More information about the Women In Leadership: Focusing on the Future Speakers

Dr. Priscilla Romkema, Dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences at Black Hills State University, was born and raised in Spearfish where she earned her undergraduate degree at BHSU. She went on to the University of Wyoming to earn a M.S. in business education and a Ph.D. in education. She taught at various universities including Northern Michigan University, the University of Wyoming, and the Independent Institute of Russian Entrepreneurship in Moscow, Russia. Priscilla is currently a member of the Zonta Club of Spearfish, the Spearfish Area Community Foundation, the Ponderosa Apartments board, and the Regional Health Board of Trustees.  An avid runner, Priscilla has competed in seven Boston Marathons and will compete in the 2013 New York City Marathon. Priscilla was awarded the South Dakota Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion of the Year in 2011.

Dr. Wei Song received her Ph.D. in Marketing/Management from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Dr. Song has solid international experience in the business world.  She has worked for a major US corporation as a senior facility analyst.  She has also taught classes in a range of universities, including USA, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada and China. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Black Hills State University, USA.  Her research interests are in the areas of marketing strategy, consumer behavior, social media marketing and Chinese own brand strategy. She is also a respected scholar in the area of teaching business ethics and international cultural comparative studies.  She has chaired various sessions at the international conferences and publishes papers regularly. In addition, Dr. Song served as an external examiner for Ph.D. dissertation and a reviewer for the multiple international journals.

 Dr. Barbara Looney has a PhD in English (Univ of So Fla), a Master’s in English (Rutgers Univ), and a Bachelor of Science in Education (BHSU). She is assistant professor for two colleges. She teaches Managerial Communications, a persuasive business writing course, for the School of Business, and Humanities, a survey of human expression, for the School of Liberal Arts. Additionally she co-advises the Enactus Team.  Looney also holds paralegal certification (Univ of Maryland). Prior to her collegiate academic career, Looney worked in private industry as a Customer Service Representative for the Sheraton Hotel Corporation in Boston, as a Congressional staff assistant in Washington, D.C., as a corporate paralegal for law firms in Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, NC, and as the assistant manager of a bar supply company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  For three years in Copenhagen, Denmark, she held leadership positions with both the American Women’s Club and International Women’s Group, for whom she organized events and projects that benefited women from around the globe.   Looney taught high school English and coached debate for four years in Miami, FL, and for a decade she was a Den Leader for Boy Scouts and a Troop leader for Girl Scouts in Georgia, where she received the Lighthouse Award from the Atlanta Area Council for her leadership.

Laura Prosser has been an accounting professor at Black Hills State University since 2002.  In addition to teaching accounting in both Spearfish and Rapid City, she is the program chair for the BHSU accounting and business programs at the University Center in Rapid City.  Laura also serves on the board of directors at Northern Hills Federal Credit Union in Sturgis. In 1988, Laura earned her CPA certification and in 2011 she completed the requirements for her CMA certification (Certified Management Accountant).      Prior to teaching at BHSU, Laura taught accounting and business courses at National American University in Rapid City where she chaired the accounting assessment committee.  Laura was also the assistant controller at Washington Federal Savings Bank in Hillsboro, Oregon for three years.  Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of South Dakota.  Working with finances and budgets in personal and business applications are some of Laura’s favorite parts of accounting and financial management.  Laura and her husband David reside in Sturgis, SD and have three grown (or nearly grown) children. 

Linda Rabe is the President and CEO of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce.  Prior to that she served as the Chamber’s Vice President for 12 years, and was the Convention Sales Director for the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau, a division of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce, for 5 years. Linda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing from National American University.  She is the only Certified Chamber Executive in South Dakota, a 2000 graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute Program, and is a graduate of Leadership Rapid City, class of 1993. Linda is also certified in Convention Services and Finance/Administration through the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.  Linda was honored with National American University’s 2002 Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the 2008 Girls Scouts Woman of Distinction, the 2009 Cosmopolitan Distinguished Service Award, and was one of 130 civilians nationwide selected to attend the Air Force War College in 2005.She serves on the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Board, Destination Rapid City, Black Hills Vision Board, and on several non-profit boards throughout the community, including Junior Achievement and Partnership Rapid City. This year she is serving as the Chair of the United Way and Black Hills Business Council

 Dr. Helen Usera is the owner and president of Aspiring Business Consulting, a consulting company focused on leadership development, organizational development and team building. She is a certified John Maxwell Team coach and mentor and is also certified with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Helen received a Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University; a Masters of Science, Special Education from Pittsburg State University; a Doctorate of Education, Educational Administration from the University of Kansas; and an Ed.D., Educational Administration from the University of Kansas. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Board of Directors for the National Relief Charities and is a board member for the Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity