About Dakota Business Lending

Small Business Lending Partnerships for North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana

Small business is built by the work of exceptional people, superior products and services, and a passion for creating something that is bigger than any single person. Sometimes, all it takes is a partner to provide the financial resources, needed to fuel the machine with necessary capital.

Dakota Business Lending knows each machine, or each small business, is different. YOUR small business has a unique story, which is why we aim to tailor loans that are the perfect fit for YOUR business.

Regardless of the type of loan you need, we are excited to get to know YOU. We consider it a privilege to gain an understanding of your opportunities and challenges and provide you with the boost you need to be successful.

Putting a small business plan into action often requires long hours, late nights, and a brand of sacrifice that is specially coded into the DNA of entrepreneurs.

We believe that business lending is not just about lending money to business owners. It’s about taking your dream, your hard work, and your sacrifice, and infusing it with the financial resources that help you soar to new heights.

Our Vision

Dakota Business Lending strives to build lasting relationships and drive economic growth by being the premier small business resource in our footprint.

Our Mission

Dakota Business Lending is a small business resource that drives economic growth by:

  1. Providing unique financing opportunities
  2. Positively impacting the communities we serve
  3. Educating and guiding small businesses
  4. Building partnerships that add value and creating an environment where our team members thrive

Our Values


Meet the Dakota Business Lending Team

Behind the scenes, we have a dynamic team committed to our mission. When you are looking for a progressive and creative partner for small business financing needs, look no further. We are here to help!

Steve Dusek

President & CEO

Steve eats, sleeps and breathes small business financing! He has been at the helm of Dakota Business Lending since 2010 after leading Prairieland CDC in Minnesota for 15 years. Knowledge of lending programs and strategy are definitely his forte. Steve uses this experience for the betterment of the entire industry by serving on the National…

Roxi Pfliiger

Business Development/ Commercial Loan Officer

Roxi brings a non-lending past to her commercial lending role, but what that means to Dakota Business Lending is a broad range of experience that helps her see things uniquely from the borrowers’ points of view. Roxi heralds over 30 years of business management experience in retail, telecommunications...

Emily Schroeder

Community Lending Director

Curiosity runs through Emily’s veins. She loves to work with people and help them solve problems in new ways. Prior to joining Dakota Business Lending in 2015, she worked in banking and loan servicing, in a business & technology incubator, in philanthropy and grant making as well as advertising sales. These experiences all fed her desire to learn...

Katie Anderson

Closing Officer

Helping people runs through Katie’s blood. She joined the team in 2017 with 20 years of experience in the banking and credit union world. During that time, she has worn many hats, but most of the time has been working with loans. She was attracted to Dakota Business Lending because it is our mission to…

Kaitlyn Wiebusch

Marketing Director

Kaitlyn is our go-to for all things marketing. She helps with marketing projects, small business success stories, and social media activities. But it doesn’t stop there, with the knowledge has gained through her education and experience, she is constantly taking on more projects and helping pave the way to increase awareness...

Christie Williams

Business Development/ Commercial Loan Officer

Christie thrives on the success of those around her. She joined the team as a Commercial Loan Officer in 2012 for three years until moving back to her home state of Montana in 2015. Just three years later, Christie was welcomed back to the Dakota Business Lending team as a Commercial Loan…

Anjie Martins

Sr. Credit Manager

Anjie will always go the extra mile. Born and raised in Montana, Anjie has been assisting small businesses her entire career. Bringing with over 15 years of experience in the business banking financing industry, she joined the Dakota Business Lender team in order to work alongside lenders to help small businesses grow and further expand business financing programs...

Paige Naylor

Credit & Underwriting Specialist

Paige is always helping others be their best! A Fargo/Moorhead native, Paige has been a part of the business and finance industry and has never looked back. She joined the Dakota Business Lender team after five years of teller, relationship banker, and credit analyst experience. Paige has joined the Dakota Business Lender team to further…

Ann Peterson

VP/Loan Operations

Ann turns ideas into reality and brings concepts to life. A native of southern Minnesota, Ann had over 35 years of economic development and SBA 504 and 7(a) lending experience before joining our team, 22 of which were spent at a 504 certified development company like Dakota Business Lending. With this experience comes a deep passion for helping small…

Jason Gerdes

Business Development / Commercial Loan Officer

Jason is all about the action. He has spent a majority of his career working in a 504 certified development company like Dakota Business Lending and brings with him over 16 years of experience in small business lending and economic development. A lifelong resident of Minnesota, he looks...

Rochelle Anderson

Portfolio Manager

Rochelle has a way of making others feel heard, respected, and trusted. She currently serves as our Portfolio Manager, working to ensure compliance with agency rules and regulations and manage the organization's overall portfolio. She is originally from central Minnesota and was attracted to…

Scott Schake

Business Development / Commercial Loan Officer

Accuracy and follow through is what makes Scott tick. He has spent a majority of his career in lending and economic development, including 18 years at a 504 certified development company like Dakota Business Lending, 10 years in commercial banking, and 8 years as a...

