5th Annual Fall Forum

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Fall Forum 2021 – October 28 & 29

Diamond Sponsor

We would like to thank all of our sponsors including our Platinum & Gold sponsors! Without all of them, this event would not be possible. Thanks so much for your contributions to this event! 



Morra Aarons-Mele is a (mostly) happy, successful person. She also identifies as an extremely anxious overachiever. Even during the best of times, she can be found hiding in a bathroom to avoid people, experiencing a panic attack before a flight, and waiting for bad news to arrive. To normalize anxiety and help others manage theirs, Aarons-Mele launched and hosts The Anxious Achiever podcast for HBR Presents, which was a 2020 Webby Awards Honoree and is a top 10 management podcast. She’s passionate about helping people rethink the relationship between their mental health and their leadership. Her upcoming book on the subject will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2022.

In addition to her work on anxiety, Aarons-Mele founded the award-winning social impact agency Women Online and created its database of female influencers, the Mission List. She was named 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Iris Awards, created to recognize excellence in digital parenting media. Before starting her own business, Morra worked in digital marketing and politics, helping Hillary Clinton log on for her first online chat and founding the digital public affairs team at Edelman, where she worked with Fortune 50 clients.

Aarons-Mele is also a prolific writer. Since 2004 she has covered the campaign trail, the White House, the lactation room, and the office cubicle. Her book, Hiding in the Bathroom: How To Get Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home), was published byDey Street Books in 2017. She has written for the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Slate, InStyle, O, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Guardian. Aarons-Mele has degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Brown University. She and Nicco Mele live in Boston with their three children.

Bret Afdahl
Bret Afdahl was appointed Director of the South Dakota Division of Banking in May of 2011 after serving as Counsel to the Division since October of 2006. Bret is a Past Chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the nation’s leading advocate for the state banking system, and currently serves on the FDIC Advisory Committee of State Regulators as one of its inaugural members. Bret is a graduate of Northern State University with a degree in political science and business and a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law.
Mary Akkerman

Mary Akkerman practices in estate planning, including dynasty trusts, domestic asset protection trusts, estate and trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships, business and tax planning, estate and gift tax planning, tax appeals, and related litigation. She is skilled at establishing public and private trust companies in South Dakota and regularly works with U.S. and international families and advisors. Mary is an American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Fellow. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Sioux Falls Estate Planning Council. Mary has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, for the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards. She has a Band 1 individual ranking in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide by Chambers and Partners in the area of Private Wealth Law, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in Trusts & Estates. Mary has also been ranked in the top 5% of practicing attorneys in South Dakota by Great Plains Super Lawyers in the areas of Estate Planning & Probate.

Mary is a native of Parker, South Dakota and a graduate of South Dakota State University (B.A., 1994), South Dakota State University (M.A., 1998), and University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D., 2001, with Sterling Honors).

Amy Bourne

Amy Bourne has worked for seventeen years in the trust industry and is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company. She currently manages the operations and finance departments and works closely with the President on hiring and other management level projects. Amy began her career as a CPA working at Eide Bailly LLP for nine years. She graduated from USD with an accounting degree and is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association National Graduate Trust School. She is currently involved in various charitable and nonprofit organizations in the community, including the South Dakota CPA Society, the Sioux Falls Estate Planning Council, Junior Achievement and the Banquet. Amy also serves on the education development committee of the South Dakota Trust Association.

Austen Erickson
Austen Erickson is Director of Tax & Compliance at Concord Trust Company, LLC where he oversees trust tax reporting and compliance activities. Austen serves on the South Dakota Trust Association’s Education Committee and is a member of the West River Estate & Financial Planning Council. Mr. Erickson holds BSBA from Black Hills State University where he specialized in accounting. Austen is active in the greater Black Hills outdoor community and can be oftentimes be found fishing, mountain biking or rock climbing.
Jay W. Freiberg
Jay is laser-focused on efficiently obtaining wins for his clients, who hire him for his seasoned judgment in dispute resolution both in and out of the courtroom. A trusted counselor, he has deep expertise representing all types of stakeholders in all manner of sophisticated and complex trust and estate disputes. As part of this practice, he counsels private clients in potentially contentious business and personal matters regarding, among other areas, closely-held businesses, real estate, tax and insurance. A carefully aggressive advocate, Jay’s clients look to him for their thorniest matters. Jay is admitted in numerous courts, and understands the hurdles, pitfalls and opportunities within the courtroom setting. Partnering with local counsel, notably in Delaware and in Florida, Jay is able to provide seamless counsel to his multijurisdictional clientele. In the community, Jay is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law, where he has taught legal writing for over 10 years, and is pro bono trust and estate litigation counsel to the New York Public Library. Prior to forming Elman Freiberg, Jay was the chair of Katten Muchin Rosenman’s New York Fiduciary Litigation practice. He also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Diane Weiss Sigmund, judge for the US Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Jay resides in Manhattan with his wife and two children. When not with his family or in the office, he can be found training for his next race. Jay is a veteran of numerous road races and triathlons and, on happy occasion, makes the podium.
Patrick Goetzinger

Pat is a partner with Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, where he leads the firm’s Business and Estate Planning Group and serves on the Executive Committee. He practices in the areas of Business and Estate Planning with a focus on family-run businesses, affluent individuals, business transactions, and real property law.

