Nathan Franzen, Keith Knuppe, Pennie Lutz Elected to SDBA Board of Directors

The South Dakota Bankers Association (SDBA), the professional and trade association for South Dakota’s financial services industry, recently held elections for three of the 10 seats on its Board of Directors. Elected to serve on the SDBA Board of Directors were:

  • Nathan Franzen, President of Ag Banking, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton
  • Keith Knuppe, Senior Vice President-Loan Officer, BankNorth, Warner
  • Pennie Lutz, President/CEO, Richland State Bank, Bruce

This is Franzen, Knuppe and Lutz’s first term on the SDBA Board of Directors. They started their three-year terms on May 1, 2021.

Photo of Nathan Franzen

Nathan Franzen

Nathan Franzen is president of ag banking at First Dakota National Bank in Yankton. He obtained degrees from Northern State University in management and marketing and an MBA from the University of South Dakota and is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Franzen began his banking career in 1994 and has worked at First Dakota for more than 20 years. He grew up on a diversified family dairy, grain and beef cattle farming operation in northeast South Dakota.

Franzen is past chair of the South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (SDARL) Foundation Board, ABA Agriculture and Rural Bankers Committee and SDBA Agricultural Credit Committee and is the current board chair for South Dakota Agricultural Foundation. He is also past president of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a faculty member for the National Schools for Ag Bankers and serves on the SDBA Ag Credit Committee.

Franzen and his wife, Michelle, have been married since 1992. They have two children: Bailey (age 24) and Kellen (age 21).

“I have always taken great pride in representing the industry that I love,” Franzen said. “Bankers play a vital role in their communities helping the citizens they serve gain improved financial success and security. This has never been more evident than during the recent pandemic. The world is changing fast, so it is important for experienced bankers to be engaged to represent our interests.”

“I am proud of the past efforts I have had in this regard through my work on SDBA committees and the ABA’s Ag & Rural Bankers Committee. Testifying in front of the House Ag Committee on farm bill related matters is one of many highlights from these experiences,” Franzen continued. “I look forward to working with the entire SDBA Board of Directors to be a strong and steady voice for our industry. My overall goal is to stay on top of all relevant issues of the day and assure the banking industry remains the pillars of our communities around this great state and beyond.”

Photo of Keith Knuppe

Keith Knuppe

Keith Knuppe is senior vice president-loan officer for BankNorth in Warner, where he has worked for 19 years (16 under First State Bank of Warner and the past three years for BankNorth). Knuppe was raised on a ranch by New Underwood and received an ag business degree with minors in economics and marketing from South Dakota State University.

Knuppe has been involved in the Warner football program as an assistant football coach and other youth programs since moving to Warner in 2000. Knuppe has served on the SDBA Ag Credit Committee for 15 years and was part of the 2013 National ABA Ag Conference planning committee.

Knuppe and his wife, Shannon, have three children: Gage (age 11), Kollins (age 8) and Blayne (age 6).

“I wanted to serve on the SDBA Board of Directors as a way to continue growing personally in my profession and as a way to give back to the industry that has given me so much over the past 20 years,” Knuppe said. “As my employer, BankNorth, is a small-town, rural bank that is mainly focused on agriculture, my goal for my term on the SDBA Board will include the continued promotion of the small-town, community bank and supporting agriculture. Telling the story of agriculture and how the small-town, community bank continues to be a vital lifeline to these operations will be a priority during my term.”

Photo of Pennie Lutz

Pennie Lutz

Pennie Lutz is president and CEO of Richland State Bank in Bruce, where she has worked for 25 years. She also serves as the bank’s compliance officer. Prior to joining the bank, she worked as an FDIC examiner out of the Sioux Falls office for almost seven years. Lutz, who is originally from Clear Lake, has a degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of South Dakota.

Lutz is an EMT with Bruce Fire and Rescue and is involved in the Bruce Community Club and her local church. She also serves on the SDBA’s Women in Banking Work Group.

Lutz and her husband, Rob, have been married for 27 years. They have a daughter Sierra (age 22), son Spencer (age 19) and a dog named Abby.

“After attending the SDBA’s first LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking Conference in 2018, I wanted to be more involved with the SDBA. I volunteered to help and met many amazing people as a result. That experience, and some recommendations from friends, moved me to pursue serving on the SDBA Board of Directors,” Lutz said. “Despite competition from online entities, credit unions and Farm Credit, I see community banks as the cornerstone of our small towns and surrounding communities. As an SDBA Director, I hope to be able to help South Dakota community banks remain competitive and continue growing.”

For a full list of SDBA Board of Directors, visit

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