Español | Karen | Careers | Newsletter | Calendar | Press Releases | FAQs | About Us | Request Donation/Support | Contact Us | For Sale

Press Releases
Whether it's an upcoming event, the arrival of a new employee, or anything in between, this
is the place you'll want to check to find out what's new at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

Just click on the [+] next to each article to expand it and read more.
[]

Huron, South Dakota - August 5, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's Membership and Staff did it again. They pulled off a great Memberfest for a great cause. Each year they host this event to start off the United Way campaign that gets things rolling. United Way Heartland Region thanks Dakotaland Federal Credit Union for this $900 jumpstart to the 2015 campaign." – Chris Nohr, President United Way Heartland Region.


L to R: Chris Nohr, United Way President, Karla Wiegel, United Way Board Member and Dakotaland Marketing Coordinator,
Jason Ollerich United Way Board Member and Dan Cumbee, Dakotaland President.



[]

Huron, South Dakota - August 1, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has found an exciting way to give back to the communities they serve and are having a great time doing it! The Annual Cruise for a Cause Poker Run was created for participants to enjoy a scenic route through east central South Dakota, while making pit stops at the branch locations to draw cards in hopes of building a winning poker hand. Over $500 in cash and prizes are awarded, while 100% of the proceeds raised are donated to the Volunteer Fire Departments in 8 of the Credit Union's branch communities.

This year's event took place on Saturday, July 12th. Approximately 50 different makes and models of handlebars and hotrods joined in on the ride. There were 2 poker run routes and riders/drivers joined in on the run at several of the branch office stops along the way. The first route started in Redfield at 9:15 am and a second started in Brookings at 10 am. The routes met in Mitchell where over 60 were served for lunch at the Overtime. The group then continued on to Huron where poker hands were drawn and awards were distributed. Regardless of whether supporters were on the run or not, many chose to back their local Volunteer Fire Department and purchased 119 poker hand punch cards at a their local Dakotaland Branch.

$3000 was raised and donated back to 8 Volunteer Fire Departments. According to fire officials, the majority of the monies will be used for equipment and training. Plans are already in the works for next year as Dakotaland will host their 4th Annual "Cruise for a Cause" Poker Run.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $260 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

[]

DeSmet, South Dakota - June 15, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's expansion plans for a new facility in DeSmet are marching forward. A building site has been secured on the northeast corner property at the intersection of SD Highways 14 and 25. Construction bids are closed and the list of contractors has been identified. Ground breaking ceremonies took place on June 14th, 2014 during the town's Old Settler's Day celebration.

"We are anxious to finally see this building project underway", stated newly appointed Branch Manager, Kristopher Warne. "The community of DeSmet has made remarkable efforts to evolve and meet the needs of an expanding population. Dakotaland wants to be a part of that continued growth", added Warne. The estimated 2,500 sq. ft. facility will house both Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, as well as Dakotaland Community Insurance. The new building will be located across the street from their current facility and will include 7 offices, expanded parking, a drive through and an island for an ATM. The additional space will allow Dakotaland to also extend office rental opportunities to the general public.

Twelve area contractors will lend their expertise to the completion of this building project. General contractor, Holland Construction will lead the efforts along with Schubloom Construction, Johnson Sand & Gravel, McGillvrey Oil Heating & Cooling, Duane Levanen, Superior Insulating, Dakota Roofing, F&M Acoustical, Dynamic Drywall, Spilde Electric, Mike Bauer Masonry and Meyer Modernizing. Building materials will be supplied by Hamlin Building Center of Lake Norden, SD. Construction has begun and an early fall completion date is anticipated.

The DeSmet Branch initially opened in 2011 and joined the ranks of 8 other Dakotaland Federal Credit Union locations including Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $260 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned cooperative offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

[]

DeSmet, South Dakota - May 19, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union congratulates DeSmet native, Kristopher Warne, on his appointment as Manager of the DeSmet Branch. "Kris will fit in well with our Credit Union family as he brings great eagerness and enthusiasm to the DeSmet Office", commented Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee.

The son of Rick and Penny Warne, Kris is a 2006 DeSmet High School graduate with a 4 year Ag Business and Marketing Degree from SDSU in Brookings. Previous to accepting the employment offer with the Credit Union, Kris gained valuable experience in Procurement and Sales with the SD Soybean Processors in Volga, SD. "DeSmet has always been my home, so I am looking forward to leading and growing my branch. I have a strong commitment to this community and very excited about the direction it is headed", explained Warne. Kris is currently completing an intensive training program at Dakotaland's main office in Huron, SD, but intends to be manning the DeSmet Office by mid-May.

Warne will assume responsibility for the management of the DeSmet Branch Office, which will include oversight of the upcoming construction. Ground breaking is scheduled for this spring to include a new office building and drive up facility. Kris and the Credit Union Staff, along with Dakotaland Community Insurance have plans to relocate to their new offices later this year. "We're fortunate to employ a strong team of local talent with deep roots in DeSmet", stated Cumbee.


Kristopher Warne,
DeSmet Branch Manager

Kris and his fiancé, Amber Diekmann, who is employed with DeSmet Farm Mutual, intend to maintain residence in DeSmet.

In closing, Dan Cumbee added, "We're looking forward to the success of the DeSmet office with our cooperative structure and philosophy". Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $260 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be a locally owned cooperative offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - April 17, 2014

Five area scholarship winners were given the opportunity to nominate a teacher that has made the greatest impact on their lives. These students chose instructors they felt had made life changing differences for them. Dakotaland Federal Credit Union joined these scholarship recipients in the recognition of these very special teachers with a $200 donation to be used as they see fit in their respective classrooms.

Brooke Kuehl's nomination went to History/Government teacher, Cheryl Harming at Elkton High School. "Ms. Harming is the kind of teacher who pushed you, inspired you, and taught you lessons that can't be found in the pages of a textbook", explained Brooke. Miss Kuehl will graduate from Elkton High School this spring and plans to attend South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Nursing.

Sabrena Schmidt is currently attending Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD majoring in Elementary Education. Ms. Schmidt's nomination went to long time preschool instructors, Joyce Borah and Brenda Friedrichsen at the American Lutheran Christian Learning Center of Huron. "Without the dedication from these two women, I never would have developed my joy for learning and school in the first place", stated Sabrena.


Brooke Kuehl presents a donation to Cheryl Harming


Sabrena Schmidt presents Joyce Borah and Brenda Friedrichsen a donation.


Hannah Smith will graduate from Huron High School and plans to attend Stewart School in Sioux Falls, SD majoring in Cosmetology. Ms. Smith's nomination went to 4th grade teacher, Erica Boomsma at Jefferson Elementary School in Huron. "Ms. Boomsma helped me break out of my shell and gain self-confidence. She inspired me to be a better person every day", explained Hannah.


Hannah Smith presents Erica Boomsma a "thank you" donation.


Leslie Elmore's nomination went to Dean of Students/Computer teacher, Sheryl Brost, a retired educator at Hot Springs High School. "Ms. Brost helped me open the door to my future. She helped me develop myself as a person, while teaching me the qualities of patience, professionalism and compassion", explained Leslie. Miss Elmore is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Biology/Pre Medicine.


Leslie Elmore pictured alongside Sheryl Brost. Photo courtesy of the Hot Springs Star.


Luke Holt's nomination went to Physics and Chemistry teacher, Judy Galvin at Redfield High School. "Mrs. Galvin taught daily with compassion, conviction and honesty. Her dignity was defined by a classroom full of respect for her", explained Luke. Due to medical reasons, Mrs. Galvin recently retired from the school district and was excited to gift her cash award to be used in the science classroom. Mr. Holt of Cresbard, SD is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Athletic Training/Physical Therapy.

These outstanding students were selected as 2014 scholarship recipients by Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. The Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $255 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

Redfield Branch Manager, Darrel Dickhaut, presents a donation to Judy Galvin along with RHS Principal, Betty Twiss.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - March 20, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently honored five area youth with $5,000 in College Scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year. Each recipient completed a written application and created a project to improve their community, which was judged by a scholarship committee made up of nine individuals. "It was difficult to select just five winners from the large number of submissions we received this year. The applicants had impressive school careers and were leaders in their communities with great ideas to share", stated Scholarship Committee Member and Member Services Representative, Cheyann Forman of the Woonsocket Branch Office.

The following winners were each awarded $1,000 to use toward their continued education. Leslie Elmore of Hot Springs, SD is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Biology/Pre Medicine. Hanna Smith of Huron, SD will graduate from Huron High School and will be attending Stewart School in Sioux Falls, SD majoring in Cosmetology. Luke Holt of Cresbard, SD is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Athletic Training/Physical Therapy. Brooke Kuehl of Elkton, SD will graduate from Elkton High School and will attend South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Nursing. Sabrena Schmidt of Huron, SD is currently attending Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD majoring in Elementary Education.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $255 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.
[]

Huron, South Dakota - March 6, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has recently added the talents of Tara Bigalke to Commercial Lending at the main branch in Huron, SD. "Tara is a wonderful welcomed addition to our Business Lending Department. With her past experience in financial services and her community background, we are excited to have her on our team", commented VP of Lending, Bryan Smith.

Ms. Bigalke comes to Dakotaland from a neighboring financial institution, Bank of the West, also of Huron. Tara held the title of Branch Manager at that location, as well as at US Bank in Mitchell, SD. Bigalke has earned 10 years of experience in the banking business and will now focus her efforts on the commercial side of lending. "I am able to utilize a great deal of the financial expertise I have accumulated over the years in this new position and I have always had an admiration for the way Dakotaland has given back to their members and the communities they serve", explained Bigalke.

