Gervean Williams is a seasoned professional with a distinguished career spanning over two decades in the healthcare industry. Currently serving as the Director of Finance and Operations in the Training and Technical Assistance Division for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), Ms. Williams brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to her role. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Missouri and a Master of Science in Information Technology & Management from the University of Virginia. Prior to her tenure at NACHC, Ms. Williams held positions of significant responsibility, including serving as Chief Financial Officer for Shawnee Mission Physician’s Group and Manager of Accounting, Payroll, and Medical Records for Saint Luke’s-Shawnee Mission Health System. With her extensive experience, educational achievements, and a proven track record of leadership in healthcare finance and operations, Ms. Williams is dedicated to improving healthcare access and quality for the betterment of the communities they serve.
Loren White, Jr. is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes/Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and is the Community Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Environmental Network, working with Indigenous frontline communities to help design and develop regenerative economies, along with managing and maintaining the collaborative Regenerative Community Loan Fund. He also assists communities in bringing to fruition their projects that reflect their visions of sustainability and equity, based on the Indigenous Principles of Just Transition. He has nearly 20 years of business and community development experience working directly with Tribes and Native Peoples. Loren also serves on the Leadership Team of Fort Berthold Legacy Vision, a grassroots organization working for economic justice and the social and political advancement of all citizens of the Three Affiliated Tribes. He holds bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance and an MBA with a concentration in Finance. Loren has been active in professional development through the CDFI Fund’s capacity building initiatives: The Leadership Journey 2 and Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact. He has also received continuing education certificates in New Market Tax Credits, Strategic Business Planning, Trust Accounting, Just Transition Finance and Commercial Solar Lending.
Joel Smith is a distinguished professional who has made significant contributions to the financial and community development sectors, particularly within Native American communities. Since 2013, he has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Native American Bank, where he oversees the bank’s CDE and NMTC program activities, deploying capital in Indian Country and making a positive impact on economic empowerment. Prior to joining Native American Bank, Joel gained valuable experience during his 5-year tenure at CoBank, where he focused on financing electric cooperatives and rural infrastructure. Joel’s commitment to Native American economic development goes beyond his professional role, as he is an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and serves on the board of directors for several Native American local and national non-profit organizations, including Caddo Nation Economic Development Agency (CNEDA), Denver Indian Center, Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce, Oweesta (a national Native CDFI), and the NDN Fund (a 501(c)(3) national Native loan fund). Joel holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado Denver and earned a dual BBA in Finance & Accounting from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, he is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado and holds an RMA Credit Risk Certification designation. Joel was named to the 2015 Native American “40 under 40” by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and to the 2020 “40 under 40” by the Independent Community Bankers of America as an emerging community bank leader.
Cheri Rath is a dedicated leader in the field of agriculture and rural development, serving as the Executive Director of the SD Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC). With a passion for fostering rural enterprise and improving the quality of life in underserved areas, Cheri manages this nonprofit entity, providing invaluable technical assistance to agribusinesses across South Dakota. Cheri's unique strength lies in her ability to forge strong partnerships, allowing VAADC to seamlessly integrate professional business services with a wide array of local, state, regional, and national incentive programs. This collaborative approach leads to the creation and expansion of successful agribusinesses throughout the state, driving economic growth and prosperity in rural communities. Cheri's commitment to underserved individuals and economically distressed rural areas is deeply rooted in her personal journey as a foster parent for Native American families for over two decades. Her dedication to making a positive impact is reflected in VAADC's impressive track record, with 46% of their recent work focusing on underserved, economically distressed, and persistently impoverished clients. Cheri's agricultural expertise is built on a foundation of lifelong experience working with her family's grain farm and ag equipment business near Aberdeen. Her academic credentials include a General Agriculture degree from South Dakota State University, and she has held pivotal roles within the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Cheri's commitment to continuous learning and leadership is demonstrated by her alumni status with the South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership and Leadership South Dakota programs. She is also a Certified National Development Council Economic Development Finance Professional and a practitioner of The Art & Science of Starting a Cooperative Business. In addition to her responsibilities at VAADC, Cheri actively participates in various state, regional, and national agricultural and economic development boards, further contributing to the growth and vitality of rural communities in the Dakotas and beyond. Cheri Rath is a true advocate for rural development, agriculture, and improving the lives of underserved individuals, making her a driving force in the region's progress.
