Independence Magazine

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INDEPENDENCE Financial Freedom the Credit Union Way

Be in the Know About


Conventional LENDING for

Unconventional HOUSING

ONE New ACCIDENT MORTGAGE APP AWAY Cover Photo: Albrecht Shouse of De Smet

Join Us for Member Fest – See Calendar of Events (Page 12)

Tired of trying to make it fit?



% apr*


on Facebook at (800) 440–6573

*annual percentage rate | NMLS # 657864

Dakotaland Home Lending Team

Loop In the



Dakotaland FCU is constantly looking for ways to improve our services and what we offer our members. This includes loan options, services that we provide, technology and much more. Our Mortgage Department over the last year has made some technology changes and have some exciting features that will soon be available to our members. For more information see page 11. We have changed our current Credit Life and Credit Disability program to a Debt Protection program. The new program will still have Credit Life and Credit Disability, but now have additional options and coverages for our members. For more information visit with your loan officer or see page 7. With Summer approaching, that means our Memberfests (Member Appreciation Events) will be starting. This year we kick off in Huron on June 8th. We will combine our Memberfest with our Annual Meeting on that evening. For more information regarding Memberfest at our different branch locations see page 12. We will also roll out our Mobile Wallet. Included are Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay for both our debit and credit cards. This will allow members to use their mobile device to make in–store payments where accepted. Please be on the lookout in the coming months for more information. There are many things happening at Dakotaland in the coming months. Take some time to look through our magazine for more information. Enjoy your summer!

In just over 10 years, Dakotaland has tripled its number of member accounts to more than 35,000. Also during that time, the credit union has more than tripled its number of employees to 175 staff who are dedicated to our mission in serving our membership.


Dakotaland Federal Credit Union | 1371 Dakota Avenue S. | Huron, SD 57350 | 800.440.6573 PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Dawn Mutchelknaus | • DESIGN/LAYOUT: Emily Kuehl | PRINTING: Brad McGirr/Creative Printing | • ONLINE: |

Independence | 1

Meet the Candidates

Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is governed by a seven member Board of Directors. Directors are Credit Union members who are unpaid volunteers elected by the membership. These dedicated individuals set the direction of the Credit Union and set policies the Credit Union’s management and staff follow in achieving our mission and vision. This year two board members will be running for re-election. Take a look and get to know our candidates.


Second Vice Chairperson


2 | Independence

Rachel Dix is a graduate of Western Governor’s University where she earned her Master of Business Administration degree, and of Presentation College of Aberdeen, SD where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Management and minor in Finance. As the Home Ownership Coordinator for Homes Are Possible, Inc., she teaches home buyer education sessions that promotes home ownership in northeastern South Dakota. Additionally, Rachel is the Executive Officer for the Aberdeen Home Builders Association and is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders as an Executive Officer Council Board of Directors member. She enjoys meeting and collaborating with individuals and businesses across the state. Rachel and her husband, Nathan, reside in Aberdeen with their fur-children. Rachel’s hobbies are hunting, fishing and hiking with her dogs all around South Dakota. Gayle Kludt is a Huron native and a strong community advocate. She is currently serving as the Executive Director at People’s Transit in Huron, SD and has been a part of that organization since 2017. Gayle retired from law enforcement having served 25 years as a Patrol Sergeant, Deputy Sheriff and Chief of Police. Ms. Kludt received her undergraduate degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD and her Master’s Degree in Management from Colorado Technical Institute. She is president of the South Dakota Transit Providers. Her son, Lee and his wife Jennifer, live in Aberdeen with Gayle’s grandsons Easton, Brody and Hudson. Gayle has been a member of DFCU since the 1980s, but since becoming a board member, she has learned that DFCU is one big family who support each other and is committed to the membership. Gayle is a dog mom and loves to spend time at the lake.

