PIERRE – BankWest Chairman, President and CEO Charles H. Burke III recently announced that Russell Olson of Madison, and Robert Burke and Rebecca Burke of Pierre have joined the bank’s eleven-person board. The Board of Directors are responsible for monitoring and assessing bank operations, establishing high-level business strategies and overseeing bank management.
“Our newest board members reflect our growth and our commitment to serving our customers and communities for years to come,” Burke said. “Russell Olson is a leader in our newest BankWest market, while Rebecca Burke and Robert Burke represent the fifth generation of the Burke family to serve in managing the bank.”
Olson is an Egan native and he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. He has lived in Madison for 18 years and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Heartland Consumers Power District.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve on the BankWest Board of Directors,” Olson said. “Madison, DSU and the region are poised for growth and I am happy to provide the energy that fuels that growth.”
Russell and his wife Jennie have four children. He is actively involved with the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission, USD Discovery District, South Dakota Development Corporation and Madison Career Learning Center.
Rebecca Burke has worked at BankWest full-time since 2002 and currently serves as BankWest’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Rebecca holds her Bachelor of Science degree in banking & financial services, a Master of Science degree in banking & financial services and Society for Human Resources Management – Certified Professional certification.
“My forte’ is employee development – when we take care of our employees and give them the tools they need to be successful, the business is successful,” Rebecca said. “I am excited to be able to play an active role in carrying the bank into the future.”
Rebecca has a daughter, Ali Burke, and a son, Aidan Burke. She is actively involved with the Oahe YMCA as Board President, Pierre-Fort Pierre Kiwanis as Past President and SD Bancshares as Vice President. She serves as a board member of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Community Foundation, Youth Philanthropy Fund, and Pierre Concert Series. Rebecca is also a member of the South Dakota Swimming Technical Committee, the Pierre Outdoor Pool Capital Campaign, and Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. Rebecca is a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, Pierre Swim Team Meet Director and a USA Swimming Administrative Official.
Robert J. Burke currently serves as the Fraud Risk Manager at BankWest. He is a graduate of the Colorado Art Institute as well as the Minneapolis School of Technology. Robert has received his Certificate in BSA and AML Compliance and Certificate in Fraud Prevention from the American Bankers Association and is a Community Banker University Certified BSA/AML Professional Graduate.
“I’m most excited about the chance to learn and help grow an organization that cares about the success of its customer base and communities in which is serves,” Robert said.
Robert, an Eagle Scout, is a small business owner and Real Estate Broker. He has served as the chair of the Pierre Area Multiple Listing Service and is a member of the South Dakota Realtor Association. Robert is a past member of the South Dakota Realtor Association Professional Standards Board and received the ‘Realtor of the Year’ award from the South Dakota Central Board of Realtors.
He and his wife Theresa live in Pierre. Outside of his professional life, Robert serves as a board member of the South Dakota Licensed Beverage Dealers and Gaming Association and SD Bancshares as Vice President. He is a past board member and Chair of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Community Foundation. In his spare time he enjoys car restoration and aviation.
Additional BankWest board members include Chairman Charles Burke III, Kent Kinkler of Onida, Rob Anderson, Scott Bollinger, Scott Jones, Ellen Lee, Ed Nill, and Merrill Olson of Pierre.