Dan Noteboom is the former owner and current CEO of Noteboom Implement, LLC, a 9-store John Deere dealer organization in South Dakota and Iowa and has been a highly respected community leader within a rural low-income community for decades. He has served in leadership roles within organizations such as the South Dakota Value-Added Producers organization, which developed new types of agribusiness opportunities for regional farmers. Noteboom has served as a member of the nonprofit Corsica Development Corporation board and its agriculture sub-committee, working in community development for almost 30 years. As a member of the Northern Great Plains Board, he participated in a Federal study of the Northern Great Plains, examining the viability of low-income communities in the areas of health care, housing and economic growth. He also has served as a commissioner for the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission which over saw the states airports budget and worked with the National FAA on federal mandates and funding. He has played a leadership role in many public initiatives in the greater Corsica area as well as the Chamberlain and Lower Brule Reservation areas. Mr. Noteboom currently represents the agricultural industry on the South Dakota Council of Economic Advisors where he serves as an advisor to the Governor. He is also serving as an elder for his home church.
John Mengenhausen is a distinguished leader in the field of community health center management and an accomplished accountant. After serving a 3-year tour with an army airborne company, he pursued his passion for accounting, earning his degree and returning to his roots in Howard, SD. In 1983, he assumed the role of CEO at Miner-Hamlin Health Care Project, a small community health center, where he oversaw operations at multiple clinics. Over the next three decades, Mr. Mengenhausen played a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the organization, which eventually evolved into the prominent Horizon Health Care, Inc. Today, Horizon stands as the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in SD, boasting an extensive network of 31 clinics covering an expansive 28,000 square miles of service area. With an illustrious career spanning various leadership roles, Mr. Mengenhausen has garnered widespread recognition and respect within the industry. Serving as the board chair for both state and regional associations in SD, ND, CO, UT, MT, and WY, he has become a well-regarded figure at both regional and national levels. His influential tenure as the Board Chair for the National Association of Community Health Centers, representing over 1,200 US community health centers, further underscores his invaluable contributions to the healthcare sector. Mr. Mengenhausen's dedication to fostering accessible healthcare is further demonstrated through his current role at the Board Chair for Community Health Advocates, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthcare accessibility in medically underserved communities. Additionally, he serves as the Board Chair for Community Health Ventures, a for-profit corporation facilitating group purchasing opportunities for FQHCs, showcasing his commitment to improving operational efficiency and resource allocation within the healthcare industry.
Anthony Larson resides near Hettinger, ND with his wife and their two children. He is the fourth generation to own and operate the 1920 Larson Ranch, a multi-faceted agricultural enterprise that includes cow/calf, yearling cattle, forage, and hog operations. As a testament to Anthony’s commitment to community development, he and his wife purchased and re-established a restaurant business in their community to address a critical need and fill a vacant space. The business was sold to a new owner in 2019, leaving a lasting legacy of revitalization. Anthony’s extensive professional background underscores his dedication to community service. He served as the Ambulatory Care Officer and Patient Financial Services Manager at West River Health Services, where he played a pivotal role in improving healthcare access for residents of the region. Additionally, he held the position of Branch Manager and Lender for a regional commercial bank. Currently, Anthony serves as a director for several vital entities, including the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, Slope Electric Cooperative, Innovative Energy Alliance, Maintenance Solutions Cooperative, and Upper Missouri Power Cooperative. He actively participates on the Hettinger Public School Agricultural Education Advisory Board, fostering educational opportunities for local youth. Throughout his career, Anthony has held board roles with Adams County Development Corporation, Rural Development Finance Corporation, and West Dakota Utility Services Holdings, along with its subsidiaries.
