SBA 504 loan officer Tracy Whitney retires, will continue as senior advisor and consultant

Tracy Whitney, Lewis & Clark Development Group’s SBA 504 Loan program officer, has retired from his day-to-day responsibilities but will continue as a consultant and senior advisor to the organization.

Whitney has 30 years of commercial lending experience. He joined Lewis & Clark Development Group (LCD Group) in 2007. Prior to that, Whitney worked in the aerospace industry, served as the economic development specialist for the South Central Dakota Regional Council, and owned and operated his own business consultancy.  

Whitney estimates he has put together more than 150 loan packages totaling north of $500 million over the course of the last 30 years. Fifty-five of those have been SBA loans Whitney secured during his time with LCD Group.

“Commercial lending is something I unexpectedly got into. I am a manufacturing engineer by background. I’ve always been technical in my thinking and approach. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but this really set me up well as a commercial lender, especially when it comes to the complexities of the SBA 504 loan process,” Whitney reflects.

LCD Group Executive Director Brent Ekstrom agrees: “Tracy’s experience really made the SBA 504 loan officer role more than what it is in other development organizations. Tracy brought his engineer’s mind and consultant experience to mold the position into that of a business advisor. Tracy’s approach has helped foster the one-stop small business assistance shop we’ve become for our clients.”

For these reasons, Ekstrom says he’s grateful Whitney has agreed to stay on as consultant and senior advisor, noting: “Clients and lenders are going to continue to benefit from Tracy’s expertise.”

At the end of the day, Whitney says it is about helping the clients. “Nothing is more satisfying than to walk into a new business or go to a project site and shake the hand of the client who is doing what they love because of what Lewis and Clark Development Group did for them.”

When it comes to his own work, Whitney praises Brent Ekstrom and the Lewis & Clark Development Group.

“Brent is the best employer I’ve ever had. I was once self-employed and I was meaner to myself as my own boss. What we have here at Lewis and Clark is a team that’s passionate about their work. It’s always, always about the client. We deal with numbers and projections all the time but we never lose sight of the client’s goal,” adds Whitney.

“This team is more than co-workers. They are friends who go above and beyond in taking the extra steps to make people’s dreams come true.”

Ekstrom says LCD Group is in the process of selecting Whitney’s successor, which he expects will be hired by the end of January.

In the meantime, all SBA 504 loan inquiries should be directed to Derrick Becker, who may be reached at (701) 667-7622 or at

Click here to learn more about LCD Group’s business loans program.