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Brad is the best to work with. He knows every aspect of buying and selling a house. He was with us every step of the way as we sold our old house and bought a new one. There were things we wanted to change in the house and because of his construction knowledge, he knew what was possible. It was a fast experience too! I would highly recommend him.

– Roxie

Brad is a skilled craftsman and did a painstaking job of designing and constructing our deck. He is friendly, patient, responsive, thorough and also proved to be very flexible in accommodating changes in design that we made in the midst of the project. We were extremely happy with the outcome and look forward to the next phase of our project with Brad.

– Megan & Lyle

As the area’s only REALTOR®/builder, I see what others don’t.

Brad Meehan As a REALTOR®, I'll find you a house that has possibilities to fit you and your family.

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Shopping for a home? Don't limit yourself to what you see online and during open houses. Every house is a starting point for something more grand. With nearly 30 years in the building industry, I will work with you to see the possibilities, then make it a reality. Do you have a house you need to sell quickly? Call me, I'll get you a fair price and take it off your hands fast and effortlessly.




January/February 2019 28 A WINDOW TO OUR PAST Aberdeen Photographer, Nicholas A. Brothers focused on the Aberdeen scene for over 25 years



Pat breaks down all the back-breaking tools to choose from when it comes to removing snow from your sidewalk

Dr. Ginger Conklin’s new psychiatric practice is on the forefront of treating mental illness








Your source for what’s happening in Aberdeen


Never miss an event in the Hub City


CrossFit athletes from around the region descended upon Aberdeen for the 4th Annual Trainwreck Classic competition


Aberdeen’s Pheasant Sandwich Shootout tested the culinary craftsmanship of area chefs for the second year in a row


Emily Sternhagen uses her gifts of teaching and singing to lead Aberdeen’s littlest musicians with Kindermusik

Pyrographer Amanda Phelps shares her love of the great outdoors through her wood-burned masterpieces For Jim Walker, the stage is synonymous with life. Get to know the founding father of our Aberdeen Community Theatre

Personal stylist Grace Chipman assembles outfits tailored especially for the youngest members of your crew


“We’re all diverse, and we’re all in this together.” Volunteers with the Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition take action to make our Hub City welcoming for everyone






With four consecutive state titles behind them and a promising season underway, the Aberdeen Lady Cougars hockey team stays focused by practicing hard...and doing a little bit of singing

The saying goes that to get ahead, we have to give back. Two couples who have been honored as Aberdeen Community Champions talk about why volunteering is priceless

56 A HOLIDAY FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS Aberdeen's Jeff Sveen helped deliver South Dakota's first pardoned turkeys to Washington, D.C.



Pictured is Hailey Holland, a senior at Aberdeen Central, multi-sport athlete, and forward for the Lady Cougars hockey team. Aberdeen has one of the largest and most successful girls hockey programs in the state. Hailey and her teammates make it look easy, but it’s their strong team bond, coupled with years of practice, that allows them to take the ice so confidently. Photo by Troy McQuillen.



















ISSN 2378-3060

One thing on everyone’s mind as we go into a brand new year is the future. What lies ahead for us? What will unfold for our goals, our families, our lives? The completely human (and frustrating) part about being alive, though, is that we rarely can see what comes next. But I think there are two things we can do. We can work together, and we can put our energy toward making all the things we want for ourselves and our community come true. This issue of Aberdeen Magazine is full of some pretty spectacular people who are doing just exactly that.


PUBLISHER Troy McQuillen

DESIGN Eliot Lucas


Aberdeen’s Community Champions Awards celebrate the efforts of local volunteers who seem to show up for the causes they believe in time and time again. On page 48 you can hear from four award recipients who talk about why they give back to their hometown, and what they’ve learned along the way.

Abby McQuillen abby@mcquillencreative.com

Keeping with our theme of volunteerism, page 44 gives you an inside look at the Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition. Since forming just a couple of years ago, this nonprofit has continuously stepped up when it comes to welcoming new members of our community and moving us all forward together.

McQuillen Creative Group 423 S. Main St., Suite 1 Aberdeen SD, 57401 (605) 226-3481

Speaking of going forward, page 36 is all about the Lady Cougars hockey team. This group of young ladies has literally launched girls hockey to the next level, ensuring that the sport will keep going for generations to come. We’re also pleased to give you the story of Jim Walker (page 22), who started the Aberdeen Community Theatre first as a work study gig, then a summer job, and grew it into the admired production company that it is today. Along with Jim, we’re bringing you another entrepreneur who is always thinking ahead. Dr. Ginger Conklin has opened two innovative practices in Aberdeen in recent years, first her medical spa, and now her new psychiatric clinic. If I sound proud of where the Aberdeen area is heading in this letter, it’s because I totally am! We hope you’re ready for another year packed with stories that show the best parts of the place we call home. It’s our joy to share them with you in Aberdeen Magazine. Happy New Year!



4 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

PRINTING Midstates Printing

SUBMISSIONS Aberdeen Magazine welcomes your input. Message us your story ideas, drop off historic photos, or stop in for a chat. Email us at: troy@mcquillencreative.com

WEBSITE www.aberdeenmag.com

PRIVACY STATEMENT Any personal information, email addresses, or contact submitted to the editorial office or online via our Facebook page will not be sold or distributed. Aberdeen Magazine does wish to publish public comments and attitudes regarding Aberdeen, therefore written submissions and comments on our Facebook page implies permission to utilize said information in editorial content. Aberdeen Magazine is produced exclusively in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All content is copyright with all rights reserved. No content may be shared, copied, scanned, or posted online without permission. Please just ask us first. We’re pretty flexible.

PATRICK GALLAGHER is a regular contributor commenting on Aberdeen’s personality, food options, and history.

CHRISTINA SHILMAN is a wife, mom to an amazing baby boy, mental health therapist, and owner of Paisley Tree Photography. Her photography business opened in 2013, and specializes in weddings, seniors, families, children, and lifestyle sessions. She loves capturing authentic and unforgettable moments for her clients.


CHIPMAN FAMILY Shaun and Grace Chipman of Aberdeen and their sons Dax, Merik, and Hudson, modeled for our winter fashion photo shoot on page 26. The Chipmans wore clothing from Karisma Boutique and Grace’s personal styling services with Mac & Mia for their family photos.



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Photo by Troy McQuillen


 Graham Scott, Joe Cogley, and Coen Vogel build LEGO missions at a CREATE LEGO League class.

As they continue to grow their presence in Aberdeen, CREATE Makerspace is looking forward to their busiest year yet. Returning to their calendar will be two of their most popular events, LEGO League and LEGO League Junior. In these activities, children ages six to 13 build LEGO missions and then program robots to complete them using beginner coding skills. We can also expect to see more classes for adults on CREATE’s schedule (follow #notjustforkids), including Intro to Fischgaard, a video making and storytelling series that gets aspirant movie makers ready for the Fischgaard film competition in February. One of CREATE’s most-anticipated projects is their escape room. They are working to open it on the 5th floor of the Citizen’s Building sometime this year. Board member Matthew Klundt says it will be like a small theme park, with teams working to solve puzzles and find objects. All of the electronics for the escape room are being built in-house. Demonstrations on how these electronics work are a “behind the scenes” component they want to incorporate. Leading CREATE are the organization’s first full-time employees, executive director Leslie Barbour and program director Emily Fesler. Both are available to answer questions anytime and welcome input for class ideas. // — Jenny Roth  To stay in the know on new classes and events coming up at CREATE Makerspace, go to www.createaberdeen.com. register and www.facebook.com/CreateAberdeen, or stop by in person at 202 S. Main Street, 5th Floor.

6 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

DINNER TO YOUR DOORSTEP C r av i n g yo u r f avo r i t e restaurant, but not in the mood to go out to eat? Busy at work, and want lunch at your desk? Enter Zip Dish Delivery. This third-party delivery service has partnered with several Aberdeen restaurants to bring the foods you love from their menus to your home or workplace. Owners Luke Davidson and Daniel Stratton founded Zip Dish Delivery in Brookings in 2015. They’ve since expanded to Watertown and most recently Aberdeen, delivering lunch or dinner from The Junction, Taco John’s, The Millstone, Palm Garden Cafe & Chocolate Shoppe, Pounders Pub & Grub, Qdoba, and The Brass Kettle. How it works is customers go to www.zipdishdelivery.com and choose their order from the list of participating restaurants and the designated time they want to receive it. Then, they simply sit back and wait! Most orders take 30 minutes to an hour to arrive and are scheduled so the food gets to your door fresh and hot. Luke and Daniel are directly involved in all aspects of their small business, from developing and maintaining the website, dispatching orders, and even serving as delivery drivers. They’d ideally like to hire at least three full-time and two part-time drivers for Zip Dish Delivery Aberdeen. Luke says they also hope to add more local restaurants to their list of partners. “We want to help the restaurant community as a whole to grow, while at the same time provide a much-needed service by delivering restaurant-quality food.” // — Jenny Roth

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A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS FOR THE RED ROOSTER Siblings Dan Cleberg and Kileen Limvere opened the Red Rooster Coffee House in downtown Aberdeen in 1996. Since then their venue has become a staple in our community’s culture, known as much for its art and entertainment events and friendly atmosphere as it is for its cups of Joe. Last year, Dan and Kileen began looking for a new home for their business and found one at 218 S. Main Street, just a few doors south from their original digs. After closing briefly to move and remodel the new space, the Red Rooster reopened on November 1. A public-supported Go Fund Me account has helped raise money to purchase the building and complete the extensive renovation work for it to be up and running. The “New Roo” promises to bring back some of its classics, like the stage, bookshelves, and comfy couches. Along with these, they’re also adding some additional features, such as an event room and art gallery. They’re also serving breakfast on Sunday mornings, and sharing a building with the Main Street Flea Market and EZ Pawn Shop. Dan says, “People can come here and grab a coffee or lunch, and then check out the 10 plus vendors at the Flea Market in one stop.” // — Jenny Roth  The Red Rooster Coffee House has reopened at their new location, 218 S. Main Street.

When it comes to storage, the more the better. With that idea in mind, Jeff Stockert has built Eighth and Enterprise, a facility set up especially for oversized storage, business condos, contractor shops, and man caves. The units at Eighth and Enterprise are available for rent or purchase. Each one is meant to be customized to fit the unique needs of its occupant. All units have their own meter for gas, electricity, and water, as well as a floor drain and a bathroom with a shower. Their location, at 720 N. Enterprise Street, has both easy in-and-out access and

8 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

 Customizable oversized storage units are available to rent or own at Eighth and Enterprise.

close proximity to Highway 12. But one of the property’s best amenities is the extra square footage. All ceiling heights are between 21 and 25 feet high, while entrance doors measure 14 feet wide by 14 feet tall. Jeff says, “Just about anything can be in the units, it’s very flexible. For storage, you could fit in things like a large motorhome,

boat, or trailer. For a contractor looking to run their business out of them, they would have room for an office, storage for all of their tools, and a place to park vehicles in overnight.” // — Jenny Roth  To find out more about Eighth and Enterprise, visit www.eighthandenterprise.com or call Jeff Stockert at 605-380-3342.

Photos by Troy McQuillen


 For information on events and menu specials happening at the Red Rooster Coffee House, go to www.facebook.com/RedRoosterCoffeeHouse or call 605-225-6603.

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january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE




 Shaun Falken manages the Hub Area Habitat for Humanity’s Help Build It Center.