Tara is a Huron native and graduate of Huron High School. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Colorado Tech in Sioux Falls, SD. Tara and her husband, Ben, reside in Wolsey, SD

Tara Bigalke, Business Lending

with their six month old daughter, Kaylee. Ben is employed with NRCS as a Restoration Specialist. Ms. Bigalke enjoys volunteering in her community and is currently a Chamber Ambassador and involved with MOPS.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $255 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.


[]

DeSmet, South Dakota - February 10, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union moves forward on expansion plans for a new facility in DeSmet. The northeast corner property at the intersection of SD Highways 14 and 25 was purchased by Dakotaland in 2013 in anticipation of the need for additional space. Ground breaking on the acquired site is scheduled for early spring.



Plans are currently being finalized for an estimated 2,500 sq. ft. facility that will house both Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, as well as Dakotaland Community Insurance. The new building will be located just north of their current facility and will provide for expanded parking, a drive through and an ATM. When Dakotaland opened its doors in DeSmet in 2012, they anticipated the future need for a larger facility to accommodate the full lineup of financial and insurance services, as well as the growing number of staff.

"We are excited to finally announce our building plans with the community of DeSmet", stated Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. "The people in the DeSmet area have shown real support for their community cooperative credit union and we have been very pleased with the growing interest from local residents in wanting to do business with a credit union", stated Cumbee. He went on to explain that credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives and return all profits back to their members/customers.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Mitchell and Woonsocket. With 28,000 members and $255 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

[]

Brookings, South Dakota - January 15, 2014

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's first ever Light It Up holiday program generated over $1,000 in donations recently gifted to the Brookings Health System Foundation. The funds will be earmarked to help support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), as the health system focuses on the improvement of breastfeeding outcomes and the impact it will have on the health and well being of the children in our community.


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union Branch Manager, Chad Moller presents proceeds generated by the "Light It Up" Holiday Light Show to Brookings Health Representatives, Barbara Anderson, Foundation Development Officer and Mary Schwaegerl, OB Director. Funds are earmarked to help support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.


Dakotaland set over 5,000 LED lights to music in celebration of the recent holiday season. The lights covered the front façade of the Brookings branch and displayed a 10-minute long show. The show ran from Thanksgiving to New Years Day and was open to the community free of charge. The funds raised were collected through goodwill donations from those that enjoyed the Light it Up program.

"We are very grateful to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union for supporting our Baby-Friendly Health Initiative," said Brookings Health System's OB Director Mary Schwaegerl. "By supporting breastfeeding moms, we'll be able to improve long-range health outcomes for babies against childhood and chronic adult diseases."

"Our light show was a true success, it not only added a new holiday attraction to Brookings, but also raise funds for a very worth while cause that will ultimately benefit the kids in our community," stated Chad Moller, Dakotaland's Branch Manager. Moller, the engineer behind the Light It Up idea, has already begun adding lights to the display and making plans to expand the show for next years event.

[]

Woonsocket, South Dakota - December 20, 2013

Woony Foods, along with Dakotaland Federal Credit Union hosted a ribbon cutting and official grand opening of the locally owned and recently remodeled grocery store located at 719 East 7th Street in Woonsocket. City Officials and community members turned out in strong support along with the staff from both resident businesses for refreshments, drawings, food samples and even wine tasting to celebrate their reinvestment in the community.

This past June the grocery store closed, creating a hardship for many in the area due to the distance in commuting to a grocery store. Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, housed in the facility since it was opened in 2004, purchased the building and Bruce and Kandy Schmiedt of Woonsocket acquired the grocery business. "Our community had become very dependent on having a local grocer and we felt if we opened Woony Foods the community would support our efforts." stated the new owners. To date the Schmiedt's assumptions appear to be true. According to Woony Foods Manager, Jody Schmiedt, " traffic has increased consistently since we've opened and the wonderful comments we have received regarding our remodel have made all the work worthwhile."


Cindy Larson (Marketing Director, Santel Communications), Lindy Peterson (Mayor, City of Woonsocket),
Gay Swenson (President of Woonsocket Development Corporation and Woonsocket Community Club),
Jody Schmiedt (Manager, Woony Foods), Bruce Schmiedt (Owner, Woony Foods),
Kandy Schmiedt (Owner, Woony Foods), Lisa Snedeker (Branch Manager Woonsocket DFCU),
Dan Cumbee (President/CEO, DFCU), Dick Reider (Woonsocket City Council)


The Schmiedt Family and the Credit Union joined forces to make some much needed renovations to the property. The shared improvements to the building and business included an upgrade to the lighting, repairs to the cooler system, maintenance to the building, expansions to the parking and new signage. Patrons will surely notice the wide aisles and bright lighting as they enter the store. The home delivery service on Thursdays is also a welcomed addition to the customer-friendly features the grocery store has to offer.

As the current owner of the building, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has taken a vested interest in the success of their tenant business. "We are excited to open our facility to locally owned/operated business and are in hopes Woony Foods will grow and prosper here in Woonsocket." commented Branch Manager, Lisa Snedeker. The Credit Union intends to maintain their space within the grocery store and have expansion plans to accommodate additional services in the future.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - November 18, 2013

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union will launch its new Light It Up program to give back to local communities this holiday season. Starting Thanksgiving evening, over 5,000 dazzling LED lights will cover the front façade of the Brookings branch and display a 10-minute long holiday light show set to music.

The public is invited to come to the Brookings location parking lot, 2423 Sixth Street, and watch the animated light show which will run every evening until New Year's Day from 6 to 10 p.m. Audiences may tune their car radios to 89.5 FM to listen to the music accompaniment. After the presentation, spectators are asked to give a free will donation to help provide babies in the Brookings area the best start in life.

"At Dakotaland, we wanted the post-show donations to benefit local kids in the Brookings area to leave a lasting impression," said Brookings Branch Manager Chad Moller who developed the concept. "Healthy babies are an investment in our future and Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is excited to 'light' the way."

Funds raised from Dakotaland's light show will be donated to Brookings Health System Foundation, earmarked to help fund the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), which the health system announced it was pursuing Summer 2013 in an effort to improve breastfeeding outcomes within the community.

Evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding include cost savings for families, fewer work absences by mothers, and improved long-range health outcomes for children as they grow and develop.

"In addition to reducing babies risks for childhood diseases and conditions like SIDS, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, juvenile diabetes and childhood obesity, breastfeeding reduces risks for long-term chronic adult diseases like Type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, certain cancers and coronary artery disease, to name a few," said OB Director Mary Schwaegerl who leads BFHI efforts at Brookings Health System.


Chad Moller, Brookings Branch Manager

"To us, supporting BFHI just made sense," said Moller. "When you look at all of the health benefits of breastfeeding, there really isn't a better way to combat multiple diseases with one cause and make a direct, lasting impact on the health and well being of our community's children."

BFHI creates a support network for nursing and non-nursing mothers alike, helping mothers to give their babies a healthy start.

PHOTO: Dakotaland Branch Manager Chad Moeller works on hanging up lights on the front façade of the Brookings branch. Starting Thanksgiving evening, the public is invited to come watch the 10-minute animated light show set to music and are asked to donate money that will go to Broookings Health System Foundation, earmarked to help fund the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and improve breastfeeding outcomes.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - September 18, 2013

Expansion plans at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union began earlier this year with the purchase of two homes, which share the same Dakota and 14th block in Huron. The home previously owned by Roger and Amy Waldner slowly moved down Dakota Avenue with the help of Robinson House Moving and Northwestern Public Service on Wednesday.

The large two story house was purchased by Jim and Carolyn McGillvery and will be relocating the home to Wolsey, SD. "Moving a house is no small endeavor, but Carolyn and I are excited about turning this property into our primary residence" commented Jim McGillvery.



Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's expansion efforts will now move forward with the removal of the two homes and their unattached garages. This will make room for further parking, a garage/storage facility and an addition to the existing building. "With our continued growth, it was evident we were in need of additional space to accommodate parking, storage and office space. These measures will ensure the Credit Union is able to successfully serve our members into the future" declared Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet and Woonsocket. With 25,000 members and $234 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of financial services to its membership since 1935.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - August 16, 2013

Bonnie Geyer of Huron was recently chosen by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas as the Credit Union Volunteer of the Year. Bonnie currently serves as the Secretary of the Dakotaland Board of Directors. Prior to that, she served on the Supervisory Committee from March 1998 until her election to the board in 2004.

Bonnie Geyer is an outstanding board member for Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.  As a volunteer, she attends all board meetings, and is prepared and interested in the success of the Credit Union. She participates in all training and also attends the credit union chapter meetings. In 2012, Bonnie was instrumental in supporting Dakotaland Federal Credit Union by partnering to provide financial education to students throughout the state. Geyer also worked to partner with a grant through the National Credit Union Foundation to provide financial education through a game called "Real Life Fortune" at local, district, and state camps throughout the summer reaching young people from age 6 to 20. Bonnie has set up a mock Credit Union each year at Farmer's Union State Camp and stresses the importance of using cooperatives, supporting cooperatives, and being an educated and informed consumer. She is always striving to communicate the credit union philosophy to everyone she interacts with and acts as a role model to many across our state. 


