Member Information

Board Member Photo Name:  Jeffrey Burket
Position:  Vice-Chair
City:  Spearfish
Term End Date:  10/30/2020
Biography:
Appointed 2014. Jeff Burket is a director of operations at Minerals Technology, Inc., where he manages bentonite mining operations for the United States including safety, logistics and P&L. Jeff is a native of South Dakota and has been in the mining and logistics industries for 22 years’ experience. A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, with a degree in Accounting. He currently calls Spearfish home.
Political Party:Republican
Board Member Photo Name:  Gregory Carmon
Position:  Operation of Rail Service
City:  Brandon
Term End Date:  10/30/2021
Biography:
Appointed 2018. A farm kid from DeSmet, Greg Carmon started his career in the  railroad business working at General Electric Railcar Repair. Achieving inspector status gave him an excellent understanding of railcar repair and when an opportunity to buy a small outdoor railcar repair shop in Sioux Falls presented itself, he took the leap and began Midwest Railcar Repair. In 1999, Greg built a state-of-the-art repair shop in Brandon. Greg also owns two railcar leasing businesses, Carmath and M&C Leasing. Greg has served on the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, assisted in developing the Brandon Community Foundation and served on its board. He has served on Forward Sioux Falls and on the Sioux Falls Community Foundation Board, chairing the SFACF Grant’s Committee, and he serves on the Build Dakota Board. He also serves as leadership of Brandon’s Celebration United Methodist Church. Greg is a husband, father, and grandfather who loves to spend time at his lake home, fishing/hunting, or travelin
Political Party:Republican
Board Member Photo Name:  Jerry Cope
Position:  Chairman
City:  Rapid City
Term End Date:  10/30/2022
Biography:
Appointed 2014. Jerry Cope works in grain marketing for Dakota Mill & Grain Inc. (DMG) in Rapid City, SD. Primary responsibilities are split between grain merchandising, elevator transportation logistics, developing strategic marketing plans with farm customers, soliciting new business and facility development. Current involvement includes National Grain & Feed Association Rail Shipper & Receiver committee; South Dakota Grain & Feed Association Board; School Booster board and the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee. Jerry grew up on a cow/calf ranch near Hot Springs, South Dakota. Jerry is an avid pheasant hunter with the family Labrador. Together Jerry and wife, Lori, enjoy most anything outdoors, travel, and time around the dinner table with their three daughters.
Political Party:Republican
Board Member Photo Name:  Gary Doering
Position:  Finance
City:  Cavour
Term End Date:  10/30/2021
Biography:
Appointed 2008. Gary Doering was born on a farm in Aurora county South Dakota. He went to elementary school in rural Aurora county. Mis high school was Wessington Springs, SD, graduating in 1971. In 1972, he started working at the Cavour Farmers Co-op. In 1978, he went to Yale Farmers Co-op as manager of the elevator and a few years later as general manager of Yale Farmers Co-op, which included the fertilizer, chemical and the petroleum side. He was nominated Elevator manager of the year in 2004 by the South Dakota corn council. He remained in Yale until 2008 when he took partial retirement for health reasons. He has two children: Gerrad of Woonsocket, SD and Natalie and her husband Paul of West Fargo, ND. He has five grandchildren. He is proud that he has been on the South Dakota State Rail Board approximately 14 years.
Political Party:Democrat
Board Member Photo Name:  Jon Kirby
Position:  Board Member at Large
City:  Sioux Falls
Term End Date:  10/30/2022
Biography:
Appointed 2019. Jon Kirby was born and raised in Sioux Falls. Jon holds a B.S. from Colorado Christian University and an MBA from the University of Sioux Falls. Jon currently resides in Sioux Falls where he is a Senior Associate of Investor Relations at Bluestem Capital Company. Prior to joining Bluestem, Jon has held positions in various companies dealing in finance, marketing and business development. He wants to be involved in South Dakota as much as possible. Jon and his wife Tracy have three children, and he loves spending time golfing, hunting and skiing.
Political Party:Republican
Board Member Photo Name:  Jack Nelson
Position:  Marketing
City:  Volga
Term End Date:  10/30/2020
Biography:
Appointed 2017. Jack Nelson grew up on a farm near Lake Preston. After high school, he started working in the local elevator. After 3 years, he was given the opportunity to be a general manger at two coops for 21 years. In 2002, he made a career change and entered the ethanol industry which is where he continues his career. Mr. Nelson has held city council positions on the Lake Preston and Arlington City councils. He also has served on multiple church boards as he moved for career changes. During his years in Lake Preston, he was trained and certified as an emergency medical technician, which he utilized on local ambulance crews and fire departments. Jack is married and has two children and three cherished grandchildren. Hobbies are aviation, fishing and spending time with his family.
Political Party:Democrat
Board Member Photo Name:  Steve Scharnweber
Position:  Business Management
City:  Pierre
Term End Date:  10/30/2020
Biography:
Appointed 2017. Steve Scharnweber grew up in central Iowa and went to work at C&NW in 1970 after one year at Iowa State University. He worked through several positions until promoted to management in 1977 in Boone Iowa. Steve left C&NW in 1995 when the Union Pacific purchased the company and came to Pierre SD as Director of Engineering for the DM&E. Promoted to Vice President of Engineering in 1998, he served in that position until retirement in 2008. During that process, the DM&E acquire the old IMRL Railroad and together formed the Cedar American Corporation with Headquarters in Sioux Falls. Retirement with his wife Mary involves traveling to Iowa to parental families and to Fargo, Helena and Phoenix to see kids and grandkids. Steve's hobbies included hunting and fishing.
Political Party:Republican