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Tony Venhuizen

Tony Venhuizen

Tony Venhuizen serves as Chief of Staff and is a member of the Governor’s Executive Committee. Prior to his current role, Tony spent five years on the Board of Regents, served as Campaign Manager on the 2010 Daugaard for Governor campaign, and served in Governor's Office as Director of Policy and Communications.

Tony, a 2001 graduate of Armour High School, went on to earn a History and Political Science degree at SDSU, where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Tony pursued his post-graduate work at The University of South Dakota, where he earned his JD from the School of Law.

Tony and his wife Sara, an electrical engineer, live in Pierre and have three children, Henry, Elizabeth, and Madeleine. Tony serves on the Trail of Governors Foundation board and enjoys studying the history of South Dakota governors. He also enjoys studying US History, in particular the American Presidency, and is a self-described Winston Churchill enthusiast. Tony's hobbies include reading, watching The West Wing and James Bond films, and following the Green Bay Packers and Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Nathan Sanderson

Nathan Sanderson

Dr. Nathan Sanderson is Governor Daugaard’s Director of Policy and Operations.  He manages policy development and implementation, oversees the operations of many state government departments, and serves as a member of the Governor’s Executive Committee.

He previously served as a Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office and director of the Office of Agricultural Policy for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Before joining the Department of Ag, Nathan was a history instructor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and served as project manager of the "Railroads and the Making of Modern America" digital project.

A South Dakota native, he graduated from Lake Preston High School and holds a B.S. in Agriculture Education from South Dakota State University, a M.A. in American History from the University of Indianapolis, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Nathan's hobbies include playing softball, curling, hunting and traveling with his wife Tiffany and son Carter.

Jim Seward

Jim Seward

Jim Seward was appointed General Counsel for South Dakota by Governor Daugaard in 2010. Jim is also a member of the Governor's team-based management structure, the Governor's Executive Committee. A former active duty soldier, JAG officer, elected official, prosecutor, and owner of a general practice law firm, Jim has lived and worked across South Dakota and around the world.

While obtaining his undergraduate degree at the University of South Dakota and achieving a Phi Beta Kappa selection, Jim was also elected to the Vermillion City Council. During law school, Jim accepted an appointment to complete a vacated term as well. He later completed over five years as the elected prosecutor and chief legal counsel for Butte County South Dakota.

Jim’s sense of justice was significantly affected by his time patrolling the German border as an M1 tank driver and gunner near the end of the Cold War. Following his active service and Juris Doctorate degree, Jim received a direct commission to become a JAG officer with the U.S. Army and South Dakota National Guard. Jim’s unit was deployed to Afghanistan for a one year tour; May 2004-May 2005. After flying legal missions across this vast land and prosecuting Courts Martial cases in the desert for the United States Government as Trial Counsel of a 2000 person task force, Jim returned home to South Dakota to resume his duties as Butte County State's Attorney. He was awarded the Bronze Star in recognition of meritorious service in Operation Enduring Freedom V. Jim is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, 12 month masters level, Intermediate Level Education Course. Now a Lt. Colonel, he continues to serve his state and nation in the National Guard.

In addition to his normal Executive Committee and General Counsel duties, Governor Daugaard asked Jim to serve as Chair of the 2012 Governor's workgroup that led to the 2013 South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act and the 2014 Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative workgroup. He now serves as Chair of the statutorily created Oversight Council obligated to ensure proper implementation of the adult reforms and measure performance and outcomes. Jim serves on the state's Judicial Qualification Commission.

Matt Konenkamp

Matt Konenkamp

Matt Konenkamp is a Policy Advisor to Governor Daugaard.  He is responsible for issues relating to public safety, environment and natural resources, railroads, energy policy and federal relations.  Matt is also a member of the Governor’s Legislative Task Force and spends much of his time during the legislative session working with legislators from across the state on issues that arise during session.

Prior to joining the Daugaard administration, Matt practiced law in Rapid City handling complex cases that ranged from federal criminal matters to commercial construction litigation, and everything in between.  Matt has received training in negotiation from Harvard Law School and alternative dispute resolution from the prestigious Strauss Institute.

Matt has served as the Secretary of the State Republican Party, the Vice-Chairman of the Pennington County Republicans, the President of the Rapid City Jaycees, the Director of Toys for Tots of Western South Dakota, and the Chairman of the YMCA Kids Campaign.

Matt and his wife Joslyn, live in Pierre and have four boys, Jack, Luke, Liam and Brody.

