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Posted February 13, 2020 in News

Press Release: Falls Fintech Advisory Board

Group will advise Central Payments’ new fintech accelerator launching on March 9, 2020

(Sioux Falls, SD) Central Payments announced today its seven-member advisory board for Falls Fintech, the organization’s early-stage, onsite accelerator for upstart financial technology companies. Nikkee Rhody, Falls Fintech Managing Director and Co-founder, commented on the group: “This advisory board reflects our commitment to connecting accelerator participants with fintech pioneers and thought leaders, and this group’s contributions have already been felt as we finalize plans for our inaugural cohort.”

Twice per year beginning on March 9, 2020, the accelerator will bring a group of founders from five innovative financial technology companies to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take part in a 10-week curriculum that includes topics such as data security, regulatory compliance, venture capital, and leadership development. The experience culminates in a demo day attended by sponsors, investors, vendors, and the media. Trent Sorbe, President and Founder of Central Payments and Co-founder of Falls Fintech, adds: “Nikkee has assembled a distinguished and diverse advisory board made up of local and national leaders, successful fintech entrepreneurs, and financial policy experts. We are excited about the impact this group will have on our resident entrepreneurs and the leadership they bring to Falls Fintech.”

Joining Rhody and Sorbe on the Falls Fintech advisory board are Karen Andres, Bill Dana, Mike Huether, Kathryn Petralia, and Dr. Michael Roach.

Karen Andres
As the Director of Policy and Market Solutions and Project Director of the Retirement Savings Initiative at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Karen works to advance promising solutions to American families’ most pressing financial security challenges. Working across sectors and disciplines, Karen and her team seek to highlight market and policy gaps, jumpstart creative solutions, and build a diverse set of leaders who can turn ideas into action. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Karen spent over ten years at the Financial Health Network (formerly the Center for Financial Services Innovation).

Bill Dana
Bill currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board at Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC), a position he recently accepted after nearly three decades at the helm of CBKC as President and CEO. Bill spearheaded CBKC’s certification as a Community Development Financial Institution in 1998 and continues to direct the bank’s nationally-recognized New Market Tax Credit projects, which have created thousands of jobs in low and moderate income areas of Missouri and Kansas. Bill’s reputation for serving the urban core of Kansas City is exemplified by CBKC’s “Outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act rating for the past 25 consecutive years.

Mike Huether
Former Mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, “Mayor Mike” was sworn in to public office on May 17, 2010 and was soundly re-elected in 2014. Mike’s leadership and business skills were honed for 25 years at Citibank in South Dakota, New York, and Texas, along with PREMIER Bankcard in Sioux Falls. He left corporate America as an Executive Vice President at PREMIER to pursue a public service dream he held since the 6th grade. Mike recently released his first book titled, Serve.Lead.Win. and is the host of the television show, On the Road with Mike Huether on KELOLAND TV.

Kathryn Petralia
Kathryn has spent the past 25 years working with both startups and established companies focused on credit, payments, technology and ecommerce. Petralia started Kabbage, a small business lending site, along with her two cofounders in late 2008. In November 2017, she was recognized by Forbes as being the 98th most powerful woman in the world. In December 2017, she was listed in a TechCrunch feature on 42 women succeeding in tech that year. Prior to founding Kabbage, Petralia was with Revolution Money, an Internet-based credit card startup based in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she was Vice President of Strategy.

Dr. Michael Roach
Dr. Michael Roach currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business and Information Systems at Dakota State University, a founding educational partner of Falls Fintech. He is a former DSU baseball coach and is the current faculty advisor for the University’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Dr. Roach joined DSU after 19 years with Citibank South Dakota in roles ranging from Treasury Analyst to Bank Management. He earned his MBA in 1998 and his doctorate in Organization and Management in 2008. His courses at DSU include, among others, Entrepreneurship, International Management, and Organizational Behavior.

About Central Payments and Central Bank of Kansas City
Central Payments operates as the payments division of Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC) and is headquartered in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. The fastest growing prepaid card issuer since 2015*, Central Payments administers payment card and funds disbursement programs via retail, employer/payroll, and online outlets nationwide. CBKC is a 68-year-old family-owned bank located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri and one of 135 financial institutions in the country certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution. CBKC and Central Payments share the mission to provide high-quality financial products to consumers of modest means who historically have not enjoyed the benefits of affordable and accessible financial services. “Treat Each Customer’s Balance as Though It’s All They Have” guides our approach to product design, customer service, and affordability. Visit,, or for more information. Member FDIC.

* Source: The Nilson Report, 2015 to 2018.