Bonnie Geyer, Secretary of the Dakotaland Board of Directors

Bonnie Geyer has worked for South Dakota Farmers Union for the past 31 years and serves as the State Education Director. Bonnie grew up on a farm in the Manchester area and graduated from Iroquois High School. She has a business degree from Northern State University and Business Education Degree from Huron University. Bonnie is also a board member for South Dakota Ag in the Classroom, is active on the Huron Chamber Ag Committee and is a 2002-2003 Leadership Huron Graduate.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - May 30, 2013

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union hosted their Annual Memberfest on Tuesday, June 4th and while credit union members enjoyed a BBQ, a collection of $800 in cash donations was raised for the local United Way.

Left-to-Right: United Way Drive Co-Chairperson, Lavin Haberling, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee,
Dakotaland Marketing Coordinator, Karla Wiegel, and United Way President, Chris Nohr


According to the Director of the United Way Heartland Region of Huron, Rhonda Kludt, Dakotaland is what they call a pace-setter business. "They host an event prior to the start of our campaign that gets things rolling." says Kludt. "The Credit Union has always done this for us and it's a great way to launch our fundraising efforts." she added.

Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee was pleased to present the donation to the United Way of Huron on behalf of Dakotaland's Membership. "We are proud to say our credit union members are the best and their generous donations to this community focused agency is a reflection of their benevolence and willingness to support a good cause." stated Cumbee.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - May 30, 2013

A grant totaling $15,000 was recently awarded to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union by Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The grant is part of FHLB Des Moines Rural Homeownership Fund (RHF) supporting homeownership opportunities for families and individuals in rural communities.

Many hardworking home buyers who can make a house payment still find themselves unable to purchase a home because they do not have the funds required for upfront costs. Through the RHF program, these qualified individuals and families receive funds to assist with the down payment, closing cost, counseling or rehabilitation of the property.

By participating in RHF, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union will be able to distribute awards of up to $2500 to each eligible homebuyer. Income guidelines do apply and applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

"Through these grants monies, we are pleased to offer assistance to help homeownership become a reality for our credit union members that otherwise might not be able to purchase a home." stated Dakotaland Real Estate Manager, Sarah Senska.

If you are interested in purchasing a home using the Rural Homeownership Fund grant, contact Dakotaland Federal Credit Union at 800.440.6573 and speak to one of our experienced mortgage lenders regarding details.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - May 27, 2013

As a political refugee in a war torn country where you are forced to leave your homeland or face execution, the ever looming fear of finding safety and protection for you, your family and even your fellow countrymen wears heavy on your heart and mind. For Joe Soe, these thoughts and visions were a daily part of his life. Spending years as a Karen freedom fighter in the jungles of Thailand, Joe Soe did his best to bring safety and protection to Karen civilians who were being tortured and slaughtered by the Burmese government. Joe Soe was well aware what freedom meant, but at that time he had no idea where it could be found.

Joe Soe's mission as a freedom fighter was later interrupted as his mastery of the martial arts granted him extensive travel as an international kick boxing competitor, but when Joe Soe was finally given the opportunity to seek his own sovereignty, he left the refugee camp in September of 2005 and made his way to Minnesota. Upon arrival in St. Paul, Joe Soe took employment at GK Laundry. Eventually Joe Soe was recruited by Mark "Smoky" Heuston, the Director of Human Resource, at Dakota Provisions and became the plants first Karen employee. With his new employment commitment, Joe Soe moved from St Paul on August 1st, 2007 and became the first Karen resident of Huron. Bringing his "firsts" to a total of three, Joe Soe joined the Credit Union and also became the first Karen member at Dakotaland.

It was important to Joe Soe to be accepted in his new community so he worked hard at his job, learned as much as he could about living in the United States and soon became a leader and teacher for the new Karen families that were quickly relocating to Huron. The fact Joe Soe speaks Thai, Karen, Burmese, and English, made it easy for him to become a resource for many needing assistance and guidance. "In the early years, I relied heavily on Joe Soe to interpret and help train our Karen employees." declared Heuston.


L-R: Mark Heuston, Joe Soe, and Dakotaland's Drew Anderson

In the summer of 2011, Joe Soe began attending citizenship classes on Sunday nights at the First Baptist Church in Huron. Smoky Heuston coordinated with Pastor Marc Anderson to provide classroom space and Drew Anderson, also of Huron, agreed to teach the sessions. "I thoroughly enjoyed discussing politics, history, culture, and geography of our great country with the students." commented Anderson. Joe Soe found the instruction he was receiving very interesting and decided to approach his teacher about his dream to pass the citizenship test and receive a passport to visit his family in Burma. At this point, Joe Soe had not seen his family in five years. Drew was so inspired by his student's commitment and desire to become an American citizen he dedicated the next year to assisting Joe Soe in preparation of the naturalization process. "I was astonished how well he absorbed all the information considering he had no idea who George Washington or Abraham Lincoln were when we started." added Anderson.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the country. By taking the Oath of Allegiance new citizens pledge to be faithful to the Constitution and to serve their new country when needed. Naturalization is never an overnight process. It requires complicated paperwork, long wait times, and intensive interviews. "This did not deter Joe Soe in the least." stated Heuston.

Through incredible determination and commitment Joe Soe studied all 100 questions of the test, completed the stack of forms, paid his application fees, underwent investigation, passed his personal interview and on Friday, April 5th, 2013 the first Karen resident of Huron stood tall as he participated in the swearing in ceremony as a United States citizen in Sioux Falls. "With such disconsolate news about the state of our economy and politics it was refreshing to see the American Dream realized and so appreciated by individuals feeling truly blessed simply to be here." commented Anderson.

In light of his recent citizenship, Joe Soe is not only elated at his achievement and grateful for the freedom and safety he has been granted in his county, but is also very excited to vote for the first time and has already inquired about the 2014 South Dakota Senate election. In addition, Joe Soe received his US Passport on April 23rd and is making plans to return to Thailand in November to visit family and friends that he hasn't seen in over 7 years.

We can only assume Joe Soe's story is far from over and even though he doesn't know where his new found citizenship will lead him, he is quite certain that he knows now where freedom can be found.. and the road begins here.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - May 13, 2013

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently honored 5 area youth with $5000 in College Scholarships for the 2013-14 school year. Each recipient completed a written application and created a project to improve their community, which was judged by a scholarship committee made up of 9 individuals. In addition each winner nominated an educator they believe had made a lasting impression on their life. Dakotaland paid tribute to those five teachers with a $200 cash award to use in their classroom as they deemed suitable.

The following individuals were recognized as an "educator making a difference". Scholarship winner, Amy Shan of Madison, SD selected Mr. Bill Thurow, a recently retired math teacher at Madison High School. Emma Smith of Huron, SD chose Mr. Larry Wendt, a science teacher at Huron High School. Kaylee Vander Wal of Volga, SD nominated Mrs. Paulette Newman, a recently retired math teacher at Sioux Valley Middle School. Jessie Hendricks, a home school student of Brookings, SD designated her mother, Mrs. Julie Hendricks, as someone who made a major impact on her educational life. Sabrena Schmidt of Huron, SD picked Ms. Vanya Munce, an 8th grade math teacher at Huron Middle School.


Dakotaland's Interlakes Branch Manager, Lynnette Taylor pictured with local scholarship winner, Amy Shan, and current Madison High School Math Teacher, Al Bierschbach accepting the cash award on behalf of retired instructor, Bill Thurow.



Dakotaland's VP of Marketing, Dawn Mutchelknaus pictured with Huron High School Principal, Demi Moon and two local students (Colin Claeys and Tate Sporrer) accepting the cash award on Mr. Larry Wendt's behalf.



Dakotaland's Volga Branch Manager, Gene Bjorklund pictured with local scholarship winner, Kaylee Vander Wal, the Sioux Valley Superintendent, Tom Oster, and Principal Belinda Miller accepting the cash award on behalf of retired instructor, Paulette Newman.



Dakotaland's Brookings Branch Manager, Chad Moller, pictured with local scholarship winner, Jessie Hendricks presenting the cash award to home school instructor, Julie Hendricks.



Dakotaland's VP of Maketing, Dawn Mutchelknaus presenting the cash award with with Huron Middle School Principal, Mike Taplett to 8th Grade Math Instructor, Vanya Munce.


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, DeSmet, Redfield, Madison, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $225 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - May 10, 2013

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union awarded Dennis and Maureen Decker, owners of the Country Butcher Shop in Iroquois, a $500 cash award for being the credit union members to receive Dakotaland's $1 Billionth Loan Dollar. Loan Officer, Sharon Hedge lent the $1 Billionth Dollar, which was tracked over the Credit Union's 78 year history.


Pictured L to R: Bryan Smith, Dakotaland's VP of Lending, Dennis Decker, of Yale, SD and Credit Union Member since 1973, Sharon Hedge, Dakotaland Consumer Loan Officer and Dan Cumbee, Dakotaland President; Not Pictured: Maureen Decker


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, DeSmet, Redfield, Madison, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $225 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
DeSmet, South Dakota - April 29, 2013

Dakotaland Community Insurance welcomes Blake Jensen to the DeSmet location. A South Dakota native from Bryant, Jensen has accepted an Insurance Agent position with Dakotaland and will be working under the direction of long-time agent and DeSmet resident, Dennis Helms.

Previous to his commitment to Dakotaland Community Insurance, Blake was employed with Fringe Benefits Design out of Sioux Falls where he specialized in employer sponsored retirement plans. "Making the move from retirement plans to insurance is an interesting change." commented Jensen. "But the customer service and community interaction are much the same and that is the part I enjoy the most." added Blake.

