Zonta Club of the Black Hills Blog

  • June 05, 2016 6:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Zonta Club of the Black Hills recently held its annual meeting. Newly elected officers and board members for FY2016-2017 include:

    President: Jessica Larson, Beardsley, Jensen & VonWald Law Offices

    President Elect Kylie Riggins, Viken & Riggens Law Firm

    Vice President: Lisa Wesolick, Wesolick Law Firm

    Recording Secretary: Karen Kierstad, Aflac Insurance

    Corresponding Secretary: Carrie Martinez, First Interstate Bank

    Treasurer: Carrie Christensen, Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

    Assistant Treasurer Meals: Traci Fitting, Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

    Assistant Treasurer Expo: Traci Fitting, Ketel Thorstenson, LLP


    Catherine Greseth, Workforce Diversity Network

    Dani Doran- Mason, South Dakota Tech

    Marti Nesland, Retired from teaching

    Laura Hovey Neubert, Rapid City Library Foundation

    Anna Quinn, The HOPE Center

    Liz Smith, Main Street Square

  • June 05, 2016 6:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the most rewarding things that Zonta Club of the Black Hills does each year is encourage young female leaders by awarding college scholarships. This year, we are proud to announce that Regan Odegaard of Rapid City was awarded the Young Women in Public Affairs Scholarship from our organization.

    Regan, a Rapid City Stevens High School senior, is an extraordinary young woman who plans to attend South Dakota State University in Brookings next year. Regan wants to study biology and eventually enter medical school or become a physician’s assistant. She has plans to become involved in the student government at SDSU and continue her involvement in her church, which will hopefully include mission trips abroad.

    Currently, Regan is the senior class co-president at Rapid City Stevens High School and has been in the student council for the past three years. This year, Regan also graduated from the Leadership Rapid City class, a program sponsored by the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce to teach leadership to the next generation of community leaders.

    Also in her senior year at Stevens, Regan was leader for her high school soccer team and previously served as captain. This season, she was voted most inspiring player by her teammates and coach, as well as the best defensive player.

    As if that wasn’t enough, Regan is also part of a leadership group called Frontlines, which meets monthly to learn about becoming service-type leaders. And she has been a part of Love Rapid City, which brings community members together every second Saturday of the month and for one full week annually to provide community service to the community.

    It’s perfectly clear that Regan embodies the very qualities that Zonta encourages in its young women. We are proud of what Regan has already accomplished and look forward to seeing her continue to evolve and grow into a strong and capable leader. With young women like Regan at the helm, our community, state and country are in strong hands.

    Congratulations Regan!

  • February 22, 2016 9:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ORLANDO, FL -- Diane Knutson from Rapid City, SD will be competing for the Mrs. Corporate America crown during the live, public competition on Saturday, March 5th, 7:30pm, at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL. Diane was selected for her achievements in business, service, and leadership. 

     In its 9th year, the Ms./Mrs. Corporate America Pageant {MCA} continues to focus not only on beauty, but business as well. It provides an exciting platform for women to promote their professional achievements and accomplishments in the community. Contestants are able to enhance self-confidence, strengthen leadership skills, set future goals, and establish a network of new friendships with other successful women. 

    Funds raised through the MCA Organization benefit a charity each year, and this year proceeds will go to "Dress for Success" The non-profit organization helps disadvantaged women prepare for job interviews, so they may become self-sufficient, confident, and productive members of society. The MCA Pageant also brings to light the issues facing today's modern corporate women, and contestants can share their stories with one another.

    For more information on the MCA Organization, to become a sponsor, or learn how to become a contestant, visit http://www.MsCorporateAmerica.com.

  • February 22, 2016 8:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Please join us ‘Celebrate Our Legacy’ at the International Women’s Day Celebration!

    We are currently accepting applicants for the Inspiration Marketplace 

    We would be honored to champion you and your original, custom art and small business that is unique and non-franchised. 

    Female artisans of beadwork, jewelry, quillwork, paintings, arts/crafts, leatherwork, basket weaving, 

    and pottery are examples of who we would like to champion.

    Cost: $50

    Includes 1 ticket to attend The International Women’s Day Celebration (which includes lunch and dinner).

    One table and 2 chairs.

    10x10 space.

    Apply now or before February 27 for your opportunity to be included in our Inspiration Marketplace!