Liza Clark

Liza Clark

Liza Clark serves as a Policy Advisor to Governor Daugaard on issues relating to labor and regulation, workforce development, human resources, and higher education.  She previously served as the Chief Budget Analyst with the Bureau of Finance and Management.

A South Dakota native, she graduated from Miller High School and holds a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Northern State University and an MBA from the University of South Dakota.

Liza and her husband Zach, a small business owner, live in Pierre with their daughters Kenzie and Izabelle.  Liza enjoys spending time with her family, playing a variety of sports, and reading.

Hunter Roberts

Hunter Roberts

Hunter Roberts is a Policy Advisor to Governor Daugaard on issues relating to transportation, agriculture, game, fish, and parks, and energy. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office he was responsible for business development in the energy industry along with advising the Governor on energy policy. Additionally, Hunter administered the state’s Ethanol Infrastructure Incentive Program which has assisted the state in leading the nation in the transition to the use of more biofuels.


A South Dakota native, Hunter graduated from Pierre T.F. Riggs High School, holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a Civic Leadership minor from the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate all from the University of South Dakota.

In addition to his duties with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Hunter is a member of the South Dakota Bar Association and active partner in his family’s farm and ranch operation, a fifth-generation family farm southeast of Ft. Pierre, SD. Hunter his wife, Stephanie, and two children live in Pierre. In his spare time, Hunter enjoys spending time with family at the farm, hunting, and traveling.          

Patrick Weber

Patrick Weber

Patrick Weber serves as a Deputy Policy Advisor for Tony Venhuizen, the Chief of Staff, and Nathan Sanderson, the Director of Policy and Operations.  Before joining the Daugaard Administration in 2013, Patrick served on the Board of Regents for three years and worked on the Daugaard for Governor campaign in 2010. 

Patrick grew up in Montrose, SD and graduated from Montrose High School.  He attended college at South Dakota State University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics.  Patrick went onto graduate school and earned a JD from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

Patrick enjoys spending time with his family and friends, reading, and watching movies.


Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith serves as Deputy Policy Advisor to Governor Daugaard, assisting in a variety of areas including legislation, governor's associations, and tourism. The position is her third in the Governor's Office, previously having served as the Scheduler and the Director of Constituent Services.

Kelsey grew up in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and graduated college from the University of South Dakota with bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Spanish.  She is currently working on her Master of Public Administration degree, also from USD.  She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading, playing sports, and doing outdoor activities.


AJ Franken

A.J. Franken

A.J. Franken serves as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Daugaard.   Prior to joining the Daugaard Administration in 2015, A.J. worked as a private practice attorney in Pierre. 

A.J. was born and raised in Watertown, SD and graduated from Watertown High School.  He earned a B.A. in Government and International Affairs from Augustana College and a J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law.  After law school, A.J. served as law clerk to the Honorable Chief Justice David Gilbertson.  

A.J. and his wife, Liz, have one daughter.  In his spare time, A.J. enjoys traveling, hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors with his family.     

Kelsey Pritchard

Kelsey Pritchard

Kelsey Pritchard serves as Governor Daugaard's Communications Director. She previously held the position of Director of Constituent Services in the Daugaard Administration.

Kelsey grew up in Belle Fourche on her parents' ranch. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2010 and then went on to the University of Dallas where she earned a Masters Degree in Politics.  

Kelsey is the Music Coordinator at First United Methodist Church in Pierre where she leads the praise band.  In her free time she enjoys singing, playing piano, reading, playing softball, and traveling to her husband's hometown in Wales.

Grace Kessler

Grace Beck

Grace Beck serves as a Policy Analyst to Lt. Governor Matt Michels and works with Governor Daugaard in handling appointments to boards and commissions.  She previously held the position of Director of Constituent Services in the Governor's Office. Prior to that she was the Media Relations Coordinator for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Grace grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota and went on to attend Hillsdale College in Michigan where she earned a B.A. degree in Political Science. Additionally, she received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota.

Sadie Stevens

Sadie Stevens

Sadie Stevens serves as the Director of Constituent Services and works on the Governor’s policy team under the Chief of Staff and the Governor’s General Counsel. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC where she studied International Relations and Arabic. In 2012, Sadie was selected to participate in the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship, which allowed her to study Arabic in Tunisia.

Sadie is a Yankton native, and she enjoys travelling, reading, playing violin, and supporting the fine arts.


Doreen Kayser

Doreen Kayser

Doreen Kayser serves as the Governor's Scheduler.  She previously served as the executive assistant for the Lieutenant Governor, Senior Advisor, and First Lady in Governor Daugaard's Office. Before joining the Daugaard administration, Doreen worked in multiple state offices, including the Department of Social Services, Secretary of State's Office, Bureau of Personnel, and the Janklow administration.

