Personal Care, Service and Understanding
I have over 45 years of advanced business experience, including the ownership, management, marketing and operations of multi-faceted businesses and industries.
After studying Architectural Design at Iowa State and Black Hills State Universities, I began my business career in 1958 as a Contractor, Designer and Installation Supervisor of mechanical systems for a family-owned business, Mellgren’s Inc. In the late 60’s, I constructed, owned and managed three low income housing projects. In 1973, I established numerous corporations, becoming Co-Owner and Director of Operations, and developing, building and operating twelve Taco John’s Mexican restaurants in the Minneapolis-St.Paul region, and four Burger King restaurants at various locations throughout Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota. I managed all facets of these franchises, including site acquisition, construction, marketing and personnel operations for over 400 employees.
Upon divesting my corporations, I relocated to Hawaii in 1980 and opened the first "One Hour Photo" facility in Kihei, Maui. In Hawaii, I chartered Olsen Export Trading Company, sourcing and exporting American products to Japan and establishing partnership offices in Aoyama, Tokyo. In 1990, the firm completed a unique project by which Mount Rushmore (the U.S. "Shrine of Democracy") was replicated in 1/3 actual scale size in Japan's Western Village at Imaichi. The two-year venture involved marketing consultant Dentsu Corporation, Asahi Contractors, high-level diplomatic consultations, and cost over $10 million. I then returned to my home state of South Dakota.
In 1992, I accepted the Directorship of Technical/Customer Support for Magnum Diamond Corporation of Rapid City. From 1992 to 1994, I developed the firm's Risk Management Programs, Client Support systems, monitored surgical training issues, product sales and certifications. During my tenure, sales accelerated by over 800%. When the company was acquired by Chiron Ophthalmics and relocated to the west coast, I opted to remain in Rapid City. Between 1995 and 2000, my wife, Carol Rae, and I operated a marketing and media production business in Fort Collins, CO.
I entered the real estate market in 2000, employing my diverse business skills to professionally assist buyers and sellers of commercial properties, 1031 Exchanges, farm and ranch properties, and residential properties in and around the Rapid City and greater South Dakota regions.
My primary hobbies include my children, six grandchildren, and competing on the old western-style Cowboy Mounted Shooting national pro circuit. As charter members of the Black Hills Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association, Carol & I enjoy their many quarter horses and in 2003, joined the British White Cattle breeding program, yielding specifically refined bulls and heifers. RockyTop Ranch, nestled in the matchless Black Hills west of Rapid City, is our private retreat.