    Contact Lafawn Janis for questions and submit your application via email or mail.

    Lafawn Janis - Inspiration Marketplace

    325 Omaha St. Suite 1

    Rapid City, SD 57701

    c: 605.877.4003

    e: lafawn@buffalogals.us

    Here is a great opportunity to promote women in business and share in the encouragement, education and promotion of women!  Please see attached information about Buffalo Gals and the conference March 4.  Also attached are forms to reserve a booth or become a sponsor or attendee.

    Lisa Wesolick - lisawesolick@aol.com

  • January 24, 2016 8:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Students have until March 15 to apply for the Bunny Tyler Memorial Scholarship for Women in Business.

    Zonta Club of the Black Hills established the Bunny Tyler Memorial Scholarship for Women in Business in remembrance of local business woman and volunteer Dorothy “Bunny” Tyler.  Bunny and her husband owned and operated National Van Lines and Black Hills Mayflower Moving and Storage.

    Tyler was active in many Rapid City organizations, including Zonta Club of the Black Hills, SCORE, Toastmasters and Business & Professional Women. She also served as Governor of District 12 of Zonta International, and actively advocated for advancing the status of women.

    A strong and successful business woman, dedicated and compassionate volunteer, and proud, loving mother and grandmother, Tyler’s legacy lives on in this $500 scholarship funded by her family, friends and sister Zontians.

    The Bunny Tyler scholarship is open to candidates who meet the following criteria: non-traditional (24 years or older) women enrolled in 2 or 4 year university/college accredited business undergraduate or MBA program who have demonstrated leadership through volunteer/community service. (Recipient will need to provide proof of enrollment upon notification.)

    To apply, click here.  

    Completed applications can be emailed to zontablackhills@hotmail.com or mailed to Zonta Club of the Black Hills C/O Scholarship Committee, PO Box 8163, Rapid City, SD  57709 by EOD March 15, 2016.

  • January 24, 2016 8:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For Diane Staeffler, one of the most satisfying things in life is helping someone realize the dream of owning a home. And since 2003, she’s been helping people do just that.

    Staeffler is a partner in Omni Home Financing, established in Rapid City in 2003. Omni works with some of the nation’s top lenders to get the best terms for their clients. Diane’s goal is always to help people fulfill their dream of owning a home; whether it’s a first home or a vacation home. Omni Financing can also help those interested in acquiring rental property.

    Diane grew up in Minnesota and began her career in finance more than 30 years ago at a bank in New Mexico. She went on to work for 26 years with Norwest/Wells Fargo, moving to Rapid City in 1985.

    Diane understands that negotiating the financial realities of purchasing a home can be stressful. That’s why she strives to bring an upbeat and friendly vibe to her work. She wants the process to be simple, stress free and, yes, even fun.

    When Diane isn’t making home ownership a reality, she loves to volunteer in the community. Some of the agencies where she has given her time include Black Hills Workshop, Cornerstone Mission for Women and Children, Zonta and WAVI.

    In her free time, you can find Diane riding her motorcycle through the beautiful Black Hills with her husband Dan .She also has two grown children and a Yorkie named Ed. 

    By Lynn Taylor Rick, Zonta Marketing & Communications Committee

  • November 29, 2015 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Even 4 ½ years after its opening, Peg Seljeskog is still in awe of Dakotah Steakhouse.

    “I still walk in and say, ‘Wow,’” Peg says. “I love it.”

    Peg, a longtime Zonta Club of the Black Hills member, and her husband, Dr. Edward Seljeskog, are majority partners of Dakotah Steakhouse.  The couple debuted the restaurant in 2011 with an eye toward creating a place distinctive of the Black Hills and Western South Dakota. Its menu includes such fare as Coulette Steak, Cowboy Bone-In Rib-Eye  and, Peg’s favorite, Dry-Aged Prime Rib. “I’m addicted to it. You can practically use a table knife to cut it,” Peg says.

    Peg says the focus of Dakotah Steakhouse has always been customer service combined with delicious and affordable food. “We pride ourselves on our service. And our delicious food. We do fresh preparation,” she says.

    Of course, Dakotah Steakhouse has more than just great food and fine service. It’s also a beautiful restaurant with striking décor and unique art. Even before the restaurant was complete, the Seljeskog’s purchased an outdoor buffalo sculpture from artist John Lopez to welcome guests as they enter the restaurant.