Pat serves on the South Dakota Trust Association Board of Directors; American Bar Association Board of Governors; is past President of the South Dakota State Bar Association, and the South Dakota Bar Foundation; a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (past South Dakota State Chair); and a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is listed among the Best Lawyers in America, Great Plains Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA’s High Net Worth, and America’s leading Lawyers for Business in the categories of Corporate/Commercial Law and Real Estate Law, and Private Wealth Law.

Through his service to the State Bar Association, and from his appointment to the Governor’s Task Force on Trust Reform and Administration upon its inception in 1997, Pat has been actively involved in drafting and supporting the enactment of trust and business legislation in the South Dakota Legislature.

Pat’s desire to give back to his profession and the state is demonstrated by being the founder of Project Rural Practice, an initiative to restock rural main streets with attorneys and improve access to justice in rural areas. Pat especially enjoys the connection to the Black Hills and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial provided by his lifetime membership in the Mount Rushmore Society.

Alex Hamerstone

Alex Hamerstone is the Advisory Solutions Director at TrustedSec. He has over a decade of information security consulting experience. Alex has designed security programs for both large and small organizations and advised and assessed numerous Fortune 100 corporations. Alex’s experience covers a broad range of industries, including retail, utilities, education, insurance, and healthcare. Additional areas of focus and expertise include program development, security process creation, documentation, regulatory compliance, cloud implementation, security awareness, standards adherence, and international information security regulations.

As a recognized industry expert, Alex is a regular presence in the national media, with appearances on Fox News, CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, TD Ameritrade, and multiple local television and radio outlets.

Alex is commonly quoted in national publications and is a published author, having co-written the 2012 Syngress book, “Wireless Reconnaissance in Penetration Testing”. He is a frequent presenter to national security conferences and boards and has keynoted at large conferences of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), as well as for industry groups such as the American Banker’s Association, and at several Federal Reserve Branch Banks.

Christopher HOltby

Christopher Holtby, Head of Learning & Business Development at Wealth Advisors Trust Company
A disruptor of the status-quo for the betterment of employees, and clients. Need more info, look at my LinkedIn profile.

Park Howell

Park Howell is known as The World’s Most Industrious Storyteller helping leaders of purpose-driven brands grow by as much as 600 percent. His 35 years in brand creation includes 20 years running his own ad agency Park&Co. He was named Advertising Person of the Year in 2010 by the American Advertising Federation of Metro Phoenix. The following year, his agency was recognized among the Top 10 Impact Companies in Arizona by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

Park is the founder of the Business of Story, a proven platform based on his 10-step Story Cycle System™ to clarify your story, amplify your impact and simplify your life. His popular weekly Business of Story podcast is ranked among the top 10 percent of the most downloaded podcasts in the world.

His new book, Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System™ to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand, helps readers clarify their brand story and teaches how to tell it through three proven narrative frameworks to captivate audiences and convert customers.

Park consults, teaches, coaches and speaks internationally. He has guided hundreds of brands and grown thousands of leaders and their people in such organizations as Dell, Hilton, Cummins, Walgreens, Banner Health and the United States Air Force.

He is a graduate of Washington State University and combines his degrees in communications and music composition and theory to help leaders excel through the stories they tell.

Brendan V. Johnson

Brendan Johnson was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for the state of South Dakota.  During his time as United States Attorney, he was selected to serve on Attorney General Holder’s Advisory Committee.  Following his tenure with the Department of Justice, Johnson became the managing partner of the Sioux Falls office of Robins Kaplan LLP.  Robins Kaplan is a national law firm with offices across the United States that focuses on high stakes litigation.

Brendan’s practice includes Trust and Estate litigation, and he has appeared in cases from New York to Los Angeles, as well as here in South Dakota.  In April 2020, Johnson argued before the South Dakota Supreme Court for the constitutionality of Amendment A which would decriminalize and permit the sale of small amounts of cannabis.  He was also involved in constructing the political effort behind Amendment A, which received 55% of the vote in South Dakota.

Brendan co-chairs the Government and Internal Investigation Group as well as the American Indian Law and Policy Group at Robins Kaplan.  He was recognized nationally by Chambers USA as a band one attorney, and Indian Country Today placed him on their “Hot List” of national attorneys.  His courtroom advocacy led Shared Hope International, an organization dedicated to abolishing human trafficking, to describe Brendan as a “force of determination, initiative and skill…”

Al W. King III

Al W. King III is the Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of South Dakota Trust Company LLC (SDTC) and SDTC Related Companies with offices in South Dakota, New York, Wyoming, Nevada and Westport, CT. SDTC is a national trust boutique serving wealthy families from 54 countries and 47 states. SDTC currently has more than $100 billion in assets under administration. Previously, Mr. King was Managing Director and National Director of Estate Planning for Citigroup and also the Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Citicorp Trust South Dakota. Mr. King is the Co-Vice Chairman of the Editorial Board for Trusts & Estates magazine. He has been inducted into the National Association of Estate Planning Council’s (NAEPC) Hall of Fame and is a member of the NAEPC webinar and publication committees. He is also a member of many other groups/ organizations. Mr. King received his J.D. degree from Syracuse University Law School; his LL.M. in tax law from Boston University School of Law; and his B.A. degree from Holy Cross College.