Hub Area Habitat for Humanity is ready for more applicants to their assistance programs, more shoppers in their retail store, and more home goods and building material donations. They hope the new location for their office and Help Build It Center, now open at 126 S. Main Street, will help make all of this happen. The nonprofit has three parts that work together for their vision of a world where everyone has an adequate place to live and affordable housing. The first is their home building projects. Families can apply to receive a home that they work alongside contractors and volunteers to build. They also administer A Brush with Kindness, where volunteers again partner with families, this time to complete critical home repairs. Tying everything together at Habitat for Humanity is their Help Build It Center, a home goods store and donation drop-off site that accepts just about anything from shingles to appliances. Items at the Help Build It Center are sold at a discounted price, with proceeds going back to support the organization’s home construction and A Brush with Kindness efforts. Manager Shaun Falken says a common misconception is that you have to meet certain income guidelines, or live in a Habitat for Humanity home, to shop at the Help Build It Center. In reality, it’s open to everyone. “It doesn’t matter what your financial situation is or whether you own or rent, it’s a regular retail store that everyone can shop at and donate to.” // — Jenny Roth  The Help Build It Center is open in the afternoons Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. To see what items they currently have for sale, go to www.facebook.com/habitatforhumanityaberdeensd.

10 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

Lifelong friends Jessie and Jennie are ecstatic to land summer internships at the same company. But their elation quickly vanishes when Jessie discovers a secret about the company and goes missing. So what happened to Jessie? You’ll have to head to Unravel, Aberdeen’s escape room experience, to figure out the clues to her disappearance and solve the mystery of The Intern. Unravel’s creator, Jessica Fischer, explains what an escape room is and who can play. “It’s a form of entertainment that challenges groups to look for clues and figure out puzzles together to find out where Jessie is and ‘escape’ the room.” She adds, “It’s not meant to be scary, but a fun way to challenge yourself, solve some riddles, and have fun with your friends and family or coworkers.” Jessica opened Unravel in December in the basement of Karisma Boutique at 305 S. Main Street. The avid mystery reader and writer says she wanted to bring an escape room to Aberdeen because she has enjoyed them so much herself when visiting other cities. To keep more eyes on the clues, Unravel is best tackled by groups of four to 12 people. The cost is $25 per person, or $200 to rent the entire room. Jessica devised The Intern and plans to change the space into a new mystery every few months. // — Jenny Roth  Unravel is open Friday nights and Saturdays, and by appointment for special events like birthday parties. To book your tickets, visit www.aberdeenescaperoom.com.  At the Unravel Escape Room the character “Jessie” is missing. It’s up to participants to find clues hidden throughout her room and solve the mystery of her disappearance.

Photos by Troy McQuillen



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NONPROFIT BUILDS SELF-ESTEEM FOR ABERDEEN AREA GIRLS BIO stands for Beauty Inside and Out, and helping young girls see this in themselves is exactly the goal of an organization that is starting this year in Aberdeen.

ESL teacher Sheena Buckhouse is the director of South Dakota’s first BIO Girls, a nonprofit that already exists in about 30 locations throughout the Midwest. She says BIO Girls Aberdeen will meet every

Tuesday evening for 12 weeks at O.M. Tiffany starting February 19. They have room for 35 participants, and any girl in 2nd-6th grade, no matter where she goes to school, is welcome to register via their website, www.biogirls.org. During their meetings, the girls will have small group mentorship and take part in a curriculum that aims to build life skills for adolescence and beyond. They’ll also work together to complete a physical activity, ultimately finishing the season by entering the Run From the Police 5K in May. About 10 local women have volunteered to be mentors in the program. They’ll run with the girls as they prepare for the 5K in the spring and support them along the way. Sheena says, “We have just a great group of businesswomen, professionals, stayat-home mothers, and teachers that are here to cheer the girls on.” She adds, “The environment set by BIO Girls is so inclusive and uplifting, and we can’t wait to bring this to our girls in Aberdeen.” // — Jenny Roth  Registration for Aberdeen’s BIO Girls opens January 2. To learn more, search Bio Girls Aberdeen on Facebook.

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 BIO Girls students and coaches are gearing up for the nonprofit's first season in Aberdeen. Pictured left to right are Halle Buckhouse, Sheena Buckhouse, Lisa McDowell and Maggie McDowell

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January 10, 7:30 - 8:30 PM Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theatre, NSU Free admission  Two internationally sought after pianists are hitting the keys with a live concert in Aberdeen. Nariaki Sugiura and Keith Teepen both have a long list of performance and teaching achievements. Their recital, hosted by NSU’s School of Fine Arts, is open to the public.


January 19, 1:00 - 4:00 PM Old Milwaukee Road Depot Free admission  Once the kings of transportation, locomotives are still running strong at this model train display. Four train settings with full scenery will be set up and ready for view, including both large Lionel and small HO trains pulling up to 100 cars.


January 26, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Fit and Fire Studios & various locations around town Donation to Aspire  A marathon on your yoga mat, this event takes place every year to benefit a local charity. Visit Aberdeen businesses and try out different styles of yoga, with all proceeds going to Aspire.





February 9 -10, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Dakota Event Center Free admission  Boats, campers, ATVs, motorcycles, and more! Browse the “big” items for summer fun at this annual expo by Hub City Radio.

February 12, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Best Western Ramkota Hotel  Join the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors as they recognize and present awards to community leaders and volunteers. Call the Chamber at 605-225-2860 for details.


January 17, 7:30 PM Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theatre, NSU  The Northern State University Jazz Band will join Nachito Herrera on stage for an evening of jazz entertainment. Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera is an awardwinning Cuban jazz pianist and music director known for bringing down the house at prestigious concert halls and festivals worldwide. For tickets, go to www. aberdeencommunityconcerts.org


January 26, 7:30 -10:30 PM Aberdeen Civic Theatre $8-$25  This St. Paul-based ensemble is a salute to one of their favorite bands of all time, Chicago. The group of eight promises to play your favorite hits and re-create the excitement of hearing one of rock and roll’s greatest icons.


January 31- February 2, all day Johnson Fine Arts Center, NSU  Hundreds of high school students will show their acting skills in this statewide one-act play competition. Class AA, A, and B schools all put on their own original skits, vying to earn a superior award. BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF ABERDEEN AREA AWARDS BANQUET

February 8, 6:30 PM Best Western Ramkota Convention Center Call 605-225-8714 for tickets  The Boys & Girls Club invites attendees to dinner and a program with special guest speakers Bob and Sheri of the hit radio broadcast, The Bob and Sheri Show. Many live and silent auction items will also be up for bid throughout the night at this fundraising gala.


February 14, 6:00 - 10:00 PM Dakota Event Center Tickets at www.dakotaeventcenter.com  Spend Valentine’s Day with dinner, dessert, and entertainment by singers/songwriters Cory Batten and Kent Blazy. Cory and Kent are known in the Nashville scene and beyond for having written songs for country music artists like Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Kenny Chesney.

February 19-21, all day Best Western Ramkota Convention Center Free admission  This three-day expo is organized by Dakota Broadcasting with the farming and ranching community in mind. Speakers, vendors, demonstrations, and seminars fill the Convention Center with all topics related to the ag industry.

February 22-24, all day Best Western Ramkota Hotel Free admission for spectators, players pay an entry fee  The Aberdeen Cue Club welcomes singles and teams of all skill sets to their winter 8 ball pool tournament. The weekend starts at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, with play in various divisions continuing throughout Saturday and Sunday. PRESENTATION COLLEGE BLACK & WHITE BALL

February 23, evening Dakota Event Center  Take a break from winter at an "Island Escape" with live music and a tropical, threecourse gourmet dinner at this PC scholarship fundraiser. Providing entertainment will be the Aberdeen Jazz Ensemble and the NashVegas All Stars, with Aberdeen's Taryn Lamont on lead vocals. Call 605-229-8454 or email lori.herron@presentation.edu to reserve your seats.

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STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE SHOWDOWN CrossFit Rails hosts athletes from across the region at their Trainwreck Classic by JENNY ROTH CrossFit athletes train all year, in competition only with themselves to get better and healthier. But on November 10, they were able to show off all their hard work for one day at the CrossFit Rails Trainwreck Classic. This year marked the 4th anniversary of the event, and also the first time other gyms or “boxes” were invited to compete. And compete they did. A total of 64 male and female athletes, made up of 32 teams of two, from South Dakota, Minnesota, and North Dakota took part in the daylong competition. By the end of the afternoon, each team had completed four or five CrossFit workouts, testing their skills in weightlifting, gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, and teamwork. The event brought in close to 250 athletes and spectators. CrossFit Rails head coach Daniel McCoy is the competition’s organizer. He says the community atmosphere among CrossFit athletes is unbeatable. “We’re all competing, but other people are just as excited for you when you do your best.” He adds that CrossFit Rails is already planning on hosting the event again next year, and looking at how they can grow it even further. //

 CrossFit athletes from across the region competed at CrossFit Rails in Aberdeen for the 4th Annual Trainwreck Classic.

 Teams finish strong in a cycling workout as coach Daniel McCoy looks on.

 John Kirnan gains altitude during a test of cardio.

Photos by Joni Larson

 To learn more about CrossFit Rails, 821 Railroad Avenue SE, go to www.crossfitrails.com.

16 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

2 Great Aberdeen Locations GreatWesternBank.com ©2016, Great Western Bank

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january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



A BITE OF LOCAL CUISINE Chefs compete for the second year in Aberdeen’s Pheasant Sandwich Shootout

There aren’t many places that offer pheasant sandwiches on their menu, but South Dakota’s leading bird again filled plates at the second annual Pheasant Sandwich Shootout cooking competition. The event, hosted by the Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, took place on November 8 at the Civic Arena. Staff members from the South Dakota Department of Tourism, including Wanda Goodman and Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen, served as judges. Taking home first place, bragging rights, and a cash prize among the seven home chefs was Mary Keahey. Her grilled panini sandwich had pheasant breast meat topped with caramelized onions and gouda cheese. Meanwhile, five competitors entered the restaurant chef category. Minveras’ Tara Schipke came away with victory for her pulled pheasant sandwich with gouda cheese and homemade cranberry sauce, which she served smothered in gravy on rosemary focaccia bread and with a side of homemade stuffing. Several Aberdeen high school students also added their culinary talents into the ring this year, submitting entries in both the home chef and restaurant divisions. //

 Entries in the 2nd Annual Pheasant Sandwich Shootout home chef division.

 Volunteer Ed Korbel serves sandwiches.

 Chef Ryan Clay prepares his entry.

 Aberdeen students Makayla Peterson, Abby Wentz, Hannah Browning, and Hailey Browning entered the sandwich making contest.

18 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

Photos by Layton Holmstrom


Pheasant Nugget Panini By Mary Keahey MAKES 4 SANDWICHES INGREDIENTS Breast and thigh meat of two pheasants, cleaned and trimmed 1 cup water 1 Tbsp. salt 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. seasoned salt ¼ tsp. onion powder ¼ tsp. garlic powder Canola or vegetable oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

¾ cup of mushrooms, chopped ¼ large red bell pepper, chopped ½ large jalapeño, chopped (optional) 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 ciabatta rolls ½ cup gouda cheese, shredded ¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated ¼ cup smoke-flavored almonds, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS • To make nuggets: Place meat on a cutting board and pound with the ridged side of a meat tenderizer until all pieces have the same thickness. Dissolve the salt and sugar in water. Place the pheasant meat in the water mixture for 1 hour. Remove meat, rinse in cold water, and dry thoroughly. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Mix flour, seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pour canola or vegetable oil into a frying pan so that it completely covers the bottom of the pan and heat on medium-high. Place meat in the flour mixture and stir until all pieces are covered in the flour. Once the oil is hot, place nuggets in the pan and cook until lightly browned and meat is fully cooked. Set aside.