    Dakotah, as the buffalo is called, actually has a dual purpose. He is a beautiful piece of art, and he’s a part of a scavenger hunt. Dakotah was created with unique items that the restaurant has incorporated into a scavenger hunt. Customers can get the scavenger hunt list at the front desk and head outside to find the various items that are part of Dakotah, Peg says. “It’s a lot of fun.”

    In this day and age of franchise restaurants, Peg is particularly proud of what Dakotah Steakhouse has accomplished. It’s a place where you might see customers dressed to the nines alongside the cowboy in his Wrangler jeans. And that’s the goal, Peg says. It’s a place for everyone.

    When it comes to eating out, Peg urges people to really embrace the idea. Don’t just stop at any old restaurant and get any old meal, she says. “Every time you go out to eat, it should be a special occasion,” she says with a smile. “Why waste it.” 

    Written by Lynn Taylor Rick, Zonta Marketing & Communications Committee Member

  • November 04, 2015 10:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s time once again for Black Hills area nonprofit agencies to apply for EXPO grants from Zonta Club of the Black Hills. Each year, Zonta awards Expo funding to agencies in the Black Hills that help empower and enrich the lives of women and children.  The annual Expo is Zonta’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

    Deadline for 2016 grant applications is Sunday, Nov. 15. To learn more about the grants and directions for applying, visit zontacluboftheblackhills.org or call (605) 391-2192.

     Zonta is proud to have funded the following agencies in 2015:

    Aglow International – Women’s Jail Storybook Program: Volunteers in the Women’s Jail Storybook Program help incarcerated mothers continue their connections with their children through the simple act of reading a nighttime story. Storybook Program volunteers visit women in jails and record them reading children’s books. Those recordings are then mailed to their children.  

    Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Black Hills – Women’s Community Leadership Initiative: The Women’s Community Leadership Initiative strives to empower women, giving them the tools to recognize their potential. Through classes, women are provided leadership and professional development education. WCLI also provides networking opportunities with community leaders.

    Catholic Social Services – Professional Counseling for Victims of Violent Crime: Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or abuse receive counseling through this program, with the goal of helping them work through the emotions following the traumatic event.

    Career Learning Center – GED Testing Scholarship Fund: Zonta grant funding helped more than 40 local women to pursue their GED. Graduates are then encouraged to pursue high education, as education has been proven to improve the economic and social status of women and their children.  

    Cornerstone Rescue Mission – Project Self-Sufficiency, Women’s & Children’s Home: Zonta Club awarded grant funding to the Women’s & Children’s Home to assist with operation. The home provides safe emergency shelter for homeless women and children, allowing them privacy and security while they heal.

    Lutheran Social Services – Stepping Stones: Stepping Stones proves guidance and support to young adults who are transitioning out of foster care or juvenile corrections. The program provides affordable housing, case management and life skills training to assist youth in becoming self-sufficient adults.

    Passages, Women’s Transitional Living, Inc.: A faith-based residential facility, Passages assists woman transitioning from incarceration to independent living.  Passages helps women with basic needs and services, including affordable housing.  

    Working Against Violence – Project SAFE: SAFE stands for Security, Advocacy and Family Empowerment. Project SAFE includes domestic violence and sexual assault crisis intervention services, as well as WAVI’s 24-hour crisis line, emergency room response, emotional support and counseling referrals.

    Youth & Family Services – Girls Inc. – Academic Support & Enrichment: ASE strives to increase the high school graduation rate in the Black Hills community. ASE provides such resources as computer labs, literacy classes, library access, homework help and math and science instruction.

    Youth in Science: A one-day conference that introduces middle school and high school girls to STEM careers, Youth in Science strives to encourage girls to consider careers in science and math. Students attend speakers and work in small groups.

    Zonta is grateful to all of these agencies doing such amazing work to improve the lives of women and children in the Black Hills.  

    By Lynn Taylor Rick, Expo Marketing & Communications Committee

  • July 09, 2015 10:54 AM | Deleted user

    In the mid 1870s, thousands of pioneers flocked to the rumors of gold, struggling across the wide expanse of prairie in their quest to fulfill dreams of a better life. They wanted strong, healthy families, farms and businesses, and the kind of success that afforded them the chance to live comfortably, luxuriously even.

