Skip to main content

Prairie Family Business Association Welcomes New Executive Director

Photo of Laura Schoen Carbonneau Laura Schoen Carbonneau has been hired as the new executive director of the Prairie Family Business Association.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Prairie Family Business Association (PFBA), a University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business outreach program that serves family businesses in the Midwest, has hired Laura Schoen Carbonneau as its new executive director, starting June 4.

"We are extremely honored to have Laura join PFBA,” said Venky Venkatachalam, dean of the USD Beacom School of Business. "Her wealth of knowledge and experience will provide the Prairie Family Business Association with the fresh perspective and energy necessary to propel the organization to the next level."  

Tura Synhorst, chair of the PFBA Advisory Board said, “We are excited for Laura to lead the organization continuing our efforts to evolve and grow regionally. Her extensive experience and passion working with family businesses through her past role with the chamber will be invaluable and offer great opportunities for us moving forward.”

Carbonneau comes to the Prairie Family Business Association with a strong background in non-profit and business development, currently serving as CEO of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce in Pierre, South Dakota. She also has experience in the governmental sector having worked in the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

The Prairie Family Business Association, founded in 1993, contributes to the Midwest economy through its mission of enhancing long-term survival and success of its family business members through quality education, programming and networking.

Prairie Family Business Association was founded in 1993 as a South Dakota family business initiative through the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business with the mission of enhancing the long-term survival and success of its family business members.


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News