Hot Pheasant Sandwich on Rosemary Focaccia Bread By Tara Schipke FOR THE STUFFING: 1 2 2 ¼ 12 12

1 tsp. poultry seasoning 1 ½ tsp. dried sage 1 tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried marjoram 1 ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. black pepper 4 ½ cups chicken broth 2 eggs, beaten

cup butter cups chopped onion cups chopped celery cup fresh parsley oz. sliced crimini mushrooms cups dry bread cubes

INSTRUCTIONS • Melt butter in a sauté pan and add onion, celery, mushrooms, and parsley. Place dried bread cubes in a large bowl, toss in all seasonings, and mix together until fully combined. Pour in enough broth to moisten the dry bread cubes and mix in the beaten eggs. Transfer stuffing to a slow cooker and cook for 4 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. FOR THE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE: ²/³ cup sugar ½ cup orange juice ½ cup water

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon ⅛ tsp. kosher salt 1 (12oz) bag cranberries


• Mix the onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper, jalapeño (if desired), and garlic. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray, and place vegetable mixture in pan. Sauté vegetables on medium heat until softened. Set aside.

• Combine sugar, orange juice, water, cinnamon, salt, and cranberries in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

• Place ciabatta rolls on a cutting board. If not pre-cut, slice rolls in half horizontally. On each bottom half, spread about ½ cup of nuggets into an even layer. On top of the nuggets, evenly spread about 2 Tbsp. of the vegetable mixture. Then, sprinkle ½ Tbsp. of parmesan and 2 Tbsp. of gouda. Top the cheese with 1 Tbsp. of the chopped almonds and place the top half of the ciabatta roll on top of the sandwich.

• Add desired seasonings and roast pheasant meat in the oven at 350 degrees until fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Shred the pheasant meat while still warm. Make a pan gravy by using the leftover juice from cooking the pheasant and seasoning it with butter, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Add cornstarch to thicken the gravy.

• Heat a panini press on medium-high. Place sandwich in panini press and press the lid down to flatten the sandwich. Cook until the cheese is melted and the outside of the sandwich is browned.

• Place pheasant meat on rosemary focaccia bread and top it with the cranberry sauce and gouda cheese. Serve with a side of stuffing and smothered in gravy.



january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



Pyrographer Amanda Phelps shares the art of burning wood by JENNY ROTH


manda Phelps loves the outdoors. It’s one of the first things the California native brings up in conversation, and it’s even more evident when you see all of her hand-drawn animal sketches, a collection that when put together would probably number in the hundreds. A selftaught artist, Amanda has been painting and drawing for most of her life. But it was just a couple of years ago, at the suggestion of a loved one who recognized her talent, that she decided to try pyrography, or using a heated point to create designs on wood. This new art form hooked her attention immediately, and she has since formed Phelps Pyrography, a business that lets the rest of us experience a bit of the outdoors through her wood burning work.

20 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

 Amanda Phelps shows some of her woodburned art on display at Winterfest.

project depends on the size and details. She There are few pyrographers in the can make small scale items like ornaments Aberdeen area, so one question Amanda is and fridge magnets, all the way up to large frequently asked at art shows is: How do you wall decor. While many of her pieces are do that? She explains, “I use a pencil to draw from her own designs, she also does a lot of an outline on the wood of whatever it is I’m custom orders for people who contact her putting on that particular piece, and then I to create personal pictures of things like slowly start to add heat, burning from the family pets. Images of owls and giraffes are lightest areas to the darkest.” Though she two of her favorites to create, but she also is humble in talking about her process and enjoys experimenting and drawing animals drawing abilities, her art speaks volumes that she hasn’t done before. Her style can to the amount of time and heart she puts range from a prairie buffalo or deer scene, into it. Whenever she isn’t at her fullto sea turtles, to polar bears, time job as a technician and everything in between. with Ophthalmology “Sometimes I can lose Amanda is new to the Associates, you can find her in her living room, bent myself in a project and Aberdeen area having moved here just three over a wood burning pen, just concentrate on it years ago, shortly before drawing a new portrait she picked up her first for hours and hours with fire. “Pretty much all wood burner. Her firstof my spare time is spent and not even realize ever art show was at Arts in wood burning- when I get it’s been that long.” the Park this past summer, home from work, on the and in November she had weekends,” she adds with her inaugural booth at Winterfest. She a laugh, “it’s kind of consumed my life. says figuring out inventory, pricing, and Sometimes I can lose myself in a project and how to set up a display at an art show has just concentrate on it for hours and hours been a learning process and something that and not even realize it’s been that long.” she hopes to keep doing in the future. “I To draw with fire, Amanda uses an electric would love to do more shows, more custom wood burning machine that attaches to a work, even do this full-time. Everyone wood burning pen. The tool she has now is remembers playing with wood burners of higher quality, an investment she made when they were a kid, but not many people after going through several less expensive know you can make it into an actual art versions that would either break or not form like this. I think it’s pretty unique, and get hot enough. For her canvases, she that’s why I’ve stuck with it.” // chooses pieces of basswood and birchwood from the Hobby Lobby. “That’s a work in progress. I’ve tried to get cut wood and saw  To see more of Phelps Pyrography, find Amanda on my own, but drying it wasn’t going well and Instagram at phelps_pyrography, Etsy at PhelpsPyrography, it kept cracking, so I’m still figuring that or email phelpspyrography@gmail.com. out.” The amount of time it takes her to do a

Photos by Troy McQuillen


LOCAL ART GALLERIES WEIN GALLERY Presentation College 1500 North Main Street 605-229-8350 Mon-Fri 8 AM-5 PM PRESIDENT’S GALLERY, JFAC GALLERY AND STUDENT CENTER GALLERY Northern State University 1200 South Jay Street 605-626-7766 President’s Gallery: Mon-Fri 8 AM-10 PM, JFAC Gallery: Mon-Fri 8 AM-4:30 PM, Student Center: Mon-Fri 7 AM-11 PM and weekends 1-9 PM LAMONT GALLERY Dacotah Prairie Museum 21 South Main Street 605-626-7117 Tues-Fri 9 AM-5 PM, Sat and Sun 1-4 PM ARTWORKS CO-OP GALLERY Aberdeen Mall 3315 6th Ave SE Suite #48 605-725-0913 Thurs-Sun 12-6 PM or by appointment JANE WEST GALLERY Capitol Theatre 415 South Main Street 605-225-2228 Open during events, call ahead for additional hours of operation ARCC GALLERY Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center 225 3rd Ave SE 605-626-7081 Mon-Thurs 9 AM-8 PM, Fri 9 AM-5 PM and Sat 10 AM-12 PM

 Amanda draws all of her pieces by hand. She sketches the designs first in pencil and then finishes them with a woodburning pen. Occasionally she will add color to her artwork.

RED ROOSTER COFFEE HOUSE GALLERY 218 South Main Street 605-225-6603 Mon-Thurs 7 AM-9 PM, Fri 7 AM-11 PM and Sat 8 AM-11 PM

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE







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“See How They Run.” The director thought it might help if Jim and the female lead had a little wine while rehearsing. Without spilling beans, Jim learned never to allow alcohol in rehearsal. For many years, Jim did almost everything, directing, acting, backstage, design, technical, and more, all as a volunteer. Eventually he needed a break, however, so he decided to try out theatre in the Twin Cities. After a general audition at the Chanhassen Theatre, the casting director at the prestigious Guthrie Theatre called, and he got a part in “A Christmas Carol.” But home beckoned, and he returned to ACT. Since it was still primarily a summer program, Jim had time during the rest of the year to pursue other opportunities. He directed productions around the area and acted both West River and in Western Europe, including on many U.S. military bases in Germany. He also began to focus on building ACT as an organization, utilizing that near minor in business. After proving it could be sustainable, he convinced the board of directors to create a paid position— and he has been ACT’s artistic/managing director since 1985—sort of like work study all over again. If creating work sounds like a theme, in the early 1980s, Jim got involved with the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT), both ACT in its oneact play competitions and himself as a volunteer. The one-act festivals were in the spring, so ACT needed to work on and present the plays to audiences when they didn’t have access to NSU stages. Jim found a solution: “We did ‘dinner theatre’ at the old Lumber Company. Patrons got a little entertainment with their meal, and we got a real audience.” It paid off. In its first year of participating, ACT won the state competition and went to the regionals in Topeka, Kansas. “We didn’t place,” Jim says, “but we received standing ovations and bravos, which was really gratifying coming from other theatre people. It was a great experience for ACT, and I learned a lot.” Ever since, ACT has participated in all the one-act competitions (which occur every other year). Along with ten state first place awards, they won the region contest with “Honk!” in 2007 to qualify for the national competition in North Carolina in which they placed third and were invited to take “Honk!” to the international competition in Japan the next year. In 2009, they took “How to Talk Minnesotan” to nationals. Jim has also served in numerous state, regional, and national AACT offices and committees, including as the current VicePresident for Festivals. january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE

Photos by Troy McQuillen

’ve always been impressed with Jim Walker and the A b e rd e e n C o m m u n i t y Theatre. I’m envious too, maybe because my theatrical career can be summarized in my high school director praising my memorization, which is kind of like praising a writer’s typing skills—essential, but unremarkable. Jim, however, has accomplished a lot with ACT, an organization he helped start in order to avoid mowing lawns, and has guided for going on 40 years. Jim became interested in theatre at Aberdeen’s Sacred Heart School when a guest visited his second-grade class to do a program on singing, dancing, and acting. He can still do the routine he learned, but he won’t—it’s “completely politically incorrect,” which he tells me in his rapid-fire but well-modulated voice. His other youthful performances occurred when his class went to church every day, and he always sung loudly, “for which I took some grief,” he says. Music was what really got him interested in theatre, and he credits his Roncalli High School music instructor Benedictine Sister Joelle Joynt as well as drama teacher Presentation Sister Pam Donelan, who, he laughs, cast him as L’il Abner. Jim did many productions at Northern and “finally declared a major in my first senior year,” he says, not surprisingly: “Theatre” (with nearly a minor in business). His college work study gig was backstage support for Stage One, a semi-professional company that performed at NSU in the summer. The group folded, but Jim still needed work. He didn’t want to mow campus lawns, so he convinced drama chair Dick Norquist to start a summer theatre program for both students and community actors. As he came to realize, “We didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of Aberdeen Community Theatre”—all to avoid boring kinds of work study. In fact, soon thereafter, Norquist and local newspaper critic Don Hall approached N S U P r e s i d e n t Jo s e p h McFadden about organizing a community theatre company that would use the Johnson Fine Arts Center during the summer, when it wasn’t otherwise needed for college uses. McFadden approved, and the rest is history. Its founding father, Jim was with ACT before it was ACT. Incorporated in 1979, the company did its first production, “Annie Get Your Gun,” in the summer of 1980. Jim was out of state for that show but returned to win the lead in the next, a British farce called




211 Number of productions to date


ACT Shows


YPT Shows

118 304,000+ Shows directed by Jim

216,000 Annual volunteer hours

1,390 Members/donors

100+ 1 Largest cast


Smallest cast

Times advanced to Regional festival in 19 biennial AACT Festivals.

