7th Annual Fall Forum

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Fall Forum 2023 – October 5 & 6


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

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors


Andrew Bergan

Andrew is a 2016 graduate of North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Music with a Minor in Business Administration. He is a 12-year member of the North Dakota Army National Guard where he serves as a Trumpet Player for the 188th Army Band. After graduating from NDSU, Andrew moved to Aberdeen, SD where he worked as a Franchise Business Consultant for Orion Food Systems and later as an Apparel Production Manager for Quality Quick Print. Andrew started with Dacotah Bank in June of 2020 serving as a personal banker prior to his promotion to a Trust & Wealth Advisor in February of 2022. Andrew is a Candidate for CFP® Certification.

Ashley Blake

Ashley Blake is President and General Counsel at Bridgeford Trust Company, as well as a member of the Board of Managers and Trust Administrative Committee. In her role, Ashley leads all of Bridgeford Trust Company’s South Dakota operations from our office in Sioux Falls. She specifically oversees and works closely with Bridgeford Trust Company’s trust administrative and compliance teams in both our Pierre and Sioux Falls offices, focuses extensively on strategic plan implementation, and supports the company’s growth, business development, and legal initiatives. Ashley understands the nuances of South Dakota trust law and ways it can be utilized for the benefit of Bridgeford’s clients, both domestically and internationally.

An attorney by training, Ashley has a deep understanding of South Dakota trust law and trust company law. She has multiple years of experience assisting clients and their advisors with the power and sophistication of South Dakota’s modern trust laws.

Prior to joining the Bridgeford team, Ashley practiced for multiple years at Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, & Smith LLP – one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious law firms in South Dakota. She specialized in South Dakota trust and trust company law at her firm, working with numerous ultra-high net worth clients and their attorneys and advisors across the nation and around the world with a vast array of trust administration issues. Ashley also regularly reviewed trusts drafted by out-of-state attorneys for South Dakota validity and provided guidance to her trust administration clients on the requirements of South Dakota trust law. In addition to her trust administration experience, Ashley is an industry leader on South Dakota trust company compliance and regularly assisted trust companies, both public and private, with regulatory compliance matters in her prior role.

Ashley earned her Bachelors, with Honors and a double major, from Harvard University and graduated first in her class and with Sterling Honors from the University of South Dakota Law School, where she received numerous scholarships and awards.

Matthew Browne

Matt is a graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and began his career in the Operations Division of Goldman Sachs, eventually becoming a Vice President.  Matt then obtained his law degree from Northwestern University, following which he worked as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell for over 6 years.  During his time at the law firm, Matt focused primarily on representing financial institutions under investigation for AML- or sanctions-related issues.  Matt joined FinCEN at the beginning of 2022 and is a Section Chief within the Enforcement Division, primarily covering broker-dealers and futures commission merchants.

Jennie Cherry

Jennie is a partner in the New York office of KHD concentrating on international tax and cross-border succession planning.  Jennie coordinates the Firm’s due diligence and compliance practice, having worked with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) since it was first introduced.  Jennie also guides family clients regarding compliance under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in the various jurisdictions where trusts and companies are established.  She assists with determining the FATCA and CRS status for each entity within a planning structure then helps the family office to implement due diligence and reporting procedures.  An expert on IRS W-8 forms and CRS self-certifications, Jennie assists clients with completion of forms, subscription agreements, and account opening documentation.  Jennie advocates to minimize incorrect reporting.  The Firm is an enrolled third-party filer for FATCA reporting purposes and Jennie prepares and submits reports for certain foreign entities under Model 2 IGAs and the FATCA Regulations.  She also assists with the submission of FATCA and CRS reports on exchange of information portals in various jurisdictions.  In addition to family clients, Jennie represents both US and offshore trust companies, assisting them with FATCA classifications, due diligence, and reporting.  She regularly conducts training programs and due diligence reviews.  Onshore, Jennie advises on foreign bank account reports (FBAR), reporting on Form 5472 required of foreign-owned single member LLCs, and other compliance obligations.  Jennie is a firm believer in the positive use of trusts within an international succession plan.

Jennie is lead editor for the firm’s Private Client and Offshore Services: USA updates published regularly through International Law Office on Lexology, a newsfeed service delivering a comprehensive source of international legal updates, analysis and insights.  Registration to receive these updates when posted is free and relevant to clients, lawyers, family offices, trust officers and private client advisors.  In addition, the KHD updates can be accessed via the firm’s website under “Resources.”

