See What Our Clients Have to Say

“Our recent Strategic planning experience with Maximizing Excellence was nothing short of phenomenal! Through their expert facilitation, our board engaged in honest and vulnerable conversations that led to a deeper understanding of roles and responsibilities, and a unified vision for the future.

With Maximizing Excellence at the helm, we not only clarified expectations but also gained invaluable buy-in for an expanded vision of what our agency can achieve and the actionable steps needed to make it a reality. Their approach made the entire process smooth and empowering, fostering an environment where everyone felt heard and valued.

Here’s to a brighter future,
Guided by Maximizing Excellence’s strategic prowess!"

Cassie Nagel

Executive Director, River City Domestic Violence Center

“When the Skatepark Association received the Community Appeals slot with the Chamber of Commerce we were a bit overwhelmed at the scope of fundraising. An experienced fundraiser I met along the way recommended reaching out to Maximizing Excellence. That was the best advice we received throughout this process. Without Kacey, Cindy, and their team our project would have floundered. With their insight and direction, not only did we succeed, but we surpassed the goal and connected the dots to additional funding from the City. Is there a 100 star recommendation available? They helped a bunch of old skateboarders secure $2.5 million dollars for a skatepark. They must be magicians. They deserve 100 stars.”

Walter Portz

Founder, Sioux Falls Skate Park Association

“We have found Cindy to be a highly accomplished professional who brings impacting expertise, an engaging personality, and a sincere calling to our efforts to fund our ministry of services. For years, Cindy has played a significant role as we have built a new advancement team, re-focused our messaging for growing and diversifying our financial base, and set meaningful production goals. Most importantly, we truly consider her to be a member of our Executive Team and celebrate her presence among us!”

Dennis Hoffman

CEO/President,Volunteers of America, Dakotas

“One word to describe partnering with Maximizing Excellence “DELIGHTFUL”!!!! Cindy and Rika are simply wonderful. Their professionalism is beyond compare and the knowledge of the organization is tremendous. Cindy’s extensive experience in fundraising and event organizing is extremely valuable. The relationships she builds with clients and the community is even more valuable!! Thank you, Maximizing Excellence, for helping make Special Olympics shine!”

Darryl Nordquist

President/CEO, Special Olympics South Dakota

“I’m so grateful that Cindy Elifrits Peterson had the vision and bravery to start her own business all those years ago. The service she provides Sioux Falls helps non-profits achieve more than they ever could without her help. She really does Maximize Excellence!

Cindy and I started to work together several years ago on the Huether Family Match Pointe. Because of her leadership, experience, and positivity, we were able to exceed our Community Appeals goal by 25%!

Cindy’s professional services are top notch. But her personal attributes are right up there too. She is organized, plans ahead, runs good meetings, and gathers input from others. She’s never afraid to admit an error. She’s open to looking at things from another perspective. She’s willing to change her mind. And, she has a great sense of humor and is unfailingly warm.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Cindy.”

Jennifer Kirby

Community Volunteer

“Maximizing Excellence has been an exceptional asset to our organization. Active Generations has had the privilege of working with Cindy and her team in various strategic planning management and fundraising strategy functions. Without question it was very productive, professional, and organized. The outcomes were educational and provided great insight into our future. Cindy is very knowledgeable and perceptive, but yet is a personable, caring, and enthusiastic individual. Her skills are exceptional in stimulating meaningful discussion, accomplishing goals, and ensuring the organization is equipped with the tools needed to be successful.”

Gerald Beninga

Retired CEO, Active Generations

“We had the opportunity to work with Rika during the creation of the South Dakota State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. Rika facilitated our work group meetings, played a critical role in executing a statewide needs assessment, and compiled and organized data which eventually culminated into the State Plan.

I can’t say enough about Rika’s organizational skills and her professionalism. She was always well-prepared, and her presentations are thorough and insightful. Rika works well with a variety of personalities and does a fine job of keeping meetings on-task and productive. She researched Alzheimer’s and dementia and became well-versed in the issues surrounding the disease which aided in the needs assessment process. During our work with Maximizing Excellence, and specifically Rika, she became an extension of our work group – a trusted ally as we embarked on this important work.”

Leslie Morrow

State Executive Director, Alzheimer's Association

“Maximizing Excellence assisted the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation in establishing a major, annual fundraising event. Their insight in branding the event for target audiences was invaluable to our organization. Cindy was also instrumental in developing a detailed work plan and she kept us on task in executing the work plan. I recommend Maximizing Excellence with high regard.”

