Debbie Langenfeld Hoops fulfilled a long term goal of owning her own business in 1999 when she joined Aflac as an independent agent.
Debbie is a graduate of Watertown High School and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business (Commercial Economics) from South Dakota State University. Her family, dating back to her grandfather, served as role models for her interest in business. Her father grew up delivering Langenfeld’s Ice Cream treats to stores and kids alike along Highway 1804 near Pierre and later owned a sporting goods store. Her mother embraced her love of nursing and started several hospice related businesses. It was from watching them pursue opportunities in areas they loved; she realized she could start a business of her own.
After college, Debbie worked as a staff recruiter and then transitioned to working in the Chamber of Commerce industry – first as the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director for the Brookings Chamber then shifting to programming and volunteer recruiting and eventually, Executive Director for the Huron Chamber – before starting her Aflac business. Langenfeld Hoops said there were many similarities of running her own business while working for the Chambers. “I found great value in working with small businesses and meeting people in the communities I served. We all worked toward the same outcome; we wanted to bring value to businesses and residents in the area. Now, I find a great deal of value when I help a family work through a difficult time due to an injury or sickness they didn’t plan for or I am able to add value to a small business that’s wanting to enhance their benefits and aren’t sure where to start” Langenfeld Hoops said. Her years of working with the public made Aflac a perfect fit for her to continue her desire of serving others while building a business along the way. She added, “Working for the Chamber sure isn’t an 8-5pm career path, and I knew from the start I had the work ethic that would fit well with being self-employed.”
Debbie is married to Dave, an engineer with General Electric, and they have two children, Elle and Rei.