You Are Invited to our



ANNUAL MEETING and Huron’s Member Fest


8 6PM 5–7PM Located at the Administration Building | 2297 Kansas Ave. S.E. | Huron

Menu Pork Sandwiches

Pasta Salad



Choice of Beverage

$1 per plate donation requested. All proceeds directed to The Heartland United Way

No Ticket Required | Food will be Served from 5PM – 7PM

Carnival Games • Bouncy House • Balloon Man • Sno Cones • Prizes

Conventional LENDING for

Unconventional HOUSING

Abandoned proper ty pre viously known as Holfor ty’s Gas & Oil North of Wolsey

Karlee Krogman Marketing Communications Specialist

Mutchelknaus re

novated residen


Not everyone’s idea of the perfect home is a ranch style with a white picket fence. Over the decades,

Dakotaland’s Mortgage Team has had the opportunity to assist many unique housing seekers find conventional financing for their unconventional homes. Many financial institutions are not equipped or are willing to accept the challenges a non–traditional home may pose from a mortgage and underwriting perspective. According to Chief of Mortgage Lending, Sarah Senska, the credit union has not shied away from these unique properties, but instead has embraced the creativity in finding the right mortgage even when it’s not a typical home.

4 | Independence

Albrecht Shouse


South of De Sm

Shouses or shomes are a newer concept as far as housing is concerned, but they have become very popular in the past few years. A shouse (shop/house) or a shome (shop/home) is a hybrid home, basically incorporating two buildings into one structure. Daniel Albrecht is just months away from moving into his new shouse located south of De Smet. Dan and his dad, Todd, own and operate the family business of Albrecht Road Maintenance, which specializes in the transport of gravel and road repair. “Working on equipment in the winter months in South Dakota is almost impossible without access to a heated shop,” explained Albrecht when asked why they chose this type of structure. Dan had recently returned home after college and needed a place to call his own. The shouse provided a dual solution. Albrecht had become a member of the credit union when his parents opened an account for him when he was a young child. Dan, now 22 years old, was happy to find a 1.90% apr* construction loan at Dakotaland. Another unique twist to the housing market has been the ‘repurposing’ of a once commercial property into single or multi–family homes. Churches, bars, train depots and retail businesses are a few of the unique buildings finding a new life as a residence. Patti Larson purchased a main street business in Woonsocket, SD intending to utilize the space as a lodge/apartment rental, but recently has chosen *annual percentage rate

Larson’s residence

formerly Corner’s Ca

fe in Woonsocket

to make it her primary residence. “Saving an old downtown structure intrigued me. Plus, it is a great space and good location with easy access to everything in town,“ explained Larson. The 1400 sq. ft. building built in 1954 has a long history, but it will be remembered by most as the local Corner Café. Patti relayed that she didn’t bother approaching any other financial institution, but instead, chose to work with Dakotaland on the initial purchase and the renovations. Scott and Dawn Mutchelknaus renovated a 1950s gas station/bus stop into a family home near Wolsey, SD. “We initially paid cash for the acreage and abandoned building formerly known as Holforty’s Gas and Oil. The credit union was our resource to secure the mortgage we needed to finance the extensive rebuild”, Dawn explained. The Mutchelknaus’ quickly learned how challenging an abandoned property would be to renovate, especially one that was never intended to be a home, but it has proven to be a one–of–a–kind home and a sound investment. Independence | 5