24 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

When ACT expanded beyond summer performances, Jim had to find locations around the city to stage them, such as the convention center. Before long, the group decided to take a run at getting the Capitol Theatre. In 1992, the owners, Narragang Holding Company, donated the theatre space, and ACT raised funds for renovations and to purchase additional space. In 1993, “Greater Tuna” was ACT’s first show at the Capitol. Thus began an adventure in building management. Seating was an immediate need. To frustrate potential competitors, the Capitol’s previous movie theatre tenants had removed all the seats, so ACT borrowed chairs from other venues and even brought in hay bales for seating during performances. Eventually they installed new seating. They also widened and deepened the shallow old Vaudeville stage. The lobby was another issue—there wasn’t one. With only room to walk from the ticket booth to the auditorium doors,

the space wasn’t suited for intermission for 450 theatregoers. After acquiring space next door, Jim’s crew used sledgehammers to break through walls and start creating a real lobby. The fine tuning took several more years. Since the initial donation, ACT has tripled its space in the Capitol building. Many community theatres repeat successful shows occasionally, but Jim has rarely done that in more than 150 productions. “Annie Get Your Gun,” ACT’s first-ever play, also highlighted its 25th a n n i ve r s a r y ye a r. Irked when the oneact version of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” didn’t win the state festival—one of the few times he ever disagreed with the judges’ decision—Jim “remounted the play for the next festival. And it won.” The rules soon changed to prevent presenting the same play in consecutive contests. After its birth as an alternative college work study job, ACT has always worked very closely with NSU theatre. It has also

“I believe we have the best community theatre in South Dakota, and we owe it to Jim’s financial planning and artistic talents.”

Photos courtesy of ACT

Audience members all time

 ACT's production of "Honk!" 2007.

 ACT's production of "How to Talk Minnesotan" 2009

 Above: "Annie Get Your Gun" 1980. Right: "Annie Get Your Gun" 2005

 ACT's production of "Greater Tuna."

collaborated with Jim’s alma mater Roncalli and Central High School. In addition, it has added other programming, most notably, the Young People’s Theatre program, which annually has a show on the big stage and has produced many ACT actors, and Capitol Cinema, which brought film back to the old movie theatre. Jim stresses that he’s been lucky to work with great volunteers. Dr. Warren Redmond, the current board president, started at ACT in 1986 and vouches for Jim’s management. “Jim spends wisely,” he says, “wiser than some community theatres. I believe we have the best community theatre in South Dakota, and we owe it to Jim’s financial planning and artistic talents.” Jim’s talents and contributions have earned him the prestigious 2015 AACT Fellow Award, numerous outstanding a c h i eve m e n t awa rd s fo r directing and design, plus two Aberdeen Area Arts Council Friends of the Arts awards. He’s also served on local and state boards, including as chair of the South Dakota Arts Council. Rory King has acted and served as legal counsel for ACT for many years after auditioning for “Man of LaMancha” in the early 1980s at the suggestion of his wife—who “maybe came to regret it”—because, he says, “Jim is so stimulating and fun to work with I would do it all the time if I could.” Jim almost has done it all the time. But as ACT approaches its 40th anniversary, he has found a little balance. For the first couple decades of ACT, Jim maintained and improved the building, raised funds, took on roles in AACT, recruited and auditioned actors, and directed almost all the plays. Over time, he brought in talented staff and directors. Now, he directs the one-act play for each competition and one or two other productions a year. Obviously he loves the work, but sharing has given him “my only opportunity to get out of the building now and then.” Dr. Redmond says, “Jim is truly a nice guy and if he were less so, he probably wouldn’t have accomplished as much as he has.” Jim has accomplished a lot, but what else should we expect from a guy who keeps creating work for himself? //

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE





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 Merik, Hudson, and Dax Chipman in outfits by Mac & Mia. Hot cocoa courtesy of Karisma Koffee Bar.  Shaun in 7 For All Mankind jeans and a Henley shirt, and Grace, wearing a Free People ivory long-sleeve tee and black jeggings, all found at Karisma Boutique.

 Hudson has fun with Barefoot Books.

Nothing beats the cold like a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. And the perfect sweater or long-sleeve tee, of course. The Chipman family, Shaun, Grace, and sons Dax, Merik, and Hudson, have combined all three to show off some of the coziest looks you can get in Aberdeen this season. An assistant manager at Karisma Boutique, Grace puts her heart for fashion and motherhood to work further in her role as a personal stylist for Mac & Mia, a kids clothing and accessory company. Through Mac & Mia, caregivers can go online and answer a few questions about their child’s style and interests. Grace will then use those details to put together a box of hand-selected clothing items specifically for that child. Once you get your Mac & Mia box in the mail, you pay for only the items you decide to keep, and can return the rest at no cost. Grace is also a direct seller of Barefoot Books, a grassroot children’s book company that keeps cultural awareness and the acceptance of diversity as the main themes among their available titles. About her two businesses, she says, “Kids’ minds and bodies grow so quickly. These are just fun ways to help parents keep up, and also to get the kids involved. They love getting their boxes in the mail.”  You can follow Grace and learn more about Mac & Mia and Barefoot Books via her website, www.growgraciously.com. january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



A Window to Our Past Photographer, Nicholas A. Brothers focused on the Aberdeen scene for over 25 years. by TROY MCQUILLEN hear from a lot of readers of Aberdeen Magazine that they really enjoy the historic photos we often feature. As I’ve been handling hundreds of photos over the years, I’ve come to notice one particular photographer’s mark on many of the pictures. The mark is either N.A.B. or N.A. Brothers. I had assumed there was a family of “N.A.” brothers that were taking pictures of the Aberdeen region, but as it turns out, it was just one man, Nicholas Arthur Brothers. Unless you subscribe to genealogy websites, a Google search won’t reveal anything about this Aberdeen resident. I was curious as to who he was, why he came to Aberdeen, and what happened to him and his family. Nicholas Brothers was born in Greenville, Michigan, on September 20, 1871. It appears he followed his parents to Dakota Territory,

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then ventured back east to Minnesota. City directories indicate he was in construction (in process of building a home?) in 1903 in the Aberdeen area, yet was running a restaurant in Odessa, Minnesota, in 1905. He married a Norwegian woman named, Pauline Rand in 1903 and they ultimately settled in Aberdeen. Nicholas excelled in photography. Pauline helpedby colorizing photos with oil paint and teaching the craft. He started out shooting scenes of farmsteads, landscapes, and Aberdeen. He owned a panoramic camera and was commissioned to shoot wide shots of Aberdeen. His vantage point for some of these was atop the International Harvester building (later Hub City Iron) just west of where the overpass is now. His office/studio was on the second floor at

 A photographer’s house would naturally be filled with photos. Pauline and Nicholas Brothers pose in the living room of their house at either 303 or 309 Third Avenue SW in 1908. The children, left to right, are: Roy, Viola, and Pearl. The two girls died three years later of scarlet fever. (courtesy of Tom Brothers)

 Nicholas A. Brothers in 1903, perhaps a wedding photo.

 Nicholas Brothers shot this photo on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street looking north on Main. You can see the Street car tracks and web of overheard wires. This is the spot where the Street Car Railway turned from Fourth and headed north on Main. This is one of Brothers’ more striking photos as it shows fireworks being shot off the Rooftop Garden atop the Citizens Bank Building celebrating the Elk’s annual convention. It is dated eve of June 8, 1911

208 S. Main in Downtown. The building he was in has since been replaced, and now houses The Workshop and Aberdeen Downtown Association. Towards the end of 1914, he advertised that he had taken over the the Miller Studio and would be offering portraiture work of the highest quality. By the end of the next year, he abandoned his field work to work explicitly on portraits. Brothers was a good advertiser and many of his newspaper ads were blunt and to the point about how established, equipped, and skillful he was at portraits. In one ad he called for 100 blonde women to have their photo taken for free, brunettes to follow. In 1921, he submitted a dozen portraits to the Minneapolis Tribune for a weekly page called, “Fair Women of the Northwest.” Beautiful women from Midwest cities were featured each week. Aberdeen’s portraits were featured on April 3, 1921. Nicholas’s father, N.V. Brothers, owned several lots in the West Hill subdivision (Lincoln School area) when he passed away in 1908. Nicholas and his two brothers inherited five houses and several lots on Third Avenue SW. Nicholas and Pauline took up residence in several different houses over the years including 903, 909, 1203 (now gone), and 1209. Nicholas experienced his share of tragedy while in Aberdeen. In 1911, his two young daughters, Viola and Pearl Brothers died of scarlet fever just days apart. His son, Roy, survived. Nicholas and Pauline went on to have four more boys (Paul, Harvey, Neil, and Earl). Then in 1929, when his wife

Pauline was visiting family in Minnesota, she became ill with pneumonia and died of complications. This, of course, was the year the Great Depression started. In May 1930, three of his properties in West Hill were foreclosed on. Later that year, in August, a fire started in the basement of his home at 1203 Third Avenue SW, however the fire department was able to stop it in time before the whole house was lost. The state brought charges against Brothers on suspicion of arson shortly thereafter. The case was dropped during the preliminary hearing due to lack of evidence. Socially, Mr. and Mrs. Brothers were very active in Aberdeen. They were active members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Pauline hosted many socials at their house, and Nicholas was quite involved in organized checkers and Modern Woodman.

 Nicholas A. Brothers in his later years.

 In this similar angle as the image above by Brothers, it’s easy to see why people were attracted to Aberdeen in the early days. A bustling downtown, paved sidewalks, all modes of transportation, electric lighting where all hallmarks of a progressive Hub City. This is probably similar in date to the night scene, 1911. january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


Heretofore, most all of this information came from Aberdeen newspapers of the time. After the arson charges, there is little mention of N. A. Brothers. His obituary doesn’t even show up on paid subscription services. The K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library has a small clipping file on Brothers and it does include his obituary. In it, it says he moved to Bowdle in 1932 and died August 17, 1942. I was able to locate his obituary in the Bowdle newspaper as well and that stated two of his sons (Neil and Paul) helped him with his photography business called Bowdle Photo Company.  On April 3, 1921, these twelve Aberdeen women were featured in the Minneapolis Tribune as part of a regular feature called, Fair Women of the Midwest.

Having as many sons as he and Pauline had, it would only make sense that descendants would still be around. And they are. I was able to locate a grandson in Idaho that still has many photos of Nicholas and Pauline. Tom Brothers’ mother is still living and is the wife of Nicholas’s son Harvey. Tom was very gracious to help me with pictures. He wasn’t sure what happened to all the photos and negatives that N.A. Brothers created while in business, but he believes everything was left in Aberdeen. Nicholas Arthur Brothers, his parents, his wife, his brother, an aunt, and his two little girls are all buried here in Aberdeen at Riverside Cemetery.

We don’t really know what possessed Nicholas to take up photography. Some records indicate his father was a photographer. Whatever the reason, we are grateful he turned his camera to the booming town of Aberdeen in our early years. Because of him we have a tremendous amount of photographic reference for buildings, farming, railroads, people, and families. Take a look in your family photo albums. Perhaps you too have some portraits by N.A. Brothers. //  Special thanks to Elya Helmick (N.A. Brothers’ great grand daughter, Tom Brothers, the Dacotah Prairie Museum, and the K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library.

 This building at 208 S. Main is listed as N.A. Brothers’ studio. It looks completely different today (It’s now The Workshop, formerly Boomers bar and Misters Men’s Wear). Brothers always mentioned in his ads that his studio was above a jewelry store called, Sauer’s which isn’t shown in this image (presumably not by Brothers). Subsequently it is unclear if the “Photographing” sign on the top of the building refers to N.A.B.’s studio. This picture is definitely before 1909.