Jim Wiederrich

Attorney/Shareholder, Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C.

“Sioux Falls Thrive was created in 2017 with a unique strategy for bringing together disparate organizations to improve quality of life and support the future workforce. We knew we needed a strong partner to lead our facilitated collaborations, and we found it in Maximizing Excellence. With help from key staff Rika and other MaxEx staff, dozens of Thrive volunteers are working to realign existing resources, remove obstacles to student success, and foster opportunities for all children.”

Michelle Erpenbach

President, Sioux Falls Thrive

“Maximizing Excellence assisted us with Strategic Planning. Rika Peterson and her team did an excellent job! They explained the process in detail, so we knew what to expect. We worked collaboratively to develop the surveys and plan the retreat. The retreat was phenomenal, and the time flew by! They got everyone involved and helped us formulate our ideas into concrete goals. There was positive energy and excitement in the room. Our final reports were well organized, easy to understand, and broken down into attainable goals to move our organization forward. I am grateful for Maximizing Excellence for providing guidance and empowering us to be even more successful in the future.”

Vicki Stewart

Executive Director, Employment Disability Resources

“Rika Peterson and the team at Maximizing Excellence were hired by Friends of the Firesteel to assess the capacity for a fundraising campaign. Throughout the process of working with our board, the forming of our fundraising feasibility task force, the survey creation, the marketing design, and the interviews with key leaders in the community, the Maximizing Excellence team was professional, organized, and efficient with their work. They took the time to listen to key user groups and individuals to get the messaging right to ensure a successful feasibility study. Rika and Cindy were very helpful in assisting our team to know the next steps in the process. In the end, the feasibility study results were shared with us, and those results were again given with the next steps that they recommended to help our fundraising efforts become a success. We would certainly recommend the Maximizing Excellence team to those organizations testing the waters on the potential for a major fundraising effort.”

Mark Puetz

Secretary of Friends of the Firesteel, Puetz Construction, Mitchell, South Dakota

“I worked with Maximizing Excellence while serving as Chair of the Sales and Marketing Executives’ Women in Business Event in 2022. From initial brainstorming meetings, to committee strategy sessions, to impromptu phone calls and text messages, Kacey was there every step of the way throughout the planning process. After taking 2 years off from an in-person event due to Covid, we wanted to leave an impression for sponsors and attendees, and deliver value to the community. Re-envisioning this staple Sioux Falls event was a team effort, and Kacey was lockstep with our group of volunteers through the entirety of the project. At times this meant multiple meetings a week, and Kacey was a staple at all of them. Kacey and her team offer valuable insight and expertise, while empowering volunteers to make decisions and execute their visions successfully. I am so thankful for Kacey and Jourdyn’s help with the SME Women in Business Event, and would be thrilled to work with them on other projects in the future!”

Olivia Essig

Senior Community Relations Specialist, Sanford Health

“The decision to hire Maximizing Excellence to be a part of the Opening Doors – The Campaign for Longfellow Center was certainly one of the best and easiest decisions we made. By enlisting the skills that Cindy has honed over the years, it allowed different members of the team to step up and concentrate on specific roles that have ultimately led to a campaign that went over goal! She has a way of inspiring buy in and making it personal for participants."

Nathan Stallinga

Executive Director, Dakotabilities

“I worked with Cindy for 7 1/2 years. She possesses a rare combination of attitude, aptitude, intelligence, and charisma! She doesn’t start with a fundraising goal. She starts with gaining a fundamental understanding of the organization, its mission and values, and its people–leaders, staff, volunteers, community supporters, and clients. Only when she understands the need, the mission, the values, and the people, does Cindy build the case for fundraising and/or financial success. She lays the foundation for success, one piece at a time. Once she has a solid foundation in place, Cindy’s charisma, vision, and energy help ensure that her clients maximize excellence!”

William L. Baker

Board Chair, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls

“I have had the pleasure of working with Cindy on all levels of a fundraising campaign and the operations of a non-profit organization. Her knowledge of key issues and opportunities is exceptional. Cindy’s relational skills allow her to command a room and bring people together for overall success.”

Scott Lawrence

CEO/Partner, Lawrence & Schiller, Inc.


Who is MaxEx?

Our team of six has shared our combined decades of experience in fundraising, facilitation, data collection, volunteer management, event coordination, and capacity building with more than 150 organizations across the Midwest.


Reach out to learn more!

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