belle Fourche, and Harding County School Districts and managing a ranching operation.

Doolittle is serving his second 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Jon L. Farris
  Jon L. Farris. Jon Farris is the Director of Agricultural Development for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and oversees the; loan programs; dairy development program; livestock, value added and crop development and marketing programs; and the mediation and ag finance counseling program. Jon has a BS from South Dakota State University and a MBA from the University of Phoenix. Jon has been with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture since 1994 and has been involved with cooperative development, business development and marketing. These areas consist of project development, counseling, product development, market research, trade shows, trade missions and locating international and domestic buyers, distributors and markets.

Farris is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Tanya Fiddler

Tanya Fiddler. Tanya Fiddler is the executive director of Four Bands Community Fund - a native CDFI located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in North Central South Dakota. She is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Tanya joined Four Bands in September 2001, serving as its loan and technical assistance officer and became the executive director in 2002. Tanya has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary sciences from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Prior to joining the Four Bands team, Tanya worked as a housing specialist for Oti Kaga, a nonprofit housing development organization. Tanya is the recipient of the Small Business Administration’s 2007 Minority Business Champion award for both the state and SBA Region VIII. She received the 2007 Visionary Leader Award for Outstanding Achievement award from First Nations Oweesta Corporation. Tanya serves on several boards including the Cheyenne River Chamber of Commerce, the SD Small Business Development Centers Advisory Board, and Tribal Ventures—a Tribal nonprofit enterprise implementing a ten-year poverty reduction program on the Reservation.

Fiddler is serving her first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Rodney Fouberg   Rodney Fouberg.Rod has served as Chair and CEO of Dacotah Banks, Inc. in Aberdeen SD since 1984. He currently serves as the Past President of the Aberdeen Development Corporation, Past Chair of the Presentation College, Past Chair of South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Past Chair and board member of the South Dakota Community Foundation, board member of Avera Health System and serves on the State Junior Achievement Board. Rod is the current Chairman of the Education Assistance Corporation as well as a member of the South Dakota Transportation Commission.

Fouberg is serving his second 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Curt Hage, Immediate Past Chair

Curt Hage. Curt has been chairman of the Board/President/CEO of Home Federal Bank since 1996. Prior positions with Home Federal Savings Bank include EDP manager, Branch Coordinator, and Operations Officer. Curt has earned a BS/Business Administration from Augustana College in Sioux Falls; a Master in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and graduated from the Graduate School of Savings Institution Management University of Texas at Austin. Curt has served in several leadership positions, among them Sioux Falls Jaycees, Sioux Empire United Way, Junior Achievement of South Dakota, Sales and Marketing Executives of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Federal Home Loan Bank, Council of Federal Home Loan Banks, Augustana College Board of Regents, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society Foundation, Sheldon Reese Foundation, Chair of the Sioux Empire Boy Scouts of America, Treasurer of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Immediate Past Chair for America's Community Bankers.

Hage is serving his second 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Valerie Kuhl
  Valerie Kuhl. In Valerie’s current role as Business Development Director for Citibank’s Community Development business in South Dakota, she addresses the various community development and affordable housing issues facing the state of South Dakota. Through her work at Citibank, she has assisted economic development and non-profit organizations expand the capacity of their organization through fund development and applications for federal, state, and local grants, loans, and appropriations. She also assists with board development and the use of innovative financing tools to improve the organization’s financial position. Prior to her 20 years with Citibank, Valerie was employed with United National Bank for 10 years where she was the Controller for the bank system. She began her career in banking in Austin, Texas. Kuhl currently serves as Secretary for the state organization for Habitat for Humanity, is a member of the Board of Directors of Sioux Empire Housing Partnership, the Southeastern Behavioral HealthCare Board of Directors, the Advisory Board of Homeownership Education Resource Organization, and is a member of United Way Corporate Gifts team.

Kuhl is serving her first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Aelred Kurtenbach
  Aelred Kurtenbach. Dr. Aelred J. Kurtenbach is cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Daktronics, Inc., which designs, manufactures, markets and services large computer programmable displays, primarily scoreboards and large screen video systems. A native of Dimock, South Dakota, he has B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of Nebraska and Purdue University, respectively. Dr. Kurtenbach also taught electrical engineering at South Dakota State University and Purdue University. His past service includes the Brookings School Board, the South Dakota Board of Regents, Chairman of the South Dakota Manufacturers & Processors Association and as Director for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as Chairman of the Education Committee for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Chairman of the South Dakota Junior Achievement Program and the South Dakota EPSCoR Committee. Over the years Dr. Kurtenbach and Daktronics have been recognized with numerous awards for entrepreneurism and quality.

Kurtenbach is serving his second 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Jim Mirehouse
  Jim Mirehouse. Jim Mirehouse served in the United States Air Force as pilot, staff officer and commander for twenty-two years, retired as a Colonel and began a career in financial services. Mirehouse functioned as a loan officer, bank president and regional manager with a major national banking system working in all aspects of commercial banking. Following his banking career, he founded a Venture Capital Company in South Dakota to provide startup equity capital for new businesses and served as the Regional Manager for the Small Business Development Center for Western South Dakota. Currently, Mirehouse is CEO of the Black Hills Business Development Center and Genesis Equity Fund, LLC. He serves on five company boards of directors, several non profits boards and the Lakota Fund Loan committee.

Mirehouse is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

John Porter
  John Porter. John T. Porter is the President/CEO of Avera Health, a Catholic-based integrated network made up of more than 190 hospitals, medical practices, extended care facilities and other related health providers in eastern South Dakota and the surrounding service area. John is a native of South Dakota, 1974 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law and has offices in Yankton and Sioux Falls. Mr. Porter has served on numerous hospital, college and foundation boards in South Dakota, is a past board member of Catholic Health Association of the United States, a past member of the House of Delegates of the American Hospital Association, chaired the legal services committee of CHA, has served two terms on the AHA Region VI Policy Board and has served as Chair of the Council on Legislation of the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations. Porter is also a Past Chair of South Dakota Rural Enterprise.

Porter is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.

Norbert Sebade   Norbert Sebade. Norbert is the President of First Western Bank in Wall and Chairman of the Board of First Western Bank in Sturgis as well as First Western Bank in Custer. Norbert has served as the Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of Rapid City Regional Hospital. Norbert is Vice Chairman of the South Dakota Health and Educational Facilities Authority. He also serves on the board of Black Hills State University Foundation and the West River Economic Development Coalition.

Sebade is serving his first 3-year term on the SD Rural Enterprise, Inc. Board.


In addition to the

affiliations set forth here, Board members are active in many community, trade, and charitable, educational and religious organizations.

629 S. Minnesota Ave.
Suite 201
P.O. Box 2282
Sioux Falls, SD

ph 605.978.2804

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