About Us 2018-07-31T14:02:21+00:00

About Prairie Family Business

Prairie Family Business Association, an outreach center of the Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota, is the premier resource for family businesses to grow, engage, transition and prosper. We provide family businesses with the tools to succeed through high quality education and collaboration. Family businesses are provided a platform to achieve harmony and longevity.

An innovation center for family businesses, Prairie Family Business Association serves members across the region including in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. We are proud to support more than 200 family businesses and their advisors, helping them survive and thrive in their second and third generations and beyond. We recognize family businesses are vital to our local economies and are honored to help them succeed today and plan for the future. 

Our Mission & History

Your resource network for family business success.

To build relationships and offer high-quality educational programs that promote successful businesses and healthy families. Our purpose is to provide a safe place for family businesses to grow, transition, engage and prosper.

Prairie Family Business Association was founded in 1993 as South Dakota Family Business Initiative through the School of Business at the University of South Dakota. The mission of the association is to enhance the long-term survival and success of its family business members. Today, some of the founding members of the association are still active – as are the next generation of those founding families.

Our Team

Laura Schoen Carbonneau
Laura Schoen CarbonneauExecutive Director
Laura Schoen Carbonneau joined the Prairie Family Business Association in June of 2018. She brings experience leading and strengthening membership based organizations.
Rebecca Zabel
Rebecca ZabelBusiness Development
Rebecca brings experience building solid relationships with a diverse membership and enhancing program offerings from her most recent position as program coordinator for the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Suzy Turnquist
Suzy TurnquistOffice Manager
Suzy Turnquist serves as Office Manager for Prairie Family Business. She has 15 years of experience in the areas of office administration, graphics and marketing. Most recently, Suzy worked at Morningside College and is a graduate of Morningside. She owned and operated her own small business for eight years.

Advisory Board

Tura Synhorst
Tura SynhorstChair
Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
High Country
Rapid City, SD
(605) 342-8222
Mark Moffatt
Mark MoffattVice Chair
Moffatt Products, Inc.
Watertown, SD
(605) 886-5700
Craig Larson
Craig LarsonPast Chair
Starion Bank
Bismarck, ND
(701) 250-1441
De Vee Dykstra
De Vee DykstraTreasurer
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD
(605) 677-5894
Denise Tollefson
Denise TollefsonSecretary
Serenity Assisted Living
Dilworth, MN
(218) 477-7254
Jay Bender
Jay Bender
Falcon Plastics, Inc.
Brookings, SD
(605) 696-2500
Rob Everist
Rob Everist
L.G. Everist, Inc.
Sioux Falls, SD
Christie Lloyd Ernst
Christie Lloyd Ernst
Lloyd Companies, Inc.
Sioux Falls, SD
(605) 323-2820
Scott Schneidermann
Scott Schneidermann
Frontier Bank
Rock Rapids, IA
(712) 472-2537
Paul Steffes
Paul Steffes
Steffes Corporation
Dickinson, ND
(701) 483-5400
Venky Venkatachalam
Venky Venkatachalam
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD
(605) 677-5455
Eric Weisser
Eric Weisser
Weisser Distributing
Tea, SD
(888) 391-1293