Cindy Elifrits Peterson,
President & CEO
Cindy is a proven expert in resource development with 17 years of experience in fundraising, volunteer management, strategic planning, board development, facilitation, program design, and outcome measurements.
From 2005 until 2010, Cindy directed the annual fundraising effort for the Sioux Empire United Way. Already boasting the second highest per capita of giving in the nation, under Cindy’s leadership the Sioux Empire United Way raised $44 million, producing a five-year increase of 20%. These results include two recessionary years where giving was down nationally. Prior to this role, Cindy worked at United Way of the Midlands in Omaha, Nebraska, and the United Way of Central Minnesota in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Holding a Master's of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Cindy has a unique way of bringing people together by identifying personal motivators and incorporating them into a common objective. At Maximizing Excellence, Cindy customizes each project specific to the strengths, mission, and goals of the organization and its individuals. Even though she is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Cindy is most known for being a catalyst of change while empowering and mentoring those involved in sustaining success.
Cindy lives in Salem, South Dakota, with her husband Kent, who farms in the area, and their children Alex and Maddie. In Sioux Falls, she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ South Dakota Chapter, is part of 100+ Women Who Care, and volunteers for the Sioux Empire United Way. Cindy is also a member of Downtown Rotary, serves on the board, and is currently chairing its Centennial Fund. Cindy was honored as a Sales & Marketing Executives CHAMPION in 2009 and recognized by the Sioux Falls Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 in the community. She is also a graduate of Leadership Sioux Falls and graduated from the inaugural class of Leadership South Dakota.
Contact Cindy at email@example.com.
Rika Peterson joined Maximizing Excellence, LLC in September 2013 as the Administrative and Project Coordinator. A Sioux Falls native, Rika graduated from Augustana College with her B.A. degree in psychology and sociology in 2012. She went on to pursue her Master's of Social Work degree at the University of South Dakota, graduating in 2014.
Rika is committed to the health and well-being of our community through practicing social work on the macro level, engaging data, volunteers, strategy, and planning for the greater good. She likes to say she does therapy on organizations, guiding them toward effective and impactful operation.
She sees philanthropy and volunteerism as agents of change that have the potential to better the individual and society. Rika co-chaired the American Cancer Society’s 9th Annual Lights, Camera, Action! Gala in 2016 and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, South Dakota Chapter. She is currently serving on Habitat for Humanity Sioux Falls' fund development committee.
Contact Rika at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project and Brand Director
Kacey McCarthy joined Maximizing Excellence, LLC in May 2017 as the Project and Brand Director. Kacey is a Sioux Falls native, graduated from Washington High School, and attained an Associate’s Degree from Southeast Technical Institute.
Kacey brings with her many years of fundraising and volunteer management experience, having spent the past 14 years at Sioux Empire United Way, most recently as the Campaign Director. During her time at United Way, Kacey was a part of developing and implementing fundraising strategies for a $7.1 million annual campaign that increased to over $10.3 million in 2016. With each campaign she worked with hundreds of volunteers training, motivating, and assisting them to achieve their individual goals to ensure overall campaign success.
Kacey is passionate about the Sioux Falls community and the opportunities that are offered for all residents. She has been a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run since 2005, was a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire, served as part of a mentor team through the Genesis program, and has helped to coordinate Henry’s Run, an annual 5K for child abuse prevention, since its inception in 2012.
She is a member of Sales and Marketing Executives of Sioux Falls, serving on the Scholarship Committee and previously co-chairing the Youth Benefit Auction. Kacey is a graduate of Leadership Sioux Falls 27 and has completed the Leadership Development Program through the Center for Creative Leadership.
Contact Kacey at email@example.com.
Brenda Boyer joined the Maximizing Excellence team in December 2016 as the administrative assistant. She is responsible for the day-to-day details of keeping the office running smoothly and provides project support.
A long-time Sioux Falls resident, Brenda has a degree in journalism from Mount Marty College. She has worked in an administrative support capacity at the University of Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader, and the City of Sioux Falls.
Brenda volunteers at the REACH a Reader bookstore in downtown Sioux Falls, and has been a Make-A-Wish South Dakota volunteer for more than 10 years.
Contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.