ONE ACCIDENT AWAY By Dawn Mutchelknaus | VP of Marketing

On December 7, 2017, Luther Dittman made a quick trip home during lunch when an auto accident changed his life forever. “You never think it can happen to you, but one minute I’m living my life doing what I do every day and the next I’m being cut out of my pickup and talking to doctors about the loss of my leg,” explained Dittman. Married with two daughters under the age of five, Luther was 26 years old and facing the real fear of how he was going to care and provide for his family during his long recovery. Luther was hospitalized for two months before returning to his new life, which did not look anything like the one he knew before December 7. Luther has wondered about that day and if any one decision might have changed the outcome. “It’s hard to know, but one choice I will never regret is placing payment protection on my loans at Dakotaland,” stated Dittman Due to his inability to work during his recovery, the credit union was able pay his loans in full. “It was such a relief knowing we didn’t have to wonder where the money was going to come from to make our loan payments,” shared Luther. Jodi Hanson, Consumer Loan Officer at the Huron Branch, recalls Luther coming to see her after his accident. He told Jodi, “Please don’t let anyone walk out of this office with a loan without this protection.” Dittman is still dealing with his rehabilitation after enduring 34 surgeries with more to come. He gives credit to the strength of his wife, Bonnie Sue, and their children for getting him through it. Years later, Luther is still thankful for the safeguards like payment protection he had in place for he and his family. “If I have learned anything from this experience, it is we are only one accident away from a different life, but if you are willing to put some safety measures in place in the event something bad does happen, it won’t break you,” concluded Dittman. 6 | Independence

DEBT PROTECTION: When the Unexpected Happens

Independence: Can you explain what a Debt Protection Program does? J. Peskey: Life can throw us a curve ball at any time and when the unexpected happens, you don’t want a difficult or trying time to be compounded by financial worry. Debt Protection is coverage for your loan which may cancel your loan balance or payments if a qualifying event should happen.

Independence: How is this product priced and how is the fee paid? J. Peskey: Rates are dependent on the coverage you choose, but the program is budget friendly and comfortably fits into your monthly loan payment. To give you an idea, here is a breakdown based on the coverage, size of the loan and if it is a single or joint borrower.

Independence: What kinds of loans are eligible for • LifePlus Disability and Unemployment: debt protection? $0.309 per $100 single/ $0.530 per $100 joint J. Peskey: Consumer loans such as auto and • LifePlus Disability: recreational vehicles are eligible, but mortgage $0.297 per $100 single/ $0.520 per $100 joint loans are not. • LifePlus: $0.099 per $100 single/ $0.154 per $100 joint Independence: What kind of life events does it cover? J. Peskey: The qualifying events may include involuntary (un)employment, disability, death, terminal illness, accidental dismemberment, hospitalization, family medical leave and death of a non-protected dependent.

Independence: When will this protection program be available to our members? J. Peskey: The debt protection program was made available on April 1, 2022.

Independence: Is this coverage mandatory? J. Peskey: Your purchase is optional and does not affect your current application for credit or the terms of any credit agreement required to obtain a loan.

Independence: Can debt protection be added to an existing loan at the credit union? J. Peskey: Yes, existing loans may add debt protection, but you may have to adhere to a waiting period. Independence: How does this affect those who currently have Credit Life and Disability coverage on their loan at Dakotaland? J. Peskey: Members who currently have credit life and disability will continue with their existing coverage and premium until the loan is paid in full.

Interview with: JENNIFER PESKEY VP of Consumer Lending

Independence: How do we learn more about the Debt Protection Program? J. Peskey: Your local Dakotaland consumer loan officer would be happy to answer any questions you may have or feel free to visit our website for more details at: Independence | 7

Be in the Know About

Crypto Dr. George Langelett

Economics Professor at SDSU DFCU Board Member By: Karlee Krogman | Marketing Communications Specialist Cryptocurrency was once a foreign concept to most people not too long ago, but within the past decade, it has now expanded to new heights. With 300 million people utilizing cryptocurrencies globally and 46 million Americans invested in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency has gained popularity globally. This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with South Dakota State University economics professor and Dakotaland FCU board member, Dr. George Langelett, and was able to learn more about the background of cryptocurrency and things to know before getting started. Dr. Langelett defines cryptocurrency as, “A secure, alternative payment method that would be comparable to an accounting ledger.” Originating in 2009, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto wanted a decentralized, transparent currency, so he first created the blockchain technology, and then came Bitcoin. In the early stages of Bitcoin, it was only worth pennies, but after a while, people began to realize the true value. Ultimately, the value of Bitcoin, or any crypto currency for that matter, goes back to basics of economics- supply and demand. One of the most common misconceptions about crypto is that we should invest in it, similarly to the stock market; however, cryptocurrency was never intended to be an investment, but instead a mode of safe, anonymous transactions. The blockchain technology that Nakamoto created was to ensure the legitimacy 8 | Independence