Jensen, a SDSU graduate with a bachelors degree in Business Economics, anticipates securing his insurance license in the very near future with the intentions of representing a full line of insurance products to his customers.


Blake Jensen - Insurance Agent
Blake and his wife, Amber, currently reside in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, but have every intention of moving their family to DeSmet . Amber is a high school English/Spanish teacher with Baltic Public Schools. The Jensen's are also the proud parents of 7 year old George and 3 year old Addelyn.

Dakotaland Community Insurance, LLC is an independent insurance agency that represents a carefully selected group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies and places your insurance with the company offering the best coverage at a competitive price.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - March 20, 2013

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently honored 5 area youth with $5000 in College Scholarships for the 2013-14 school year. Each recipient completed a written application and created a project to improve their community, which was judged by a scholarship committee made up of 9 individuals. "It was difficult to select just five winners from the large number of students that applied. It was great to see the innovative projects the applicants designed to fulfill a need in their respective towns." stated Scholarship Committee Member and Marketing's Graphic Designer, Emily Remund.

Kaylee Vander Wal
Emma Smith
Amy Shan
Jessie Hendricks
Sabrena Schmidt

The following winners were each awarded $1000 to use toward their continued education. Kaylee Vander Wal of Volga, SD will graduate from Sioux Valley High School and will be attending Dakota State University in Madison, SD majoring in Math Education. Emma Smith of Huron, SD is currently attending the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD majoring in Nursing. Amy Shan of Madison, SD will graduate from Madison High School and will be attending the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Business at the Wharton School. Jessie Hendricks of Brookings SD is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD majoring in Math. Sabrena Schmidt of Huron, SD is currently attending Northern State University in Aberdeen majoring in Music Education.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, DeSmet, Redfield, Madison, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $225 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
DeSmet, South Dakota - January 15, 2013

It's official. As of January 1, 2013 Dakotaland Community Insurance LLC has assumed Helms Insurance of DeSmet.  Dakotaland Community Insurance is a independent entity of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, with whom Helms Insurance has been sharing quarters since November of 2011. According to Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee, the discussions to sell the insurance business began with long time Owner/Operator, Dennis Helms, earlier this past summer and he was excited to announce the approval of the final agreement at the close of 2012.

Dennis Helms has been in the insurance business since 1969 beginning his career as a claims adjuster and then moved on to an insurance company marketing position. In August of 1988, Helms hung his own shingle and Helms Insurance was born. Mr. Helms intends to stay on board for a period of time to oversee the conversion, with the help of his Office Manager, Becky Driscoll, who has been an instrumental part of the agency for 5 years and will continue on with Dakotaland Community Insurance.

With the addition of the Helms Agency comes an expanded list of insurance providers which will allow Dakotaland Community Insurance to offer an even more impressive line of insurance options to its customers.  These services are a compliment to the substantiated business lines brought on board by Dakotaland Community Insurance's purchase of Vic Gross Insurance of Huron in October of 2012. Along with the book of business, Dakotaland has purchased the Helms Insurance Building where the credit union and insurance agency will continue to house their DeSmet Branch operations for the time being. Dakotaland also announces the acquisition of the corner plot of land across the street to the north of the existing property with plans to build a new facility in the future. 

Click Here for more information about Dakotaland Community Insurance, LLC.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - January 10, 2013

Familiar face and long-time lender in the Huron Community has recently changed her work address. Darla Erickson has joined the strong line-up of Consumer Lenders at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. "The opportunity to bring aboard the level of experience and community following that comes with the addition of Ms. Erickson is a reflection of the degree of commitment Dakotaland has made to our members and the communities we serve. I am particularly pleased to have Darla representing our lending efforts here the Credit Union.", stated Vice President of Lending, Bryan Smith.

Ms. Erickson recalls her humble beginning in the financial industry starting in 1983. "My first position was temporary as a full time Proof Operator at Northwestern National Bank located at the corner of 3rd and Dakota. It was as entry level as you can get and I had to work my way up to a teller position", reminisced Erickson. During her 30 year commitment, Northwestern National became Norwest and finally Wells Fargo, meanwhile Darla worked in customer service and eventually achieved Personal Banker status with a special emphasis on consumer lending. When asked about her move to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Erickson stated, "I'm happy with my decision. At this point in my career, it just felt right.".


Darla Erickson - Consumer Loan Officer
This Beadle County native stems from Yale, South Dakota and has made Huron her long-time home. Darla is a SDSU graduate and a mother of two. Her son, Brady resided in Spearfish, SD and works in the oil well business in North Dakota. Erickson's daughter, Rozalynn is an esthetician in Del Ray Oaks, California. Darla enjoys giving back to the community as she is currently on the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis and the Huron Country Club, as well as a volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $213 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - December 7, 2012

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) presented the 2012 Community Credit Union of the Year Award to two Dakota credit unions for their exemplary displays of credit union principles and positive influence in the field of service. The awards were announced recently at this year's CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, in Denver, CO.


Dan Cumbee, President & CEO of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union


This award recognizes credit unions that consistently excel in the advancement of credit union ideals, are proactive in their community, and meet the needs of their own diverse member-bases. The yearly judging process considers three aspects of each credit union applicant: Member Impact, Community Impact and Financial Impact. This year's award was presented to credit unions in two asset categories – less than and greater than $250 million in assets, with a first place and honorable mention winner in each.

This year, the Community Credit Union of the Year – Honorable Mention award went to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. Dakotaland President, Dan Cumbee was on site to receive the national recognition. "This award, in every way, represents the hard work and commitment of our Credit Union's Staff. I believe their dedication along with the loyalty of our members has allowed Dakotaland to be a considered a serious contender for this recognition." stated Cumbee.

Several thousand credit unions from across the nation are eligible to be considered for Credit Union of the Year. Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's submission consisted of over 100 pages of documentation and narration. "It is truly an honor to know Dakotaland's accomplishments are thought to be in the same league as so many other successful and rising credit unions." added Cumbee.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $213 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - November 1, 2012

Long time Huron resident and a senior member of the local financial industry, Connie Hofer joins the Mortgage Lending ranks at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. Hofer assumes the responsibilities of Real Estate Loan Officer at the Main Branch in Huron. "The Credit Union's Mortgage Department continues to be a leader in the real estate lending market and Connie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area. I am particularly excited to have her expertise and strong community presence as part of my department", stated Mortgage Department Manager, Sarah Senska.

Ms. Hofer started out in the banking business in 1974 as a Teller with First Federal Savings and Loan in Huron, which later became Commercial Bank. Moving up through the ranks, Connie gained a great deal of her lending experience as a consumer lender during this time. Hofer than left Commercial in 1998 and accepted a position with 1st National Bank in 2004 as Market President where she was employed up until her move to Dakotaland's Real Estate Department.


Connie Hofer - Real Estate Loan Officer
"Mortgage lending has always been a mainstay in my career and I am eager to bring my talents to the members of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union", commented Ms. Hofer. With nearly 35 years in the financial world, Connie claims it is overwhelming to note all the changes the banking industry has undergone during that time. "Even after all these years, I still love what I do and am happy knowing I have done my best to serve the citizens of Huron and the surrounding area", added Hofer.

Connie and her husband, Danny reside in Huron and have three grown children. Their youngest, Kevin is in Grad School at the University of South Dakota to complete his medical degree. Their daughter, Leslie lives in Sioux Falls and is employed by Premier Bankcard. Their eldest, Ryan is the owner/operator or Ryan's Hanger Restaurant and Ace Lounge in Huron. Ryan is married to Crystal, the Manager of Maurices, also in Huron. Danny is with Skyways in Huron and he and Connie are expecting their first grandchild this December.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet and Woonsocket. With 26,000 members and $213 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - September 28, 2012

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently acquired Vic Gross Insurance of Huron, South Dakota. While the insurance business will undergo a name change, Vic and Twila Gross, the founders of Vic Gross Insurance, will continue to actively manage their homegrown business and maintain their current office location on the second floor of the Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's Main Branch at 1371 Dakota Avenue South. Dakotaland Community Insurance, LLC will be a separate entity of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union and will service all existing insurance customers while extending its products to the general public as the Gross Family has done for the past three decades. "Bringing the long time success of Vic Gross Insurance together with the extensive line of services offered by Dakotaland is proving to be a perfect match," says Credit Union President Dan Cumbee.

Vic Gross started out in the insurance business in 1983 and worked out of his home office on their farm near Hitchcock until 1994. Mr. Gross eventually moved his office to the Centre Plaza in Huron. "I remember worrying about signing a lease for my first office space. I was afraid the business might not make it," reminisced Vic. In 1995, Gross was joined by his wife Twila following her 17 years in the teaching profession. Mrs. Gross recalls, "We began working together in one room with our two desks about 36 inches apart. We used one property/casualty company and one health insurance company. Now we have nearly 25 regular providers with access to many more." As the business grew, so did the need for additional staff. Julie Granstrom joined Vic and Twila in 1997 as secretary. Julie became an agent and is now the office manager/agent for the agency. In 2012 Jenna Diede came on board also as an agent.

