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Argus Leader Q&A Spotlight on Alumnus Vance Goldammer

Honest Abe Sparked Goldammer's Law Career

Rosemary McCoy, Argus Leader

The Question and Answer feature helps readers learn more about prominent people in the business community. This issue’s Q&A profiles Vance Goldammer '72, lawyer and partner at Murphy, Goldammer & Prendergast LLP.

Q: Tell me about your interests and hobbies.

A: “Other than my family, friends and vocation, it would be mainly sports and travel, and I sometimes combine both. We have traveled to Augusta, GA, to watch the Masters golf tournament for 20 consecutive years and have attended 23 World Series.”

Q: How did you become interested in your field?

A: “I am not really sure, but my mother found an assignment I wrote in fourth grade on what I wanted to be when I grew up and why, and I said, 'I want to be a lawyer when I grow up, because Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and he was a good man.' I had never met a lawyer and our family never needed legal assistance, so I have no other explanation for my interest.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: “My clients. As a lawyer, people place great confidence in you, and I really appreciate the personal relationships that have developed as I have worked with my clients, many of them for over 30 years. And I have great partners and a fantastic staff.”

Q: How do you find time to balance your job and your family?

A: “You always have to prioritize. I remind myself that my career is what I do, but my family is what I am.”

Q: Do you have a charity or organization that’s especially close to your heart?

A: “I served 13 years on the board of trustees at Augustana College. Augie is such a great resource to Sioux Falls, and its graduates are very prevalent in and important to our community, especially among educators, doctors, nurses, business and other professions. I also served on the board of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, which helps hundreds of donors give back to this great city that has given so much to us.”

Q: What sparked your commitment to public service?

A: “To me it was a natural response and a way of thanking those that helped pave the way for us. I feel we all have a duty to give back in ways we can.”

Q: What has been your most rewarding experience in the past year?

A: “There are two: Sherry and I spending time with our 18-month-old grandson, and Paul and Meghan’s wedding.”

Q: What’s your favorite getaway?

A: “Sherry and I prefer the beach–almost any beach.”

Q: If you could take a one-year sabbatical, what would you do?

A: “We would travel and relax, and I would want to study and take classes in areas of interest–other than the law.”

Q: What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know?

A: “Most people don’t know I was on ‘Jeopardy.’ ”

Q: What’s your favorite childhood memory?

A: “My entire childhood with my family on the farm is a favorite memory.”

Q: What kind of music is in your car or what do you listen to on the radio?

A: “The ESPN Radio sports jingle.”

Q: If you could have dinner with two or three people, alive or dead, who would you choose?

A: “I would like to have my family dine with Abraham Lincoln, Mickey Mantle and Tiger Woods, one at a time.”

Q: What do you think are the best and worst things about living in Sioux Falls?

A: “Best–Sioux Falls still has many small-town qualities. Worst–we are a long way from an ocean.”