#TeamTSP controller Brenda Moore has been named to Prairie Business’ Top 25 Women in Business for 2021, joining other creative, successful businesswomen in North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Minnesota.

Brenda is one of only five women from South Dakota who made the list. You can find all the names here.

Recipients were selected through a nomination process that emphasized professional achievement, community contributions, and volunteerism. According to the magazine, “The 25 women listed come from finance, health care, engineering and other industries, and have made exceptional contributions in their chosen fields and communities.”

“We admire and express our gratitude for these women for the many things they do in business and community to make this region a better place to live and work for each of us,” says Andrew Weeks, editor of Prairie Business. “We’re honored to showcase these women and their achievements.”

CEO Jared Nesje nominated Brenda for the honor. Other team members who have been honored by Prairie Business include architect Chase Kramer, 40 Under 40 in 2020, and architect Michelle Klobassa, 40 Under 40 in 2018. TSP also was named one of 50 Best Places to Work in 2020.

Following is Brenda’s nomination:

In a tumultuous year, TSP, Inc. controller Brenda Moore led our firm through planned and unplanned changes with vision, financial acumen, and foresight. With her leadership, our 60-person architectural and engineering firm emerged from 2020 strongly positioned for future growth.

As controller, she oversees the company’s financial operations. A major responsibility in 2020 involving implementing an ESOP, or employee stock ownership plan. While the novel coronavirus pandemic slowed the pace of that change, it was completed before the end of the year. Team members now are at 53% ownership with a five- to 10-year goal of 100% ownership.

“As controller her world is numbers and dollars. Yet she is one of the most approachable and kind people I have ever met,” says Tim Jensen, an engineer and Sioux Falls office leader. “Brenda understands that relationships, with both our staff and our clients, are the most important thing to our firm. She guided us through the very complex transition from a privately owned company to an ESOP, all the while balancing the human need from all staff to understand and feel comfortable in this new approach. She was patient with questions and always found the answer if she didn’t immediately have it­–which was rare. This effort to educate our staff was key to understanding and feeling comfortable with this new approach that will be a huge benefit for all TSP staff, now and in the future.”

The pandemic also led to uncertainty in many professions, and ours certainly felt the impact. When the opportunity for Paycheck Protection Program loans came about, Brenda led TSP through the often-complicated application procedure. Under her leadership, TSP received the necessary funds to keep all team members employed through the pandemic and the 90-year-old company remained on solid footing.

During this period, Brenda maintained community involvement as much as possible. Children need to know adults outside their family circle take an interest in their lives and activities. Her own first seven years of education took place in a two-room schoolhouse isolated on the South Dakota prairie, where the distance between communities limited adult opportunities.

That background has led Brenda, a mother of two young children, to seek out volunteer activities when she can make a difference in the lives of other youngsters. As a mentor with Junior Achievement of South Dakota, Brenda is in her third year of working with kindergarten students and middle-schoolers. She chose Junior Achievement because it would allow her direct involvement and she could demonstrate the importance of a strong background in financial literacy to boys and girls.

Although the program will change this year in response to the pandemic, moving to entirely online, Brenda still knows she can develop relationships, especially with the kindergarteners. Those past gatherings took place in five 45-minute sessions, giving Brenda the ability to repeatedly interact with the enthusiastic youngsters. Relationships with middle-school students develop more quickly through JA in a Day but are no less satisfying.

Brenda’s interest in children also led her to serve as TSP’s champion, or chairwoman, during the 2019 Supply Our Schools (S.O.S.) distribution of fully supplied backpacks through The Banquet, a local feeding ministry. Brenda recruited coworkers as volunteers, and together they devoted a day to helping children from low-income families choose from hundreds of backpacks that would hold everything they needed to start the school year fully supplied. An earlier session brought coworkers together to assemble the pencils, markers, notebooks, and other supplies needed for each school district.

Brenda’s belief system is rooted in her family, her faith, and her friendships. Her goals are simple: “I know I have the ability to help, and I want to use it as much as I can,” she said. “It’s hard to explain the impact you feel in your own life when you see something as simple as a child being excited by a new backpack.” The pandemic halted plans for 2020’s S.O.S. distribution, but Brenda will be the firm’s champion again in 2021.

In non-pandemic years, TSP gives its team a chance to participate in a variety of events focusing on children and adults. In the past, Brenda has participated in serving breakfast at The Banquet, Special Olympics, and Lunch is Served, Inc. The latter prepares meals later distributed to day laborers.

Brenda also serves as a community-impact volunteer with Sioux Empire United Way, on the finance council for St. Lambert Catholic Church, and on the Student-Family Organization board at her children’s elementary school. She graduated from the Women’s Leadership Program through EmBe (formerly the YWCA).

Brenda graduated from Augustana University with three separate bachelor’s degrees: economics, professional accountancy, and business administration. She joined TSP, Inc., a multidisciplinary architectural and engineering firm, in 2007 as an accountant and was promoted to controller in April 2013.

Brenda is compassionate, professional, kind, and valued by her team members. TSP Human Resources Manager Kari Kiesow describes Brenda as “confident, contagious in her enthusiasm, and a leader.”