Vic and Twila's decision to sell the business came with much apprehension. "It's scary to think about letting go of something you have put so much of your life into, but Twila and I are focusing on our future goals. We are confident we are putting the business in the most capable hands possible," explained Gross.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union takes possession of Vic Gross Insurance Agency as of October 1st and are pleased to have the existing employees remain on staff. "It is important to Dakotaland that our insurance customers continue to receive the outstanding service they have come to expect from their experiences with the Vic Gross Insurance Team," commented Cumbee. Dakotaland Community Insurance will maintain the same products and services currently being offered and are in hopes the transition is seamless to its customers.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket, Redfield and now DeSmet. The Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship or go to school in 25 East Central South Dakota Counties. With over 24,000 members and $213 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - July 9, 2012

Huron native, Ryan Fuchs joins the Business Lending ranks at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. Fuchs assumes the responsibilities of Business Loan Officer at the Main Branch in Huron, but will also extend his expertise and support to the other 7 branch locations. "The Credit Union's Business Lending is experiencing unprecedented growth and it had become evident that additional support staff would be needed to serve our member business owners. Ryan brings a great cross section of experience to the table, as well as a strong desire to support the difference small business commerce makes in our Dakotaland Communities", stated Vice President of Lending, Bryan Smith.

Mr. Fuchs has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska and has over seven years of financial and insurance experience including employment with Farm Bureau Financial Services and 1st National Bank of South Dakota. "Being a Business Loan Officer at the Credit Union encompasses a nice mix of my lending, insurance and business experience. I look forward to the responsibilities of the position and being able to assist small business in the challenges they face." commented Fuchs.

Ryan and his wife, Jennifer resides in Huron and have two children; Camdyn 3 and Corbin 1. Jennifer is a teacher at the Huron Middle School.


Ryan Fuchs
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet and Woonsocket. With 24,000 members and $209 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - April 22, 2012


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently honored five area youth with $5,000 in College Scholarships for the 2012-13 school year. Each recipient completed a written application and essay, which was judged by a scholarship committee made up of seven individuals. "It was difficult to select just five winners from the large number of students that applied. I was very impressed with all the applications and particularly with their research and knowledge of the differences between credit unions and other financial institutions," stated Scholarship Committee Member and Member Services Representative, Jeremiah Johnson.

The following winners were each awarded $1000 to use toward their continued education. Alison Slepikas of Huron, SD is currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. Lisa Francis of Brookings, SD will be attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and majoring in Neuroscience preparing for med school. Brandon VanOverschelde of Cavour, SD will be attending Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell majoring in Architectural Design and Building Constructions. Briana Rice of Redfield, SD will be attending South Dakota State University in Brookings in the Pre-Dentistry Program. Sabrena Schmidt of Huron, SD is currently attending Northern State University in Aberdeen majoring in Music Education.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, DeSmet, Redfield, Madison, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 21,000 members and $209 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - March 15, 2012

With an ever growing number of Karen persons utilizing financial services at Dakotaland, the Credit Union has recruited Htee Na (pronounced "Tina") as a full time interpreter/translator. "The Karen people are quickly adapting to the necessity for additional financial services and have grown from the basic need of checking and savings accounts to now requiring auto and home loans, but the language barrier continues to be a substantial obstacle. Many of the financial terms we use to explain these more advanced services do not translate in the Karen language, this makes the need for an in-house interpreter even more significant." stated Vice President of Marketing, Dawn Mutchelknaus.

Htee Na is originally from Burma and was a teacher at the Tham Hin Refuge Camp in Thialand. Speaking four languages, she earned her degree while still residing in Burma. Upon arriving in the United States seven years ago, Htee Na was initially employed by the St Paul/Minneapolis International Airport. She then moved to Huron in 2008 and secured a position with Dakota Provisions. Since, her resume has grown to include Cornerstones Career Learning Center, South Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles, Beadle County Clerk of Courts and South Dakota Department of Social Services. Htee Na's most recent position was with the Huron Middle School. "Htee Na's extensive work history and numerous experiences since arriving in America pushed her to the top of our candidate list. She speaks very fluently and it is evident she truly enjoys helping her fellow Karen." added Mutchelknaus.


Htee Na
"I am glad to be in Huron and very thankful for the freedoms and rights we are allowed here in the United States. I have been lucky to find jobs with good employers like Dakotaland, and as a mother I am grateful to have a safe place to raise my family," claimed Htee Na. Htee Na has four children that attend classes at Huron Public School. Her eldest child, Eh Khu (15) is in 8th grade, her son, Ne Soe (13) in 7th grade, her daughter, Nitya (9) in 4th grade and her youngest, John Htoo (5) is in kindergarten. Htee Na says she likes to shop and spend time with her kids, whom she is very proud.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Madison, Redfield, DeSmet, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With nearly 21,000 members and over $200 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
De Smet, South Dakota - December 30, 2011

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently appointed Jason Baszler as the Manager of the new De Smet Branch Office. "The talent we were able to solicit from the Community of De Smet has been quite impressive. We were very fortunate to recruit top notch staff to join our Dakotaland Team." stated Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. Jason's long list of banking experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead our commitment to this new branch and it's members." added Cumbee.

Baszler is a De Smet native and a 1994 graduate of
De Smet High School. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from St. Cloud State in Minnesota. The new Credit Union Manager has over 12 years of financial experience with Wells Fargo and First Premier Bank both
of Sioux Falls. Jason assumed his new position in late November and joins staff members, Roxene Helms, Tristin Gruenhagen and Barb Asleson at their 105 Highway 14 West location in De Smet. "I am very excited to be a part of the team in bringing Dakotaland Federal Credit Union
to my hometown. I look forward to making Dakotaland an integral part of our communities and helping our members in anyway that I can. I invite everyone to stop and see us anytime." exclaimed Baszler. Jason and his wife, Angie, recently relocated from Sioux Falls to De Smet with their two children, 2 1/2 year old Ella and 11 month old Brooks. Angie is the Director of Development at the Avera McKenan Foundation of Sioux Falls.


De Smet Manager, Jason Baszler
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket, Redfield and De Smet. The Credit Union holds a rural community charter that serves those who live, work, worship or go to school in 25 East Central South Dakota Counties. With over 21,000 members and $180 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members. The cooperative was formed in 1935 and is governed by a volunteer board made up of Dakotaland member-owners.

[]
Redfield, South Dakota - November 11, 2011

Redfield Staff, Left to Right: Barb Baus, Emily Nowell,
Darrell Dickhaut, Sandy Lien, Renea VanBockel



The members of Turtle Creek Federal Credit Union have approved a merger with Dakotaland Federal Credit Union of Huron, South Dakota. The merger passed in early August with an overwhelming membership vote of 95% in favor. "This merger will provide additional services to Turtle Creek members, which they currently obtain from other financial institutions." says long time Manager, Darrell Dickhaut. The official Redfield branch conversion takes place the end of December.

Turtle Creek Members will see a new sign in front of their Main Street address, but as in the past, they will continue to see the same friendly faces and receive the same great service they have come to expect from their credit union. Along with the new name, Turtle Creek will see an expanded offering of products and services. "The addition of these new financial services will allow our members to make Dakotaland their primary financial institution." states Dickhaut. Real estate lending, VISA credit cards, business lending, extensive electronic services, etc. are just a sample of the options coming in early January 2012 to the Turtle Creek Branch.

Turtle Creek FCU was chartered in 1935 and has been serving those that live, work, worship or attend school in Spink County. The union of these two financial cooperatives will now expand the field of membership to those in 25 East Central South Dakota Counties. "I look forward to working with the growing Dakotaland organization and I am excited about the prospect of offering a full line of services at our Turtle Creek Branch in Redfield." added Dickhaut.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket, DeSmet, and Redfield. With over 21,000 members and $180 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members. The cooperative was formed in 1935 and maintains a full line of financial services for its membership.

[]
De Smet, South Dakota - September 26, 2011

De Smet Staff, Left to Right: Barb Asleson, Jason Baszler,
Roxene Helms, Tristin Gruenhagen



Dakotaland Federal Credit Union branches out to the "Little Town on the Prairie" with a new office scheduled to open in De Smet. "A locally operated credit union office in De Smet gives Dakotaland the opportunity to better serve the expanding number of members that live and work in this growing community. We are pleased to be a part of the progressive commerce that exists in this town and look forward to bringing our full line of financial services to the residents of De Smet and the surrounding area." says Dakotaland FCU President, Dan Cumbee.

The Credit Union will be conveniently located at the corner of Highway 14 and 25 in the Helms Insurance Agency building. Dakotaland FCU and Helms Insurance intend to give the property a facelift with some remodeling and new signage. A late November opening date is anticipated and both occupants are excited about providing complimentary services to their customers and members. "We are pleased we could assist the Credit Union in setting up their new branch. It's promising to see a new business open its doors in our community.", commented local businessman, Dennis Helms.

Staffing the Dakotaland Office will be Tristin Gruenhagen and Roxene Helms, both of DeSmet. Gruenhagen and Helms bring an impressive list of qualifications and many years of financial experience to the new branch. "We are lucky to have secured two very talented local employees to help launch the long line of products and services Dakotaland is able to offer our De Smet members." stated Cumbee. The list of services will range from the basic traditional to the latest in technology, while maintaining an emphasis on convenience. Your local credit union branch will offer Savings Accounts, Free Checking Accounts, Certificates of Deposit, IRAs, and Direct Deposit for starters. Card Services will include a Dakotaland Visa Credit Card, and Advantage ATM & Check Cards. Members can also expect to see a wide variety of lending services including Auto Loans, Real Estate Loans, Recreational Vehicle Loans, Business Loans, Life Event Loans and Overdraft Protection. And last, but not least it will feature a line of electronic services which include an Interactive Web Site, Online Account Access, Mobile Banking, Automatic Bill Pay, Facebook and numerous others at the time of their November opening.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket, Redfield and now De Smet. The Credit Union holds a rural community charter that serves those who live, work, worship or go to school in 25 East Central South Dakota Counties, including Kingsbury. With over 20,000 members and $170 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members. The cooperative was formed in 1935 and is governed by a volunteer board made up of Dakotaland member-owners.

