Brookings-area business briefs published 02-06-24


Brookings residents open Dream Vacations franchise

BROOKINGS — Vicki and John Folkerts recently completed a training program to become a certified Dream Vacations travel agent in Brookings. As a result of being part of the nation’s leading home-based travel agent franchise network, the Folkerts have access to the best cruise and land vacation deals and Dream Vacations’ exclusive, elite product and service offerings.

“We look forward to providing hassle-free planning of your next dream vacation. Not only can working with a travel advisor take the work out of booking your getaway, but we can also provide you with many money saving discounts and perks. A common misconception is that it costs more to use a travel advisor. This isn’t the case at all, in fact most find it less expensive with our special promotions and perks," said Folkerts, Dream Vacations travel adviser and franchise owner.

To complete the certification program, the Folkerts participated in in-depth training and workshops including sales and marketing seminars; product briefings by major cruise lines; hands-on computer systems orientation introducing new agents to CruiseControl, a proprietary customer relationship manager, sales reporting and reservation system; and onboard ship inspections at the state-of-the-art Dream Vacations training center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Consumers can browse Vicki and John Folkerts & Associates new Dream Vacations web site,, complete with a live search engine and booking capabilities, or contact them for expert, personalized guidance in planning memorable vacations. Vicki and John Folkerts & Associates walks clients step-by-step through the entire booking and planning process, from selecting destinations and excursions based on clients’ interests to providing packing lists and enhancing special occasions.

As a Dream Vacations franchise owner, the Folkerts are now part of the World Travel Holdings family of brands, one of the top travel retail networks in the world with incredible buying power with every major cruise line and many tour operators, resulting in exceptional low prices and exclusive offers such as upgrades, discounts and more.

For more information or to book a dream vacation, call 605-695-8582 or visit

Dacotah Bank honored for being a top workplace

ABERDEEN — Dacotah Bank has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2024 honor by Great Plains Top Workplaces. This marks the first year for Dacotah Bank receiving this honor and the company is proud to be ranked No. 3 (in the company size of 500+). Dacotah Bank strives to be one of the top workplaces and an employer of choice throughout our territory. This recognition is a testament to our efforts to center our focus around our employees, communities, customers, and shareholders.

“In addition to an enhanced paid parental leave program, we eliminated employee-paid premiums for medical and dental insurance for employees and their families and believe these changes demonstrate our commitment to the entire Dacotah Bank family, all of whom contribute so much to the Company and the communities in which we live and work,” said Chairman and CEO Robert Fouberg.

This list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The confidential survey uniquely measures the employee experience based on and its component themes, including employees feeling Respected & Supported, Enabled to Grow, and Empowered to Execute, to name a few.

“Earning a Top Workplaces award is a badge of honor for companies, especially because it comes authentically from their employees,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “That’s something to be proud of. In today’s market, leaders must ensure they’re allowing employees to have a voice and be heard. That’s paramount. Top Workplaces do this, and it pays dividends."