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BankWest Appoints New Board Members

PIERRE – BankWest Chairman, President and CEO Charles H. Burke III recently announced that Doug Abraham and Sherri Kelley of Pierre, and Neil Falken of Minneapolis have joined the BankWest Board of Directors. The board is 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.

Douglas Abraham is a partner at May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP and has been with the firm since 2009. He continues a tradition of having an actively practicing partner of the firm on our board since 1889. Rob Anderson also of May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson remains on the board as well.

“I look forward to helping continue BankWest’s long history of excellence in banking and community leadership.” Douglas said.

Douglas has previously served as President of the Pierre Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO) and has been a Board member and Executive Committee member for PEDCO for a number of years. He is currently the president of the South Dakota Defense Lawyers Association, the leading professional organization of South Dakota’s civil defense litigators. Douglas and his wife, Julia, are the proud parents of three children. Doug enjoys hunting, fishing and playing softball.

The second new member of the BankWest Board of Directors is Neil Falken, a CPA, who is a recently retired Senior Principal of Clifton, Larson, Allen LLP (CLA), a Minneapolis professional services firm. During his tenure at CLA, he worked exclusively with community banks. Neil has more than 35 years of experience in the banking industry, which includes nine years at a bank in eastern South Dakota.

“It’s an honor to be asked to fill a board seat at BankWest.  BankWest has such a rich history of serving it’s communities with strong, local leadership.  I look forward to serving the bank, its customers and shareholders. South Dakota is my birthplace and am excited to continue my career back in the state where it all began,” Falken said.

Neil and his wife of 29 years, Diane, have two daughters, Allison, of San Diego and Lexi, who resides in Minneapolis. In his free time Falken enjoys sports, lakes, running and music, including learning to play the guitar.

Sherri Kelley, BankWest’s President of Community Banking, is the third of the board’s newest members. Kelley has served in various positions with BankWest over a 19 year period.

“I am honored to join the board of directors and pleased to continue my work with the Burke family in growing BankWest for a strong future,” Sherri said.

Kelley grew up in Pierre and has worked in the banking industry for 38 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, grilling, watching the Vikings, and traveling with her dog. She has one daughter who recently graduated from law school in Nebraska.

Additional BankWest board members include Chairman Charles H. Burke III, Rob Anderson, Rebecca Burke, Robert Burke, Scott Bollinger, Scott Jones, and Merrill Olson of Pierre, Russell Olson of Madison, Kent Kinkler of Onida, and Ed Nill of Beaver Dam, WI.

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