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Member Voices

Meet a member: Andrea Carstensen

Andrea Carstensen works for Minnwest Bank as business development and treasury management officer. She was raised in Fairmont, Minnesota, and moved to Sioux Falls to attend Augustana University. Andrea enjoys volunteering her time with a variety of community organizations. In addition to serving as a diplomat for the Chamber, she is active with Sales & Marketing Executives, Sioux Empire United Way, South Dakota Bankers Association, and more.

Why do you choose to volunteer your time for the Chamber and other community organizations?

The Chamber has been the foundation of my career and provided special friendships, too. The Chamber unites businesses together, advocates for strong conditions and opens doors for yourself, partners and nonprofits in our city, all while having a good time. Volunteering as a Diplomat propels the mission and events offered.

Currently, serving as co-chair for the Furniture Mission ‘Place of Grace Community Campaign’ has been a special feat; raising $5 Million for a beautiful new facility on the Empower Campus. There are many important causes in our city that require collaboration. Being involved with nonprofits gives meaning beyond oneself and my faith values play a factor in why I give time, talents and treasures.

What is a skill that you’d like to learn and why?

I can play a few instruments already, but learning the acoustic guitar is a dream. I welcome anyone who wants to teach or just sit in my living room and peacefully strum (kidding!). A savvy answer is to always become more proficient in Microsoft Excel. There is massive functionality in its reporting and feel I’ve only touched the surface.

What is your favorite thing about working and living in Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls has seen me bloom. I have roots in the community ever since going to school here in 2014. It has a smaller town feel with the opportunities and possibilities of a larger city. Both professionally and personally, there is a plethora of options and familiar faces everywhere you go. With the continued momentum that will only be enhanced further. I look forward to seeing the growth Sioux Falls has in store for careers, education, good eats, developments and entertainment.

How did you choose your profession?

My very first internships and summer job were in banking. I enjoyed the number-crunching detail required, creativity, sales and problem-solving. I gratefully experienced multiple consumer positions and lessons thereafter but chose to enter the nonprofit realm to be a fundraiser. Looking back, that experience grew connections and set me up to be a better community volunteer, especially for campaigns. In 2021 I rejoined the finance industry. My current role allows me to build relationships in the community while showcasing the core values and benefits of Minnwest Bank and presenting a full suite of cash management solutions to current and prospective commercial customers.

What was the last book you read?

I am currently reading ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren. This book is a shock to our design, in my opinion. Last month the Young Professionals Network read the ‘Go-Giver’ by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I’ve heard for years it is a staple book, and that it was.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

This is such a tough question because we are a melting pot of the lessons and people who shape us. My parents have always said to “put your shoulders back” meaning walking into a room or tackling whatever in front of you with authenticity, kindness and confidence.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?

Summer is by far my favorite season. Going camping, playing golf and volleyball, bonfires, lake days and walks make my heart sing. Being an extrovert, these are things that recharge my battery…along with reality TV.

If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

What a miraculous day and celebration it will be when a cure for cancer is announced.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing our community today? And how should we tackle it?

As Sioux Falls grows, competition amongst all industries does. The population increase has a direct impact on nonprofit demand as well. Partnerships between organizations (like that happening on the Empower Campus) reduces redundancies and creates efficiencies for serving people. There should be greater collaboration to remove overlaps and maximize contributions.