BankWest has announced Jennifer Baloun, of Rapid City, as the 2021 recipient of the Charles H. Burke Community Leadership Award. In 1997, a group of BankWest employees created the Charles H. Burke Community Leadership Award to recognize a co-worker who goes above and beyond in community leadership and service. The award was named after Charles H. Burke II, former chairman of the BankWest board, who was himself a lifelong community leader and philanthropist.
Baloun was nominated by her co-workers in recognition of countless hours donated to community service, involvement in multiple projects and serving as a role model. One of Jennifer’s nominations said, “Her dedication to BankWest – the organization, its brand, services and community involvement are nothing short of spectacular.”
Within the bank, Jennifer displays leadership each and every day, providing an environment which is supportive and caring, making everyone she encounters feel like their voice is important and heard. She encourages all of us to be the very best version of ourselves. One nomination stated, “One thing that I know, she is a woman of integrity, she is very driven, and she cares about her community.”
Outside of the bank, the recipient of tonight’s award spends countless hours volunteering with organizations within their community and surrounding areas to create a better experience, a better quality of life, and more opportunities for everyone young and old. She volunteered close to 100 hours each year between boards she serves on and volunteer events. To highlight some of her activities, she is:
- A Calvary Lutheran Church Foundation Committee Member
- A Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Board Member (now called Elevate)
- A Rapid City Chamber Ambassador
- A Community Advisory Board Member for Monument Health
- A Community Advisory Board Member for Black Hills Energy
- Secretary for the Western Dakota Technical College Foundation
- Zonta of the Black Hills Meals Treasurer
- Board President for Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons
In her free time Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, boating at the lake in the summer, and golfing.