Tim Kuhman

Tim Kuhman serves as the General Counsel for the Kingdom Trust Company and has since its inception in 2010. Having also served as General Counsel to Equity Trust Company, he brings 17 years of experience to our discussion of the Trust Industry in South Dakota. That experience includes helping to build a de novo trust company from the ground up under the laws of South Dakota and staffing an office in the State.

His position requires him to be well-versed in the regulatory regimes that govern both South Dakota Trust Companies and the Self-directed investing world.

He serves as a subject matter expert to the subject matter expert in self-directed retirement accounts and self-directed investing for Kingdom’s customer service, operations and business development groups. He is a frequent speaker on webinars and live events covering Self-directed Retirement Accounts and Self-directed Retirement Investing topics.

Tim is a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University (now known as Missouri State University) and the University of Toledo, College of Law. In addition to practicing law, he has taught a variety of business and law related courses at the high school, collegiate and graduate school levels. He has also coached Track and Cross Country at both the high school and intercollegiate levels.

Karl Lund
Karl Lund is a Trust Officer at Argonne Trust company in Sioux Falls, SD and has been in the trust industry since Fall of 2014. Over the past several years he has worked in both the domestic and foreign markets serving HNW/UHNW families. Karl’s experience includes administering and managing complex and multi-jurisdictional trust structures for Latin American clients, administering domestic trust structures, liaising with tax and investment advisors, ensuring regulatory compliance, and now includes administering purposeful trusts. He is working to obtain the CTFA and TEP designations.
Bennett Moore

Bennett Moore is RSM’s Lead Digital Asset Technical Resource, a Manager, and the Senior Innovation Architect for RSM’s Blockchain and Digital Asset Innovation Practice where he is involved in the creation of integrated client teams across all LOBs to address multi-dimensional client needs, the education of the firm on digital assets and their impacts to our clients and our firm, and consulting on complex technical projects related the use of digital assets. He works in an advisory capacity to various lines of business including audit, tax, technical accounting consulting, risk and regulatory consulting, and transaction advisory services related to the use, accounting, and compliance of all categories of digital assets. He is a recognized thought leader by his firm on digital asset security, accounting, taxation, and architectural strategy. Bennett has been an active educator, investor, trader, auditor, consultant, and researcher in the blockchain and digital asset space for five years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the accounting, IT security, regulatory risks, and due diligence procedures for clients. He gives frequent presentations and speeches on blockchain and digital assets at external and internal firm conferences. He is also an author of an AICPA course on auditing blockchain technology, a representative for RSM on three blockchain initiatives at the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the chairman of the Accounting Blockchain Coalition’s working group on internal controls, a member of a CTCPA Sub-Committee on Innovation, and a member of Connecticut’s Blockchain Regulation Working Group under the Department of Economic & Community Development.

Marc Pace

Marc Pace is a Sales Executive in Vanguard Financial Advisor Services. He is responsible for building and maintaining strategic relationships with community banks and independent trust companies. Mr. Pace’s emphasis is on investments, thought leadership along with tools and services that help meet the needs of his clients.

Mr. Pace’s 15-year career in the financial services industry included business development positions at Cole Capital (real estate sponsor) and in the Vanguard Retail Investor Group. 

Mr. Pace earned a B.S. and M.B.A. from Arizona State University.

Jamison Sites

In January 2020, Jamison was selected as a senior analyst in RSM’s cutting edge Industry Eminence Program, which positions its senior analysts to understand, forecast and communicate economic, business and technology trends shaping the industries RSM serves. These senior analysts advise clients on conditions influencing middle market leaders. Jamison’s focus is on blockchain within the financial services industry.

Jamison has over ten years of experience providing consulting and international tax advisory services. He serves as RSM’s subject matter expert on foreign tax credits and has significant experience with global effective tax rate management, supply chain restructuring, and cross-border M&A. Jamison also serves as RSM’s blockchain and digital asset tax and regulatory lead. In this capacity, he assists blockchain clients in determining the unique regulatory and tax consequences of their global operations. Jamison is also on the Leadership Committee of the Digital Chamber’s Tax Task Force.

Beatrice Skyberg
Beatrice Skyberg, CPA, CFP®, AEP® is a Senior Manager at Eide Bailly.  She has more than 14 years of public accounting experience providing services to a variety of clients. Beatrice specializes in international fiduciary, gift and estate taxation services. She also assists with compliance, consulting and planning services for a variety of non-profit organizations and private foundations as well as provides corporate, partnership and individual taxation services. Beatrice is a member of the: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, South Dakota CPA Society, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, Sioux Falls Estate Planning Council, and South Dakota Trust Association. Beatrice was named the South Dakota Outstanding Young Professional for 2016-2017.

Presented by the South Dakota Trust Association