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Local Team

Ashley Pearson – VP/Branch Manager

Ashley has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust since 2004. Her passion for agriculture and business has taken her down the career path of commercial/ag lending. As a correspondent lender, Ashley underwrites, originates and services long-term, fixed-rate loans for local businesses and producers.

Ashley received her Bachelor’s degree from Black Hills State in 2003 and her MBA from Colorado State in 2016.

In addition to volunteering with various school and athletic activities, she is an active member of the Belle Fourche Ag Committee, the UCC Christian Ed Committee and the BHSU Foundation Investment Committee. She is also a member of the Yellow Jacket Foundation Board of Directors, and currently serves as President.

Clay Birkeland – Senior VP/Director of Agricultural Banking

Clay has more than 20 years of agricultural and commercial banking experience. A 1993 graduate of Colorado State University, he completed the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado in 1999. He has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust in Belle Fourche since 1996, helping farmers, ranchers and area business persons with their diverse banking needs. He has been a trusted resource for hundreds of customers to help their business interests grow and thrive. Clay is an active Board of Director member for the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association, the Belle Fourche Country Club and the Belle Fourche Development Corporation. He has coached a multitude of youth sports in Belle Fourche and is a past President of the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce.

Jay Cordell – VP/Commercial & Ag Lender

Jay has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust since September 2012. Prior to that, he worked four years as an Agricultural Lender for Dacotah Bank in the Lemmon, SD and Hettinger, ND markets. Jay is a native of Camp Crook, SD where he was raised on a cattle and sheep ranch. He is a 2003 graduate of Harding County High School and a 2007 graduate of Black Hills State University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration specializing in accounting. He holds additional certifications with completion of the ABA Commercial Lending course, the SDBA School for Beginning Agricultural Lenders and the ICBA Commercial Lending Institute. Outside of the bank, Jay is active in the community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation and the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce serving as Board President in 2016 and 2017.

Donna Bradley – Assistant Branch Manager & Vice President

Donna has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust since 1997, having started as a customer service representative. She has been a loan officer for 12 years. Prior to banking, Donna was employed as a legal secretary and office manager for 19 years, and continues to draw from that experience into the banking field. Donna is the active treasurer for the Belle Fourche Bronc Booster Club, a member of her women’s church board and also its treasurer. She has been involved with Belle Fourche soccer in one capacity or another since 1987.

Charli Davis – Personal Banking Officer

Charli graduated from Dickinson State University in 2003 with an Associate’s Degree in Office Administration. She began her career at Pioneer Bank & Trust on May 31, 2005 as a Teller; she moved to Vault Teller and is currently a Personal Banker.

Scott Reder – Commercial & Ag Lender

Scott brings a vast agricultural and market knowledge to Pioneer Bank & Trust. In 1995 Scott was chosen as South Dakota Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Person of the Year. Since then, Scott has served on many local boards and committees including Black Hills Roundup Parade and Rodeo Chairman from 2008 – 2011.

John Latham – Assistant Vice President & Commercial Loan Officer

John began working at PB&T in 2018. Prior to his career as a loan officer he was a teacher.  John attended and graduated from Chadron State College.

Ashley McCann – Personal Banker

Although Ashley has years of experience in customer service, she started at Pioneer Bank & Trust in 2021 as a teller and is currently working as a Personal Banking Officer. She enjoys her daily interactions with customers, and recently became a member of the Harding County Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Merkle – Senior VP/Manager

Tim has more than 24 years of banking experience and has been with Pioneer Bank for a total of 16 years. He has a Bachelor of Science with a Finance Emphasis from Adams State College in Alamosa, CO. He has also served on various boards and has been involved in many volunteer activities over the years.

Joanie Mantei – VP/Real Estate Lender

Joanie has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust for 18 years and has a total of 30+ years of banking experience. Currently she is a trained tutor with the Literacy Council of the Black Hills and has served as their Treasurer for 8 years.

Sandy Nolan – Personal Banking Officer

Sandy has over 15 years of banking experience and has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust since October, 2018.

Timothy Palmer – Commercial Lender

Tim has been in the banking industry for the last 5 years, as both an Analyst and Commercial Lender. He has a Bachelor of Science with an Emphasis in Economics and Finance from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. Tim participates in several local non-profit organizations, including teaching Junior Achievement Classes in Rapid City Schools.

Megi Plasencio – Personal Banker

Megi started her career in banking with Pioneer Bank and Trust in May of 2020 (smack dab in the middle of the pandemic!) She started off as a teller and continued to expand her knowledge as a Personal Banker. She takes pride in helping and getting to know her customers on a personal level. Megi also spends time within her daughters Girl Scout troop helping them learn entrepreneurship, leadership, and money handling. She is eager to learn and grow within Pioneer Bank as the years go on.

