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Dakotas America Advisory Board

The Dakotas America Advisory Board represents the interests of low-income communities served by Dakotas America. Its role is to provide input and feedback on the vision and mission of the CDE. In addition, our advisors ensure that the types of transactions undertaken create high community impact in low-income and distressed communities (LICs). The Advisory Board assists in identifying potential projects that can benefit from NMTC incentives, referring them to management for consideration.

   

Adina Abramowitz
Adina Abramowitz is an independent organizational consultant with broad expertise in the field of community development finance. She is the President of Consulting for Change, a consulting practice specializing in maximizing the impact, market responsiveness, and efficiency of nonprofit organizations. In 2020, Adina joined her colleague Mark Pinsky in forming CDFI Friendly America to bring the power of CDFIs to small cities. 


Adina ran a CDFI in Camden, NJ from 1987 to 1996 and then worked at Opportunity Finance from 1996 to 2005. While at OFN she founded their consulting practice, organized the Annual Training Conference, and implemented the Virtual Learning Center. In 2006, she founded Consulting for Change which assists CDFIs and affordable housing developers with strategic and operational planning, market analysis, succession planning, organizational assessments, impact measurement systems, board and staff Development, and organizational change.

 
    Lori Cowman
Lori Cowman has been employed by Planning & Development District III in Yankton, South Dakota for the past 20 years. Her main duties include serving as administrator for the Areawide Business Council, Inc., a regional revolving loan fund that serves 15 counties in southeast and south-central South Dakota, including low income communities and populations of three Native American tribal entities. She also provides consultation services for the Small Business Development Center, helping with business startup, expansion and retention for diverse projects that include agriculture-related companies, industrial operations, or educational institutions. Her responsibilities include administering a loan fund specifically for the Yankton Sioux Tribal members living in distressed communities. A graduate of the University of South Dakota with an accounting degree, Cowman has earned the designation of Economic Development Finance Professional from The National Development Council. She is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association National Consumer Credit School and was named Minority Small Business Champion of the Year in 2005 by the South Dakota Small Business Administration.
 
    Lori Finnesand
Lori Finnesand is the Chief Executive Officer of GROW South Dakota. GROW South Dakota is 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. She has been employed at GROW South Dakota for over 29 years, starting as fiscal officer. In her current position, she oversees all aspects of the organization including the loan fund and financial accountability. Ms. Finnesand and GROW SD were instrumental in the construction and renovation of two schools on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the most distressed areas in the nation. Not only do these schools increase educational resources for students - they also retain or create 356 jobs. Lori’s active involvement in the statewide counties she serves helps her guide DA’s selection of worthy projects. She is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a double major in Business Administration and Business Education. She is a graduate of the Achieving Excellence in Community Development Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy Business School; a Certified Economic Development Professional by National Development Council; Certification in Management and Leadership through NeighborWorks America.  Lori was named the 2011 SBA Financial Services Advocate of the Year for SD, and she received the 2018 SBA Women Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Award. She is also a board member and officer of Community Development Corporation Bancshares Inc. that owns the Community Development Bank with locations in Ogema, Hancock and St. Michaels in Minnesota.  
 
 
    Mary Greene Trottier
Mary Greene Trottier is a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe, where she has lived her entire life.  She has worked for USDA-Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations for 35 years.  She has been involved in advocating for health, food, and delivery methods for FDPIR clients across the country.  She is the founding member of the Mountain Plains Nutrition Advisory Committee and continues to advocate for changes within the USDA Farm Bill. Mary has a diverse background serving under privileged communities in her 35 years of service with USDA-FDPIR as an administrator and from growing up in rural North Dakota. In addition to being an administrator for 35 years with USDA, she has testified before House Hearings and serves as NAFDPIR President. Locally, she serves on community college’s board and is very involved in advocating for improving community resources.
     
    Anthony Larson
Anthony Larson resides near Hettinger, ND with his wife, Jodi and 2 children.  He is the 4th generation to own and operate the 1910 Larson Ranch which consists of cow/calf, yearling cattle, forage, and hog enterprises. As a community development project, Jodi and Anthony purchased and re-established a restaurant business in their community to fill a need and occupy a vacant space.  This business was sold to a new owner in 2019.  Previous professional experience for Anthony includes being the Ambulatory Care Officer and Patient Financial Services Manager at West River Health Services along with being a Branch Manager and lender for a regional commercial bank.  Anthony currently serves as a director for National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, Slope Electric Cooperative, Innovative Energy Alliance, Maintenance Solutions Cooperative, Adams County Soil Conservation District, and Upper Missouri Power Cooperative.  Anthony also serves on the Hettinger Public School Agricultural Education Advisory Board.  Previously he served board roles with the Adams County Development Corporation, Rural Development Finance Corporation and West Dakota Utility Services Holdings along with its subsidiaries.
 