and authenticity of both parties involved in the transaction. Once the transaction is initiated, both parties are authenticated by third party verifiers, to ensure a secure transaction. Once the transaction is verified, it is permanently placed on the blockchain. The blockchain is anonymous, but crypto is most beneficial to those wanting to enact a secure transaction. Before diving head first into the cryptoverse, there are a few things to take note of. Crypto transactions do have some transaction fees, and they are also a part of a decentralized, unregulated market. In the US, having a decentralized market does not make as big of an impact, but in poorer countries, purchasing crypto within a decentralized market is very beneficial to their citizens, as some countries have corrupt financial institutions. There is no one licensed in the buying and selling of crypto, so make sure you are aware of what you’re getting yourself into before beginning your first transaction. Just like any investment, it’s all about your risk tolerance, so if you’re a little more risk averse, Dr. Langelett would suggest starting out small. When I asked Dr. Langelett about the financial takeaways of crypto, he described it as, “It’s a good chance to become a millionaire, and it’s a good chance to lose all your money. The currency itself has no intrinsic value, other than its ability to facilitate transactions.” If you are interested in investing in crypto, Dr. Langelett suggests investing a small amount, roughly $100, for three months to learn the ropes. Watch and learn during that time, because it’s a completely different investment mechanism that can be quite treacherous. Stick to small amounts, until you feel confident and knowledgeable. Remember that it is not meant to be an investment, so stay cautious and aware that you may not receive a return. Think of the cryptocurrency as “electronic dollars,” and just like any investment, make sure to only invest as much as you’re willing to lose. If cryptocurrency peaks your interest, check out this article found on Business Insider to learn more about the basics and do’s and don’ts of investing in cryptocurrency.

Scholarship Winners Breanna Roth

Maggie Knippling

Corbin Schwartz

Danielle Nowell

Dilyn Brooks

Elle Hoops

Gerrit VonEye

Hayden Hegg

Jazzlyn McGirr

Kiara O’Daniel

Redfield, SD

Redfield, SD

Woonsocket, SD

Watertown, SD

Huron, SD

Huron, SD

Hitchcock, SD

Huron, SD

Huron, SD

Athol, SD

Independence | 9


CORNER How to Build Within Budget

The recent increase in construction costs may have you rethinking the investment you are making in your new home build or your major remodel project. You have every reason to be cautious but taking the right steps to properly manage your construction project, may take the pressure off your mind and your checkbook. Here are some cost saving suggestions: Reduce Square Footage. Reconsidering the physical size of the structure is a fast way to dramatically reduce costs. Choose a Stock Design. You may desire your new home to have some unique features, but keep in mind, customization can definitely bring an increase in cost. Opt for a Simple Roof Line. A roof can add a lot of character to your home, but keep in mind a complex roof line changes pricing. For example, a gable roof tends to be a less expense option and easier to build than say a hip roof design. Use Drywall on Interior. Drywall has proven to be more fire resistant and a cost effective alternative to wood wall coverings. Communicate with Your Contractor. Most overages are due to lack of communication and missed expenses. Take the time to go over the project line by line, review the construction schedule and break down all of the costs. Avoid Change Orders. Changing your mind or altering plans after the project starts can be a major money pit. Save the money, make a plan and stick to it. Repurpose, Reuse and Recycle. Not in every case is this a recommended cost cutting measure, but there are numerous opportunities to save cash on pre-owned or reusable materials. Consider a Prefab. Prefabricated homes or additions take a lot of the guesswork, time, and added expense out of a building project. Save it for Later. It might make sense to hold off on certain aspects of your construction project until a later date. The deck, a third stall on the garage, or finishing the rooms in the basement could possibly wait until the price of materials has dropped or you have additional funds available. Do it Yourself Unless You Can’t. If you choose to do some of the shopping, purchase, transport or pre–assembly of your building materials yourself, it may decrease your expenses, especially in delivery and labor costs. 10 | Independence