Having practiced in the trusts and estates area for more than thirty years, Jennie has had extensive experience in the most sophisticated estate planning techniques.  Jennie’s focus is the preparation of and tax advice related to foreign trusts and their holding companies in various offshore jurisdictions.  In addition to succession planning, Jennie has handled numerous estate administrations.  Jennie’s concentration on international tax and cross-border estate planning has provided valuable experience including:

• offshore trust creation and administration for U.S. citizens or residents and for non-residents not citizens of the United States;
• qualification of offshore trusts as foreign grantor trusts for U.S. income tax purposes and annual reporting requirements;
• succession planning for non-US citizens resident in the U.S. and U.S. citizens resident outside the U.S., many of whom own property in a third country;
• estate administration proceedings in England, France, and other countries combined with U.S. estate tax proceedings and treaty issues.

Jennie served for several years as secretary for the New York Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is currently lead editor of the Editorial Board for the STEP United States Jurisdiction Report available at STEP.  Jennie was Boston College Law School Cite and Substance Editor for the Environmental Affairs Law Review.  She is a member of the Probate Section and Solicitors Abroad of the Law Society for England and Wales. Jennie has served on the Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association and spoken on U.S. tax considerations relevant to offshore trusts as a member of past faculties of the IBC Annual International Trust & Tax Planning Conference.

Roey Diefendorf

Monroe “Roey” Diefendorf, Jr., MI, CLU, MRFC, CAP, CEPA is the creator of the technology platform for preparing heirs.

As a 50-year veteran advisor, Roey was the 4th generation in his family’s business and has successfully transitioned it to the 5th generation.

Following his graduation from Deerfield Academy, Roey received a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. He went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Insurance from Georgia State University, with a major in Estate Planning and a minor in Pension Planning. In 1976 and 1983, he received the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), respectively, from the American College, Bryn Mawr, PA. In 1992, the designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) was granted from the College of Financial Planners in Denver, CO. In addition, Roey has been admitted as a “CFP Practitioner.” In 2003, he attended the Wharton School of Business and successfully attained the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation. He also holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation and holds the designation of Master

Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC). In 2022, Roey received the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation.

He has written over a dozen books, including “3 Dimensional Wealth: A Radically Sane Perspective On Wealth Management,” “A Better Way: Using Purposeful Trusts To Preserve Values & Valuables In Perpetuity” and “The Endangered Family: How to defeat the greatest single risk confronting your family – your money.” As an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois – Urbana, in 2020 Roey taught a 13 week long semester course on “More Than Money” Wealth Management, the first of its kind in America.

Roey has spoken at many venues on wealth management and philanthropy, including the Main Platform at the Million Dollar Round Table. He has won numerous awards including: Finalist in The Fleet Bank Small Business Award for Substantial Revenue Growth, semi-finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the finalist in the NY Enterprise Small Business Award for Leadership, the LI Business News “50 Around 50” Award for Philanthropy, and the Gold Medal finalist in the Gartner & 1-to-1 Media CRM Excellence Award in Efficiency for North, Central and South Americas. The International Association of Registered Financial Consultant (IARFC) named Roey the 2021 recipient of the Loren Dunton Lifetime Achievement Award as an industry visionary and leader over the past 50 years.

Roey is a man on a mission. A mission that embraces family values and philanthropy for the betterment of the giver and family, as well as the receiver.

Krista Eckhoff

Krista helps fiduciaries (including trustees, personal representatives, and executors) and others who need guidance in managing disputes or claims regarding an estate, will, or trust, and who often need an answer to one or more of the following questions:

  • How do I effectively administer a trust involving complicated family dynamics?
  • How do I ensure my parent’s intentions are honored after their death?
  • How do I effectively combat claims that I have poorly managed assets?
  • How do I ensure that my claim in an estate is paid?
  • How do I address concerns that my parent’s assets are being managed properly?

Krista enjoys taking complicated trust, estate, trademark, copyright, and commercial disputes and, by utilizing relationships with experts and working with clients, telling each client’s story in a persuasive way to the judge or jury (or arbitrator or even the TTAB). 

Whether she’s utilizing her advocacy skills to leverage an early settlement or preparing a client’s position for trial, Krista works hard to get the best outcome possible.

Krista is a 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, magna cum laude, and also earned an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007. She practiced law in Chicago prior to joining Baird Holm.

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.

Dianne Harris

Dianne Harris is Vice President and Wealth & Trust Officer with First Dakota National Bank in the Sioux Falls market, joining the First Dakota Wealth & Trust team in June 2010. She has served the financial industry since 1987, and has been involved in trust activities since 1990. Dianne specializes in Trust Services including investment management, estate planning and settlement, trust administration, real estate management, retirement planning and IRAs.

