People You Should Know

FOR MARCH 28, 2017

From staff reports

Howalt+McDowell Insurance, Marsh & McLennan Agency

Jared Ducommun has joined the team as a sales executive in the property and casualty department. Ducommun most recently was a regional advertising sales manager at Midco and had worked there for 16 years.

Bill Rezac has been hired as a sales executive in the employee benefits department. Rezac most recently was an employee benefits consultant at Boen & Associates for 12 years.

Jo Lynn Higgins has joined the team as an account executive in the employee benefits department. She most recently was on the employee benefits team at Boen & Associates, where she worked for 11 years.


Lauren Brecht has been hired as legal counsel. Her focus will be on credit products, marketing and tax products.

Jessica Rutford has been hired as vice president of accounting. Rutford will be responsible for planning and directing all aspects of accounting operations, overseeing all transactions related to general ledger, receivables, payables, payroll and financial reporting. She has several years of industry experience, most recently working for KMPG in Omaha.

Kyle Hanson has been promoted to legal counsel. He previously held the position of corporate counsel and has been with Meta for almost five years. In his new role, he will focus on prepaid card products, deposit products and tax products.

Kristin Hoff has been hired as vice president of enterprise risk management. Hoff will oversee the company’s enterprise risk program. She has more than a decade of accounting experience in the financial industry. She most recently worked for Great Western Bank as controller.

William Lyons has been hired as a senior business analyst. He will work with the company’s leaders to enhance business performance through a focus on organizational design, alignment and accountability. Lyons has performed a variety of roles in his career working for financial institutions.

Christopher Hassebroek has been hired as a senior software engineer. He will lead software development, including design, development, testing and documentation. Hassebroek joins Meta with more than 15 years of experience, most recently as a senior software developer for Premier Bankcard.

Michelle Jons has been hired as vice president of operations for risk, third-party risk, vendor management and enterprise risk management. She will work with all areas of the business to support the bank’s risk program. Jons has experience in credit card and student loan operations. She joins Meta after almost 30 years with Citibank.

LeRoy Huntimer, director of ATM and point of sale, was honored with the Outstanding Service Award, US by the ATM Industry Association. Recipients have shown long-term positive influence on improving the industry, excellence in technology or levels of service, leadership in applying best practice, and specific and measurable achievements producing tangible results.

SDN Communications

Four SDN Communications employees have earned certification as Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals from Metro Ethernet Forum. That brings the number of SDN employees with a professional broadband certification to 12. SDN has offered Ethernet services to regional businesses and institutions since 2005.

The new certified professionals are:

  • Chris Aeilts, sales engineer.
  • Dave Halter, network engineer I.
  • Russ Lampy, sales engineer.
  • Joey Sanders, data technician tier I.


Ward Ertz has been hired as director of client services at ADwërks, an advertising, marketing communications and media strategy agency. Ertz will work with key clients to translate business solutions, create strategic project plans, drive client revenue growth and provide clients with initiatives to build their businesses.

Ertz’s business background includes roles in organizational leadership and management, revenue and margin optimization, project management, P&L accountability, and advertising and marketing strategy. He has been involved in the community with Hot Halrey Nights, which is a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish South Dakota, and as a classroom teacher for Junior Achievement of South Dakota.

Dakota State University

Starla Stensaas has been hired as the director of communications and marketing at Dakota State University in Madison.

Stensaas most recently was director of communications for IT services at the University of Arkansas. She has taught at several academic institutions, including Dana College and Nebraska Wesleyan University in Nebraska and Southern Illinois University.

She begins April 3 and will be DSU’s first director of communications and marketing.








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