[]
DAKOTALAND PARTNERS WITH ICAP TO PROVIDE VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union and Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) have partnered to provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services to income-eligible households in eastern South Dakota. The National Credit Union Administration has provided grant funding to Dakotaland FCU to support the VITA program. Certified ICAP staff and volunteers will prepare basic income tax returns for lower-income households (those with incomes up to $49,000) at no cost, and will file the return electronically with the IRS. Persons eligible to receive a refund through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will also be assisted with those applications. Other partners for the VITA program include Internal Revenue Service, Dakota State University- SIFE, and East River Federal Credit Union.

"We are excited to offer VITA services to eligible filers," said Arleen Weerheim, ICAP's Deputy Director. "The households do not pay any fees to have their returns prepared and filed, and the EITC can produce refunds into the thousands of dollars."

ICAP has Community Service Workers in each of the following counties; Clark, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Moody and Turner. These individuals are qualified to take applications for the VITA program and will also be certified to file income taxes.  For further information, contact your local Dakotaland branch in Madison at 256-6511, DeSmet at 854-5959 or call ICAP at 1-800-896-4106.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket, DeSmet and Redfield. With over 21,000 members and $180 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members. The cooperative was formed in 1935 and maintains a full line of financial services for its membership.

[]
Madison, South Dakota - August 31, 2011

Branch Manager Lynnette Taylor stands with the Interlakes Federal Credit Union Staff
BACK ROW, LEFT-TO-RIGHT: Lynnette Taylor, Kelly Hills, & Nancy Calmus
FRONT ROW, LEFT-TO-RIGHT: Helen Bergeron & Adam Eggert


The members of Interlakes Federal Credit Union in Madison South Dakota have approved a merger with Dakotaland Federal Credit Union of Huron, South Dakota. The merger passed in early August with an overwhelming membership vote of 95% in favor. "The opportunity to merge gives Interlakes the growth and stability that our members expect from their financial institution now and into the future." says long time Manager, Lynnette Taylor.

Interlakes Members can expect to see a new sign in front of their Washington Avenue address, but they can also anticipate seeing the same friendly faces and receiving the same great service they have come to expect from their credit union. Along with the new name, Interlakes Federal Credit Union will see an expanded offering of products and services. "The addition of several new financial services will be one of the highlights of merging with Dakotaland." states Taylor. Real estate lending, VISA credit cards, business lending, extensive electronic services, 24-hour drive up Advantage ATM services, etc. are just a sampling of the options coming in early October to the Interlakes Branch.

Interlakes FCU was chartered in 1970 and has been serving those that live, work, worship or attend school in Lake County. The union of these two financial cooperatives will now expand the field of membership to those residing in East Central South Dakota. "I'm excited to be a part of the growing Dakotaland organization and I appreciate the support and confidence they have in our continued success in Madison." added Taylor.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison, Woonsocket and Redfield. With over 20,000 members and $164 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned by its members. The cooperative was formed in 1935 and continues to offer a full line of financial services to its membership.

[]
Brookings, South Dakota - September 22, 2011

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently selected Chad Moller as the new Branch Manager of the Brookings Office. "Securing a seasoned manager like Mr. Moller with his extensive experience in mortgage lending and in-depth knowledge of credit unions is a true asset to our growing organization.", stated Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. "Lending practices have become more and more regulated over the recent years and Chad's expertise in these areas is a real advantage for Dakotaland. We are fortunate to find someone of Mr. Moller's caliber.", added Cumbee.

Chad is a Cherokee, Iowa native and a graduate of SDSU in Brookings with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He has spent the past 8+ years collectively with CU Mortgage Direct and Keystone Mortgage both of Sioux Falls. "It's good to be returning to a community in which I feel I had formed a real connection. I'm excited to be back and looking forward to my new job and all the challenges that come with it." noted Moller. Chad and his wife, Michelle, currently reside in Crooks, SD with their 4 year old twin boys, Konner and Karsten. The Moller family has intentions of relocating to the Brookings Area. Michelle is a full time employee with the State of South Dakota.

Chad Moller - New Brookings Branch Manager


Moller will be taking over branch operations from long time Manager, Gina Williams. Williams has accepted a position at Dakotaland's main office in Huron and will be relocating later this fall. Gina's new assignment includes the transitional management of several acquired branch offices as they merge and develop.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, Madison and Woonsocket. With nearly 20,000 members and $170 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - September 28, 2011

The US Treasury will no longer sell paper savings bonds through financial institutions as of January 1, 2012. You will still be able to purchase your savings bonds at Dakotaland through December 31st. While the treasury estimates the change will save $70 million over the next five years, benefits to investors also increase as the traditional bond becomes a 21st Century investment tool. Electronic bonds are less likely to be misplaced; in fact, they are purchased and managed free of charge, and will automatically redeem at maturity. The US Treasury claims there are $16 billion in unredeemed savings bonds still in the hands of investors that are no longer earning interest. If you have bonds that are more than 30 years old, it's time to redeem them. Paper bonds can still be redeemed at Dakotaland and you will be able to redeem your paper bonds at financial institutions through maturity. After January 1, you will need to purchase bonds through treasurydirect.gov.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - July 23, 2011
By PLAINSMAN Staff




Dakotaland Federal Credit Union has donated $30,000 to the Central Park fund. Pictured from Dakotaland are (front, from left) President Dan Cumbee, Vice President of Marketing Dawn Mutchelknaus, Vice President of Lending Bryan Smith, along with Central Park task force members Marilyn Hoyt and Huron's Director of Parks and Recreation LaRon Klock. In back, behind the counter are Dakotaland tellers Cheyann Forman, Jeremiah Johnson and Bailey Tschetter. PHOTO BY SEAN M.X. KELLEY/PLAINSMAN


The Dakotaland Federal Credit Union made its splash for Central Park with a donation of $30,000 to the Central Park Project Fund.

"Dakotaland is excited to show support for this remarkable community project and it's important to understand the impact the new Central Park will have on the quality of life for those that live in and around the Huron Area," stated President Dan Cumbee.

The donation is at the Master Blaster level of gifts and will help fill the $3 million "pool" of funds needed from the community to complete the funding of the $12.6 million project which has three main parts, all to be placed on the former site of Huron University.

The three main segments are Central Park itself, the Huron Aquatic Center which will be located in the park's center, and the Campus Center which will be located near the southwest corner of the property.

The aquatic center will feature a 50 meter, 8-lane competition swimming pool as well as a handful of waterpark rides or attractions, including the Master Blaster, a roller coaster type water ride where swimmers ride a raft both up and down a slide.

The nearest slide of its kind is in the Wisconsin Dells waterparks located in the center of Wisconsin.

The park will feature picnic shelters, playgrounds and walking paths around the aquatic center and throughout the park itself.

The Campus Center will become home to the Huron Parks and Recreation Department as well as having plenty of space for the community and the Huron Community Campus to use.

Pledges will be accepted for the park fund until Aug. 15. Pledge cards were mailed out to the community last weekend and extra pledge cards can be picked up at the Parks and Recreation Department offices in Bergman Arena or the Finance Office where completed pledges also need to be turned in.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - August 1, 2011

We are excited to tell you about an opportunity for the members of Turtle Creek Federal Credit Union and Interlakes Federal Credit Union. The Board of Directors has unanimously decided to join operations with Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. A great deal of thought and discussion went into this decision by the Board and staff, and overwhelmingly it was determined that this is the best decision for the benefit of the members.

Benefits to Merged Credit Union Members:

Full Line of Mortgage Lending Products
• 30 Year Fixed Rate Loans sold in the Secondary Market (Purchase or Refinance)
• All Servicing Remains with Dakotaland except SD Housing Loans
• Direct Partner with Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank, USDA Rural Development
• Approved SD Housing Lender for First Time Homebuyers
• In-house Financing with very flexible terms
• Ag Land to Building Lots to Construction Loans
• Low Cost Home Improvement Loans
• Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC'S) Fixed and Variable
• Rental Houses - Commercial Real Estate
• Escrowing Available

Business Lending
• Loans for Commercial Real Estate
• Loans for Equipment or Inventories
• Operating Lines
• Approved SBA Lender
• $2,000,000 Individual Lending Limit

ATM Program
• We own 9 ATM Machines that are always Surcharge Free
• Belong to the Advantage Network (Several Surcharge Free Machines)
• Belong to the CO-OP Network & Access to 26,000 Surcharge Free Machines Nationwide
• Real Time ATM Processing
• ATM Cards and ATM Check Card with Visa Access

Visa Credit Cards
• Online Access and Processed In-house
• 25 Day Grace Period - No Annual Fees
• Visa Rewards Points
• E-Statement Available

Online Account Access – All Free to all Members
• Full Access to your Account
• Balance Inquires, Balance Transfers
• Loan Payments, Loan Advances on Open End Loans
• Viewing of Check Images of Checks that have cleared (Front and Back)
• Very Secure with Multifactor Authentication
• e*Statements
• Free Bill Payer
• Cell Phone Access Package
• Facebook

Additional Benefits
• Touchtone Teller Voice Response Access
• Great Rates and Low Fees with Relationship Pricing
• Indirect Lending Options available at Select Dealerships
• Scholarship Opportunities 5 - $1000 Scholarships Per Year
• Dakotaland is Financially Very Strong and Secure

[]
Huron, South Dakota - July 26, 2011

Huron native, Ryan Goehner returns to his hometown to assume the responsibilities of Financial Officer at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. "As an employer, it is rewarding to recruit a very talented employee with local roots back to Huron. Ryan's financial experience is a true strength to the Credit Union and we are excited to have him on board.", stated Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. Goehner will be stationed out of the main office at 1371 Dakota Avenue in Huron, but will be extending his expertise to all the Dakotaland branch locations. "My wife and I both have family in this area, so when this opportunity became available at Dakotaland we were intrigued with the idea of coming home and raising our family in Huron.", commented Goehner.


