2012 Inductee Larry Ness Named Banker Of The Year

Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan
Larry Ness

MINNEAPOLIS — Larry Ness, chairman and CEO of First Dakota National Bank of Yankton, has been named 2018 Banker of the Year by NorthWestern Financial Review magazine.

Bell Bank partners with NorthWestern Financial Review as program sponsor to honor the 72-year-old banker. Ness started working at First Dakota National Bank when it was on the verge of failing and turned it into one of the nation’s leading agricultural lenders and one of South Dakota’s leading financial institutions.

“As chairman and CEO, Ness is reaping the rewards of a lifetime of work,” says NorthWestern Financial Review publisher Tom Bengtson. “Ness shares many leadership traits with previous Banker of the Year selections, including having a knack for innovation, aggressively recruiting talent, recognizing opportunities in tough times, being engaged in helping the community, and gratitude.

“In nearly 35 years at First Dakota, he has hired the right people, strung together a series of savvy acquisitions, built a culture of decisiveness and fun by leading and delegating, brought his three sons into the bank, built the nation’s 38th largest ag loan portfolio, won the respect of his community by giving back time and treasure, and encouraged employees, customers and students to make the most of what they have.”

Prior to landing the presidency at First Dakota National Bank in 1983, Ness worked four years as an examiner at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and he worked as a banker in Mitchell for seven years and in Volga for two years.

Rob Stephenson, who joined First Dakota National Bank in 1996 and became its president in 2010, said Ness, “regularly provides the inspiration needed for things to happen in the Yankton community.” Stephenson cited the Yankton United Way and Yankton Area Progressive Growth fund drives as examples.

Ness is the magazine’s 30th Banker of the Year selection. His is only the third selection from the state of South Dakota.

Graduate Dick Muth of Mitchell Tech and Spouse Darlene Give Back in a Big Way!

Mitchell Daily Republic: Holding back tears, Dick Muth proudly told the crowd he’s a graduate of Mitchell Technical Institute.

Standing by his side was his wife, Darlene, and together they thanked the technical institute for all it has done for their family. But now it’s their turn to give back.

Dick and Darlene Muth, along with Muth Electric, are gifting Mitchell Tech $1.1 million — the single-largest contribution to the technical school in its soon-to-be 50-year history.

The $1.1 million is a combination of endowed funds, past donations and in-kind contributions. The announcement, which was made Thursday night on Mitchell Tech’s campus, also declared the school’s Technology Center be named the Muth Electric Technology Center and the commons in the MTI Campus Center be renamed Muth Electric Commons.

“We’ve had close ties with MTI for all these years, and MTI has given us a lot,” Dick Muth told The Daily Republic earlier this week. “And I could almost say we owe our success to MTI. It’s time that we give back.”

Dick and Darlene began Muth Electric in 1970, shortly after Dick graduated from Mitchell Tech. Forty-seven years, 12 locations and 390 employees later, the company has grown beyond the couple’s wildest dreams. And it couldn’t have been done without the Mitchell institution, they said.

Of the company’s nearly 400 employees, approximately 100 have come from Mitchell Tech. And of the remaining 290 employees, nearly all are technical school graduates. Eight Muth Electric employees hold four-year degrees.

“Basically our company is run by tech school graduates,” Dick said, adding that their dedicated employees have also helped the company grow to success.

Along with Dick being an alum of Mitchell Tech, four of his brothers and two of his sons have also graduated from the school.

“We believe in technical education. MTI is near and dear to us,” Dick said.

Congratulations to the 2017 SD Hall of Fame Board for a Great Year! Here’s to 2018!


Board 2018

Left to right back row: Director Emeritus Dave Olson Sioux Falls, Don Barnett Littleton CO, Sarah Richardson Larson Sioux Falls, Endowment Chair Miles Beacom Sioux Falls, Treasurer Gailen Meyerink Chamberlain, Loren Tschetter, Bob Riter Pierre, Duane Sander Brookings, Randy Houdek Highmore’

Left to right front row:  Myrna Williamson Madison, Chair Dick Gowen Rapid City, , Mary Olinger Sioux Falls, , Kari Shanard Koenders Sioux Falls, Judy Olson Duhamel Rapid City, Michelle Lavallee Sioux Falls

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