BHFCU staff member selected for Elevate Leadership Institute class of 2024

RAPID CITY, SD (October 10, 2023)Black Hills Federal Credit Union’s (BHFCU) nearly 400  staff members are guided daily by its mission to improve lives. That’s why it was no surprise  when Mike Nelson, Process Improvement Analyst, was selected for Elevate Leadership  Institute’s class of 2024. 

“I was very excited when I learned I’d been selected for the next Elevate Leadership Institute class,” Nelson said. “One of the main reasons I stayed in Rapid City after college is because I  love the area and became engrained in the community.” 

Elevate Leadership Institute’s mission is to better the region’s future by instilling individuals with leadership qualities and perspectives that mold everyday actions. Since Nelson made Rapid  City home, he has been seeking out opportunities to help improve the community. 

“I’m looking forward to learning more about how Elevate defines a great leader in our  community,” Nelson said of the program. “I look forward to broadening my horizons, finding  ways to positively impact the community I chose to call home, and leaving the program as the  best leader I can be.” 

A South Dakota native, Nelson moved to Rapid City to study Industrial Engineering and  Engineering Management at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. During this  time, he also served six years as a jet engine mechanic in the South Dakota Air Force National  Guard. While in college, Nelson also met his wife, and after graduation, they agreed Rapid City  was the place they wanted to make a life. 

In his role at BHFCU, Nelson uses much of the knowledge he picked up while studying  engineering management. Having studied process improvement through Lean and Six Sigma  methodologies and earned his Green Belt Certification, he was naturally set up to help  streamline and improve BHFCU’s processes and workflows. Before joining the BHFCU team in  2022, Nelson worked at Property Meld, as a realtor and in the service industry. 

“A big part of what I do is foster a culture of continuous improvement for the credit union,”  explained Nelson. “My favorite part of my job happens during the initial investigation phase. I  have the opportunity to interview team members that the change in question would touch to help  understand the magnitude of the process improvement we are trying to make.” 

As a Process Improvement Analyst, Nelson most enjoys helping connect staff and building  relationships. He counts bringing people from different departments together to solve a problem  as one of his greatest accomplishments. 

When he’s not helping streamline processes, Nelson enjoys spending time with his wife and two  cats. He also loves golfing, snowboarding, and gaming with friends. 

BHFCU congratulates Mike for the well-deserved recognition as a 2024 Elevate Leadership  Institute class member.

Mike Nelson


About Black Hills Federal Credit Union

Established in Rapid City in 1941, Black Hills Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit  financial cooperative serving more than 105,000 members. The community-chartered credit union  has locations in Rapid City, Box Elder, Custer, Eagle Butte, Hot Springs, Pierre, Sioux Falls,  Spearfish, Sturgis, and Wall, South Dakota, and Billings, Montana. For more information, visit


Leslie Millard
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(605) 858-6098

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