Doreen was born in Wall, SD and grew up in Pierre, SD where she graduated high school. Doreen went on to attend Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN.

Doreen and her husband, Ron, have two sons- Weston and Seth. In her free time, Doreen enjoys gardening, reading, baking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.

Kris Erickson

Kris Erickson

Kris Erickson serves as the Governor’s Executive Assistant.  Previously she held the position as Correspondence Manager and as an Executive Assistant to General Counsel Jim Seward in the Daugaard administration.  Kris also served as the Correspondence Manager for Governor Rounds during his eight years in office.  Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Kris worked as a Laboratory Technician in Pierre.

After graduating high school, Kris earned a degree as a Medical Laboratory Technician from Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell, SD.

Kris and her husband Randi enjoy the many outdoor activities Pierre has to offer.


Judy Swartz

Judy Swartz

Judy Swartz serves as an Administrative assistant in the Daugaard administration. Before joining the Daugaard Administration in 2011, Judy worked at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in Deadwood for 19 years and was the office supervisor for Sheriff Rick Mowell.

Judy was born in Sioux Falls and raised in Winner, SD by her parents Bob & Ruth Benedict. Judy attended the Winner school district and graduated from Winner High School in 1989. Judy went on to further her education at Western Dakota Technical Institute and graduated in 1991 with a degree in Computerized Office Careers.

Judy moved to Pierre in 2011 and recently married Jeff Swartz.  Together Judy and Jeff have 4 boys, Logan, Skyler, Easton and Spencer.   

Judy enjoys watching her kids in their sports, enjoys boating, hunting and fishing but most importantly she enjoys and cherishes the time spent with family and friends. 

Rahcel Graves

Rachel Graves

Rachel Graves was born and raised in Pierre where she graduated from Riggs High School. Rachel has worked in state government for three years. Before coming to the Governor's Office, she worked for the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Department of Tourism.

Rachel and her husband Matt have three boys: Kelby, Ben and Riley. She is currently pursuing a Business Administration degree through Northern State University. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, engaging in outdoor activities, spending time with family, and watching her boys' sporting events.

Morgan Ness

Morgan Ness

Morgan Ness serves as an Executive Assistant for Chief of Staff Tony Venhuizen and Director of Policy and Operations Nathan Sanderson. Morgan is also the Governor’s Correspondence Manager. Before joining the Daugaard administration, Morgan served as the Executive Assistant for Secretary Marcia Hultman in the Department of Labor and Regulation.

Morgan grew up in Watertown, South Dakota, where she graduated high school. She and her daughter Boston moved to Pierre in 2013. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and being outdoors.

Kristie Hauck

Kristie Hauck serves as the Receptionist in the Governor’s Office. Prior to work in the Daugaard administration, Kristie was a Medical Secretary at Dakota Plains Clinic and a Personnel Specialist in the Benefits Department of the Bureau of Personnel.

Kristie grew up in Hoven. After graduation from Hoven High School, she went on to earn an Associate’s Degree in Medical Assistance from Presentation College in Aberdeen, SD.

Kristie enjoys boating and spending time with her husband and children.

Travis Dovre

Travis Dovre

Travis Dovre serves as the Fiscal Officer for Governor Dennis Daugaard’s office. Prior to taking on this role, he worked for the Department of Labor and Regulation as a Financial Institution Examiner. Travis also has previous state government finance experience working for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as Assistant Finance Director, Grant Administrator and Loan Officer.

Travis grew up in Spearfish where he developed a love for the outdoors, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and graduated high school. After learning the welding trade from Lake Area Technical Institute, he spent several years working in Watertown and served as a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard in the 147th Field Artillery. After relocating to Pierre in 2004, Travis earned a degree in Banking and Financial Services from Northern State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude as one of the top students of the Business School.     

Travis volunteers for Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts. In his spare time, he and his wife Dawn enjoy outdoor activities, culinary experiments, and spending time with family and friends.

Linda Fridley

Linda Fridley

Linda Fridley serves as the Residence Manager for Governor and First Lady Daugaard.

Linda grew up in Pierre, SD, where she graduated high school. She is married with two adult children.

Linda enjoys camping, water skiing, and spending time with her family.