    Aboard covered wagons and on foot they traveled for weeks, months sometimes, with little more than a hope to keep them moving forward. Thirst, hunger, exposure and disease claimed the lives of many, but their dreams would not be defeated. Their futures were at stake, and the futures of the next several generations. The answer to their prayers, their brighter future, lay somewhere off the horizon in a dreamland of wealth and success - the Black Hills of South Dakota.

    Gold had been discovered there just after the Custer Expedition and the promise of untold wealth offered by nuggets large and small all over the Black Hills was the star upon which many young Americans hung their hopes. In 1874 miners were discovering and claiming plots of land along Black Hills creeks, making small fortunes in placer gold - the loose gold pieces generally found mixed with sediment and rock in creek beds and streams.

    Many fortunes were made, and dreams built on the placer gold that settled to the edge of the mining pan. Homes, businesses, families, and whole communities were financed by settlers and prospectors persistent in their vision of a better life. Fearless of the wild frontier, devoted to the work required, those early Americans risked it all to bring lives they could only imagine to the America they already loved.

    According to legend, one such young American - Henri LeBeau, a goldsmith from France - fell asleep believing he was dying of thirst and starvation, and dreamt of a mountain stream with grapevines growing on its banks. When he awoke, he discovered just over a nearby rise, the stream and grapevines of his dream. In his endless gratitude for his life saved, he devoted his talents as a goldsmith to creating jewelry featuring the grapes, leaves, and vines that adorned the banks of the stream.

    This tale of determination and success is forever immortalized, in the signature rose, green, and yellow gold of the grapes and leaves featured in Black Hills Gold jewelry. 

    Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman employees create stunning jewelry accessories through a process that can require up to 40 different manufacturing steps; a few dating back to the early 1800’s.  Many of the 40-plus steps also include the handcrafting by US citizens who are skillfully trained by Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman or bring their skills with them that they learned from past generations.  Working just 30 miles from the Mt. Rushmore monument honoring our Founding Fathers – Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln - these skillfully trained artisans produce a wide variety of traditional and contemporary styles carrying the world renown designation of Black Hills Gold.

    To this day, the legend of Henri LeBeau as well as several of the traditional Black Hills Gold Jewelry manufacturing steps live on in fine jewelry pieces exclusively crafted by Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman. 

  • July 05, 2015 5:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    That’s right. With our fabulous speaker, humorist Diana Jordan, leading the way, we’re encouraging attendees to “Unleash Your Super Powers” during the 32nd Annual Zonta Expo, scheduled from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

    Jordan, a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker and cancer survivor, will entertain and empower from a “Fun, Female and Fearless” perspective. Jordan comes to us with recommendations from such notable celebrities as Oprah, who called her “One of the funniest people on the planet,” as well as Dr. Oz and even the late comedian Robin Williams.

    Diana is also the author of the bestselling book, “A Wife’s Little Instruction Book,” which has been translated into five languages. She was also nominated by the American Comedy Awards as one of the Top Five Female Comedians in the country.

    We can’t wait to hear what Diana has to say.

    But the Zonta Expo has even more to offer. This annual event includes an array of vendors with a focus on women and a style show. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to network, sign up for fantastic door prizes and partake in some fabulous food.

    Best of all – all of this fun is for a great cause.

    Zonta of the Black Hills uses our annual Expo to continue our support of nonprofits that support women in our community as well as nationally and internationally. Click here to see past benefactors of 2014 Expo funds.  

    You can get your advance tickets for the Zonta Expo later this summer from any Zonta member or at our website. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

    Zonta Club of the Black Hills, a member of Zonta International, is an organization of local businesswomen, whose mission is “To empower women through advocacy and service through international and local collaboration, networking and community service.” Members work together to advance the status of women worldwide. 

    We’ll see you at this year’s Expo. 

    Lynn Taylor Rick, Zonta Club of the Black Hills

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Zonta Club of the Black Hills • President: Jo Prang
PO Box 8163
Rapid City, South Dakota 57709 • (605) 390-8250 • E-Mail: zontablackhills@hotmail.com

Charter No. 0246 • District 12, Area 1 • Organized October 12, 1950
A member of Zonta Club International