Our dedicated staff is committed to carrying out our mission of connecting capacity and capital to empower rural communities.
Joe is a rural economic and community development global thinker—strategic facilitator—rural shaper and BALLE Local Economy Fellow. As President of Dakota Resources, Joe combines his passion for rural economic and community development with his deep experience in community building, systems thinking, group processes, leadership and innovation. He served as Vice President of Community Innovation at Dakota Resources for three years before being selected to lead the organization alongside an empowered team of people. Joe’s visionary style, honesty and diversified skill set allow him to bring out the best in the people around him and to continually evolve, learn and grow alongside them. He is excited about the direction rural is taking and is ready to help Dakota Resources blaze new trails for a better, more impactful future.
Jay is responsible for the financial and accounting operations and portfolio management, serving both Dakota Resources and Dakotas America. Prior to joining Dakota Resources, Jay worked for Citigroup s a Senior Financial Accounting Analyst in the Corporate Treasury Operations department. He has over eight years of experience in the financial services and banking industry with a background in cash management, accounting, financial control, and credit review. Jay received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Jay and his wife, Rachelle, have three children.
Misty provides administrative support to the Dakota Resources executive team through her role as the Executive Leadership Coordinator. Prior to joining Dakota Resources, Misty was the Administrative Manager, Office Manager, and Help Desk Specialist for an account resolution corporation in Sioux Falls for 20+ years. Misty currently lives near Renner, SD with her family and participates in the business operations of their family masonry business.
Paula Jensen,Vice President of Advancement
Paula’s roles with Dakota Resources include resource development, community coaching and implementation of programs. Her passion for community leadership and development is what drives Paula in her personal and professional life. She resides in her hometown of Langford, South Dakota, population 318+, where she and her husband have owned and operated an auto repair shop for the past 25 years. Paula serves as Vice President of the Leadership South Dakota board of directors.
Mike facilitates and orchestrates the Dakota Resources Learning Network. He also serves as a community coach for rural communities. He has spent 15 plus years working in rural community development. His commitment to rural communities began when he recognized that his own behaviors (i.e. – the lack of community involvement and buying locally) were contributing the decline of his community. Since 2008, Mike has operated his own business, MAK(e) Strategies, working primarily as a facilitator and coach in rural settings. Among his volunteer activities, Mike has served as the chairman of the board for Glacial Lakes Tourism, Dakota Wesleyan University Alumni Association, and Southeast SD Tourism. Mike grew up outside of Harford, SD, and graduated summa cum laude from Dakota Wesleyan University.
Cheryl Leasure, Communication & Event Coordinator
Cheryl assists with administrative needs for the Dakota Resources office including communication from the organization and coordinating all Dakota Resources events. Prior to coming to Dakota Resources, Cheryl worked in customer service and marketing for a private label food packaging company.
Kristi Wagner, Connector and Senior Community Coach
Kristi markets and oversees the community capacity building programs for Dakota Resources. She is a trained facilitator and has delivered Dakota Resources Leadership Plenty SD and Creating Value Added Communities programs. Kristi is the owner and CEO of the Rushmore Center for Civic Leadership providing her clients with non-profit management & capital campaign fundraising; organization and workplace team building; training & educational workplace seminars. Her previous positions were in economic development, leadership training, fundraising, sales, marketing and public relations. She has served as a member of the board of directors to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, Rural Learning Center, Chiesman Endowment for Civic Education, University of South Dakota Farber Center and the South Dakota Issues Forums Steering Committee.
Lin Van Hofwegen, VP of Operations and Managing Director of Dakotas America
Lin manages the operations of Dakotas America since its formation in 2005 and has led the CDE to receive 5 NMTC allocation awards, overseeing deployment of over $330M in total NMTC allocations. Recognized for her commitment to the people of distressed rural LICs, she has utilized NMTC benefits for severely distressed communities, which is an extension of her personal life. Previous to entering the nonprofit world of economic development, she had nine years of all-encompassing experience as a small business owner in a rural community. Lin is an NDC certified Economic Development Finance Professional and holds certificates in Christian Ministry and Spiritual Direction along with a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. Van Hofwegen came to Dakotas America through its parent CDFI, Dakota Resources, where she served as VP of Operations.
Dakota Resources Associates
Dick Werner, Credit Officer
Dick serves as Credit Officer for Dakota Resources. He has extensive experience in banking and a genuine enthusiasm for community development. Dick is a former board member of Dakota Resources and is Co-Owner of Schulte, TA, Inc., a power line construction company and has farming and other investment interests. He previously served as President of various locations for Wells Fargo Bank throughout South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Dick served as a Representative in the South Dakota Legislature and as Beadle County Commissioner. He currently serves as President of Herreid Area Housing Development, Inc.
Jamie Horter works with rural communities and entrepreneurs at Dakota Resources. She is a rural advocate, artist, and community coach based out of Lyons, NE (pop. 850). Her work brings community members into discussions and actions around citizen-led community development. Jamie believes in empowerment and self-determination of small town communities to build the future they desire.
John serves as a community coach and guides learning for the Dakota Rising Fellowship program to support rural entrepreneurs in the cohort learning process. He is a gifted team builder, motivational speaker, executive coach, vision sculptor, strategic planner and entrepreneur of several businesses. His company Intersections Consulting is known for engaging people in unique ways to get root of issues needing to be addressed. He has lead this company for 19 years. John’s learning is deeply rooted in his life on a rural ranch in central South Dakota as the oldest of seven children. It has led him to work as a catalyst and champion for rural communities seeking to “ruralize” their potential. John’s greatest pride is the Pay It Forward organization he voluntarily leads. They provide anonymous assistance to people in need asking only for them to “pay it forward” when they can.
Jamie works as an entrepreneur coach for the Dakota Rising Fellowship program, helping guide others to fulfill their own dreams. She is often found in her coffee house, Lotus Up Expresso & Deli, dreaming up new ways to help her community and inspiring others to follow their own dreams. Named Woman Owned Small Business Owner of the Year in 2017 by SBA, she has a proven drive for success. Jamie serves on the boards of The Lead Area Chamber of Commerce, Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, Lead Kiwanis and the Resource Development Committee for the Lead Area Boys and Girls Club.