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.

KSFY 2017 Inductee Acceptance Speeches Video Highlights

Another Shout-Out! to KSFY for their terrific 2017 Inductee Speeches video highlights at this link.

What great work to capture Champions with boots on the ground in South Dakota.

KSFY Video Clip

KSFY’s Vanessa Gomez introduced all of this year’s champions of excellence in South Dakota. The inductees are:

James Abbott, Vermillion, SD (Education)

Andrew Bogue, Rapid City, SD (Law)

Jeff Broin, Dell Rapids, SD (Agriculture)

Ernest Carlsen, Sioux Falls, SD (Business)

Niels Hansen, Brookings, SD (Agriculture)

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Sioux Falls, SD (Professional)

Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sioux Falls, SD (Medical Field)

Jeff Scherschligt, Sioux Falls, SD (Business)

Thomas Shortbull, Rapid City, SD (Education)

Governor Harvey Wollman, Frankfort, SD (Political)

The South Dakota Hall of Fame board of directors selected the honorees earlier this year. This new group of inductees joins the list of other South Dakota Hall of Fame members that have been honored since 1974.

 

 

2017 Inductee Tom Shortbull and Chair Richard Gowen KNBN Interview

Each year, 10 people are inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. And this year, a familiar face from Rapid City is among the mix.

Thomas Shortbull is a collaborator and advocate for Native Americans and education. Shortbull is currently the president of Oglala Lakota College, helping students across the state get their degrees.

Shortbull said that his nomination is a good way to show off the hard work of Oglala Lakota educators.

“I’m really appreciative of the South Dakota Hall of Fame for inducting me because it allows me to spotlight the important work that our college does for giving our college students an opportunity to get a college degree,” he said.

Shortbull began making a difference from the very beginning. He was selected to coordinate of the Task Force on Indian-State Government Relations. He served the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations as a South Dakota state senator, and served as Oglala Lakota College’s president not once, but twice.

Chair of the South Dakota Hall of Fame, Richard Gowen, said Shortbull is vital to the community, and he is honored to induct him.

“Tom is an outstanding educator,” Gowen said. “He has shown over the years his involvement. He has served in our legislature; he has served in several very important responsibilities. So we’re very pleased that Tom was nominated and we were able to elect him to be a 2017 inductee in the South Dakota Hall of Fame.”

Not only is it an honor for Gowen, but also for Shortbull as a nominee.

“It’s a great feeling because it validates your career and the work that I do on behalf of my college on the Pine Ridge Reservation,” Shortbull said.

The college president also said to stay true to what you believe.

“Don’t lose your positions because 9 times out of 10, your positions on what is right – is right. And don’t lose heart.”

Shortbull will officially be inducted into the hall of fame on Sept. 8 in Chamberlain. The event goes through Sept. 9.

Inductee Nancy Tystad Koupal Editor SD Historical Society Press Laura Ingalls Wilder 150th Anniversary Year

Publisher’s Weekly: This year marks the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth on February 7, 1867, and two small presses are marking the occasion by publishing books offering new perspectives on the life and times of the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie series.

Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The South Dakota Historical Society Press kicked off the anniversary year in May by publishing Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal. Koupal isn’t only the editor of this collection of 11 essays examining the life and times of the Little House on the Prairie books: she also is the director of the press, which published Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography.

The book was an instant bestseller, selling out of its 15,000-copy initial print run before its pub date. It became the hot—and hard-to-get—title of the 2014 holiday season—even though it clocked in at 472 pages and cost $40.

To date, Pioneer Girl has sold more than 165,000 copies and is in its 10th print run. In comparison, SDHSP’s second bestselling title, Tatanka and the Lakota People, has sold about 15,000 copies. Print runs for SDHSP titles typically range between 1,000–5,000 copies.

Despite the success of Pioneer Girl, Koupal insists that it wasn’t just the hope of publishing another bestseller about an author that people can’t seem to get enough of that steered her towards publishing Pioneer Girl Perspectives, which to date has sold 7,500 copies and is still in its first print run.

