Mr. Rykhus was named President and Chief Executive Officer on August 20, 2010 and had been Executive Vice President of the Company since 2004. He was the General Manager of the Applied Technology Division from 1998 through 2009, growing the division's sales from $15 million to over $100 million. He joined the Company in 1990 as Director of World Class Manufacturing. He serves on the boards of Great Western Bank, the Washington Pavilion and many other non-profit organizations in Sioux Falls, SD. The Board believes that Mr. Rykhus is an appropriate representative of management on the Board given his position as a senior executive officer and his long tenure with the Company. In addition, Mr. Rykhus brings a wealth of industry experience to the Board.
Mr. Kirby is CEO and a director of Face It TOGETHER, a non-profit organization. He was the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Western Surety Company from 1979 to 1992. In this position he developed an understanding of accounting principles, internal controls and audit committee functions; as a result he is considered an “audit committee financial expert." He was elected a Director of the Company in 1989 and resigned his position in 2001. From 1993-2001 he chaired the Raven Audit Committee. He was asked to rejoin the Board in 2007. Mr. Kirby brings to the Board over 30 years of expertise in corporate finance and investment management, as well as an insurance background, and provides a valuable risk management perspective.
Mr. Griffin has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Lewis Drugs, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD since 1986. Lewis Drugs is a regional retail department and drug store chain. He is a board member of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He is also President and Chief Executive Officer of Griffson Realty Company, Fredin Associates and G.E.F. Associates, Sioux Falls, SD. Mr. Griffin brings over 20 years of experience as a CEO of a significant retail business and a real estate company, among other businesses, in the Company's home community. Not only does he bring extensive operations, marketing and distribution experience, but he also has a valuable perspective on local issues involving real estate, work force and other matters.
Mr. Everist was named Chairman of the Board of the Company on April 1, 2009. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Everist Company, Sioux Falls, SD, a position he has held since 2002. He was President and Chief Executive Officer, L.G. Everist, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD, from 1987 to 2002. These companies mine and produce construction materials including aggregate, concrete and asphalt. He brings a strong understanding of production and logistical operations. Since 2006, he has been the managing member of South Maryland Creek Ranch, LLC, a land development company, and President of SMCR, Inc., an investment company. He is a director of MDU Resources, Bismarck, ND, a publicly traded energy and utility company, where he chairs the Compensation Committee. He is also a director of several non-public companies including, Showplace Wood Products, Bell, Inc. and Everist Genomics, Inc. Mr. Everist brings demonstrated success in business and leadership skills, serving as president and chairman of his companies, headquartered in the Company's home state, for over 25 years.
Mr. LeBaron has been Chairman/CEO of Lincoln Industries in Lincoln, NE since 2001. Lincoln Industries is a supplier of products requiring high performance metal finishing. He has served on the Board of Directors of Ballantyne Strong, Inc. since 2005. He serves on Ballantyne's Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committees. He is also a director of Assurity Security Group, Inc., Lincoln, NE. Mr. LeBaron brings his experience as the CEO of a Midwestern ISO certified manufacturer, recognized as one of the best places to work in America. His organizational leadership experience, ability to identify and implement business strategy and knowledge of corporate governance give him the operational expertise and breadth of knowledge which qualify him to serve as director.