Legacy is Putting Your Stamp on the Future.

With our roots planted deep in the “America’s Heartland” and the Midwest mentality, we have cultivated a team that leverages 60 years of industry experience with relationships at the center of our practice.  The old age concept of always work hard and serve others is deeply rooted in our souls and in our business.  Everything that matters to us in life boils down to relationships, first with God and then through relationships we have with those that are important to us.  

Our Mission:  is to help simplify your life so you can share your gifts and talents with others. Let us help you navigate life’s financial transitions with confidence knowing you have a trusted financial team behind you. We always offer an initial complimentary consultation to those who are interested in our services.

We enjoy helping couples who want to ensure their spouse feels comfortable and safe with the plan they have created during, through and after a life transition.  Most couples choose to work with our team because the husband wants to make sure that his wife is going to have advisor's that will respect her, listen to her and really do the right thing by her.  We use collaboration and open communication, so when the day comes she can continue on the planned path with our team next to her helping her make good decisions for herself and her family.  Many women also engage our team to help them approach their spouses about money topics and start planning as a couple.

Mary Howard, CIMA®, CRPC®, CDFA®

Senior Vice President
Financial Advisor

A Wealth of Experience:
Mary started her financial services career in 1991 and is the Senior Financial Advisor on our team. Her primary responsibility is serving both our new and longtime clients that have more complex wealth management needs.

Education/ Licensing: As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) Mary also works alongside clients who seek a financial advocate throughout and after their divorce process. Mary provides individualized support to help the client and their attorney navigate the intrinsic details of financial planning and analysis as it specifically relates to divorce. Along the way we create a financial and investment plan for these divorcees based on their new found "why, and what is important now" that they will take them forward into their new regained life. Mary has redefined investing and planning for women, by women.

Mary uses her love of Mathematics and her Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) certification to focus on our client's investment portfolios towards efficiency in the areas of year-round after-tax strategies and asset location emphasis. We leverage their personalized "Buckets of Money" risk managed strategy based on what a clients goals and tolerance for risk is. We want to know what is most important to each client to help guide making smart financial decisions as well as implementing and monitor their individualized investment solutions and their "Life by Design" financial plan.

  • From 2011 through 2017 Mary qualified for the Barron's Winner's Circle-Top Women Advisors Summit.
  • Was awarded the "Business Achievement Award" through EmBe's Tribute to women in 2017.
  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, 2014
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) from the College of Financial Planning, 2010
  • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), from the Wharton School of Business, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Minor in Military Science from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in 1984
  • Commissioned as an Officer in the Unites Stated Army- Air Defense Artillery in 1984 and served for ten years. She later served as a Military Intelligence Counter Intelligence Officer and attained the rank of Captain.
  • Qualified US Army Airborne parachutist in 1985. 
Giving Back:
  • Board Member South Dakota Investment Council, 2019 to present
  • Board Member Children's Home Society Foundation, 2019 to present
  • Board Member New Haven Ministries, 2019 to present
  • Past Chairman of the SDSU Foundation Board of Governors Board, 2017- 2018 *Served on the Board of Governors for 8 years
  • Council of Trustees for the SDSU Foundation, 2008 to present
Out of the Office: Mary has been married to Dave since 1984 and together they have three adult children Megan, Molly and Maxwel. Dave & Mary met while in ROTC at SDSU, where Mary received her military commission and attained the rank of Captain while serving in the United States Army. In her free time she loves to devote her time spending it with her family, women’s bible study and enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities and traveling.

Fun Facts About Mary:
*She loves to canoe with the loons and eagles in Ely, MN.
*Paratrooper/Airborne qualified as a US Army Captain.
*Mary shares a birthday (April 26th) with her son Max.

Megan Howard

Financial Advisor

Next Generation:  Megan leads our advanced financial planning services, confident women's events and client management services. She brings value to our clients and community by being an educator, resource, and colleague. Previous to Baird, she spent years in the banking and cosmetology industries.  While completing her bachelor's degree, she transitioned to banking and was promoted to the title of lead customer representative and personal banker for a regional bank in Sioux Falls.  Megan grew up with two hard working entrepreneur parents and has been instilled with hard work and a relationship based mentality. Being an oldest child of two successful Army officers she grew up with certain traits that help her and her business grow and succeed. 