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LIVING WELL IN THE NEW YEAR by JENNY ROTH “It takes an incredible effort, but life can be so good.” Dr. Ginger Conklin says these words, but one glimpse at her resume shows that for her this belief is more than just a quote. With an unceasing energy, she has dedicated her career to helping people feel their absolute best, inside and out. A Columbia, South Dakota, native, Dr. Conklin studied nursing at Presentation College. She went on to work at Avera St. Luke’s for many years before opening Aberdeen’s Total Package Med Spa in 2016. The med spa is the first of its kind for our community, offering medical grade aesthetic services that “enhance your natural beauty and your quality of life.” Along with starting this new business and raising a family, Dr. Conklin was also busy earning her doctor of nursing degree specializing in psychiatric mental health, an accomplishment that she was able to complete in 2018 after five years of studying. “I had a lot of support from my husband and our friends in the medical field that understand the rigorous process that is required for an advanced degree,” she says. But it is no coincidence that she made this training one of her priorities. In September, she opened Conklin Psychiatric and Integrative Health, a practice that adds to what she already does for her patients at the med spa. “The underpinning of my overall concept stems from a program founded by the American Cancer Society called ‘Look good feel better.’ It improves the lives of people undergoing cancer treatments by improving self-image and self-esteem. Our medical spa is an opportunity to help our patients look and feel their best by building self-confidence. And the psychiatric practice compliments this idea by taking mental health a step

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further and treating mental illnesses when indicated,” she says. Dr. Conklin and her team use a variety of complementary traditional and cuttingedge therapies. Their goal is to get to the root of mental illness and treat the whole person, so they have long-term success with their overall well-being. They not only help with mental ailments such as depression and anxiety, but also minister to the physical symptoms that can occur alongside these conditions, like pain, inflammation, and food sensitivities. Another part of their treatment strategy involves working closely with other healthcare providers and mental health professionals in the Aberdeen area, ensuring that patients get high-quality and comprehensive care. Because mental illness is not limited to certain age groups or backgrounds, they treat children, adolescents, and adults. There is a huge need throughout the country for mental health professionals. Dr. Conklin helps fill this shortage in Aberdeen, and also by traveling to Mobridge a few days each month to provide outreach services at the hospital there. Why did she choose Aberdeen as the location for her psychiatric clinic? “I was born and raised here and consider this my home. I cannot imagine being anywhere else. Like all communities, we need a strong mental health force to keep our population healthy both mentally and physically.” She adds, “I believe the world is changing and the stigma associated with mental health is lessening. It is such a big part of our overall health, and shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored.” //

 To learn more about Conklin Psychiatric and Integrative Health and Total Package Med Spa, both located at 1409 6th Ave SE Suite 5, visit www.totalintegrativehealth.com and www.totalpackagemedspa.com. You can also call 605-725-HELP or 605-725-4772.

 Dr. Ginger Conklin recently opened Conklin Psychiatric and Integrative Health, a practice that treats mental illnesses in both adults and children.

“It takes an incredible effort, but life can be so good.”

Photo by Troy McQuillen

Dr. Ginger Conklin’s integrative approach to mental health care

SIX TIPS FOR Mindful Self-Care You deserve to feel your best in the New Year and always. Dr. Conklin shares advice that anyone can follow to boost their mental health today. ss STAY ACTIVE. Regular exercise for approximately 20-30 minutes each day can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression. ss MAINTAIN A WELL-BALANCED DIET. Look at food as medicine. Eating nutrient rich foods can significantly impact mood and overall well-being. Foods rich in antioxidants can assist in lessening the destructive effects of free radicals that can result in cell damage, particularly in the brain. ss KEEP YOUR GUT HEALTHY. Many studies are uncovering the role the gut plays in mood regulation. Neurotransmitter receptors in the gut communicate directly with the brain and disturbances to the system can result in mood instability. ss KEEP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CLOSE. Social support is vital and provides a safety net when depression and/or anxiety strike. Individuals with poor social support have a higher probability of developing depression. There is a strong correlation between supportive social networks and mental health. ss FIND MEANING. A common symptom of depression is the absence of purpose. Purpose is a basic need in humanity, and we must all be mindful of what it is that we are trying to accomplish in this life. ss REACH OUT. There are many organizations and talented professionals in our community that offer mental health care. My advice to anyone seeking help is to pick up the phone and call.

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


UP CLOSE  Emily Sternhagen and a group of her Kindermusik students

by JENNY ROTH As a child enrolled in Kindermusik, Emily Sternhagen probably didn’t predict the classes she enjoyed so much would someday become her profession. But by following her interests, and the guidance from a mentor in the business, that is exactly what happened.

Music has always been a big part of Emily’s life. Growing up, the graduate of Groton High School took piano lessons and participated in choir and show choir. She now sings for weddings, funerals, and the Wednesday evening worship services at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Her main gig these days, though, is owner of Kindermusik by Emily, LLC. Kindermusik is a worldwide, early childhood music education program that involves movement, instruments, and a lot of imagination and creative play. Teaching Kindermusik has been a dream come true for Emily because it allows her to combine

KINDERMUSIK BY EMILY CLASSES Aberdeen area children can register for Kindermusik at anytime. The year-round classes are small, with just six to eight students in each, and take place at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.


her love of music with another one of her longtime passions: working with children. “When I was a junior in high school I did an internship program with the preschool, and since then I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be in the teaching field,” she says. Prior to Emily taking over, Sonya Kempf owned Kindermusik in Aberdeen for about 35 years. When she began looking to move on to her next venture and putting her students into someone else’s hands, it was one of these former students that came to mind. Emily had taken Kindermusik classes, and later piano lessons, from Sonya until she was about 14. She was


A career with Kindermusik is the perfect fit for teacher Emily Sternhagen

Parents stay with their children during this 45 minute class that uses music to practice gross motor, fine motor, emotional, social, and cognitive skills. The classes are structured with different themes, and include stories, instruments, group songs, and a special one-on-one time with caregivers. (AGES 15 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS)

Photos by Troy McQuillen

Fine Tuning Talents


in her first year as an early childhood education student at SDSU when she got a call from Sonya asking her and her mother to go out to lunch. Sonya wanted to sell her Kindermusik business when her granddaughter graduated from the program in May 2016. As luck would have it, that also happened to be when Emily was set to graduate from college. Emily says she had already been contemplating returning to the Aberdeen area to be closer to family, and after talking with Sonya, she decided to move forward with that plan. “I began working with Sonya at Kindermusik and finished my degree at

 For more information on Kindermusik by Emily, LLC, visit www.facebook.com/kindermusikbyemily.

To practice for the upcoming transition to preschool or kindergarten, parents leave after the first 10 minutes of this class. Students then spend the remaining time having fun and learning with their peers. The children get to use their imagination to play creatively and make music with a variety of instruments, such as cowbells, rainsticks, and mini-xylophones. (AGES THREE TO FIVE YEARS)


 Parents and caregivers get to participate in Kindermusik classes with their children.

NSU.” Along with that, she also completed the requirements and exams necessary to earn her Kindermusik certifications. Emily acknowledges that she did feel nervous when it came time to take over a longstanding community business.“I knew music and I knew teaching, but the administrative part was all new to me. I’m definitely learning a lot about that side of things.” She credits her upbringing on her family’s farm, where she still works four days a week, as her inspiration for being a business owner. “My grandpa founded our farm in 1943, and I watched my dad and uncle build it up to a third generation crop and cattle operation. I’ve learned a lot from watching them work hard to keep a business running.” Sonya also helped Emily with clients, training, and anything else that came up during her first year as a new owner. One of the most important components Emily had to figure out was a location for hosting her classes. She says the collaboration among people in Aberdeen has played a big part in solving that challenge. “Aberdeen is a small enough town that you can get to know people from a lot of different organizations. It’s amazing the connections that come up. A preschool teacher at Bethlehem Lutheran thought Kindermusik would be a good activity for her students, so she emailed me and that’s how I got started holding classes there. The community in Aberdeen is like that, just very accommodating and willing to work with business owners.” There are about 50 students, ranging in age from 15 months to 8 years, enrolled in Kindermusik by Emily. From all her time spent teaching with Sonya, and now on her own, Emily has already gotten to see a large number of children enjoying the program. She says the classes build a solid foundation for any musical education the students will take later on. “The goal is to make it something the kids look forward to, and to give them a positive outlook for music. I always think how lucky I am to go into work everyday and watch these students grow and learn, and to see the joy music can bring.” //

Students in the higher levels of Kindermusik get to really explore music composition. Each semester they learn how to read notes and play them on a new instrument. By the time they reach their graduation ceremony, they are able to perform a collection of songs. (AGES FIVE TO EIGHT)

RAVE REVIEWS Hear what students and their parents have to say about Emily’s Kindermusik program. “I like when we sign music and learn new notes!” Dalton, Student, Age 6

“A must-have for our community! This program teaches children so much through the power of music. It incorporates rhythm, dance, listening skills, participation, communication, and so many more beneficial skills for toddlers. Miss Emily is wonderful with the kids and always brings an upbeat spirit to the group.” Riley Pfeiffer, Parent

“I like playing Lucy Locket on the dulcimer, glockenspiel, and piano.” Genevieve, Student, Age 6 “Miss Emily is a wonderful teacher with the most powerful musical program for any child. My son Casen’s favorite part of class is story time. He is right up in front helping Miss Emily read every week. My favorite part as a parent is participating in the educational activities with my son. It’s wonderful bonding time for the two of us and a social time for him.“ Tarah Weig, Parent

“When we put stickers on our folder every week!” Lander, Student, Age 6 “Miss Emily targets all areas of development in her classes; fine and gross motor, language, cognition, and social skills too! As a speech-language pathologist that works with the birth to three population, I can certainly see the evidence-based practice behind many of her activities. I love the pure joy on my daughter’s face throughout the class. Each day she asks, ‘Is today music class day?’” Christina Heiberger, Parent

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



They’ve won four consecutive state hockey titles, but the Aberdeen Lady Cougars still hold their team values higher than their trophies.


36 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019



I’m at the Odde Ice Arena with my three young daughters, tying what seems like a never-ending length of shoelace on a small skate, while simultaneously searching underneath a bench for a missing glove. There are a lot of parents around me doing the same thing. We’re all here for our kids’ ice skating lessons. As we start to leave the lobby for the ice, the door from the locker rooms opens and a troop of hockey players on their way to practice passes us by. They’re covered in helmets and pads, but my seven-year-old sees a long ponytail hanging down the back of one of their jerseys, and she can’t help but blurt out, “Those are girl hockey players!” It could be my imagination, but I think she skates with a little more speed and liveliness in her step after that.


 Lady Cougars forwards Alli Stoltenburg (left) and Kaitlyn Holland

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Head Coach Shelby Edwards leads the Cougar varsity and junior varsity teams. This is her third season in Aberdeen.

