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Distinguished Alumni and Guest Speakers

Each year at our scholarship banquet, the Ness School of Management and Economics recognizes an Economics Alumni member and invites them to guest speak at the banquet. This spans all the way back to 1955 and is a tradition.

Current Distinguished Alumni:

2023: Soon to be announced.

Past Distinguished Alumni and Guest Speakers:

2022: Brian Gilbert, Agricultural Banking Manager at The First National Bank; Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of Lakota Funds

2021: No event due to COVID-19.

2020: No event due to COVID-19.

2019: Brian Gatzke, ARA, owner, Certified General Appraiser, Northern Plains Appraisal; Pat Lyons, Professor Emeritus of Economics, South Dakota State University

2018: Mark Leddy, Five Star Enterprises, LLP; Merl Hackbart, Kentucky Consensus Revenue Forecasting Group

2017: Doug Hajek, Banking Lawyer and Partner at Davenport Evans, Sioux Falls and Bob Schmidt, Senior Vice President - North Business Lending Division for Farm Credit Services of America, Pierre

2016: Tyler Stowater, Partner/Vice President of Bluestem, Luverne and Jeff Lakner, CEO of Lakner Farms L.L.C., Sioux Falls

2015: Bill Even, Commercial Unit Lead for South Dakota, eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota for DuPont Pioneer, Humboldt

2014: Kim Tyler, Vice-Chair, SDSU Foundation, Brookings

2013: Steve Stahly, CEO, Stahly Financial, Des Moines

2012: Kevin Tetzlaff, President/CEO, First Bank and Trust, Brookings

2011: Craig Rickert, CEO, C.A. Rickert and Associates

2010: Larry Ness, CEO and Chairman of the Board, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton

2009: Richard Shane, Former Head, Department of Economics, SDSU

2008: Dana J. Dykhouse, President and CEO, First PREMIER Bank, Sioux Falls

2007: Jeffery Chicoine, Managing Director, Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc., Chicago

2006: Dr. Lauri Stenberg-Nichols, Dean, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, SDSU

2005: Dr. Ardelle Lundeen-Roberts, Former Head, Department of Economics, SDSU

2004: Jeff Muchow, President, South Dakota State University Foundation and Senior Management involvement in business startups

2003: Sam Cordes, Professor and Assistant Director of Cooperative Extension, Purdue University

2002: David Chicoine, Vice President for Economics Development and Corporate Relations, University of Illinois

2001: Sid Bostic, President and COO, FirstMerit Corporation

2000: Roger Prunty, Prunty Construction/Past Mayor, Brookings

1999: George Roberts, President, Hometown Insurers, Sioux Falls

1998: Robert C. Elmen, President/Chairman of Elmen Rental, Inc., Sioux Falls

1997:  Jeff Newman, Principals - RKG, Inc., Senior Consultant - FTP Consulting Services, Dell Rapids

1996: Roger Christensen, Director of Economic Development - Nebraska, Omaha

1995: Dr. Sam Cordes, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director, Center for Rural Community Revitalization and Development, Lincoln

1994: Wayne Fischer, Senior Vice President/Operations, First National Bank, Brookings

1993: John Sundet, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rollerblade Inc., Minneapolis

1992: Jim Nichols, Farmer and Director of Economic Development, Sibley County, Minnesota

1991: Rodney Foubery, Chairman of Board, Dacotah Bank, Aberdeen

1990: Cal Williamson, Vice President, First National Bank, Sioux Falls

1989: Sid Bostic, President, Norwest Bank, Omaha

1988: Dr. Mary K. Wagner, South Dakota Representative, District 7

1987: David S. Dahl, Manager Corporate Communications, Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis

1986:Dr. Gene Murra, Head, Economics Department, SDSU

1985: Chuck Luke, Citibank, Vice President of Consumer Affairs

1984: Dr. Lee R. Kolmer, Dean, College of Agriculture and Director of the Experiment Station, Iowa State University

1982: Dr. E. Gerald Corrigan, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

1981: Dr. Sherwood O. Berg, President of SDSU

1980: Dr. Delwyn D. Dearborn, Dean, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, SDSU

1979: Dr. Hilton M. Briggs, Former President of SDSU

1978: Philip Raup, University of Montana

1977: Ray E. Switzer, President, Switzer-Besson Co., Inc.

1976: Dr. Allyn Lockner, Secretary of Department of Environmental Protection

1975: Dr. Bruce MacLaury, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

1974: Dr. Mark Powers, Chicago Board of Trade

1973: Paul W. McCracken, Economics Advisor to Former President Nixon

1972: Harold Pluimer, Professional Consultant

1971: Laurn Soth, Des Moines Register and Tribune

1970: Warren Eustis, Upper Midwest Research and Development

1969: Dr. Laurel Loftsgaard, President North Dakota State University

1968: Dr. Carroll Hes, Kansas State University 

1967: Lester Brown, International Agricultural Development

1966: Dr. Dwight M. Blood, University of Wyoming

1965: Val Peterson, Former Governor of Nebraska

1964: Dr. William G. Murray, Iowa State University

1963: Dean Sherwood O. Berg, University of Minnesota

1962: Dr. Donald Paarlberg, Purdue University

1961: Dr. George McGovern, Food for Peace Administrator

1960: Dr. Max Myers, Administration - Foreign Agricultural Service

1959: Dr. James A. VanWinkle, Montana State University

1958: Dr. O.B. Jesness, University of Minnesota

1957: Robert C. Liebenow, Chicago Board of Trade

1956: Dr. Raymond J. Penn, University of Wisconsin

1955: Dr. J. Ackerman, President - American Farm Economics Association