Dianne’s formal education includes an Associate’s Degree in Data Processing/Business from Dakota State University, and additional education from the University of Sioux Falls. She is a graduate of the Cannon Financial Institute’s Personal Trust School at Boston University, and Personal Trust Advanced Administration School at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She holds professional designations of Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) from the Institute of Certified Bankers and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

Professional community involvement includes being a charter member of the University of South Dakota’s Planned Giving Council, serving on the Sioux Falls Estate Planning Council Board of Directors, and a member of the Sioux Falls Investment Society.

Dianne also knows the importance of being involved in the community in which she lives. She is a founding member of the Harrisburg Activities Foundation, respectfully called the Tiger Nation Foundation, having served as both Vice President and Secretary. She currently serves as the Vice President of Finance on the Sioux Council Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. She served on the local Metro Organization Multi-Use Trail Study Task Force, and has been involved in Boy Scouts Corporate Friends of Scouting campaigns, co-chairing for two years. She is an active member of the Harrisburg United Methodist Church, where she has served various Board positions.

Chase Koskovich

Chase Koskovich started with the South Dakota Division of Banking in 2015 as a Trust Examiner and was appointed the Chief Trust Examiner in 2023.  He is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in Business Administration and a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law. 

Matt McClintock

Matthew T. McClintock lives in Evergreen, Colorado, and focuses on the areas of estate planning, long-term trust design and implementation, inheritance preservation planning, planning for bitcoin and other cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies, strategies to enhance client privacy, and domestic and international asset protection. Matt frequently speaks publicly and writes about these topics, emphasizing their impact on individuals, families, and businesses. Matt is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the Wyoming Bar Association, the Alaska Bar Association, the South Dakota Bar Association, the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate (ABA RPTE) Section, and WealthCounsel.  He also volunteers on the board of directors for Team Evergreen, the largest nonprofit cycling club in Colorado.

Judith Pearson

Judith Pearson, a seasoned insurance industry and risk management expert who created The Nomadx MGA, a subsidiary of Woodruff Sawyer, to specifically focus and risk management and insurance solutions for trustees. Judith has an expertise in identifying, mitigating and transferring risk for wealth transfer vehicles. Trust laws and structures are changing, complex and contradictory creating fiduciary responsibility and personal liability. With an understanding of this Nomadx is in a position to educate trustees and other fiduciaries to reduce risk as well as implement insurance solutions to transfer risk which surpasses what’s currently available in the marketplace.  

Prior to joining Woodruff Sawyer she formed Nomadx Solutions, LLC to provide risk management solutions to fiduciaries. Ms. Pearson was President of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation which was formed under her direction to provide title insurance for fine art and other important collectibles. While leading ARIS Ms. Pearson was named one of the 2015 Power of 100 Leaders in the art world by Blouin/Artinfo International for her role as an insurance innovator. 2022 JD Supra readers’ choice award for wealth management.

Ms. Pearson also held the positions of Senior Executive Vice President of Chicago based AON Corporation’s Financial Services Group (“FSG”) and head of FSG’s intellectual property division. A veteran in the insurance industry whose career spanned underwriting for AIG and then Chubb as an underwriting manager, an insurance broker at AON and one of its acquisitions. Judith specialized in Intellectual Property Liability, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity and similar coverage forms and underwriting for U.S based Fortune 500 and equivalent foreign based corporations.

Ms. Pearson has been a frequent speaker at Trust and Estate Forums, ABA Trust School, Additionally, Ms. Pearson has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, Chicago Sun Times, LA Times, Art and Auction Magazine and has written articles for Trust & Estates, Wealth Management and Estate Planning Magazines.

Brad Pesicka

Brad Pesicka started with the South Dakota Division of Banking as a Trust Examiner in 2014 and was appointed as the Trust Training Director in 2020.  He is a graduate of Augustana University with degrees in Economics and Business Administration, a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law, and a member of the State Bar of South Dakota. 

Josh Rubenstein

In his widely respected practice, Joshua Rubenstein, national chair of the firm’s Private Wealth practice, brings a variety of important services under one roof for high-net-worth individuals. He offers integrated planning, administration and litigation counseling for individuals, their estates and their businesses, all of it designed to preserve wealth over generations. His advice stretches as far as his clients’ financial interests – locally, nationally and globally. Read Joshua S. Rubenstein’s full biography to learn more.

Jonathon Sanborn

Jonathon Sanborn started with the South Dakota Division of Banking as a Trust Examiner in 2015 and transitioned to the role of Senior Trust analyst in 2022.  Prior to joining the Division of Banking, he served in the United States Army rigging parachutes for soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division.  Jonathon is a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law while also earning a Master of Business Administration degree. 

