Feature 504: Whispering Winds Senior Living Center, Howard, SD

Christina Konechne fulfilled her lifelong dream of owning a long-term care facility by purchasing Whispering Winds Senior Living Center in Howard, SD. First PREMIER Bank in Madison, SD, and First District Development Company via the SBA 504 loan program, paired up to provide Christina and Marty Konechne with the necessary financing. With the SBA loan involved, the Konechnes were able to lock in on low fixed SBA 504 interest rates for a 25 year term. This will keep their debt payments manageable, maximizing cash available for working capital. To complete the financing package, the Konechnes utilized a HELP Fund loan from Howard’s wholesale power supplier, Heartland Consumers Power District.

The Konechnes reside in Madison, where Christina works as an executive support specialist for East River Electric and Marty is an elementary physical education teacher for the Madison Central School District. Prior to her current employment, Christina, spent the past seven years, as the chief operations officer for a health care facility in Howard, SD. Christina left her position with the health care facility when she received word the owners of a long-term care facility in Howard were wanting to sell.

In preparation for this new endeavor, Christina had put in many years of hard work – earning her Bachelor of Science in SLHS (Speech, Language, and HeaWhisperWinds2ring Sciences) and Healthcare Administration, as well as her Graduate Certificate in Long-Term Care Management and her Master of Science Degree in Healthcare Administration. In addition, Christina has worked as a caregiver and as an executive director for several years at two other long-term care facilities. Christina’s passion for long-term care began at an early age when her mother worked as a caregiver on an Alzheimer’s unit at a long-term care facility.

Whispering Winds Senior Living Center has operated as an assisted living center since it was built in 2001. Whispering Winds has 17 private single bedrooms and two suites, providing for a maximum capacity of 21 residents. Whispering Winds is a homelike, resident-centered community. Compassionate staff, home-style meals, and quality care comprise their core values. Staff members are available 24 hours a day for assistance. The following services are provided to residents: three home cooked meals and snacks daily, exercise programs, recreational activities, laundry and housekeeping, beauty salon, emergency call system, coordination of care needs, and family involvement. Whispering Winds has a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietician Consultant, and a Pharmacy Consultant on staff and they will assist with physician communication.

Upon Christina taking over management, the residents at Whispering Winds will continue to see familiar faces, as the existing executive director, registered nurse, and registered dietician are all staying on board.

FDDC wishes the Konechnes and the team at Whispering Winds a bright future of continuing to provide excellent care to their residents. Also, FDDC congratulates Christina on accomplishing one of her lifelong dreams – certainly, it has been well earned!

[New owners, Christina and Marty Konechne, far right, are pictured with L to R, Heartland Director of Economic Development, Casey Crabtree; First District Development Company Loan Officer, Shelby Kraemer; First PREMIER Bank Vice President Market Leader, Floyd Rummel; Whispering Winds Executive Director, Kim Eggert; and former owner, Ryan Spader.]