“We wanted more perspective moving forward with a textual study of Pioneer Girl,” she explained. “Why is she so popular? She wasn’t even a supporter of women’s suffrage and women’s rights.”

The first essay in the collection, “The Speech for the Detroit Book Fair, 1937,” is the transcription of a presentation Wilder made during a literary event held inside a Motor City department store. It is one of the rare occasions during which Wilder spoke publicly about her life and her books, and the speech includes reflections upon the world beyond the prairie and the famous little houses she lived in as a child.

Koupal said that she worked hard to make the essays accessible to the kinds of readers who snapped up copies of Pioneer Girl. The essays examine Wilder from various angles, and boast such intriguing titles as “The Strange Case of the Bloody Benders: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and Yellow Journalism” by Caroline Fraser and “Little Myths on the Prairie” by Michael Patrick Hearn. As an added treat for Wilder fans, the long-time attorney for the Little House Heritage Trust, Noel Silverman, for the first time discusses Wilder in a Q&A with Koupal in “Her Stories Take You with Her: The Lasting Appeal of the Little House Books.” His take on why Wilder is still so popular? It’s because her tales emphasize interdependence among members of a community rather than independence. “[Wilder’s] narrative says that I can build a better house, faster, if Mr. Edwards will help me, in return for which I will gladly help him build his house,” Silverman states in the Q&A.

The Natural World of Wilder

In September, Timber Press is publishing The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Marta McDowell, with original illustrations by the first illustrator of the Little House on the Prairie books, Helen Sewell, and by her successor, Garth Williams. In contrast to the scores of other books that focus upon Wilder and her family’s experiences, McDowell, a landscape designer who teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, examines the impact of the natural world upon Wilder.

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder begins with the Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin, Wis., where Wilder was born, and continues, like the Wilder family’s travels, through the Dakotas and then on to Missouri. Describing her research as an “odyssey of the natural world,” McDowell noted that Wilder wrote extensively in her fiction and nonfiction about the trees, wildflowers, creek systems, and land forms of all the places she traveled through.

Wilder’s writings also, McDowell pointed out, explore the evolution in farming practices during the late 19th and 20th centuries. “She goes from preindustrial farming to mechanized farming. She talks about everything from thresher binder machines with horses when she was a child to, by the time they moved to Missouri, having a gasoline-powered tractor and a car,” McDowell said.

Marta McDowell. Photo: Marco Ricca.

Although McDowell did not grow up on a farm, and lives in New Jersey, she is only one generation removed from farm life, with a father from Kentucky and a mother from rural Illinois. Reading Wilder’s books “brought back a lot of memories” for McDowell, who includes in the book personal essays inspired by Wilder, such as an essay about how her father would crack open Black walnuts for her mother to make nut rolls, which was prompted by Wilder’s description of cracking open Black walnuts.

In contrast to Silverman’s theory about Wilder’s appeal to later generations of readers, McDowell asserted that Wilder’s popularity endures because she was a trendsetter, someone who practiced sustainable farming long before it became popular.

“Before she was a writer, Wilder was a farmer. Sustainability wasn’t a trend, it was a way of life. Farm-to-table could be measured in the distance from her garden to her kitchen,” McDowell said. “Wilder’s novels celebrate the small farm, a nuclear family overcoming hardships for the security of home and homestead. She documented a dream of life on the land, a simpler way that, for most of us, will remain in the realm of fiction. But through her words we can picture ourselves, transported, smoking the meat, picking the plums, harvesting the potatoes, and grinding the wheat.”

Inductee Jim Woster “Beef Buck Member”

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Pictured ready to serve the beef sandwiches are Beef Buck board members Bob and Nancy Montross of De Smet, SDSU Coach Stieglemeier and Beef Buck board member Jim Woster of Sioux Falls. (Courtesy photo)

On Sunday, July 31, Beef Bucks traveled to Brookings to “beef up” Coach John Stiegelmeier’s South Dakota State University football team.  After working out in full gear, the SDSU players and coaches relaxed with beef sandwiches compliments of Beef Bucks, Inc.

Beef Bucks, Inc. is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of beef promotion and consumer education.

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