Seeing a female hockey player may have been unexpected for my daughter, but girls hockey is not exactly new in Aberdeen. In fact, this is the 20th season of competition for the Lady Cougars. The team has had plenty of success stories over the past two decades, the most recent being their four year consecutive sweep at the state tournament, and their respectable third place finish at the first-ever USA Girls Hockey Nationals Tournament last year. Winning teams have a tendency to attract more players to their sport, and as for Aberdeen’s numbers, the Cougars have one of the biggest girls hockey programs in South Dakota. Head Coach Shelby Edwards

38 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

says, “The numbers might be a little smaller than I’d like them to be, but in comparison to the rest of the state I have to realize how lucky we are.” Coach Edwards leads the varsity and junior varsity girls teams with the help of her assistant coach Madie Brink, a sports management student at Presentation College. This is her third season with the Cougars, and her second as head coach. Before coming to Aberdeen, she played hockey for the Rushmore Thunder in high school, and later for an ACHA team while attending SDSU. Her prior coaching experience includes an assistant coach role with the Lady Brookings Rangers and

her position as the first women’s hockey coach at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. From her standpoint as both a former player and now a coach, she says girls hockey is definitely growing both in Aberdeen and statewide. South Dakota recently added a U14 league for competitors under 14 years of age. The addition of this league has made it possible for Aberdeen to reach younger players and put together a girls U14 team for the first time this season. The three seniors on the Lady Cougar varsity team, Taylor Maurer, Emma Ahlberg, and Hailey Holland, have been playing hockey together since middle school. Before that, they played on boys teams. When asked about their goals for their final high school season, they do bring up the obvious possibility on everyone’s mind of a five-peat. Winning the state championship this year would tie the Cougars with Sioux Falls for the record of most consecutive state titles. But they only talk about the idea briefly before jumping into what else they hope to accomplish. Taylor says, “We mostly want to make our last season fun for everyone on the team and just help the younger girls improve. That way when the older girls move on, they still have a team.” Emma agrees. “It’s sad knowing it’s our last year, but fun being the leaders and having the younger girls look up to you.” Hailey adds that for her, the best part of playing hockey is the friendships that have been made over the years. She describes the team’s family-like atmosphere, “We have traditions we do together every year like a Cougar sleepover and singing songs to get ready for games.” The younger girls and coaches agree with the upperclassmen that the Cougars have a s t ro n g t e a m - c e n t e re d mentality. Coach Edwards says, “Out of all the teams I’ve coached they have one of the strongest bonds that I’ve seen. They have to be together in the rink, but they choose


 The Lady Cougars compete during a home game at the Odde Ice Center.

to spend time together outside of hockeyrelated things too. I think that helps build upon a lot of the success they’re able to have.” Sydney Hofer is an active 8th grader who plays defense on the Cougar varsity lineup. Hockey is her sport. She’s been on the ice since she was five years old and plays almost year-round, spending her summers with the South Dakota Stingers. She’ll tell you without missing a beat how much fun hockey is and how she hopes to play at the college level someday, with her eyes set on Minnesota’s Bemidji State. About her team, she says, “We play music and burst out singing in the locker room before games and go out to eat together after games. We’re like a family. I love my teammates and just really love the game.” Guarding the net for the Lady Cougars is goalie Shelby Snow, a junior at Aberdeen Central. When she moved to Aberdeen from Sioux Falls in 4th grade she was in search of a sport or activity that she could get involved in. She found hockey. “When I started out I really wasn’t a skater, and no one else raised their hand for the goalie position, so they put me there and it’s been a good fit.” Her focus is straightforward. “Guard the net, don’t let any goals in, and get as many shutouts as I can.” Since she is the goalie, she might not be able to mentor all of her younger teammates in their positions on the ice, but she can do another important

thing. “Be friends with them and make them feel welcome so they want to keep playing hockey and have a positive outlook. If they came to practice and nobody thought to talk to them or include them, then they wouldn’t succeed very well.” The Lady Cougars acknowledge there is some pressure that comes with a winning record in trying to maintain that momentum. Shelby says, “Having a good team, there’s a lot of weight on you because if you lose everyone’s really disappointed and sad. But that’s the point of hockey. You win some, you lose some. It’s not supposed to be all wins all the time, it’s supposed to be challenging too.” To combat any nerves, the team’s philosophy is pretty simple: practice. Being a Cougar takes a commitment of practicing four days a week along with playing games almost every weekend from October through March, many of which require travel to at least eight other towns. Coach Edwards says she doesn’t have any trouble with her team putting in the effort it takes to be successful.“These girls are hardworking, they all want to be at practice. Some of them we have to shoo away from the rink when they’re sick and convince them to go home and rest, but that’s a good problem to have.” Consistently working hard, and adding in a pregame warmup of singing in the locker room, seems to be a solid strategy that is keeping the Lady Cougars a force to be reckoned with on the ice. //

NUMBER NAME POSITION 1 Kaylin Poppen F 2 Reece Ermer F 5 Kensington Eckhoff F 8 Danielle Podoll F|D 9 Madalynn Witte F 10 Emma Ahlberg D 11 Hailey Holland F 13 Justice Small D 14 Morgan Dean F 15 Sydney Hofer D 18 Haiden Stoltenburg D 19 Estelle Harrison F 20 Kaitlyn Holland F 21 Ema Rehder F 22 Lauren Scheel D 24 Shelby Nash F|D 25 Taylor Maurer D 26 Shelby Snow G 27 Taylor Nash F 28 Skyler McLean D 29 Morgan Jones F 31 Alli Stoltenburg F 33 Jocelyn Orr F 71 Ava Myhre G



Jan. 16

5:00 PM


Jan. 13

12:30 PM


Jan. 19

7:15 PM

Sioux Falls

Jan. 26

11:45 AM


Feb. 9

5:00 PM


Feb. 10

11:15 AM


All home games are held at the Odde Ice Arena january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE



When Push

Comes to


40 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

The Traditional Snow Shovel The traditional snow shovel design is still among the most popular options for clearing out snow. This type of snow shovel is something that you’re going to see most people using on a regular basis. It features a standardly designed shovel blade with an angled rib pattern. If you own one shovel, this should be it.

D-Shaped Grip Provides control and leverage.

Straight, Ribbed Handle Lightweight, with ribs that provide the strength not to flex under the weight of snow.

Wide Blade Clears a broad path, cutting down on the number of passes you’ll have to make.

Illustration by Eliot Lucas


ike most people (maybe I’m wrong here), I’m not a big fan of shoveling snow. Age has, however, given me some tolerance even for this—mostly—because it has to get done, so I want to do it as well and as quickly—and painlessly—as possible (quickly and painlessly are hard to pull off at the same time). So it’s off to our various hardware and box stores for a tool check.* Fortunately, commercial Aberdeen provides many weapons for shoveling snow—or “moving snow” as I’ve heard some people call it. I thought this was just a euphemistic way to convince themselves it wasn’t as much work as “shoveling” sounded, but given the nature—or nomenclature—of some of the tools, that might be appropriate. What to buy—the shovel or the pusher? Some tools designed for removing snow call themselves either or both of these names, sometimes both on the same label. Experts say to push snow, which may explain the identity crisis (or marketing genius?). But there seem to be some differences. Pushers usually have a smaller and wider concave blade. Shovels tend to be longer, narrower, and flatter. With one, well, you push snow—you know, like a girly man, or something. With the other, you kind of stab at it and jerk up, showing your dominance as you cast it aside like dust—your back be damned (likely). Shovels are manly. Pushers are, well, not. (Ah, but I kid! Please note: this is meant to be humorous. I mean no offense to the pushers or their users.) I suppose those schizophrenic implements of destruction can be pushers if it’s a light snow and you’re lucky enough to have a sidewalk with no cracks, upheavals, or uneven seams that will disrupt your progress (sending shockwaves through your body) and you can push snow all the way into the street or onto your neighbor’s sidewalks (but that would be wrong). Most of the time, I find, snow here requires a shovel: push for a foot or so, depending on snow depth and moisture content—i.e., weight—and heave it somewhere. Because of this, I wonder why I’m intrigued by the scoop shovel, which is basically a coal shovel. Why does this appeal to me? Needing one means lots of snow. But you gotta admit, it’s a pretty manly tool. As I mentioned, pushers tend to be wider. Some are so wide, they come with wheels—maybe for people who want the feel of a snow blower but don’t want to spend the money. Some wheels are small and attached to the blade; some come with bigger wheels and an axle as though the shovel is an attachment to make a golf push cart functional year-round. I’ve seen a “dual angle” pusher with wheels. It’s really only a single angle, about 60 degrees, with two identical blades joined at the center to push the snow to each side (I guess the marketers thought “dual angle” tested better than “dual blade”). It looks like an old train engine’s cow catcher. There are also ergonomic shovels (like I need a reminder I’m old and out of shape). There are some varieties. The most common seems to be the zig zag shaft (it looks like my back sometimes feels the next day), while some have a second handle sticking up from the middle of the shaft like a mutation. The strange shapes don’t hang neatly in my garage. Generally, the point of these shovels seems to be that they bend so you don’t have to (note to self: trademark that phrase). Shovels generally come in two kinds of material. Which is better—steel vs. plastic? Which would you rather be? Man of steel or—the other? Steel is certainly more durable and probably more effective, but it’s heavier. Experts suggest using plastic blades with a steel edge—it’s lighter and reduces wear. The metal also helps *The publisher told me to do this story, like he was looking for reviews: like I’m his personal shovel shopper or shomething.

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


As part of my research, I objectively checked out some reviews of shovels and shoveling (so you don’t have to). Consumer Reports: “Try to shovel when the snow is still light and powdery.” Oh, thanks. Boss? I need to leave now—call it “light and powdery leave.” Popular Mechanics: “Try a shovel before you buy it. Wear the gloves you’ll use outside and dry-shovel, making the same motions you would to clear snow.” Really? Dry-shovel in public? In the middle of Runnings? You first.

42 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

The Push Shovel Another way to move snow out of the way is to simply push it. This can be somewhat easier than lifting it and throwing the snow where it needs to be. This might not always be ideal but it can be very useful to be able to push snow around when you need to. This is why many people choose to buy a snow push shovel to make pushing snow around a simple task.

Clear a Path Scoop-type blade works well for pushing/ scraping or shoveling.


The Ergonomic Handle

Small blade size and offset handle reduce back strain.

You will find many of the most popular snow shovels that are being sold today are designed to be ergonomic. Buying a snow shovel with an ergonomic handle will make shoveling snow significantly easier for many people. The handle has a bent design, allowing you to position your hands differently when you are shoveling. For people with back issues, this can be convenient as it makes it easier to maintain a comfortable posture while shoveling.

The Aluminum Scoop Narrower than an all-purpose shovel, this typically has a wood or fiberglass handle and a metal scoop, which is more rigid than plastic. The result is an effective tool for a pile of wet snow, but the short handle doesn’t lend itself to plowing.

Deep Scoop Rustproof; handles big drifts. No ergonomic benefit, though.

Illustrations by Eliot Lucas

you get at the stickier, icier snow at the bottom. Plus, the neighbors can hear that you’re out there scraping at your sidewalk at 6 a.m., while they’re still in bed (unless it’s the other way around; in which case, they should knock it off). Some snowfalls only require the light touch of a broom (and just why such peaceful, beautiful snow needs to be disturbed from its place of gentle repose is beyond me—but it’s not beyond my wife). Basically, it’s a question of the push broom vs. the old-fashioned corn broom. The push broom seems like it’s going to operate like a pusher, always moving forward, but in reality, it’s a piston-like operation, a continuous cycle of two feet forward and 18 inches back to catch the snow left behind—and there’s always some left behind. The corn broom requires a lateral side-to-side metronomic motion. Your forward progress will be slower, but you’ll end up with an aerobically clean sidewalk. I’ve only recently noticed the leaf blower as an option. It’s less work than a broom, I guess, but mine is electric, and it’s bad enough to string extension cords around in the summer. Then there’s the king of them all: the snow blower. A neighbor lent me one once, and I did eventually figure out the analytic geometry—the clockwise/counterclockwise turning of the machine and simultaneous spinning of the chute so that the snow doesn’t (usually) hit me in the face. I want one, but I know I’d always wait for a safe time when I wouldn’t wake neighbors and would hardly use it (so manly). Actually, maybe the king is the bobcat, the small skid-steer that will do a sidewalk lickety-split. I didn’t see these in the shovel aisle of the box store, but I did see the shirttail cousin the bobcat won’t claim—the riding lawnmower with snow attachments (come on, just add a zero to that purchase!). This heavy machinery calls to mind plows I can hear from my house at 3 a.m., chirping downtown as they seem to move snow only by going in reverse. I’ve also seen that there are robot snow shovels, designed to do your sidewalk like those robot vacuum cleaners do your living room. Now that sounds cool! My only hesitation is that I hear they’re made by Cyberdyne Systems, and I have visions of a lightning bolt on my sidewalk followed by a naked weightlifter, and I don’t think it will be snow he’s coming back for. There’s also the neighbor kid, but you can’t buy them at the box store either. The best snow mover of all is, of course, the sun. If only the city would let us just stay inside and wait ’til spring. //


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 Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition stakeholders meet at the ARCC the first and third Thursday of each month. Photo by Troy Mcquillen.


