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SD Trust Association Holds Fall Forum Oct 28–29

The hottest October ticket in Sioux Falls won’t be Kristi’s Showcase by Scheels™, her excuse for moving the Governor’s Hunt closer to cameras and crowds of adoring fans. It’s the South Dakota Trust Association’s fifth annual Fall Forum, coming up October 28 and 29 in Exhibit Hall 1 of the Sioux Falls Convention Center! For $549 ($449 for SDTA members—sign up now!), you get a jam-packed day and a half of programs on the most newsmaking industry in South Dakota!

South Dakota Trust Association 5th Annual Fall Forum, logo, retrieved 2021.10.13.
Hey, they even have a pheasant in their logo, just like Kristi’s Showcase! Classy. South Dakota Trust Association 5th Annual Fall Forum, logo, retrieved 2021.10.13.

After breakfast and registration opening Friday at 7 a.m., the Fall Forum opens at 8 a.m. with South Dakota Trust Association board member committee reports and SDTA highlights. And then it’s fun fun fun all day and on to Saturday morning:

  • Friday 8:45–9:45: South Dakota Trust Company co-CEO Al W. King III flies in from New York to “discuss the most popular trust planning strategies and the many reasons families from across the Globe select South Dakota as their trust jurisdiction of choice.” King III will also give advice on “how South Dakota can help with the recent Biden tax proposals.” Somehow I think when King III says “help”, he means something else.
  • 10:00–12:00: Vanguard Financial Advisor Services pitcher Marc Pace will fly up from Arizona will talk about smoothly transferring baby boomers’ wealth and keeping their surviving spouses and Gen-X/millennial kids as customers.
  • 11:00–12:00: Trust lawyer Mary A. Akkerman of Sioux Falls legal powerhouse Davenport Evans will talk about “Hot Topics in U.S. Planning for Foreign Clients.”
  • 12:15–13:15: Eat softly—keynoter and marketer Morra Aarons-Mele from Boston will tell attendees stressed out from remote work how to “set limits, protect your energy, and manage uncomfortable feelings during this challenging time.” Hmmm… the program seems to veer off-topic here. I was of the impression all these trust companies set up shop in South Dakota specifically because we don’t set limits on their financial activities. I also get the impression that the folks working in this industry and attending this forum have long since banished any uncomfortable feelings that could arise from handling shady money and facilitating global corruption and wealth concentration. Oh well—could you pass the vinaigrette?…
  • 13:30–14:30: For a post-prandial smoke, Sioux Falls Robins Kaplan lawyer and marijuana initiative author Brendan V. Johnson and Rapid City Gunderson Palmer Nelson & Ashmore lawyer and 24-year member of the state Trust Task Force will discuss the status of Amendment A and a pending initiative to legalize marijuana in South Dakota. (I urge a poll afterward: who offered better advice for stress relief for trust workers: Aarons-Mele or Johnson?)
  • 14:30–15:30: Back to trust work—Alex Hamerstone of TrustedSec in Cleveland will discuss securing data—you know, like how to prevent 2.94 terabytes from leaking to the press and generating a month of bad headlines.
  • 15:45–16:30: Eide Bailly Sioux Falls CPA and senior manager Beatrice Skyberg, who speaks Chinese and French, will explain compliance for foreign trusts and for domestic trusts with foreign assets or foreign beneficiaries.
  • 16:30–17:30: Manhattan lawyer and triathlete Jay Freiberg will teach managers of directed trusts how to avoid getting taken to court.
  • Also 16:30–17:30: a panel talk and speed interviews for young aspirants to the industry.
  • 17:30–19:30: cocktails! networking!
  • Saturday 8:00–9:30: Phoenix advertiser Park Howell tells everyone he helps “leaders of purpose-driven brands grow by as much as 600 percent.” To that end, he’ll tell trustees how to “become a more confident, clear, and compelling communicator” who “hooks the primal part of your customer’s brain where all of the real buying decisions are made.” (Both the primal and the logical parts of my brain might prefer to remain out in the concourse chowing on the remaining eclairs and orange juice and jawboning with other conference refugees from marketing-speak.)
  • 9:30–10:30: South Dakota Division of Banking director Bret Afdahl will brief attendees on industry stats and trends, current and possible future guidance from his division, and proposals that might come up in the 2022 Legislative Session. (Reporters, pay attention! Grab the handouts!)
  • 10:45–11:45: Jamison Sites and Bennett Moore of global audit, tax, and consulting firm RSM will provide a primer on blockchain and digital assets.
  • 12:00–12:15: The South Dakota Trust Association will hold an apparently annual business meeting, followed by closing remarks.

The coronavirus-cautious and otherwise-occupied may attend online, but they will miss out on cocktails and networking starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

In person or online, attendees can earn 10.75 American Bankers Association-approved Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor continuing education credits and 2.5 Certified IRA Services Professional and Certified Retirement Services CE credits. Minnesota will give lawyers attending the SDTA Fall Forum 11 standard credit hours of Continuing Legal Education; Iowa will count the event as 11.75 CLE hours.

The 5th Annual Fall Forum is the South Dakota Trust Association’s best-timed autumnal conclave ever! Pony up your $549 and get ready for a weekend of hot topics with South Dakota’s biggest wealth-hiders and newsmakers!


  1. John 2021-10-13 10:33

    The walls will be alive with the sound of trickle down economics. – apologies to the Sound of Music

  2. Ryan 2021-10-13 11:11

    hahaha some of this conversation makes estate attorneys and nerdy accountants sound like some cloak and dagger stuff!

    boy, the reality would disappoint the pants right off your bottoms.

  3. grudznick 2021-10-13 14:07

    This looks to be the excitingest thing to hit Sioux Falls in a long time. I don’t know why they want to mix Mr. Goetzinger and the demon weed in there but the rest of it seems very helpful to those making their bank off the trusts of others.

    grudznick only wished they had listed the breakfast menu.

  4. Vi Kingman 2021-10-13 14:59

    Any foreign leaders or drug kingpins going to be there?
    I see Chuck Todd had a big segment on South Dakota and the trusts on MTP.
    More great press for South Dakota

  5. Porter Lansing 2021-10-13 18:45

    You’ve made your bed; now lie in it.

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