Staff

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Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director

605-681-8172

Lynne serves as Executive Director of Dakota BUSINESS Finance, the South Eastern Development Foundation, and the South Eastern Council of Governments (SECOG).  Lynne has served as Director of SECOG since 2001 and led the organization's efforts to create the South Eastern Development Foundation and Dakota BUSINESS Finance.

Lynne is a Certified Economic and Housing Development Professional through the National Development Council.  She has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from St. Leo College, St. Leo, FL and a Juris Doctorate Law Degree from the University of South Dakota.

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Jessica Evans, Associate Director

605-681-8177

SBA 504 Loan Financing (Dakota BUSINESS Finance), SEDF Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund

Jessica is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from St. Cloud State University, a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree from the University of North Dakota and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Dakota.

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Patrick Andrews, Planner I

605-681-8176

Land Use Planning and Zoning

Patrick supports the planning efforts of SECOG’s member communities by assisting with the creation of and amendments to municipal codes, zoning ordinances, and land subdivision regulations. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

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Lisa Baruth

Ag Finance Counseler

Ag Finance Counseling, FSA Guaranteed Loans

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Kristen Benidt, GIS Technician/Planner I

605-681-8174

Geographic Information Systems Services, Land Use Planning and Zoning

Kristen provides GIS and land use planning and support to a number of projects across SECOG’s six counties.

Kristen graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography/GIS and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Geography/Community Development from the University of North Dakota. Before coming to SECOG, she was a contract employee working in GIS and Remote Sensing for the United States Geological Survey in North Dakota.

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Mara Davidson, Loan Assistant

605-681-8179

SBA 504 Loan Financing (Dakota BUSINESS Finance), SEDF Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Mara received her bachelor of business degree as well as her masters in business administration from the University of South Dakota

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Aspen (Ducheneaux) Gillaspie, Closing Officer

605-681-8173

SBA 504 Loan Financing (Dakota BUSINESS Finance), SEDF Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Aspen received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Dakota and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Sioux Falls.

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Jim Feeney, Planner II

605-681-8175

Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Mobility Management,  Drive To Help, Transit Travel Training

Jim coordinates the transportation planning activities of the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Prior to SECOG, Jim worked in state government in Pierre for 39 years with his last position as the Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Financial and Technical Assistance.

Jim graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Minors in Economics and Mathematics.

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Julie Fleek, Administrative Assistant

605-681-8182

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Betty Gates, Paraprofessional Bookkeeper

605-681-8171

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Sara Lum, Planner I

605-681-8188

SECOG Community Project Funding.

Sara supports the planning efforts of SECOG member communities by preparing grant and loan applications and providing administrative assistance for rural and economic development programs. She also supports SECOG and SEDF’s affordable housing work.

Sara is a licensed architect, earning her Master of Architecture from Rice University and a Bachelor of Science in Design from the University of Nebraska. She has experience in the non-profit and private sectors and was part of the founding faculty of the Department of Architecture at SDSU.

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Leslie Mastroianni, Planner II

605-981-8184

SECOG Community Project Funding

Leslie supports the planning efforts of SECOG member communities by preparing grant and loan applications and providing administrative assistance for rural and economic development programs. She also supports SECOG and SEDF’s affordable housing work.

Leslie has over 30 years of experience in the field of community development in the private , nonprofit and municipal sectors. Leslie earned her Master of Business Administration from Columbia College of Missouri and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Columbia College of Missouri.

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Dan Park, Loan Officer

605-681-8187

SBA 504 Loan Financing (Dakota BUSINESS Finance), SEDF Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Dan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agri-Business from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.  Daniel has worked the last 30 years in a community bank and is a licensed insurance agent and real estate broker. 

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Kim Severson, Servicing Analyst

605-681-8178

SBA 504 Loan Financing (Dakota BUSINESS Finance), SEDF Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

Kim has been working in the accounting field in various capacities since the late 1990s.  She has been at SECOG since July 2017