Together The Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition works to bring crosscultural understanding and connections to the Hub City by JENNY ROTH photos by GREG SMITH

44 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

H “

i everyone, welcome! Gather in closer, we can fit more people in here.” Dr. Naomi Ludeman Smith, chair for the Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition’s (AADC) board of directors, is ready to begin one of the nonprofit’s bimonthly meetings. There is laughter and chatter as the 20 or so present stakeholders shuffle their chairs together and squeeze in around a u-shaped table. It is warm and inviting in the room, with people from a variety of Aberdeen area organizations, backgrounds, and faiths seated side by side talking about all the regular things friends discuss, from restaurants in town to the impending snow. With notebooks out and coffee cups at the ready, the meeting officially begins with the introduction of new members and visitors, followed by an avid discussion around business both old and new.

 Members of Aberdeen’s Somali community shared their culture at a meet and greet celebration at the K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library in August. Over 400 people came to the event. Pictured is Muna Haji.

The hour and a half flies by, and even though these meetings are important planning sessions for the volunteer group, it is what they do outside of this conference room at the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center that means the most. A coalition is defined as an alliance for combined action, with action being the key word. “We chose the name Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition versus Diversity Committee because we really are a taskoriented group. Our purpose is to come together and do things,” Naomi explains. Since forming in 2016, the organization has done just that by completing at least 35 documented accomplishments and countless other acts of service. They’ve tackled language barriers by distributing information on ESL opportunities, publishing Ride Line brochures and applications in Somali, Karen, and Spanish, and connecting translators to those in need of their help. They’ve also

“When you sit and eat together with somebody you learn to really know that person, and your eyes are opened.” provided education about refugees and immigrants by bringing a number of exhibits, documentaries, book studies, and authors to Aberdeen, and also by speaking at local businesses. At their most recent meet and greet, people were able to visit with their Somali neighbors while sampling traditional Somali foods. AADC vice-chair Sheila Richards says the event far exceeded their expectations. “We had hoped for 200-300 people to be there, and 454 showed up.” About the impact of these meet and greets, she adds, “When you sit and eat together with somebody you learn to really know that person, and your eyes are opened.” All of the things the coalition has done over the last couple of years have been with their ten-year goal in mind: that Aberdeen will be known as a place that welcomes all people, whether they come from another part of South Dakota, or another country in the world. Of this aspiration, Naomi january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


 Aberdonians had the opportunity to eat Somali foods and spend time together at the meet and greet.

says, “We have a lot more work to do to get there.” But her voice doesn’t sound doubtful nor discouraged at the thought. Rather, the stakeholders are motivated by everything they have learned since forming their nonprofit, and they’re keeping their sleeves rolled up as they dive in to what comes next. One such future plan in the works is the AADC’s collaboration with the Aberdeen Community Theatre. The two are hoping to bring a performance group from the Minneapolis-based Pillsbury House and Theatre to perform Breaking the Ice, an interactive, customized production that aims to start dialogue about the challenges around diversity. To make this a reality, the AADC is raising funds for the troupe to visit Aberdeen for five performances. Naomi says, “What we’d like to do is follow these shows with a five-part series of directed conversations open to anyone who wants to talk about challenging topics, like Islam, race, and change.”

“We’re all diverse, and we’re all in this together.” Fear of or prejudice against Islam has come to the front of discussions on diversity in Aberdeen as refugees and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries settle here. Instead of being reactive to other events, the AADC wants to continue putting their energy into serving refugees and immigrants and providing experiences, educational opportunities, and conversations that are the foundations for cross-cultural relationships. AADC stakeholder Wende Lewis explains further, “Immigrants and refugees are here. If we don’t help them, they’ll just stay marginalized and cost us more time, more money, more everything. But if we welcome them and teach them what it is to be an American and learn from the things they’ve gone through, it brings all of us forward- economically forward and forward in our sense of security in the way that if you understand someone, you feel more comfortable around them.” While they strive to be a source of education in the community, AADC stakeholders emphasize that they don’t

 Mohammed Ahmed and Judy Swanstrom visit during the meet and greet.

46 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

have all the answers but are constantly learning themselves. When the group first formed, they were focused primarily on identifying new refugees and immigrants in the Aberdeen area, most of which were of Somali, Karen, and Hispanic descent, and how they could connect them with the services they needed for day-to-day living. By concentrating so much on this mission, they were looking at diversity primarily

as something that exists among different races or cultures. They’ve since realized that we’re all diverse in some way and are now expanding their reach. Shelia says, “It’s not the idea of white people setting themselves up to say to someone else, ‘You are diverse.’ We’re all diverse, and we’re all in this together.” Layton Cooper moved to Aberdeen, his wife’s hometown, about two years ago and works at NSU as a diversity coordinator. He explains what he has learned so far as a stakeholder and board member who regularly attends AADC meetings. “When I initially thought of diversity, I almost automatically went to ethnicity and race, but my role at NSU has challenged me to think of diversity on many different lines. It can be things like the ways in which an individual was raised, sexual orientation, or whether they are a first-generation college student in their family. It’s been an enlightening experience for me, and I’m glad to be a part of it.” Gordon Tree Top represents the Aberdeen School’s American Indian Parent Advisory Committee, one of the newest stakeholders to join the AADC. He says his adult life is dedicated to helping Native American kids reconnect with who they are, and he echoes Layton in that joining the AADC has given him more resources to learn both about diversity and himself. When I ask the group if they

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 Meet and greet participants watch traditional Somali games.

have any tips for how we can approach people in our communities who are outside our normal circles, he says, “If you see someone and you don’t understand them, ask them. If you don’t know your neighbor, go visit them. It’s really that simple, but it is uncomfortable at first. Since I’ve been coming here (to AADC meetings) though, I’ve found that I’ve been throwing myself more and more into these situations even when it is uncomfortable.”

Minneapolis to meet with other leaders from the tri-state area at bushCONN, Aberdeen participants did some of their own cross-cultural skills training. “The idea behind it was to answer the question: How do we become more comfortable talking to people who are different than us- not just different cultures or ethnic groups- but everyone who is distinctly different than us?” To do this, each AberdeenCONNECTIONS member took

“Everyone in this group is building on what they know and sharing what they know, and I think that’s really powerful.” One event that has helped to shape the personal growth and understanding of diversity for AADC members was bushCONN, and the preceding AberdeenCONNECTIONS. The AADC made local headlines in 2018 when it was announced that they received a $20,000 grant from the Bush Foundation, the host of bushCONN, to send 25 Aberdeen area professionals representing 22 local organizations to the day-long networking event. Naomi says before heading to

48 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

an inter-cultural diversity assessment that showed them where they were in their cross-cultural skills and mindset. Afterward, with the help of one-on-one coaching, they made a plan for how they could get to where they wanted to be in those skills and practiced putting action steps into place before bushCONN. Iona Hjoda is an AADC stakeholder, board member, and director of international admissions at NSU. She sheds more light onto the value of each person

 Top right: Shukri Mowlid draws henna tattoos. Below: The Aberdeen Police Department hosted the meet and greet along with the Library and AADC.

in the coalition bringing their unique perspectives and knowledge to the group so they can work better together. “There is so much learning happening here. I am the person who can tell you things about what would make someone leave their family behind and move to another country. But I’m also the person who reads a lot about statistics and the history of immigration in the U.S. because I want to know more about that area of expertise. Everyone in this group is building on what they know and sharing what they know, and I think that’s really powerful.” Liesl Hovel, development director with Lutheran Social Services, says she is part of the AADC because of her role at LSS, but also because she wants to be. She describes how she gets goosebumps thinking of their large turnout at the Somali meet and greet and talks about how far the AADC as a group of volunteers has come in just a few short years. “We’re a work in progress, and we want to keep going and branching out. We’re learning together.” //  For more information about the Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition, contact aberdeencoalition@gmail.com.


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PAYING RENT ON EARTH Community Champions Awards recognize those who are generous in giving their time to serve Aberdeen.



t’s your rent on earth,” Glenna Fouberg says, quoting the late Presentation College Vice President Don Balvin. She was talking about the community service she and others had done to earn Community Champions Awards from the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce. The awards, which have been around for more than 40 years, will be presented on February 12 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. Dozens of Aberdonians have earned Community Champions Awards, which acknowledge contributions in business, athletics, military service, and other areas. Two of the oldest awards are my focus here. Since 1974, the George Award, according to its guidelines, has honored an individual (usually a man) “who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community in trying to make Aberdeen a better place to live and work.” The awardee takes the initiative, rather than “just letting George do it.” The Woman of Spirit Award (previously the Athena Award) started in 1988 to recognize a woman who “exemplifies the following characteristics:

50 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

wise, organized, mentor to others, achiever, nurturing, selfless, purposeful, inspirational, respectful, has integrity, and is a team player.” Some honorees are well known, such as Mary Groth, Peg Lamont, Clark Swisher, and Ken Fiedler. Some are transplants to the area, including Dr. Lorraine Hale (originally from Australia), Stacy Levsen and Kelly Weaver (Salem), Guy Trenhaile (Redfield), and Abe Pred (Nebraska). Some have won multiple times. Vi Stoia won the George Award in 1979 and 1993. While the George has mostly gone to men, Helen Miller won it in 1983, before the Woman of Spirit Award started, which she then won in 2002. The other women who won the George shared it with their husbands: Lowell and Eleanor Nall in 1994, and Rod and Glenna Fouberg in 1998. Glenna also won the Woman of Spirit Award in 2014. One other couple can claim both awards: Joe (George in 2001) and Cindy (Woman of Spirit in 2007) Senger. I spoke with the Foubergs and Sengers about serving the community. All four were very involved when

Past Award Winners The Woman of Spirit Award Sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce


1988 Peg Lamont 1989 Bea Premack 1990 Beth Wray 1991 Elaine Reizes 1992 Kae McNeil 1993 Virginia Tobin 1994 Betsy Rice 1995 Mary Groth 1996 Harlene Pesicka 1997 Nancy Vostad 1998 Nancy Aman 1999 Stella Pretty-Sounding Flute 2000 Karen Mogen 2001 Dr. Lorraine Hale 2002 Helen Miller 2003 Sharon Stroschein 2004 Sue Gates 2005 Sue Birrenkott 2006 Stacy Levsen 2007 Cindy Senger 2008 Dr. Sharon Paranto 2009 Cindi Walsh 2010 Julie Johnson 2011 Dr. Marje Kaiser 2012 Kelly Weaver 2013 Presentation Sisters 2014 Glenna Fouberg 2015 JoEllen Linder

Spotlight Award they were young. Cindy says, “We were both pretty active in high school, when you were involved in everything.” Joe adds, “So participation came pretty naturally. We even did Christmas caroling.” (Cindy says she just tagged along and mouthed the words.) “We both came from small towns and farms,” Rod says. “Being involved is what you saw growing up.” Glenna agrees, “Both of our dads were very involved in the community. I think we learned from watching them.” Rod adds, “It was also formative for us to be involved in 4-H clubs, Jaycees, and Jaycettes. Those things help develop interest in the community

and leadership skills.” All four also began their careers elsewhere. Before retiring from his posts as CEO and Chair of Dacotah Bank, Rod worked at the Sioux City Stockyards. Glenna taught school in Alaska, Sisseton, Bristol, and Webster before coming to Aberdeen, where she ultimately headed up the Alternative Learning Center. Joe started as a teacher, then switched to banking. He became president of U.S. Bank in Aberdeen in 1992, then moved to Dacotah Bank a decade later, where he is now CEO. Cindy started her nursing career in Eureka and Watertown. She later got involved in nursing education at PC, and then nursing

“Both of our dads were very involved in the community. I think we learned from watching them.”