"Being a young woman in a leadership role for our business, company and community is one of the biggest accomplishments.  My gift and purpose is helping support women, grow, learn and thrive.  Being a part of helping women is one of the biggest blessing's I get to be grateful for."- MKH


She completed her Bachelors of Science- Entrepreneurial Studies degree from South Dakota State University in 2015 and has completed her Certified Financial Planning Course through  Pepperdine University in 2018.  In 2020 Megan seeks to obtain her Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) designation as well as obtaining her Series 9- General Securities Sales Supervisor Options designation & Series 10 License- General Securities Sales Supervisor.  Megan is a graduate of 2019 Leadership Sioux Falls which is a rigorous program that limited participants are accepted.  Current licenses held:  Series 7, Series 66, Life and Health Insurance.  She also still holds her licensed as a Cosmetologist- State of South Dakota.


She enjoys her free time with numerous outdoor activities including gardening, DIY projects around her home, golfing and spending her time with loved ones. She has a lust for travel and took herself on a two week trip to England, Scotland and Ireland for her 30th birthday in 2019.  Megan gives back by serving on the Call To Freedom Breakfast Committee, mentor at Tallgrass Recovery Center as well as the pastoral staff of The River of Life Church in Canton, SD.  Past participation includes Feeding South Dakota, Sioux Falls Food Pantry, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program.  She is a past board member of the Sioux Falls Empire Stater's, Sioux Valley Optimists and Leadercast Sioux Falls.

Fun Facts About Megan:

*Megan enjoys her free time riding her Softail Slim HD Motorcycle.
*She has two tabby cat's named Oliver & Ali.
*As a military child she moved 10 places before turning 10.


Kim Erkonen

Financial Advisor

Wealth Protection Specialist: Kim has been working in the financial services industry since 1997 and has a wide array of experience in many facets of the industry. A true servant leader at heart, she found her love and passion in protecting her client’s wealth and settled into that focus for much of her career thus far. Kim has extensive experience working with business owners and professionals in the areas of asset and income protection, business continuation and practice transition. She is her client’s strongest advocate and will work tirelessly on their behalf for the best possible outcome. Financial matters can be overwhelming, and her desire is to make it not only easy to understand, but to give a sense of peace and security. Born and raised in South Dakota, Kim understands the commitment to integrity, hard work, education, community, and building strong relationships.

Education/Licensing: Kim completed her undergraduate work in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She continued on to receive her Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Sioux Falls in 2000. Continued growth and development are values she holds in high regard and is currently working toward her Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation. She also holds her Series (7), 6, 63, 65 and Life and Health Insurance licenses.

Out of the Office: Kim has been married to her husband Scott since 1997 and have four children, Andrew, Abby, Megan, Matt, along with 2 dogs and a cat. Brandon has been their home most of their married life. Kim and Scott love to support their kiddos in their activities and are heavily involved in serving the youth of the community. Living a life of service is foundational to their family and Kim dedicates much of her free time to running a local non-profit, First Priority of the Great Plains. She also serves on the Foundation Board for Volunteers of America and is active on several local committees.

Fun Facts about Kim: She loves to work out, and has run several full and half marathons and checked off an ultra-marathon from her bucket list.

Tyler T. Osterloo

Client Assistant

Tyler joined Baird’s Sioux Falls branch in 2018, contributing to their many years of experience. Tyler specializes in client service and loves getting to know clients. His attention to detail and thorough work ethic ensure that client’s needs are not only met, but exceeded.

Education:  Tyler graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2014, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. Previous to joining Baird Tyler held multiple positions in the financial industry including lead teller at CorTrust and sales specialist in student loans at Wells Fargo.

Out of the Office:  Tyler resides in Sioux Falls where he has lived for the past 10 years. He makes a point to be involved in the community by volunteering at the South Dakota backpack program where he helps supply food to the underprivileged youth. When he has free time he loves to play volleyball, basketball, and spend time with his two cats; Gurl and Socks.

Valerie Minerts

Branch Operations Assistant

Providing you and your family with the best possible financial guidance is something we take personally. That’s why we are so pleased to announce the addition of Valerie Meinerts to our practice as a Part Time Branch Operations Assistant to The Howard Group in our Sioux Falls, SD office.

Val has the desire to help others and shares the belief that each client situation is unique, and our objective in working together is to help each and every one of our clients fulfill their financial goals.

After owning a salon and photography business for 15 years, her experiences have allowed her to manage multiple challenges while creating the best client experience and growing her business. 


Liberal Arts // MN West Technical & Community College
January 2020 - current

E-Business // Colorado Tech
Summer - 2001

Math Teaching // Northwestern College
August 2000 - May 2001

Special Education Paraprofessional // Hills-Beaver Creek High School
August - 2019 // Present

Owner, Cosmetologist & Photographer // Valocity Studios
May - 2006 // current