VALUE ADDED FINANCE AUTHORITY MEMBERS
The powers of the Authority are vested in its Board of Directors. These seven individuals appointed by the Governor, consist of the following:
Robert Hull -Chairman
Mr. Hull served as the Executive Director of the Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program for 30 years prior to semi-retiring in 2004 and then serving the agency (N/K/A Grow South Dakota) as an advisor through 2009. Mr. Hull also served as the Executive Director of a sister organization, the Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation for 26 years. Three years prior to becoming Executive Director, he was the Head Start Director. He was an instrumental advisor in the organization of the Beadle and Spink Enterprise Community (BASEC). In 1998 he was recognized as the Small Business Advocate of the Year for South Dakota and Region VIII by the Small Business Administration. Prior to 1971, he taught school for two years in Herreid, SD. From January 2010 to January 2013, Bob served as a Loan Originator (covering SD) for the Community Development Bank, Ogema, MN. He served as the Acting Director of BASEC in late 2011 and early 2012. Bob is an avid hunter, raises horses, houses numerous hunting dogs and is an active volunteer for several community entities.
Mr. Hull is a past Chairman and board member of the Dakota Resources, Inc. (fka SD Rural Enterprises Inc.). He served as a member of the board for the Rural Learning Center and was an active member and President of the Sisseton Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Hull also served on a number of other boards and committees too numerous to mention. He has served on the Value Added Finance Authority Board since inception in the mid-1990's, serving as Chairman for most of his term.
Mr. Hull graduated from Sisseton High School at Sisseton, SD and was honored as Alumnus of the Year in 2006. He received a B.S. Degree from Northern State University in 1968. Mr. Hull and his wife, Colette, are life-long residents of Sisseton, SD. They have two daughters, Andree Hull and Dawn Horner, and three grandchildren
Mr. Doolittle recently served thirteen years as the Executive Director of Black Hills Community Economic Development and currently is an economic development consultant. He was formerly a K-12 School Administrator in Western South Dakota for 30 years. He has, along with his wife Karen, been lifetime owners/operators of a family cattle operation in Harding County near Buffalo, SD.
Mr. Doolittle is a high school graduate from Buffalo, South Dakota. He continued his education at Black Hills State University, where he graduated with a B.S. and M.S. in Education and Education Administration. Mr. Doolittle is a member of Harding County Stock Growers and S.D. Grasslands Coalition. He is a former member of the South Dakota Rural Enterprise Board of Directors, Phi Delta Kappa (professional education group), and the Rural Learning Center Advisory Board.
Mr. Doolittle currently resides in Belle Fourche with his wife Karen. They have three children Charles, Leslie, and Samantha. Mr. Doolittle was appointed to the Value Added Finance Authority in November of 2008. Mr. Doolittle’s personal and professional interest is to help strengthen the economy of South Dakota so more opportunities are available for young people to stay in the state.
Mark Gross-Vice Chairman
Mark Gross is a fourth generation producer on his family's diversified crop and livestock farm located in Hutchinson County. The operation consists of corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, grass hay, a cow/calf beef operation and custom spraying. In addition to farming Mr. Gross is a seed advisor for Golden Harvest Seeds, serves on the Seed Advisor Executive Council for Syngenta, and is the owner of the Seed Mill in Bridgewater.
Mr. Gross is actively involved on the Board of Directors with the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council. He has served as both Vice President and President of both organizations. He previously served as president of the Bridgewater Farmers Union Coop, and serves as the Pleasant Township Clerk. Mr. Gross was appointed to the Value Added Finance Authority board in 2001.
Mr. Gross obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Augustana College and in his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. Mark and his wife, Stacy, reside in Sioux Falls with their four children: Kaylee, Alexis, Landon and Allison.
Marcia Hendrickson is the President and CEO of Mitogentics, LLC. It is a research and development company that has developed compounds for treating mitochondrial diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease.
Ms. Hendrickson was appointed by SD Governor Rounds to the Value Added Finance Authority in 2007. Marcia graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and is also a Certified Public Accountant. Marcia and her husband, Chuck, live outside of Chancellor, SD. They have 3 children, Ann, Katie, and Joe.
Charles (Chuck) Jepson
Chuck Jepson and his wife Ginger reside in Fort Pierre, SD. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Jepson has started several agriculture ventures including Harrold Grain Company, HiPlains Agronomy, Global Harvest Birdfood of South Dakota, and Liberty Grain. Mr. Jepson is currently CEO of Harvesting Technology. His company markets proprietary, value added opportunities to the ethanol and biofuels industry. Mr. Jepson is also a member of Iron Horse, LLC which is currently developing several agricultural business models served by the Dakota Southern Railroad.
Mr. Jepson grew up on the family farm near Tea, SD. He graduated from Lennox High in 1975 and University of Sioux Falls in 1979 with a degree in Economics. Chuck Jepson was appointed to the Value Added Finance Authority Board by Governor Daugaard in July 2011.
Nathan Jensen, his wife Kristin, their son, Grant, and daughter, Addison, reside in rural Beresford where they raise corn and soybeans. Nathan attended South Dakota State University and graduated from Cal Poly with an undergraduate degree in Food Marketing and Agribusiness Management as well as a Master’s in Business Administration. Previously, he spent four years as the Chief Financial Officer for a commercial dairy operation and twelve years in agribusiness lending with the Farm Credit System and a commercial bank. Today, Mr. Jensen is serving as the Senior Vice President for First Dakota National Bank, a commercial Ag bank with 19 full-service banking locations in 14 South Dakota cities and six loan production offices in South Dakota and Nebraska. Jensen oversees corporate agribusiness development and serves as a member of the Agribusiness Division leadership team for the Bank’s 19 locations.
Mr. Jensen is the past President of the Central Plains Dairy Association, President of the Watchdog Education Foundation, and serves on the Governor’s Ag Advisory Committee. Nathan is also an alumnus of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Program (Class VII). Mr. Jensen was appointed to the Value Added Finance Authority Board by Governor Daugaard in January 2014.
Jim Schmidt has a foot in three worlds; Farming, County Government, and Affordable Housing. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree from Augustana University and a Masters Degree from the University of S.D. His work experience beyond the farm includes; public school teacher, school administrator and has served as a Community College President. Jim’s public involvement includes; past president of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the SD Associations’ of County Officials, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of County Officials, past chair of the multicultural Board of Directors and is very active in the Rotary Club. Rural Affordable housing has been one of his keen interests earning him the Friend of Affordable Housing award from the SD Housing & Development Authority. He currently chairs the Glory House Board of Directors and Rehabilitation Center for Drugs and Alcohol. He has also been named to the Board of Trustees of the SDML Workers Compensation Fund. While all of these activities have been part of his professional life his farming life has been constant as he continues each year to operate the family farm that was established in 1891. He and his wife Teri have two daughters; Brittany & Brianna, one son Anthony from a previous marriage.
For information on Financial and Loan Programs contact:
Terri LaBrie, Finance Administrator