Welcome to a digital mortgage loan experience that has never been easier. It can be completed from the comforts of your home computer or mobile device. You will have the ability to: • Calculate the payment of a home you can afford • Compute total estimated loan payments • Utilize the QR code to easily access the mobile app and your Loan Officer • Submit your mortgage loan application quicker & easier than ever before • View list of needed loan documentation • Securely scan and upload any required items • Electronically sign disclosures required for your loan • Access the status of your loan file 24/7 • Communicate with your mortgage loan officer • Message your Realtor and allow them to have access to loan status • View and sign some loan documents in advance • Close your loan quickly and efficiently How cool is that! One app that connects you to your trusted loan officer and realtor plus gives you 24–hour access to your loan file. It is our intent to provide you with the best mortgage loan experience possible and this app will keep information at your fingertips when it’s convenient for you. Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is a full service, not for profit cooperative, that has a strong history of helping people experience the satisfaction of homeownership. We focus on giving you our best deal available while being honest and up front. The #DFCUhometeam wants to be a part of your homeownership journey.

Find Us On

Independence | 11


16 – 20 | Shred Week 30 | CLOSED

In Observance of Memorial Day


2 | Sponsor Stock Car Races & Fireworks 7PM – 11PM Dakota State Fair Speedway | Huron

Congratulations! on your anniversary

8 | Huron’s Member Fest | Annual Meeting 5PM — 7PM 2297 Kansas Ave. S.E. | Huron

9 | De Smet’s Member Fest

5PM — 7PM 108 US Hwy 14 W | De Smet

10 | Brookings’ Member Fest 11:30AM — 1:30PM 2423 6th St | Brookings

14 | Redfield’s Member Fest

5PM — 7PM 509 N Main St | Redfield

16 | Aberdeen’s Member Fest

5PM — 7PM Wylie Park Birdhouse | Aberdeen

PAT MURTHA Branch Manager Mitchell Branch 35 Years of Service


In Observance of Juneteenth

22 | Madison’s Member Fest

5PM — 7PM 1004 S. Washington Ave. | Madison

23 | Volga’s Member Fest

5PM — 7PM 99 Caspian Avenue | Volga


2 – 4 | CLOSED

In observance of 4th of July

BRYAN SMITH Chief Lending Officer Huron Branch 25 Years of Service

21 | Family Night in the Park 7PM Campbell Park | Huron


4 | Mitchell’s Summerfest

11:00AM — 1:30PM 301 S. Ohlman Street | Mitchell

10 | Watertown’s Rockin’ the Block 5PM — 7PM 1101 9th Ave SE | Watertown


5 | Dakota Star Competition Finals 12 | Independence 5PM Freedom Stage at the SD State Fairgrounds | Huron

Happy Retirement

SARAH SENSKA Chief Mortgage Officer Huron Branch 20 Years of Service

MICHELLE SIBLEY VP of Card Services Huron Branch 20 Years of Service



Consumer Loan Officer | Woonsocket Branch More than 18 years of serving Members 12 | Independence

Marketing/Purchasing Coord. Huron Branch 20 Years of Service

Get Back to What You Enjoy. Leave the Rest to Us. Call Today About Our



1371 Dakota Avenue South, Suite 100| Huron, SD 57350 | | 605.353.8777 Dakotaland Financial Services, LLC. is a separate entity from Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

We care about your financial

HEALTH & WELLNESS Let The Power of Debt Management Strengthen Your Bottom Line See a Debt Management Specialist Today 800-440-6573