Abby Brost

Loan Servicing Specialist

Abby’s strength lies in her ability to lay out a clear path to success. She is responsible for providing administrative support to the entire Dakota Business Lending team, and her ability to keep the organization running smoothly and assist with day-to-day loan servicing allows the whole team to thrive. Abby is a…

Michaela Schell

Entrepreneurial Development Director

For Michaela, it’s all about the big picture. She has been involved in business/ entrepreneurship for the majority of her career and has founded and managed several small businesses. As our Entrepreneurial Development Director, she is responsible for developing, managing, and delivering...

Jo Ann Back

Business Development / Commercial Loan Officer

Jo Ann’s mission is to help businesses achieve their financial goals. Bringing with over 15 years in the banking world as a commercial loan officer and over 20 years of experience at a 504 certified development company like Dakota Business Lending, Jo Ann has a wealth of knowledge about the SBA 504...

Britta Thompson

Marketing Intern

Britta is a visionary. A recent Strategic Communications graduate from NDSU, Britta joined our team to grow her career and support and strengthen our marketing efforts. She is originally from Minnesota and was attracted to Dakota Business Lending because of their core values and mission to help others...

Sophia Bates

Marketing Intern

Sophia’s mission is to help people help each other. A recent Communications graduate from the University of Mary, Sophia joined our team to do just that. She works to support our marketing efforts and spread awareness about our programs and resources throughout our...

Kate Savage

Loan Servicing Specialist

Kate is all about supporting others along their journey. With over six years of business and lending experience under her belt, she joined the team as a Loan Servicing Specialist where she works to serve our entire loan portfolio and ensure that borrowers are up to date with information and...

Julie Jaksha

Director of Small Business Advising

Exploring uncharted waters and new opportunities is what energizes Julie. Prior to joining our team, she spent over 25 years in commercial lending, economic development, and business coaching, helping business owners navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Based out of Butte...

Tyler Byron

Business Development / Commercial Loan Officer

Tyler loves to find new ways of thinking. He joined the team as an Assistant Commercial Loan Officer in 2015 for three years until transitioning into the banking world. Bringing with him over 10 years of lending and business financing experience, Tyler was welcomed back...

Come Work with Our Team!

At Dakota Business Lending, we believe in working hard to help North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana business owners achieve their dreams. We are passionate about small business and finding creative financing options. The work we do is challenging and rewarding.

As a small, not-for-profit company, the resolve and support of our team is paramount to our success. We strive to create a work environment that is collaborative, fun, flexible, and engaging. If you are intrigued by this type of work and our team, see below for potential opportunities to be part of something we think is rather incredible!

Meet the Board of Directors

Dakota Business Lending has established itself as a lending partner for small businesses thanks to the wisdom, leadership, and guidance of our Board of Directors. We are proud to have decision-makers in our corner that combine for centuries worth of expertise in the areas of business, finance, economic development and public service.

John Phillips

First Elected - 2008

With almost 30 years in housing and city planning, John is currently retired and is active with many organizations including the Beulah JFA, Mercer Economic Development, Coal Conversion Counties, ND Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties, Lignite Energy Research Council, the ND Chamber of Commerce, and church council.

Jim Hambrick

First Elected - 2016

With over 28 years of experience in the banking industry, Jim has focused on relationship management for small to large sized operating businesses. He also serves on the board of directors for NDSU Team Makers and NDSU Alumni Association, and has been involved in local community non-profits such as Red Cross, United Way, and Fraser, Ltd.

Tonya Holmstrom

First Elected - 2019

As a CPA and current partner of Schmitz-Holmstrom, Tonya brings over 15 years of public accounting experience in various industries and business sizes. She also serves on various other boards throughout the state including Greater North Dakota Chamber, the Missouri Family YMCA, and the University of Jamestown Alumni Association.

Jason Hopfauf

First Elected - 2020

With over 22 years of working in the banking and finance industry, Jason has gained experience with management and all aspects of commercial lending. He brings with him a passion for fostering and growing the community, and currently serves on several boards throughout the state including the Dickinson State University Booster Board, Dickinson Baseball Club, Badlands Big Sticks Baseball Clubs, and past President of CHI St. Joseph’s/St. Alexius Foundation.

Steve Gehrtz

First Elected - 2020

As President of Gehrtz Construction Services, Steve brings over 35 years of leadership and construction management experience and a passion for developing the community. He also serves on other various boards including Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church's Long Range Planning and Building Committees, the Industry Advisory Council for the Construction Management Department at NDSU, and the Moorhead Business Association.

Cole Keney

First Elected - 2021

With over 18 years in the banking and finance industry, Cole has focused on commercial relationships and being a trusted point of contact for businesses. He has been a part of several other boards and organizations such as United Way, F/M/WF Chamber of Commerce, F/M AM Rotary Club, and RMA North Central Chapter and was named Prairie Business Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2016.

Heather Ranck

First Elected - 2022

Heather is an International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce and Director of the Fargo office, where she has worked to expand exports and investments in rural America for 17+ years. She serves on several boards throughout the state, including the FM Rotary Foundation and the Fargo Rotary Club.

Matt Marshall

First Elected - 2023

Matt has worked in the community and economic development industry for 10+ years and currently serves as Economic Development Administrator for Minnkota Power. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the community development sector, as well as valuable experience from several boards he serves on including EDND, Mid-America Economic Dev., Riverside Christian School, and ND Workforce Development.