Sponsored by Aberdeen Hotel Alliance 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Don Meyer Brown County Fair Dakota Broadcasting Pat Timm, NSU Steve Kehm, NSU Pheasants Forever NESD Celtic Faire & SD Special Olympics

Emerging Leader of the Year Award Sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Judy Vrchota David Novstrup Jennifer Klitzke Derrick Dinger Matt Prehn Evan Fonder Rachel Kippley Katiee Washnok

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


The George Award

Sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1985 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Carl Swanson Abe Pred Ka Squire, Jr. Henry Schmidt Francis Rinke Vi Stoia Dennis Maloney Mayor Tim Rich Sertoma Club Duane Harms Jack Thompson Vi Stoia Lowell & Eleanor Nall Ben Benson Bud Tonner Elmer Goetz Rod & Glenna Fouberg Terry O’Keefe Ken Fiedler Joe Senger Carl Perry Don Reshetar Clark Wold Mike Evans Hank Lussem Larry Frost Glenn Jakober Tom Agnitsch Randy Grismer Paul McDonald Robert Fouberg Mike Williams Jack Hollinsworth Guy Trenhaile

Hometown Hero Award

Sponsored by the Aberdeen Convenon and Visitor’s Bureau 2005 2006 2007 2007 2008 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Eugene Smith Aberdeen Baseball Assn. Gene Brownell Red Hat Society Yelduz Shrine Kyle Oswald, BMX Pat Timm, NSU Red Cross Pheasant Canteen Team Club Greg Odde and The Aberdeen Wings Aberdeen Sertoma Aberdeen Hockey Bob Olson Aberdeen Running Club Aberdeen Swim Club SD Film Festival Aberdeen Aqua Addicts Hub City Soccer Club

52 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

ROD FOUBERG administration at Avera St. Luke’s. Both couples came to Aberdeen in the 1970s. When they got here, Rod notes, they found “many role models, like Vi Stoia, who encouraged young people like us to get involved.” And get involved they did. The two couples’ resumes would use up all my space here and would catalog most of Aberdeen’s major accomplishments in the past 30-40 years. Briefly, they’ve served on boards, led fundraising, or otherwise worked with the Northeast Regional Health Center, Avera St. Luke’s, Presentation College, Homes Are Possible, Inc., the Central High School building project, the Aberdeen Development Corporation, Junior Achievement, United Way, Northern Foundation, Roncalli Foundation, and more. They’ve also been active in their churches and in their children’s activities. The educator, Glenna focused a lot of her attention—although hardly all—in

activities supporting education. Besides the list above, she served on the State Board of Education. A nurse by training, Cindy focused on health care. “I wanted to make things better for patients and the people I led. I thought if you have happy staff, you’ll deliver better care for patients.” Joe remembers answering the phone and hearing the caller say, “‘This is Governor Bill Janklow.’ I didn’t believe it, but the governor was calling to ask Cindy to join the State Board of Nursing.” Bankers Joe and Rod have been involved in a wide range of community activities. As Rod explains, “In banking, there’s a certain encouragement to be active in the community, to make it a better place to live. After all, vital communities are important to all businesses.” Joe says, “I’ve helped with almost all the major capital campaigns in town, and I think of all the good those have done in the community.”

Family Business of the Year Award Co-Sponsored by the Prairie Family Business Associaon and CorTrust Bank 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Lien Transportation Larson Livestock Wylie Thunder Road Malchow’s QQP/Midstates Dependable Sanitation Ken’s Super Fair Foods Dial-A-Move Lang’s Mikkonen Land Corp. The Millstone Kessler’s Wooden Mallet

The STAR Award

JOE SENGER Rod has been particularly gratified by his involvement with the Presentation Sisters, whose mission Vi Stoia got him involved with. “It was easy to respond to the Sisters’ requests and ideas,” he says. “The Sisters’ quiet leadership, that quiet caring for the community, rubs off. They’ve quietly made a huge difference, and it’s been so rewarding to be a part of.” They encourage people to get involved. “Take advantage of it,” Joe says. “You discover what there is to do, and you can grow personally.” Rod adds, “When you give the time, you get it back. There are all sorts of benefits—working with other folks for the benefit of others.” “It’s a choice

to be involved,” Glenna notes, putting it plainly. “People need to get involved in the community for the community to thrive. It’s not going to happen if they don’t.” They also stress the value for employers of encouraging employee involvement. Cindy says, “The employees develop leadership skills that the employers benefit from too. Plus, the employees still represent their employers when they’re doing activities. People see the employees involved in the community and think well of their employers. It’s a great opportunity for both.” Rod agrees, “Dacotah Bank has a culture of community involvement,” and it shows.

“When you give the time, you get it back. There are all sorts of benefits—working with other folks for the benefit of others.”

2000 CHS–The Link 2001 Brown Co. Teen Court 2002 Roncalli Mentoring Program 2003 NSU Football Team 2004 Groton FFA 2005 Simmons Youth Power 2006 YAPA 2007 NSU Men’s Basketball Team 2008 Roncalli Junior Docents 2009 PC Student Nurses 2010 Eureka FCCLA 2011 Aberdeen Central Girls Basketball 2012 CC Lee Student Council 2013 NSU Marching Wolves 2014 NSU Honors Program 2015 Friend’s of Rachel Club

Entrepreneur of the Year Award Sponsored by the Aberdeen Development Corporaon 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Roger Feickert Jim Thares Jeff Lamont Nathan Reede Mike Evans Neal Bellikka Duane & Bill Sutton Mike Salem Dirk Swanson

ViTality Award

Sponsored by the Aberdeen Development Corporaon 2012 2013 2014 2015

Rodney Fouberg Frank Farrar Dr. Joel Price Dr. James Smith

january/february 2019 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE


Military/Veteran Awards Sponsored by the Military/Vets Commiee of the Chamber

Military Family of the Year 2012 Burton & Angela Glover Family 2013 Phil & Angie Johnson Family 2014 Chad & Susie Vetter Family 2015 Cody & Melissa Becker Family Enlisted Member of the Year 2012 Alex Russo 2013 Brandon Adams 2014 Dillon Karlen NCO of the Year 2012 Sarah Bierman 2013 Anthony Lunzman 2014 Shane Glover 2015 Jameson D Bartsche Officer of the Year 2012 John Hilton 2014 Kristinn Outtrim Veteran Advocate of the Year 2012 Tom Gohn 2013 Wayne “Red” Vetter 2014 Kathy Schlecht 2015 Duane Riedel Military/Veteran Group of the Year 2012 Joint Honor Guard 2013 Military Funeral Honors Team 2014 Aberdeen Exchange Club 2015 Local Battery A, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery

CINDY SENGER While Joe earned his award just before coming to Dacotah Bank, the Bank has two other George winners in addition to Rod: Paul McDonald in 2011, and Rob Fouberg in 2012—the latter must have learned something from his parents’ role modeling, just as they had when they were young. These couples did much more than raise a lot of money for Aberdeen organizations, because it takes more than just money to make a community worth living in. The Community Champions Awards recognize that too in the variety of contributions they honor. And as these couples will tell you, it’s not about awards. Cindy notes, “A lot of who I am today is from the personal development that came from what I was involved in.” Glenna enjoys “seeing that you’ve accomplished something to make

life in Aberdeen better.” Rod speaks for all four when he adds, “We’ve never done anything on our own. We’ve always worked with others. It’s rewarding to see the results of cooperative efforts.” “It’s fulfilling,” Joe says. “There are self-rewards.” “Reward” was a word Joe, Cindy, Rod, and Glenna used often when talking about the community work they’ve done—rewards in personal growth and community benefits. They may all have felt an obligation to “pay their rent on earth,” but their investments are paying great dividends for Aberdeen. Even as they encourage new generations to take their turns, they’re not finished. When asked if she has learned to say, “No,” Glenna speaks for the group, “I’m still working on it.” //

“A lot of who I am today is from the personal development that came from what I was involved in.” 54 ABERDEEN MAGAZINE january/february 2019

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A HOLIDAY FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS A Huron area farmer and Aberdeen lawyer brought South Dakota’s first-ever presidentially pardoned turkeys to the White House by JENNY ROTH If you’re going to spend Thanksgiving in the national spotlight, you’re going to want to be ready. Peas and Carrots, the first turkeys raised in South Dakota to be pardoned by the president, were indeed well-mannered and putting their best feathers forward upon their arrival in Washington, D.C., this past November. The duo helped the country start the holidays with plenty of laughs and good cheer. This outcome was no doubt made possible by the months of preparation and thought that went into getting the birds White House ready.

Peas and Carrots represented South Dakota thanks to their farmer, Ruben Waldner of Riverside Colony near Huron, and longtime Aberdeen resident Jeff Sveen. As a lawyer, Jeff has served Hutterite communities and their interests as turkey growers for decades. His involvement in the industry led to his election as an executive board member, and then chairman, of the National Turkey Federation. One of the responsibilities that typically comes with this role is determining which turkeys will go to the presidential pardoning ceremony. Without hesitation, Jeff chose birds from his home state for the honor. After partnering with Ruben and Riverside Colony, Jeff says putting together the logistics for the event really got underway last spring. They first selected about 50 day-old toms from a special breeding flock as potential candidates. “These turkeys got their own building,” and

with a bit of humor he adds, “and it had air conditioning, because this was in June. As they got older, we would go through them looking for which ones had good characteristics and personalities.” To get the birds accustomed to people, Ruben interacted with them daily, had radio music playing in their building, and treated them to frequent visits from the children of Riverside Colony. With just days to go until leaving for the U.S. Capitol, they had it narrowed down to the final six birds, ultimately deciding on the two friendly and roughly 40 pound Peas and Carrots. Ruben and a friend drove the turkeys to the White House in an SUV following a send-off celebration in Huron. Jeff flew to the occasion with his family, including his wife, children, grandchildren, and 88-yearold father. Upon their arrival in Washington, Peas and Carrots enjoyed a bit of pampering during their stay at the Willard Hotel, where the average room costs about $500 per night. Ruben and Jeff guided the birds through multiple press conferences and media events before both were pardoned by President Donald Trump at a nationally televised ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. Jeff says, “It was a blast. There’s always concern about the turkeys doing something like flying off or running away, but they did really well.” After their pardoning, both Peas and Carrots moved to Gobblers Rest in Virginia, a home where the two celebrities can comfortably live out the rest of their days. So was this an important moment for our state’s turkey industry? Jeff says absolutely. “We’ve been raising turkeys in South Dakota for a long time and opened our own turkey processing plant in 2006. This event has been going on for 71 years, it’s the first time we’ve gotten to do it, and it probably will be quite a few years until we get to do it again.” //

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Photos courtesy of Jeff Sveen

 Left: Jeff Sveen (third from right) and his family in Washington, D.C. Below: Jeff and President Trump during the turkey pardoning ceremony


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Aberdeen Magazine January/February 2019  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.

Aberdeen Magazine January/February 2019  

Aberdeen, South Dakota's community lifestyle magazine.


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