10 Years of Better Questions, Better Answers and Better Decisions

posted by Merlin Siefken on Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ten years ago two partners formed a new company to leverage their financial modeling and decision support skills.  Sterling Liddell and Spence Parkinson were both working in the Research and Commodities department at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF).  They had developed some highly sophisticated methods for financial modeling and risk analysis.  Their manager suggested these tools had a much broader application than their current use at Farm Bureau.  He suggested they form an independent company to expand the application of the models and methodology they had developed and Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS) was formed.

Let’s roll the clock back to 2006.  I was working as a business development specialist at the Iowa Agriculture Innovation Center (IAIC).  IAIC was a non-profit working out of offices provided by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  At that time, I had the pleasure of working with Sterling and Spence because IAIC had an exclusive license to use the Stochastic Analysis models developed at IFBF.  I was very impressed with their industry knowledge and the skills they had developed to help people understand potential risks in new business ventures.

Unfortunately, the non-profit I was working with was a non-profit in every sense of the word and they shut down operations in the fall of 2007.  The timing was great because I had an opportunity to form my own LLC and my first client kept me busy for 18 months.  From there I went to work for the US Census Bureau when they started the pre-census work in 2009.

I was just finishing up my work with the census bureau late in 2010 when I got a phone call from Spence.  He had more work coming his way and needed some help.  We worked together on a couple projects and enjoyed working together.  So, as they say, “to make a long story short” I signed a contract to provide Business Development services for DIS.   I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a team of professionals that started out with 2 people and has grown to 6 full time staff, an intern and one senior citizen contractor.

Congratulations Decision Innovation Solutions.  May your next 10 years be as exciting and rewarding as the last 10.

Merlin Siefken, Business Development Manager

  1. 10 year anniversary

About The Author

Merlin Siefken

Merlin Siefken contracts with Decision Innovation Solutions to provide Business Development services. He is responsible for maintaining and enhancing existing business relationships, conducting research of new product lines and service offerings, collaborating with the Decision Innovation Solutio ... read more