    John Mengenhausen
Following a three-year tour with an army airborne company, John Mengenhausen completed an accounting degree and returned to his hometown of Howard, South Dakota to open a small accounting and tax preparation firm. After receiving his degree, he returned to his hometown of Howard, SD and opened a small accounting and tax preparation firm. In October of 1983, he assumed the role of CEO of a small community health center, Miner-Hamlin Health Care Project which included clinics in Howard and Bryant, with a total staff of 14 and an annual budget of approximately $700,000. Through a number of mergers and expansions over the course of three decades, Mr. Mengenhausen led the organization to grow into what is today Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon). Horizon is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in South Dakota with 31 clinics covering 28,000 square miles of service area. Having served as board chair for the State and Regional Associations which include SD, ND, CO, UT, MT and WY, he is respected at the state, regional and national level for his expertise in the field of community health center leadership. He also served as the Board Chair for the National Association of Community Health Centers representing all 1,200 U.S. community health centers. He currently serves as the Vice Board Chair for Community Health Advocates, Inc. a for-profit corporation formed to promote the accessibility of adequate health care to individuals residing in medically underserved US communities. He currently serves as the Vice Board Chair for Community Health Ventures, a for profit corporation that provides group purchasing opportunities for FQHCs.
 
    Dan Noteboom
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.
 
    Kenton Onstad
Kenton Onstad is the former Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party (NPL) Minority Leader in the North Dakota House of Representatives, from 2000-2016 representing the 4th District, which includes three LIC census tracts. Onstad has been alderman for Parshall City Council and an officer for Banner Township. Retired from Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative, a provider of energy services to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, Onstad facilitated business development for the cooperative and worked with right-of-way issues.  Former director for Mountrail County Job Authority, Onstad's professional experience includes the presidency of Parshall 2000 Inc, which provides affordable housing for low-income families, daycare, and a telepharmacy; teaching in the Parshall School District from 1975-1983; being an owner/manager in farming since 1983; working with Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative from 1998-2019; Co-Chair of Pilot Project with USDA Rural Development "Livable Communities" Networking for Change in the Parshall Community; current member of the Parshall School Board; and Property Manager for Lutheran Social Services Affordable Housing in Parshall.  He earned a mathematics degree from Dickinson State University in 1975.
 
    Cheri Rath
Cheri Rath is the Executive Director of the SD Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC), where she manages the nonprofit entity and delivers technical assistance to create and expand agribusinesses throughout South Dakota.  Partnering with her extensive network, Rath cohesively integrates VAADC's professional business services with diverse local, state, regional, and national incentive programs to build successful rural enterprise opportunities.  Her agricultural background stems from her experiences working with her family's grain farm and ag equipment business near Aberdeen, a General Agriculture degree from South Dakota State University, and a career path that includes the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Governor's Office of Economic Development.  Rath is South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership and Leadership South Dakota alumnus.  She also participates on a variety of state, regional, and national agricultural and economic developmenet boards.
     
   

Loren White, Jr.
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, along with managing and maintaining the collaborative Regenerative Community Loan Fund. He is also assisting in bringing to fruition their projects that reflect their visions of sustainability and equity, based on the Principles of Just Transition. He has 17 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 seeking to restore the rights for nonresident tribal voters. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance and 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 ed in NMTC, Strategic Business Planning and Trust Accounting.

     
   

Gervean Williams
Gervean Williams is the Director of Finance and Operations in the Training and Technical Assistance Division for NACHC. Ms. Williams has 19 years of healthcare experience.   Before joining NACHC Ms. Williams was the Vice President of Consulting for PMG, INC and was the Chief Financial Officer at Samuel Rodgers Health Center. She has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Missouri.  She also has a Master of Science in the Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia.   Ms. Williams served as the chief financial officer for Shawnee Mission Physician’s Group, and as manager of accounting, payroll and medical records for Saint Luke’s-Shawnee Mission Health System South. Ms. Williams also worked in the field of Public Accounting at the firm BKD.  Ms. Williams is a former Rodgers’ board member, Co-Chair of the Mid-American Regional Council HIT committee and served as a member of the Diversity Council for the St. Luke’s Health System.  Some of Ms. Williams’s national speaking engagements have included HRSA ICD-10 webinar, an expert panel for Sustainability in Healthcare for the MacArthur Foundation, and CMS ICD-10 listening session.