Matt Schlechter

Matt Schlechter started with the South Dakota Division of Banking in 2011 as a Trust Examiner and was appointed the first Chief Trust Examiner in 2018.  He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in Business Economics, a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, and a member of the State Bar of South Dakota.  Matt recently transitioned into the role of Deputy Director of Trust for the Division this past June.

Tom Simmons

Tom is a lifelong South Dakotan and a professor at the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law. In that capacity, he serves as the faculty advisory to the Thomas More Society and teaches Trusts & WillsEstate PlanningRemedies, and Professional Responsibility, along with two Tribal Wills practicum courses. He is an Associate Justice of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Supreme Court, an academic fellow and current state chair of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a gubernatorial appointee to the South Dakota Governor’s Task Force on Trust Administration and Reform. and a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Prior to joining the academy in 2013, he practiced for thirteen years with the Rapid City law firm of Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, and clerked for the late Andrew Bogue, senior district court judge. Today, he serves as a member of the board of directors of Bridges Trust Company of South Dakota, a public trust company in Dakota Dunes, and in an of counsel capacity for select clients with Thompson Law, PLLC in Sioux Falls.

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith is president and founder of Summit Global Strategies, a Washington, D.C. based public affairs consulting firm providing strategic advisory services to clients seeking to navigate the intersection of business, politics, and public policy.

Mr. Smith specializes in taking complex public policy issues and finding ways to communicate them in clear and simple terms to the public, the media, and policymakers.

He has advised executives and managed complex public affairs campaigns for the Fortune 500, privately-held businesses, sovereign and U.S. state governments, trade associations, and NGOs on financial services, markets, asset management, tax, energy, economic, monetary, and international trade policy issues, as well as business development and strategy.

Mr. Smith brings the unique perspective of having participated in government policymaking at the highest levels in both the Executive and Legislative branches, as well as internationally.

Mr. Smith was previously Chief of Staff to U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow in the George W. Bush administration, and also Counselor to the Treasury Secretary. He directed the Department’s day-to-day operations and policy development process for major tax and entitlement reform legislation, financial markets policy, energy policy, housing finance reform, terrorism finance, as well as international economic diplomacy efforts in the G-8 and G-20. Mr. Smith received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department’s highest honor.

Mr. Smith served on Capitol Hill for twelve years on the staff of the House Committee on Ways and Means, including as Chief of Staff for Chairman Bill Archer. He oversaw the committee’s operations and professional staff in developing major tax reform, international trade, welfare reform, retirement security, Social Security, energy, and health care legislation. He was a key participant in legislation implementing major trade agreements, including the Uruguay Round and North American Free Trade Agreements.

Smith served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Export-Import Bank from 2019-2021.

Mr. Smith received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from The George Washington University, received the program’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and is a member of its Advisory Council. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Mr. Smith received a BA degree in economics from Dickinson College.

Emma Stueck

Emma Stueck is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in Business Administration. During college, she participated in the mentorship program and was partnered with a local Trust Officer where she gained interest in the Trust industry. Emma started with Sawmill Trust Company upon graduation in 2022 as a Trust Operations Administrator. She works in Sawmill’s operational department assisting clients with opening and closing accounts, assets transfers, and money movement tasks.

Stefan Swzarc

Born in Canada, and after spending time living abroad, Stefan moved to South Dakota at the age of 10. He went on to graduate from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree prior to receiving his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. Stefan has practiced law for nearly 10 years with a focus on helping clients build and understand their estate, business, tax and asset protection plans.

His clients include local families and individuals setting up their first will or trust to high-net-worth professionals and business leaders both nationally and internationally establishing and administering complex, legacy, tax, and asset protection plans. Stefan emphasizes working closely with his clients throughout the planning process helping to give his clients and sense of comfort and understanding surrounding both the meaning and mechanics of the plan.

Stefan’s background working as a Wealth Planner influences every plan he works on, ensuring that not only legacy needs are planned for, but also his client’s current lifestyles. His aim is to develop a plan that is precise, analytical, and concise and accomplishes the client’s most important goals.

A passion for providing the highest quality service with a focus on his clients above all else led Stefan to form the Halbach|Szwarc Law Firm in 2023, a full-service law firm in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which allows him to continue to serve all his clients with a team of experienced and capable attorneys.

Stefan’s passion for his community has led to significant community involvement. Currently, he serves as the Board Treasurer for the Compass Center and an officer of the Sports Car Club of Siouxland. His past involvement as a volunteer Diplomat with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and his current commitment as a volunteer teacher with Junior Achievement of South Dakota gives him the opportunity to give back to a community that has meant so much to him.

Presented by the South Dakota Trust Association