Jason Dilges

Commissioner Jason Dilges   •   Finance & Management

Jason Dilges was appointed the State of South Dakota's Chief Financial Officer by Governor Dennis Daugaard in November, 2010. Dilges also serves as the Commissioner of the State's Bureau of Finance and Management. Dilges also is a member of the Governor's Executive Committee where he also has oversight of the Department of Revenue and Bureau of Administration.

Dilges has served the past three South Dakota Governors and was appointed by Governor Mike Rounds as Commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management in 2002 and 2006. He has also held numerous positions within the Bureau of Finance and Management since he began his service to the state in 1995.

Dilges also sits on several boards and committees including the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, Governor's Legislative Task Force, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, the Department of Labor Retirement Board, the South Dakota Retirement System Board of Trustees, the State Board of Finance and many wildlife conservation boards. Previously he served on the St Mary's Hospital Finance, Audit and Compliance Board, the Boys & Girls Club Board and various church boards.

Dilges grew up on a farm near Mt Vernon, SD. He earned both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. He and his wife, Meghan, have two daughters, Alexis and Ainsley, and one son, Lincoln. Their family also includes 4 beloved labs. When time permits, Jason enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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Scott Stern

Commissioner Scott Stern   •   Economic Development

Scott Stern serves as the Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and is a member of the Governor’s Executive Committee.

Scott is a Freeman native and a graduate of the University of South Dakota. For 29 years, he worked with Stern Oil Company of Freeman, including 14 years as vice president and general manager.

For the past four years, Scott has worked a district sales manager for Petro-Canada America, a division of Suncor Energy.

During his years in Freeman, Scott served two stints on the city council and took leadership roles in the Freeman Chamber of Commerce and the Freeman Economic Development Corporation. He also served as a Dakota Rising small business mentor.

Scott and his wife, Staci, have three grown children.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon

Kim Malsam-Rysdon  •   Health

Kim Malsam-Rysdon is the Secretary of the Department of Health.  She also serves as the Governor's Senior Advisor and is a member of the Governor's Executive Committee.  Kim previously served as Secretary of the Department of Social Services, Deputy Secretary of Social Services, and Director of the Divisions of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services. Prior to working for the state of South Dakota, Kim worked to help people with disabilities live and work in their communities.

Kim grew up in Wisconsin and New Hampshire before her family returned to South Dakota. She attended college at the University of South Dakota, where she graduated from the University Honors program and received her bachelor's degree in political science. Kim went on to receive a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a concentration in health care policy. 

Kim and her husband Steve have been married twenty five years, and they are blessed to have two sons, Jake and Joe. In her spare time, Kim enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and enjoying the Missouri River with her family.



Jim Hagen


Secretary Jim Hagen   •   Tourism

Jim Hagen has served as the Secretary of Tourism for Governor Dennis Daugaard since 2011.  Secretary Hagen has a passion for seeing the visitor industry in South Dakota grow to new heights.

Before joining the Daugaard Administration, Jim served four and a half years as the National Campaign Director and Public Relations Director for the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.  From 2004-2006, he served as Secretary of Tourism and State Development in the administration of Governor Mike Rounds. In this role, he oversaw the Offices of Tourism, Economic Development, Arts, History and State-Tribal Relations.   

During Governor Bill Janklow’s Administration from 1995-2002, he served as Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to the governor. In these roles, Hagen served as the governor’s day-to-day liaison with the Departments of Tourism, Transportation, Revenue and Economic Development.

Jim grew up in the northeast corner of South Dakota.  He is a graduate of Aberdeen Central High School and a Summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California.

In March 2014, Jim was appointed to the 32-member National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.  The board is charged with advising the Secretary of Commerce and the President on tourism issues.  He also serves on the Executive Board of the U.S. Travel Association and several of its committees, including the Travel Effect and Membership Governance Committees.  He was recently elected Vice-Chairman of the National Council of State Tourism Directors.

Secretary Hagen was honored as the National State Tourism Director of the Year in August 2014 by his fellow State Tourism Directors around the country and the U.S. Travel Association.  During his tenure as Secretary of Tourism, the tourism industry in South Dakota has continued to set new economic growth records year after year.  He and his team have also received numerous regional and national tourism marketing awards.

Mike Jaspers

Secretary Mike Jaspers   •   Agriculture

Mike Jaspers has a strong background in agriculture and in government.

He owns and operates a corn, soybean, alfalfa and cattle production operation in Hutchinson, McCook and Marshall counties. He has also spent seven years in agricultural retail management, working with grain, agronomy, specialty crops and precision ag technologies.

Jaspers served as a state legislator from 1997-2004. He was appointed state director of the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office in South Dakota from 2007-2008.

