Staff

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Lynne Keller Forbes

Executive Director

Lynne Keller Forbes 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

As the Associate Director, Jessica is responsible for marketing, underwriting, and packaging loans for Dakota BUSINESS Finance and the South Eastern Development Foundation. Jessica's previous experience includes commercial lending with a national bank and economic development for a municipal government.

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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Barb Berg

Closing Officer

As a Closing Officer, Barb is responsible for assisting with and closing business loans financed through Dakota BUSINESS Finance and the South Eastern Development Foundation.

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Aspen Gillaspie

Credit Analyst

As Credit Analyst, Aspens duties involve analyzing companies and presenting findings for SBA’s 504 loan program and the South Eastern Development Foundation’s regional revolving loan fund as well as ensure compliance with environmental and appraisal requirements are met for new loan requests.

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Dan Park

Loan Officer

As a  Loan Officer, Dan is responsible for marketing, underwriting, and packaging loans for Dakota BUSINESS Finance and the South Eastern Development Foundation

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. Previous to holding this position Dan was the Servicing Analyst with SECOG for five years.

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LaJena Gruis

Servicing Analyst

As a Servicing Analyst, LaJena is responsible for working with SECOG staff, lenders, and business owners to service business loans financed through Dakota BUSINESS Finance and the South Eastern Development Foundation. She is also responsible for liquidation and post-debenture purchase workouts.

LaJena holds an Associates in Accounting from Southeastern Technical College. She has extensive experience with the SBA 504 loan program. LaJena started with SECOG in April 2021.  

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Trisha Viss

Senior Loan Officer

As a Senior Loan Officer, Trisha is responsible for marketing, underwriting, and packaging loans for Dakota BUSINESS Finance and the South Eastern Development Foundation

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Sydney Waltner

Loan Assistant

As the Loan Assistant, Sydney is responsible for the closing and servicing of the SEDF loan portfolio.