Rick Messer – Senior VP/Rapid City Market Manager

Rick began his banking career with Norwest Bank (formerly First National Bank of the Black Hills) in Rapid City in 1980 after graduating from Chadron State College with a BA degree in Business Administration. During his 17 years with Norwest, Rick worked in the Spearfish market as a consumer lender and a commercial lender. He also worked in the regional office in Sioux Falls as a Consumer Underwriter and Credit Analyst and eventually came back to Rapid City as a District Credit Officer. Rick’s career with Pioneer Bank & Trust began over 20 years ago (1997) when he was hired as a Vice President/Commercial Lender. Rick became a Senior Vice President and Manager at the new Mt. Rushmore Rd. location that opened in 2000. Since February of 2016 Rick has served as the SVP/Rapid City Market Manager and is located at the Rapid City West location. In addition to the BA from Chadron State College, Rick has an MBA from the University of SD and has completed a degree with the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado. Rick currently serves on the Black Hills Works Board of Directors and has served as past-president of the Rapid City YMCA Board and Behavior Management System Board. He has also served on the United Way of the Black Hills Board and the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Board.

Chelsie Martin – Mortgage Loan Originator

While earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics from South Dakota State University, Chelsie started her banking career as a teller for First Bank & Trust. With 10+ years of financial services experience, as a mortgage loan closer, credit analyst, and consumer loan officer, she is excited to join Pioneer Bank & Trust’s Mortgage Loan Originator team! Over the years Chelsie has donated to many local non-profit organizations by supporting charity golf events. She also enjoys volunteering for youth sports programs such as Rapid City Junior Olympic USA Softball and coaching youth basketball.

Justine McKay – Personal Banking Officer

Justine has been employed with Pioneer Bank & Trust since March 2013 and has since expanded her knowledge with multiple positions including Teller, Reception, Personal Banker and Operations Supervisor. In the last 5 years, Justine has donated to the American Heart Association for Pioneer’s very own Heart Walk team and to the United Way to help our community.

Taylor Bartholow – Personal Banker

Taylor has been employed with Pioneer Bank & Trust since March of 2017. She started out as a teller at the Sturgis branch but has since transferred to the Rapid City West branch to further her banking knowledge with multiple positions including Teller, Receptionist and Personal Banker. Taylor has over 12 years of customer service experience. Taylor makes annual donations to various organizations for conservation including Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.

Steve Conzet – Vice President of Business Banking

Steve has extensive experience in the banking industry and numerous leadership roles throughout the community.

Steve began his banking career as an Agricultural Banker Trainee for Community First Bank Systems in Windom, Minnesota in 1993.

In 1996, Steve accepted a management training program position within Wells Fargo in Rapid City. He started as a Personal Banker and as a Business Credit Analyst, eventually working his way up to Market President and Business Banking Manager of both the Rapid City and Northern Hills Markets. It was during this time that Steve graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School in Seattle, a masters-level extension program for officers in the banking industry.

A leader in the community, Steve was formerly on the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Black Hills, holding various positions including President of the Board in 2006. He has served on Rapid City Economic Development Board (as board president in 2014), the Rapid Loan Fund, the Black Hills Vision Board, the Rapid City Economic Foundation Board, and the SD Bankers Association Legislative Committee. Steve has been a Junior Achievement volunteer for more than 20 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Behavior Management Systems where he has held various leadership positions, including President of the Board in 2014.

Eltonjon Finck – Assistant Vice President / Commercial & Ag Loan Officer

Raised on a family farm and ranch near Ralph, SD, Eltonjon still manages operations today, while also bringing to the Pioneer team over 25 years of diverse financial experience. After earning his BS in Business Administration from Dickinson State University in 1997, he spent 13 years working for Ford Motor Credit and US Bank in Fargo, ND, where he earned numerous awards including Customer Service Award, Credit Analyst of the Month, Credit Analyst of the Quarter, and Top Quality Analyst.  His Fargo career promoted him from Auditor, Credit Package Preparer, to Dealer Account Manager & Dealer Services Analyst, Prime and Non-Prime Credit Analysis / Underwriter.  Eventually, the Black Hills called him to head back West so that he could maintain operations on the family farm and enjoy snowboarding and mountain biking in his spare time. He moved to Rapid City in 2011 and spent five years with Ditech, training various teams in South Dakota, Arizona and Florida as a Senior Business Analyst before being recruited by Farm Credit to be an Insurance Officer for crop and hail.  He joined the Pioneer Bank & Trust team in 2020 as a Credit Analyst for the Senior Vice President and Rapid City Market Manager, earned his NMLS in 2021 and enjoys using his unique background to find financial solutions for area farmers, ranchers, homeowners and businessmen alike.  Eltonjon has served on multiple volunteer committees and community service organizations and personally supports the Black Hills Suzuki School, Kidnotes Piano and Black Hills Ski for Light.

