Jeff Scherschligt Elected to SD Wildlife Foundation Board

Rapid City Journal

Jeff Scherschligt

Jeff Scherschligt, 2017 Inductee

The South Dakota Wildlife Foundation recently announced the election of officers to its board of directors for 2018, according to a release from South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.

Karen Gundersen Olson of Rapid City will serve as president while Sarah Larson of Sioux Falls will serve as vice president. Tom Krafka of Rapid City will be the secretary/treasurer.

Other members continuing their service on the board include: Kevin Nyberg, Kathryn Anderson, Dale Jahr, Jeff Stingley and Jeff Scherschligt, all of Sioux Falls; Spencer Hawley of Brookings; Dick Behl of Scotland; Jim Spies of Watertown; and Jack Lynass and William May of Rapid City. GFP Department Secretary Kelly Hepler and GFP Commissioner Gary Jensen of Rapid City serve as ex officio members of the board.

Pat Wyss and Bob Paulsen of Rapid City were also newly elected to the board.

“Those of us who serve on the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation are honored to support our cultural and natural resources through partnerships that build, protect and enhance South Dakota,” Gundersen Olson said in the release. “We, like all South Dakotans, know that South Dakota’s outdoor places are precious and must be cared for and protected for future generations.”


Daktronics Celebrates 50 Years In 2018


Al Kurtenbach

Al Kurtenbach, 1992 Inductee

BROOKINGS, S.D. – When you think of small businesses in South Dakota, you probably don’t consider Daktronics eligible given its size.

Currently, the company has manufacturing facilities worldwide and employs more than 2,500 people.

2018 marks 50 years for the company that got its start in a small garage in Brookings, thanks to the vision of two South Dakota State University professors. Co-founder Al Kurtenbach said it was easy to recognize back then that there was a lot of young, local talent that was underutilized, and not all of them wanted to leave to find a good job.

“There are a lot of talented people in South Dakota and a lot of them come to Brookings. We’ve developed a unique system to attract them to work for us,” said Kurtenbach.

The company hires hundreds of college sophomores and juniors in the area to work full-time during the summer and part-time during the school year in the hopes of keeping local talent in the area.

Kurtenbach says the experience helps them realize they don’t have to go elsewhere to be challenged.

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.

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