OCT. 5, 2017 - VOL. 54 No. 1

Chair's Column
New Members
Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
Other News
Faces & Places
Ribbon Cuttings
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Community leaders join
Chamber Board of Directors

As directed by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce bylaws, each year, five individuals are nominated to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors. The following Chamber members have been elected and began their term of service October 1, 2017: Tom Biegler, Regency Hotel Management; Paul Hanson, Sanford Health; Randy Knecht, Journey Group; Karla Santi, Blend Interactive; and Claire Santos, Zoup! and Wingstop. In addition, the Board elected Curt Zaske, Wells Fargo, to fill seat vacated by Bill Albrecht. Zaske will serve two years on the Board, completing Albrecht's original three-year term.

The following Board members were also elected to serve one-year terms on the Chamber´s Executive Committee: Chair Steve Van Buskirk, Van Buskirk Companies; Chair-Elect Tim Sturdevant, Sturdevant's Auto Parts; Vice Chair Bobbi Thury, Legacy Law Firm; Treasurer Dan Doyle, Cutler Law Firm; and Immediate Past Chair Dave Kapaska, D.O., retired. Chamber President/CEO Jason Ball is also a member of the Chamber's Executive Committee, serving as its Secretary.

The Chamber's Board of Directors is rounded out by the following members: Wendy Bergan, JDS Industries; Sharon Haselhoff, Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort; Mike Hauck, Accord Commercial Real Estate LLC; Laurie Knutson, EmBe; Mark Mickelson, Mickelson & Company; Christy Nicolaisen, Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls; Alex Ramirez, USA Media TV; and Carl Wynja, U.S. Bank. The following representatives also serve as ex-officio members: Gerald Beninga, Minnehaha County Commission; Kyle Groos, Sioux Falls Catholic School System; Mayor Mike Huether, City of Sioux Falls; Dr. Brian Maher, Sioux Falls School District; Kate Parker, Sioux Falls School Board; and Jim Schmidt, Lincoln County Commission.

The following retiring directors will be recognized at the Chamber's 111th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24: Immediate Past Chair Paul Bruflat, CNA Surety; Gary Gaspar, Interstate Office Products; John Henkhaus, The Everist Company; Jay Huizenga, KELO-TV; and Dean Karsky, Farmers Insurance Group/Karsky Agency.

Tom Biegler is the President & CEO of Regency Hotel Management. Biegler currently serves on the South Dakota Tourism Board, the Avera McKennan Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for Sioux Falls Cares, and the Board of Directors for Ramkota Companies. He has previously volunteered for numerous other community organization boards, including the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Karla Santi is the CEO and founding partner of Blend Interactive. She currently serves as the Chair of the Chamber's Business Leadership Council and was a breakout session speaker at YPN's 2017 Crossroads Summit. Santi is an active mentor through EmBe's Women's Leadership Program and volunteers on the marketing committees for Downtown Sioux Falls and EmBe. She previously served on the AIGA Board of Directors. Blend Interactive has been a Chamber member since 2001.

Paul A. Hanson, MHA, FACHE, is Executive Vice President for Sanford Health. Hanson also serves on the boards of directors for the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Sanford Health has been a Chamber member since 1907.

Claire Santos is the Owner and Brand Partner of Wingstop and Zoup! restaurants in Sioux Falls. She is a board member and past secretary for the Sioux Falls Children's Choir, a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and a member of the American Business Women's Association. Santos also previously served as Director of Youth Affairs for Rotary Club of Cavite East.

Randy Knecht is the President & CEO of Journey Group Companies. He is active in the community, currently serving on the boards of directors for Junior Achievement, Volunteers of America - Dakotas Foundation, Northern State University Foundation and the advisory board for The First National Bank in Sioux Falls. His past service includes Eide Bailly, Southeast Tech Foundation, YMCA and CFMA. Knecht's involvement with the Chamber includes serving on the Community Appeals Committee, the Business Leadership Council and Forward Sioux Falls – most recently as co-chair of the Pacesetter Division in 2021 campaign. He is a graduate of Leadership Sioux Falls class 13 and Journey Group has been a Chamber member since 1907.

Curt Zaske is Market President and Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo Bank. He has served or is currently serving on boards of directors for Sioux Empire Housing Partnership, Sioux Empire United Way, Volunteers of America, Dakotas and the National Board of Directors for Volunteers of America, Inc where he served three years as National Treasurer. Zaske's involvement with the Chamber of Commerce has ranged from Ag Appreciation Day and Sioux Empire Farm Show volunteer to working on numerous Community Appeals campaigns. He is a graduate of Leadership Sioux Falls class 6 and most recently served as a cabinet member for the Forward Sioux Falls 2021 Campaign.

2017-18 Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce leadership

Executive committee

Steve Van Buskirk
Van Buskirk Companies
Dan Doyle
Cutler Law Firm
Tim Sturdevant
Sturdevant's Auto Parts
Immediate past chair
Dave Kapaska, D.O.
Vice Chair
Bobbi Thury
Legacy Law Firm, P.C.
Jason Ball
Chamber of Commerce

Board of Directors

Wendy Bergan
JDS Industries
Laurie Knutson
Tom Biegler
Regency Hotel Management
Mark Mickelson
Mickelson & Co.
Paul Hanson
Sanford Health
Christy Nicolaisan
Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls
Sharon Haselhoff
Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort
Alex Ramirez
USA Media TV
Mike Hauck
Accord Commercial Real Estate, LLC
Karla Santi
Blend Interactive
Claire Santos
Zoup! and Wingstop
Randy Knecht
Journey Group
Carl Wynja
U.S. Bank


Gerald Beninga
Minnehaha County Commission
Dr. Brian Maher
Superintendent, Sioux Falls
Public School System
Kyle Groos
Sioux Falls Catholic Schools
Kate Parker
Sioux Falls School Board
Mayor Mike Huether
City of Sioux Falls
Jim Schmidt
Lincoln County Commission

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