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Committee Members

Pattie Berkner - Chair, Legacy Financial Partners

Kesmond Willert - Vice Chair, Bowes Construction

Jenna Palmer - Secretary, First Bank & Trust

Tony Teesdale - Teesdale Law Office

Tina Birgen - SDSU Opportunity Center

Nate Bylander - SDSU Fishback Honors College

Shelby Byers - First Bank & Trust

Laura Sroufe - South Dakota State University

Alicia Springer - The Man Cave Barbershop

Board Liaison: Seth Sayler, Best Choice Real Estate

Connect Brookings

Committee Purpose

To be a leader in the Brookings area’s workforce retention effort, connecting SDSU students, young professionals, and new residents with the community at-large.

The Connect Brookings committee focuses on engaging three important populations: new residents, young professionals, and SDSU students. Sub-committees gather between regular Connect Brookings committee meetings to develop programming and events.

Beige Company Organizational Chart Graph

Committee and sub-committee members are selected through an application process. Members are sought to provide a balanced skill set and have major responsibility for developing and promoting the mission, programs, and image of Connect Brookings. Individuals interested in volunteering should start at the sub-committee level.

Click here to download the Connect Brookings Committee/Sub-Committee Member Application

For more information, email us at

Connect Brookings Committee Staff Liaison
Casey Stickland
Outreach Coordinator


New Residents

Our New Resident Sub-Committee is proud of the recently launched website,, aimed at providing a one-stop shop for those new to our community.

A survey for new residents is currently being developed to identify gaps our new residents are facing as they make Brookings home. The results of this survey will give us some great next steps in our work.


New Resident Sub-Committee Members:

Seth Sayler, Best Choice Real Estate

Laura Sroufe, South Dakota state University

Jessica Lamfers, Mills Property Management

Laura Schoen Carbonneau, Visit Brookings

Paula Gapp, Daktronics

Heidi Briseno, Brookings Multicultural Center

SDSU Student Engagement
Young Professionals

Nominate Our Next Young Professional of the Year!

Nominations Due the First Friday of March

Past Young Professionals of the Year:

2021: Dillion Ringling (Schade Vineyard and Winery)

2022: Chris Brozik (Civil Design Inc.)

2023: Pattie Berkner (Legacy Financial Partners Ameriprise Financial)

2024: Laura Schwarz (Falcon Plastics)