Ryan Goehner

Ryan has spent the past 4 years with Williams & Company as a Senior Accountant in Yankton, SD and has been diligently working on his CPA Certification which he will receive yet in 2011. Mr. Goehner has a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Degree and a Masters in Public Accounting from the University of South Dakota. Ryan and his wife, Heather have a 7 month old son, Lincoln and Heather is an employee of Pro PT in Huron.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With nearly 20,000 members and $162 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - June 21, 2011

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union recently honored 5 area youth with $5000 in College Scholarships for the 2011-12 school year. Each recipient completed a written application and essay, which was judged by a scholarship committee made up of 7 individuals. " I was thoroughly impressed with all the applications and particularly with their knowledge of the credit union's impact on their community." stated Scholarship Committee Member and Secretary of the Credit Union Board of Directors, Bonnie Geyer.

The following winners were each awarded $1000 to use toward their continued education. Sabrena Schmidt of Huron, SD will be attending Northern State University in Aberdeen majoring in Music Education. Larissa Sapp of Volga, SD is currently attending Northwestern College and majoring in Biology-Pre Vet. Bailey Tschetter of Huron, SD will be attending USD in Vermillion majoring in Business-Finance. Jeremiah Kiehn of Huron, SD will be attending Mount Marty College in Yankton and has yet to declare a major. Emma Smith of Huron, SD will be attending USD in Vermillion majoring in Health Science with a minor in Spanish.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 21,000 members and $162 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - June 15, 2011


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union hosted their Annual Memberfest on Tuesday, June 14th and while a thousand credit union members enjoyed a fabulous pork loin BBQ, a collection of a $1200 in cash donations was raised for the local United Way.

According to the Director of the United Way of Huron, Rhonda Kludt, Dakotaland is what they call a pace-setter business. "They host an event prior to the start of our campaign that gets things rolling." says Kludt. "The Credit Union has always done this for us and it's a great way to launch our fundraising efforts." she added.

Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee was pleased to present the donation to the United Way of Huron on behalf of Dakotaland's Membership. "We are proud to say our credit union members are the best and their generous donations to this community focused agency is a reflection of their benevolence and willingness to support a good cause." stated Cumbee.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 21,000 members and $162 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.


Back Row (Left to Right): Dan Cumbee, Rhonda Kludt,
Laura Jones, Jodi Evans, Lorna Houge, Chris Studer,
and Justin Fischer

Front Row (Left to Right): Karla Wiegel, Amy Busch,
Dawn Mutchelkanus, Mary Lucklum, Allison Lucklum,
Chantel Halperin, London Forman, Cheyann Forman,
Sharon Hedge, and Beckie Boetel

[]
Huron, South Dakota - March 17, 2011

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the addition of Lesa Rowen as a Consumer Loan Officer at the Huron location. "It's a true asset to the credit union and our members to secure the knowledge and expertise that comes with a senior loan officer like Lesa.", says VP of Lending, Bryan Smith. Lesa Rowen joins the ranks of Dakotaland veterans such as Sharon Hedge and Lorna Houge. With nearly 20 years of lending experience, Rowen states, "I am excited for the opportunity to work for a locally owned institution like Dakotaland and I look forward to serving our members".

Lesa's time within the financial industry includes employment with Western Bank, First Midwest Bank and Home Federal, all of Sioux Falls. Prior to Dakotaland, Ms. Rowen was serving as the Benefits Specialist Supervisor for the Department of Social Services Division of Economic Assistance in Huron. Rowen attended Northern State University and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Lesa and her husband, Glenn have six grown children and ten grandchildren. The couple live and ranch near Wessington, SD.

Lesa Rowan, Consumer Loan Officer

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 21,000 members and $160 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - February 01, 2011

In today's volatile banking environment, building and maintaining a successful financial institution takes a mixture of creative technology, solid lending practices, excellent customer service, a portfolio of viable financial services, and for good measure, throw in a crystal ball for those much needed future financial predictions. In the case of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, an additional winning ingredient had been added providing its own kind of magic. Let me introduce you to Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. Logging nearly 25 years at the helm, Cumbee has provided the Credit Union with the vision and steadfast leadership that has positioned Dakotaland to be a flagship in Eastern Central South Dakota.

According to the history books, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union came from humble beginnings in Huron as Armour Federal Credit Union with a mere 10 members in 1935. The Credit Union was formed to provide savings and loans to its meat packing members. At that time, the average annual salary was $1500, the maximum credit union savings account was $500 and the maximum credit union loan was $25 dollars.

In 1983, the Credit Union's only sponsor group, Armour Meat Packing plant closed leaving 550 members wondering if they would lose their credit union permanently. The Board of Directors chose to expand the field of membership to include other employer groups in Huron and changed the Credit Union's name to Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. In 1997, another plant closing (Dakota Pork), gave way to a community charter approval for Dakotaland. With nearly 6,000 existing members, the Credit Union opened its doors and services to anyone who lived or worked in Beadle County.

To date, Dakotaland has expanded to nearly 21,000 members and over $150 million in assets with branch offices located in Huron, Volga, Woonsocket, and Brookings. The Credit Union provides solid employment for 63 full and part time staff and has substantiated itself as a lending leader. "We have come along way since the days of Armours," commented Dan Cumbee. Dakotaland lends nearly $100 million per year and has provided over 40% of all the home mortgages for Beadle County the last two years running.

Dan Cumbee, President of Dakotaland FCU,
stands proud with the Huron staff
Today, Dan Cumbee is excited to announce the approval of a 25 County Community Charter Expansion, which will allow Dakotaland to extend credit union services to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the counties of Beadle, Jerauld, Sanborn, Kingsbury, Brookings, Moody, Lake, Miner, McCook, Hanson, Davison, Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Hand, Hyde, Hughes, Sully, Faulk, Spink, Clark, Codington, Hamlin, Grant and Deuel. "Our focus has always been on meeting the financial needs of our local community and this expansion means our family just got a whole lot bigger." commented Cumbee.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a locally owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative which is owned and operated by its members. This means it has no ties to Wall Street or to a corporate headquarters in another state. All decisions regarding the operation of the Credit Union and its member's financial business are made locally. This allows Dakotaland to maintain its focus and financial reinvestment in its loyal member-owners.

During our nation's recent financial downturn, Dakotaland is proud to say it has remained unshaken and very healthy. In addition, the soundness issues haunting the banking industry nationwide have had no effect on the Credit Union's strength and stability. "I give full credit for Dakotaland's continued success and soundness to Dan Cumbee.", stated Credit Union Board Chairman, Robin Olson. "It is Dan's forward thinking and long term planning that has gotten us where we are today. That kind of longevity and dedication amongst the management ranks is a rarity in today's world and I look forward to being a continued part of Dakotaland's bright future, not only serving on the board, but also as a 25 year credit union member." added Olson.

"We've always tried to do the right thing for our members and the communities we serve, even if that meant taking a risk", stated Cumbee. Dan went on to explain that it's easy being the primary financial institution during the good times, but it's the tough times that separates the mediocre financial institutions from the great ones. Dakotaland feels they have always locked arms with its members during the difficult times and have overcome the challenges, whether it was a large layoff or a plant closing. "Our members knew they could count on Dakotaland to be there for them." summarized Cumbee.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution, taking pride in serving its members. According to Cumbee, "It is our goal to keep a line up of services with excellent rates and low fees that best fit the needs of our members." Services range from the basic traditional to the latest in technology, while always maintaining an emphasis on convenience. Dakotaland offers Savings Accounts, Free Checking Accounts, Certificates Of Deposit, IRAs, and Direct Deposit for starters. Card Services include a Dakotaland Visa Credit Card, and Advantage ATM & Check Cards. The Credit Union also provides a wide variety of lending services including Auto Loans, Real Estate Loans, Recreational Vehicle Loans, Business Loans, Life Event Loans and Overdraft Protection. And last, but not least it features a line of electronic services which include an Interactive Web Site, Online Account Access, Mobile Banking, Automatic Bill Pay, Facebook and more.

So what is the secret recipe to a financial institutions success? There is no doubt the Credit Union's unprecedented growth and current position in the financial marketplace are greatly due to the management and vision of a very devoted President, but Mr. Cumbee will be the first to tell you that it's truly due to the hard work of the dedicated staff, the loyalty and trust of our members and the support of an outstanding Board of Directors that celebrates the past, maximizes the present and shapes the future for Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - December 22, 2010

Board members Ron Roy and Bonnie Geyer will seek re-election to the Dakotaland board of directors at the 76th Annual Meeting. Geyer has served on the board of directors since 2004. Roy has served on the board for the past 28 years.

