New members join Foundation board of directors

January 22, 2021

Twelve new members have joined our local Sanford Health Foundation Board of Directors in the Bemidji, Bismarck, Fargo and Sioux Falls communities. These individuals will help set the course for an impactful 2021 and beyond.

Welcome to our team!


New Bemidji board members

Jim Bensen, President Emeritus, Bemidji State University

Even during retirement, Jim Bensen has been involved in the betterment of life for all citizens. Jim has been involved on dozens of boards both locally and around the world and previously served on the board for Sanford Bemidji, then North County Health Services. During his more than a decade on the hospital board, he chaired the team involved in the 2010 merger with Sanford Health. He’s also been a great partner for the Foundation, most recently serving on the planned giving committee.


Bruce Bentfield, Commercial Loan Officer/Indirect Lending Division Manager, First National Bank Bemidji

Bruce Bentfield has been with First National Bank Bemidji for the past nine years and works as a commercial lender as well as managing the indirect loan program. Bruce is active in the community, serving on the Bemidji Youth Hockey Board, Bemidji Community Arena Board and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Board. Bruce and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Bemidji area and have four children. When not shuffling kids for youth hockey, Bruce and his family enjoy spending summer days on the water as much as possible.


Dr. Joseph Corser, Emergency Room Physician, Sanford Health

Dr. Joseph Corser has worked in the Bemidji area since 1986.  He currently serves as the chair of emergency medicine at Sanford Bemidji and works with addiction treatment in the Sanford Bemidji Medication Assisted Therapy Clinic. He previously served on the Bagley School Board and American Red Cross board.


Jake Ellefson, Area Manager, Otter Tail Power Company

Jake Ellefson joined Otter Tail Power Company in 2010 as a customer service manager for the Bemidji and Crookston customer service centers. He advanced in 2011 to operations manager in Morris and transferred to operations manager in Fergus Falls in 2017. In 2018, Jake was named area manager and is responsible for overseeing field operations in the Bemidji, Crookston and Fergus Falls customer service centers. Jake works closely with state and local officials on issues important to both the business and its customers, including economic development, legislature and community relations.


John Martin, Financial Consultant, Citizens National Bank, Park Rapids

A financial consultant at Citizens National Bank in the Park Rapids area, John Martin works with many small business owners and individuals. John became a certified financial planner in 2011 and has been licensed since 2005. While originally from Duluth, John spent most of his youth in Park Rapids. He attended Bemidji State University where he played collegiate golf and married his college sweetheart. He has three beautiful daughters, and his family enjoys golf, basketball and traveling. Each year, except for 2020, John has had the unique opportunity to work the Masters golf tournament.


New Bismarck board members

Dr. Amy Oksa, Pediatrician, Sanford Health

Dr. Amy Oksa worked in pediatrics at Sanford Dickinson Clinic for 25 years and currently serves as the clinic chair. She hails from Syracuse, N.Y., and is an Air Force veteran. Amy has been active in the Dickinson community, serving on the board for the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center and health advisory board of Head Start. She enjoys bicycling, running, skiing, hiking, vacationing in the Black Hills, UND hockey and Minnesota Twins baseball.


Taylor Daniel, Commercial Realtor, Daniel Companies

Taylor Daniel, a Bismarck native, earned his ND Real Estate license in 2014 and joined Daniel Companies as a commercial realtor in 2015. Taylor graduated from NDSU College of Business with a degree in marketing. He was a member of the Leadership Bismarck-Mandan class of 2020 through the Chamber EDC. Taylor was awarded the youngest 40 Under 40 Professionals in the Upper Midwest region by Prairie Business Magazine in 2019. Taylor also serves on the Downtown Business association’s Board of Directors. Taylor is passionate about the community and the city’s progressive growth. He enjoys volunteering at Cross Training Basketball youth camps, biking, hiking, golf, snowboarding, skateboarding, fitness, healthy living and working. He is also an active participant in Start Bismarck, 1 Million Cups Bismarck, The Downtowner’s, Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and more.


New Fargo board members

Dave Ekman, President, Bridge Hospitality

A local entrepreneur with more than 35 years of business experience, Dave Ekman serves as president of Bridge Hospitality, a local hotel development company. As a recent cancer survivor, Dave knows firsthand how philanthropy makes an impact at Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center. Dave is also a former board member of the Roger Maris Celebrity Golf tournament and recently made a generous donation to Roger Maris. He enjoys golf, water skiing and traveling.


Dr. Melissa Horner, Pediatrician Sanford Health

Dr. Melissa Horner is a pediatrician and has been with Sanford since 2009. Melissa and her husband, Dr. Justin Horner, are generous supporters of the Foundation with two named endowments and have been great ambassadors, encouraging other physicians to give back. She enjoys cooking, spending time at the lake, reading traveling and doing anything with her kids.


Keith Peltier, President, Proseed Inc.

Keith Peltier is the president of Proseed Inc. and PK Sunflowers and a managing partner of Peltier Farms Partnership. Keith is a two-time cancer survivor, and recognized his oncologist, Dr. Preston Steen, with a Guardian Angel donation. Keith and his family have been generous supporters of the Foundation for many years.


Thank you to our outgoing board members: Dr. David Clardy, Dr. Janelle Sanda, Joanne Warner and Kent Wild.


New Sioux Falls board members

Mike Begeman, Retired Vice President of Community Relations, Sanford Health

Mike Begeman served as vice president for community relations and corporate administration for Sanford Health for 18 years, retiring in December 2020. He was responsible for developing and maintaining external relationships and coordinated sponsorships, contributions and community memberships. Before joining Sanford in 2002, Mike spent 26 years as an educator and coach in South Dakota high schools. A graduate of Augustana University, Mike has served on several boards, including Leadership South Dakota, Sioux Empire United Way, Sioux Falls Area Chamber Community Appeals, Sioux Falls Arena & Convention Center, Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation and Sioux Empire Housing Authority. He is also active in numerous community organizations. Mike and his wife, Gale, have two sons and three grandchildren.


Abbie Everist, Director of Internal Audit, Kingdom Trust Company

Abbie Everist oversees the audit function at Kingdom Trust Company. Her work focuses on the alternative asset investment sector, including custody of significant cryptocurrency holdings. She also serves on the board for the South Dakota Trust Association, the Philanthropic and Legislative Subcommittees and on the Trust Committee of the South Dakota Banking Association. Abbie has earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a major in finance and a JD/LLM in taxation, MBA and MA graduate degrees. She is married to Rick Everist III and has an 8-year-old daughter, Elsie.


The board’s role

The board of directors provides critical strategic guidance to help advance the Foundation’s mission. These individuals serve as volunteers, contributing significant amounts of personal time, talent and energy to build connections in the community, identify fundraising opportunities, oversee investments and ensure we’re doing all the right things to make lives better across the Sanford footprint.