Dan O’Shea – VP/Branch Manager

Dan has been in banking for over 25 years serving in a variety of roles. He’s an alumni of the Graduate School of Banking, Madison WI and San Diego State University. Prior to joining Pioneer Bank & Trust in 2000 he worked for national banks in South Dakota, Colorado and California. Dan is active in the Spearfish community and enjoyed serving as the Chamber President, Rotary President and as a Junior Achievement volunteer and board member.

Josh Horak – VP & Commercial Lender

Josh joined Pioneer Bank & Trust team in 2022 - bringing 20 years of banking experience, ranging from student loan sales to branch President. Most recently he was the branch president at a bank in Sturgis. Josh is a graduate of Spearfish High School, having attended BHSU then graduating from SDSU with a bachelor's degree in education. Josh has resided in Spearfish since 1994 and is heavily involved in the Spearfish community having held leadership positions on a number of non-profit boards such as Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, Northern Hills Training Center, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, N.H. CASA, Northern Hills Chapter RMEF, and Black Hills Christian Academy.

Kyle Smith – VP/Commercial & Ag Lender

Kyle has been in commercial and agricultural lending since July of 2022. Kyle graduated from Black Hills State University in May of 2002 with a double major in Business Administration and Human Resource Management. He is originally from a cattle ranch near Lodgepole, SD. He is a graduate of School for Beginning Agricultural Lenders, and Dakota School of Banking. He has served on various boards throughout the years with the most recent being the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Kyle has served as a volunteer in the communities he has lived in including volunteer referee and fireman.

Susan P. Ziegler – Personal Banking Supervisor

Susan has been with Pioneer Bank & Trust since 2016 and has advanced into a Personal Banking Supervisor. She enjoys the daily interactions with all of her customers. Susan also volunteers as part of the Spearfish Fire Department Auxiliary

Samantha Wager – Consumer Real Estate Lender

Samantha joined the Pioneer Bank and Trust team in February, 2022 as a Consumer Real Estate Lender. She brings with her over 6 years of banking experience including Cash Management, Treasury Solutions, and Real Estate Loan Processing.

Samantha attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Communication with an emphasis in Business Administration.

Over the years Samantha has been involved in many organizations in the communities she’s served.

Kalli Charlson – Personal Banker and Consumer Lender

Kalli started her banking career in 2014 working as a teller. Since that time, she has expanded her career becoming a personal banker and also doing consumer lending. Kalli joined Pioneer Bank & Trust in October of 2021 in the Rapid City South office but recently moved to the Spearfish Office as a personal banker and will also be doing consumer lending. Kalli is a Spearfish native, growing up and graduating from Spearfish High School. She is happy to be back in Spearfish and looks forward to serving the community.

Brice Rock – Senior VP/Manager

Brice was born and raised in western South Dakota. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 2000 with a Business/Economics degree. Brice began his banking career in 2006 with Wells Fargo. He has over 15 years of banking experience. He has been the Branch Manager for the Sturgis location since August of 2013. Brice has been a very active member of the Sturgis community and has represented Pioneer Bank & Trust on numerous community boards over the years including Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Black Hills and Sturgis Optimists Club. He has also helped coach youth sports over the years.

Bryce Richter – VP/Commercial & Ag Lender

Bryce was raised in a cattle ranching family east of Enning, SD and is a proud graduate of Sturgis Brown High School. Being raised on a ranch, Bryce has an understanding of a rancher’s needs and way of life. He matches that background with 15 years of banking experience to find financial solutions for area farmers and ranchers. Bryce is active in the Sturgis community, serving on the Sturgis Soccer Association Board of Directors, coaching youth soccer, and serving on the Meade 46-1 School Board.

Brooke Pickett – Personal Banking Officer

Brooke began working for Pioneer Bank & Trust in 2011. Brooke has over 18 years of banking experience. Prior to working at Pioneer Bank & Trust Brooke worked at First Interstate Bank (aka First Western Bank) and Conseco Finance. Brooke has volunteered for several non-profit community organizations including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, United Way, Meals on Wheels, church events, and youth sports including volleyball, basketball, softball, and baseball programs.

Bobbi J. Welch – Mortgage Loan Originator

Bobbi started working at Pioneer Bank & Trust in Rapid City in 1997 as a teller. Through the years, she has had various positions working her way up to mortgage lender 2011. In 2021 she transitioned to Sturgis to help expand the real estate department. Bobbi has a passion for helping people and prides herself on providing excellent customer service. She volunteered at the YMCA as chair of the spirit committee for the Kid’s Campaign for more than 10 years. She continues to volunteer as the treasurer of the Family Readiness Group for the Army National Guard Training Center and is on the board of the Piedmont Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Lindsey Thompson – Commercial/Ag Lender

Lindsey graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and emphasis in accounting. She comes with a vast knowledge of the ranch/farm industry, from growing up on a cow/calf operation in Pukwana, SD.  She and her husband ranch north of Whitewood with their four kids.  Lindsey is involved in numerous activities in the community.  To mention only a few, she is a board member of the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce, 4-H Leader, Ag Committee President and gymnastics coach.