The nominating committee is also accepting nominations from anyone who may be interested in serving on the Board of Directors. Nominations must be received by February, 18th, 2011. For more information, please contact Jeanne Hartman at:

jeanne_hartman@us.aflac.com


The 76th Annual Meeting will be held March 12th, 2011 at the Crossroads Hotel & Convention Center.
Tickets will go on sale, February 1st, 2011.




Ron Roy has been a director at Dakotaland since 1983 and a member of the Credit Union for 32 years. Ron is employed by LSI in Alpena.

Mr. Roy has also worked for Riverside Manufacturing, Dakota Pork, Swift Independence, and Armour Foods for a total of nearly 20 years in the meat packing industry.

Ron Roy currently serves as Treasurer of the Board, and has served on the board for 28 years. Ron and his wife, Laurie, have five children between them and love spending time with their children and 9 grandchildren. Ron and Laurie reside in Huron.




Bonnie Geyer has worked for South Dakota Farmers Union for the past 31 years and serves as the State Education Director. In her position as Education Director, through the Summer Camping Program, she has the opportunity to teach youth statewide about the value and importance of credit unions and other types of cooperative businesses.

Bonnie currently serves as the Secretary of the Dakotaland Board of Directors. Prior to that, she served on the Supervisory Committee from March 1998 until her election to the board in 2004. Bonnie active on the Huron Chamber Ag Committee and is a 2002-2003 Leadership Huron Graduate. She is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and a Notary Public.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - November 19, 2010

An education, a new car and a home some would say it's the definition of the "American Dream." For a 25-year old woman who has spent her entire life in a refugee camp at the hands of a war-torn country, it is an inconceivable thought and signified all that would never be until today.

Sah Lay Lay Wah was born in Thailand to Karen parents in a camp called Hway K'lot which housed thousands of refugees from Burma. Her father was a soldier stationed at Kaw Moo Ra near the front lines, and her mother worked in a hospital, spending much her time educating other Karen about maintaining healthy families and homes under not so sanitary conditions. Sah and her siblings learned to live and grow within the safer confinements of the refugee camp. The children grew up knowing that leaving the camp meant taking the chance of being captured by the Thai soldiers and put in jail or worse in the case of
those raped and murdered. "I don't remember being scared while living in the refugee camps,
but we were careful to follow the rules," says Sah. At the age of 14, Sah Lay Lay Wah and her family moved to a second refugee camp (Mae La). She remembers moving because her hame in Hway
K'lot was burned by the SPDC, made up of Burmese soldiers and DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army). The camp and homes were first burned,
and then later the soldiers returned to shoot
those that remained at the camp.


Sah Lay Lay Wah, Blue Nay Htoo,
and their baby girl, Sar Nay Wah.
Mae La was the home to nearly 40,000 Karen refugees and it was there that Sah's father built their home. He chopped down the bamboo for the walls and constructed the roof out of leaves. There were no telephones, no television and no computers. Cooking was done over open coal and wood fires. Families were afforded electricity for only 2-3 hours a day via a generator, a luxury provided only to a few and for a fee.

Responsible for much of their own food source, the family planted large gardens, which consisted of items like cabbage, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and beans. Their fruits were primarily from wild growing trees such as coconut, banana, mango and papaya. Sah's father hand dug ponds to stock with fish to feed his family. According to Sah, even though most families tried to take care of themselves, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) was there to provide the basic necessities such as food, clothing and medicine to those who needed it. As a child and young adult, Sah Lay Lay Wah was able to attend school completing classes comparable to our high school level curriculum. Sah chose to continue her education in the Further Study Program offered by the government, which taught her English and offered additional course work in social studies, science, mathematics and reading and writing. Today, she speaks and translates three languages: Karen, Burmese and English.

Finding employment in Mae La was difficult, but Sah Lay Lay Wah was able to find work as she watched the camp become more and more crowded with refugees searching for a safe haven from the fighting and political scrutiny. Soon there was talk of the opportunity to leave Thailand and relocate to the United States. Sah applied immediately but then waited for an entire year before she and her family were accepted into a relocation camp in Nebraska.

At the age of 23, Sah Lay Lay Wah left her home for the first time, as well as the confines of the refugee camp, and began her trek to the United States. Sah traveled from Mae La to Bangkok and then to Korea. New York City is where she remembers spending her first night on U.S. soil. With her husband, Blue Nay Htoo, and their 8-month-old baby girl, Sar Nay Wah, the journey ended the next day as Sah made a stop in Chicago and then was reunited with her parents who had settled previously in Lincoln, Neb. Her travels took a total of 2-3 days, but the changes she had just begun to experience will no doubt take a lifetime to grasp. She professed, "I never dreamed I would ever come to the United States, but here I am."

With opportunities available and dreams to be followed, the first task at hand was to find a job. Sah's husband, Blue, heard there was work and a place to raise his family in a town called Huron in South Dakota. Sah admitted that she was worried about being able to leave the house and walk around by herself , but she doesn't have that concern here. "I feel safe in Huron," she commented.

Since arriving in Huron, Blue has secured employment with Dakota Provisions and Sah has joined the staff at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union. She translates and interprets for many of her fellow Karen, who have opened accounts, purchased cars or bought homes through the credit union. Sah and her husband have recently been approved to buy their first home. "I am excited for my family to own a house since we were not able to own property when we lived in Thailand," stated Sah. Like many of the Karen people , Sah Lay Lay Wah wants to become a citizen of this country and is willing to work for that privilege. She is currently studying for her GED and will be taking the classes needed to obtain her citizenship. Sah concluded by saying, "My education and freedom are important to me because I know that not everyone in Thailand will be given the chances I have here."

PERSONAL NOTES:
My time with Sah Lay Lay Wah has served as a much needed reminder of how lucky I am to be born an American. As I get up each morning, taking for granted that which I have inherited and have come to believe is my God given right, others are denied and persecuted, based on the flag under which they were born. I may worry about the rising cost of health care, but I don't fear the burning of my home or the slaughter of my children.

How quickly we forget that nearly all of us are descendants of non-English speaking immigrants who once braved poverty, famine, religious persecution and war to board a ship, and who were welcomed by the Statue of Liberty with these kind and gentle words by Emma Lazarus: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

With 100 years passed, and the homesteads of our ancestors standing proud as a reminder, we can rest assured the American dream does live on especially here in Huron, South Dakota.

Dawn Mutchelknaus is vice president of marketing at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

[]

Huron, South Dakota - July 27, 2010

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union announces the return of Dawn Mutchelknaus as Vice President of Marketing. "Dawn brings a lot of determination and enthusiasm to this organization and she will be instrumental in the continued success of the credit union. We are fortunate to employ Dawn in the same position she held previously, allowing her to hit the ground running.", stated Credit Union President, Dan Cumbee. Dawn will be stationed out of the main office at 1371 Dakota Avenue in Huron, but will be extending her expertise to all the Dakotaland branch locations. "It has been a wonderful homecoming to be back in Huron. Having the opportunity to rejoin Dakotaland and serve it's members is a privilege.", commented Mutchelknaus.

Dawn has been a part of the Huron Community since 1985 and has recently returned after a nearly six year venture in the western Rockie Mountains of Colorado. Ms. Mutchelknaus attended Huron College/University obtaining Bachelor of Science degrees in Communications/Public Relations and Business Administration. She also holds a Masters Degree from Huron University. Dawn's career includes work in the areas of Human Resources, Marketing and Risk Management with local employers such as Trussbilt, Northwestern, USDA Rural Development and Siouxland Staffing. Mutchelknaus is an owner of Frontier Partners, Inc. and Ridin' for the Brand, LLC. Dawn and her husband, Scott have a seven-year old son, Jayden and they reside at Holforty's Corner north of Wolsey.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings and Woonsocket. With 20,500 members and $146 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

[]
Huron, South Dakota - July 18, 2010

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is excited to announce the addition of Tom Gietzen to their Commercial Lending Department. Gietzen, a 31 year veteran of business lending, will focus on the continued growth of Dakotaland Federal Credit Union's commercial services. Dan Cumbee, President of Dakotaland, welcomes Tom to its Lending Team. "Tom's long term lending career will be very beneficial to our community as he joins the existing Dakotaland Federal Credit Union staff in providing excellent service to our members. The newly created position will also allow Dakotaland to expand into a larger market area. Tom's highly regarded lending skills will be a great fit for Dakotaland and its members", stated Cumbee. Mr. Gietzen has taken residence at the main office located at 1371 Dakota Avenue in Huron, but will be extending his expertise to all the Dakotaland branch locations, including Woonsocket. "I am very enthusiastic about the new position and career at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union", commented Tom.

Tom grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. He attended college in Grand Forks, North Dakota graduating from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He started his banking career in 1979 in Bismarck. Tom first held the position of credit analyst, but quickly moved into a commercial loan officer position and has been involved in commercial lending ever since. He moved his family to Huron in December of 1989. Tom has two wonderful children, Benjamin and Kristin. Gietzen has been very active in the Huron community and currently serves as a board member on the Community Development Foundation, Cornerstones Career Learning Center, James Valley Housing Corporation, Jan Manolis Family Safe Center, Huron Community Foundation, Downtown Beautification Committee, and in the recent past on the Greater Huron Development Corporation. He is a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and enjoys the great hunting and fishing in South Dakota.

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Huron, Volga, Brookings, and Woonsocket. With 20,500 members and $146 million in assets, Dakotaland continues to be locally owned and operated, offering a full-line of services to its membership since 1935.

Download Adobe Reader | Email Us | 800.440.6573 | 1371 Dakota Ave S., Huron, SD 57350