Mary Greene Trottier is a dedicated member of the Spirit Lake Tribe, where she has spent her entire life, fostering a profound connection to her community. With an illustrious career spanning 35 years, Mary has served as a vital force within the USDA-Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), advocating tirelessly for the well-being of indigenous communities and those in need nationwide. Throughout her extensive tenure, Mary's commitment to advocating for health, nutrition, and innovative delivery methods for FDPIR clients has transcended geographical boundaries. Her impact resonates across the country as she tirelessly champions change within the USDA Farm Bill, ensuring that food assistance programs are accessible, efficient, and aligned with the needs of the communities they serve. As a testament to her versatile background, Mary's journey has been characterized by service to underprivileged communities, a commitment that has deep roots in her upbringing in rural North Dakota. Her unique combination of administrative expertise and firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by marginalized populations has made her a formidable advocate for transformative change. Mary's dedication extends beyond her role as an administrator at USDA-FDPIR; she has made her voice heard at House Hearings, sharing her valuable insights to drive policy improvements that benefit the most vulnerable. Her leadership and advocacy have not gone unnoticed, as she proudly serves as the President of the National Association of Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (NAFDPIR), further amplifying her influence on a national scale. In addition to her national role, Mary remains deeply rooted in her local community, actively contributing as a member of the community college's board. Her unwavering commitment to improving community resources serves as a testament to her dedication to the well-being and prosperity of the people she serves. Mary Greene Trottier is an exemplar of tireless advocacy and leadership, a passionate advocate for the marginalized, and a catalyst for change within the USDA-FDPIR and beyond. Her commitment to community development, nutritional access, and effective policy reform continues to have a profound and lasting impact on countless lives across the nation.
Lori Finnesand is a distinguished leader and the Chief Executive Officer of GROW South Dakota, a private nonprofit corporation established to provide services to low-income individuals and promote and foster economic development in distressed communities and underserved markets in South Dakota. With over three decades of dedicated service at GROW South Dakota, Lori's unwavering commitment to her role has been instrumental in transforming lives and communities. As the CEO, Lori provides steadfast oversight of all facets of the organization, including the loan fund and financial accountability, ensuring that GROW South Dakota's initiatives are both impactful and sustainable. Her remarkable leadership has left an indelible mark, particularly in the construction and renovation of four schools on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, an area facing significant economic challenges. These educational projects not only enhance resources for students but also create and sustain hundreds of jobs, breathing new life into a community in need. Lori's active engagement within the communities she serves plays a pivotal role in guiding GROW South Dakota's selection of worthy projects, further underscoring her dedication to making a positive impact. Her educational background includes a double major in Business Administration and Business Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She has also honed her skills through prestigious programs, having graduated from the Achieving Excellence in Community Development Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy Business School and obtaining certification as an Economic Development Professional from the National Development Council. Her expertise extends to Management and Leadership, as recognized through NeighborWorks America. Lori's remarkable contributions have not gone unnoticed, as she was named the 2011 SBA Financial Services Advocate of the Year for South Dakota, acknowledging her commitment to financial empowerment. In 2018, she received the SBA Women Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Award, cementing her position as a driving force in the world of community development and empowerment. Beyond her role at GROW South Dakota, Lori serves as a board member and officer of Community Development Corporation Bancshares Inc., which owns the Community Development Bank with locations in Ogema, Hancock, and St. Michaels in Minnesota. Her multi-faceted involvement in community development and financial services underscores her unwavering dedication to fostering positive change and economic empowerment in the communities she serves. Lori Finnesand is an exceptional advocate for progress and transformation, leaving an indelible legacy of change in her wake.
Lori Cowman is a dedicated professional with an impressive track record of service and achievement in the field of economic development and financial consulting. With 20+ years of experience, she has been a valuable asset to Planning & Development District III in Yankton, SD, where she was recently appointed Assistant Director. Lori’s role as Assistant Director includes serving as the Administrator for the Areawide Business Council, Inc., a regional revolving loan fund that serves 15 counties in Southeast and South-Central South Dakota. Her expertise and leadership have been instrumental in facilitating access to capital and promoting economic growth within these communities. In addition, Lori serves as a business consultant for South Dakota Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Before joining the team at District III, Lori spent 9 years at First National Bank South Dakota dedicated to lending. Lori is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. She also achieved the prestigious designation of Economic Development Finance Professional from The National Development Council. Lori is a graduate of the American Bankers Association National Consumer Credit School and was honored with the title of Minority Small Business Champion of the Year in 2005 by the South Dakota Small Business Administration, recognizing her outstanding contributions to supporting minority-owned businesses and fostering entrepreneurship. Lori’s dedication to making a positive impact on the economic landscape of South Dakota is a testament to her passion for creating opportunities and driving prosperity.