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April 23, 2019
Kristen Zueger has been named executive director of the Sioux Falls Sanford Health Foundation.
Zueger brings almost 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, most recently at Van Buskirk Cos., as well as a decade of volunteer service to the Sanford Foundation, where she served two consecutive terms as chair.
“After Sanford presented me with this opportunity and some considerable soul-searching on my part, I realized that this is what I was born to do,” Zueger said.
“I have waited all my life to make a difference, and this affords me that opportunity.”
Zueger said she’s most looking forward to leading “an incredible team of very capable individuals to make a difference in the lives of the patients and families served by Sanford Health.”
She sees significant opportunity to expand fundraising efforts in Sioux Falls and the region, she said.
“There is so much going on at Sanford, and they have an incredible story to tell. I have enjoyed watching this happen through my board involvement, and I am even more ecstatic to help increase awareness of Sanford through the foundation and to make others aware of that story,” Zueger said.
“All facets of the Sanford organization work together as a large, cohesive group, and their process by which they handle communications is amazing. I am most impressed with the manner in which the organization is continually growing and striving to become such a major player in the health care arena.”
Zueger begins her new role June 10. The job previously was held by Bobbie Tibbetts, who is now vice president of Sanford Health Foundation for the system.
“We’ve been able to work with Kristen for the past several years, and we’re so impressed by her enthusiasm and passion for her work,” Tibbetts said. “She’ll be a great addition to the Sanford family.”
Zueger joined Van Buskirk Cos. in 2013 and previously worked at Hegg Cos. She has been involved in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions in the Sioux Falls area and beyond, and has assisted investors nationwide by securing investment properties across the country.
She also has served extensively on area boards, including as the current president of Minnehaha Country Club, past president of the McCrossan Boys Ranch Foundation board, past president of the American Red Cross board and on the boards of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Girl Scouts – Dakota Horizons.
She plans to continue representing Lake Lorraine as she finalizes some deals there and will keep her real estate license active, though she doesn’t anticipate continuing to work in the industry.
“I want to make sure all of my clients are taken care of and will refer them to other brokers as needed but don’t plan to be actively involved beyond that,” she said. “The Van Buskirk family has been extremely great to work for all of these years and that continues as I transition out. I am truly blessed.”
Leaving a 29-year career in the industry is bittersweet, she added.
“Every deal I have done, both in Sioux Falls and nationally, has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment. From watching a structure arise from the ground as a result of a transaction to visiting a client in their new facility or helping them to establish a long-term cash flow investment for their children, it has been immeasurably satisfying,” she said.
“As I look at what lies ahead, I hope to lead the Sanford Health Foundation team to make a difference. This kind of work is rewarding on so many levels, as giving back has been instilled in me by my parents and is what truly helps give me satisfaction in what I do day in and day out.”
“I have waited all my life to make a difference, and this affords me that opportunity.” That’s why commercial real estate broker Kristen Zueger is making a big career change.