South Dakota Advisory Council

ELPC’s South Dakota Advisory Council members bring strategic wisdom, stature and connections to the state’s policymakers, business leaders, educational leaders and other influentials.

Van Fishback

is the President of Fishback Financial Corporation, based in Brookings, which is South Dakota’s largest privately held financial holding company with five subsidiary banks and various other assets. The banks finance wind power, agricultural development and other activities in South Dakota and Minnesota, among other business activities. Van joined his family’s banking organization after receiving his B.A. in Economics and attending the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and receiving his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. He is involved with numerous professional and civic organizations and boards in Brookings and across South Dakota including the South Dakota State University Foundation, Vision Brookings and Prairie Repertory Theater.

Christine Hamilton

owns and operates Christiansen Land and Cattle, Ltd., a large diversified farming and ranching business in south central South Dakota. She has established a non-profit family foundation to participate in projects that address how to improve rural communities and co-founded PrairieGold Ventures and South Dakota Ag Producer Ventures, which are dedicated to South Dakota development. Christine has a MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona. She is a member of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors of the South Dakota State Foundation, South Dakota State Art Museum, Northern Great Plains Initiative for Rural Development, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Home Federal Bank.

Robert C. Oliver

is the President of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Business Administration and as Associate Professor. Prior to 2004, Rob was President of Norwest Bank (Southeast District) and responsible for 27 banking locations in southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. His community activities include service on: the Avera McKennan Hospital Board of Trustees (Chair); Augustana College Board of Regents (former Chair); Sioux Empire United Way (past Chair); and Volunteers of America. Rob has an M.B.A. and B.S. in Economics from the University of South Dakota.

Catherine V. Piersol

is the principal partner of the Piersol Law Firm in Sioux Falls. She specializes in family law, employment law and overall civil litigation. Cathy served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Bush Foundation and on bar association boards and committees. Her extensive civic activities also include: University of South Dakota Foundation Executive Board and Board of Trustees; Great Plains Zoo Board of Directors; South Dakota Hall of Fame Board of Directors; Sioux Empire Arts Council (President); Kennedy Center Committee for the Performing Arts; and Children’s Home Society of South Dakota. Cathy received her J.D. from the University of South Dakota and has been practicing law since 1985.

Ex-Officio: Scott Heidepriem (ELPC Board of Directors)

is a Founder and Partner at Heidepriem, Purtell & Siegel, LLP, a law firm focused on litigation, trial and appeals based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a certified civil trial advocate. Mr. Heidepriem previously served as a Democratic member of the South Dakota Senate from 2007 to 2011, representing the 13th District, and he was the Senate Minority Leader. He was a Republican member of the South Dakota House in 1988 before switching parties in 2003. He is a past president of South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the civil litigation field.

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