Jaspers graduated from Roslyn High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanized Agriculture from South Dakota State University. He served as president of the SD State FFA Organization and is a graduate of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership (SDARL) Class IV.

Jaspers and his wife Robin live near Sioux Falls with their children Ellie and Alex.



Marcia Hultman

Secretary Marcia Hultman   •   Labor and Regulation

Marcia Hultman is the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.  She has been part of the DLR team since June 1997, first serving as Public Information Officer, then Workforce Services Director in 2000, and a joint role as Director and Deputy Secretary starting in 2006.

Hultman chairs the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council and serves on the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council, Workforce Development Council, and the DOL Retirement Board. 

Hultman is a native of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and a graduate of Black Hills State University.  Just as her grandmother and mother before her, she was trained to be a teacher.  She taught school in Hot Springs, Custer, and Rapid City before relocating to Pierre and beginning her career in state government. 

She and her husband Brian have two sons, Riley and Brody.  Her interests include following her son Brody in youth hockey, baking, reading, travelling, and gardening.

Kelly Hepler

Secretary Kelly Hepler  •   Game, Fish, and Parks

Kelly Hepler is the Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.  Prior to joining the Daugaard Administration, Secretary Kelly Hepler served as Assistant Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG); a position he held since 2010 as a Senior Policy Advisor to the ADFG Commissioner.

Secretary Hepler began his career as a fisheries biologist moving into various management and leadership roles with ADFG. In his role as the Assistant Director and then Director of the ADFG Division of Sport Fish, Kelly’s primary responsibilities were in the planning, staffing, and development of strategic operations, while overseeing a 50 million dollar budget and 450 employees.

In addition, Kelly has extensive training and professional experience in the areas of communication, public policy, leadership development, and research applications.  He has chaired multiple national committees that focus on fish, water, habitat, and administration of agency funds.

Hepler was a principal investigator of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and supervised the development, the defense, and the reporting of research findings; in which the final results of the research were published in a peer-reviewed manuscript.

Kelly is a native to South Dakota; born in Deadwood and graduated from Spearfish High School before receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University in 1978.

Kelly has enjoyed over 30 years of marriage to Carol Riedner Hepler, who is originally from Wisconsin. They have two grown children, Zachary and Maggie, and are avid fans of the Green Bay Packers.

Steve Pirner

Secretary Steve Pirner   •   Environment and Natural Resources

Steve Pirner was first appointed Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2000. Since 1979, he has held various positions within DENR including office administrator, division director and acting secretary. He has also held the position of assistant professor in civil engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City.

Pirner is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in South Dakota, and he graduated from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology with a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering. He is a member of the S.D. Engineering Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Water Environment Federation and American Water Works Association.

Pirner is originally from Rapid City. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have two sons, Zane and Jeremy.

Denny Kaemingk

Secretary Denny Kaemingk   •   Corrections

Denny Kaemingk was appointed Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Corrections by Governor Dennis Daugaard on April 4, 2011. The Department of Corrections manages the state's adult and juvenile correctional facilities, adult parole services, and juvenile aftercare. It has 869 employees and an annual budget of $115 million.

Denny served for nine years on the Board of Pardons and Paroles. He was starting his fourth year as chairman of the Parole Board when appointed as Secretary of Corrections.

Denny's law enforcement career began in 1976 as a patrolman in the Mitchell, SD Police Department. He later advanced to drug detective, special investigator for the Attorney General's Office, and Captain of Detectives before retiring from the police force in 2000. During his law enforcement career, Denny was recognized as the Mitchell Jaycees Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer and Mitchell Exchange Club Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He was a part-time Criminal Justice instructor at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD.

Denny is a member of the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) and serves as the chairman of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse committee. He is also a member of the Reentry and Community Corrections, Research and Best Practices, Prison Rape Elimination Act, Information Sharing and Racial Disparity committees.  

Denny serves on the state task force to study drug courts and was a member of the Criminal Justice Initiative Work Group that led to the passage of the South Dakota Public Safety Improvement Act of 2013.

Tim Reisch

Adjutant General Tim Reisch   •   Military

Major General Timothy A. Reisch was appointed by Governor Dennis Daugaard as South Dakota's 21st Adjutant General on 2 April 2011. As the Adjutant General, he serves as the Commanding General for both the South Dakota Air and Army National Guard and guides the preparation of 4,300 Air and Army National Guard citizen Soldiers and Airmen and over 1,000 full-time federal and state employees to respond in times of state or national emergency. He is responsible for federal and state missions, assignment of leaders, recruiting, training, equipping, mobilization, facilities and public relations. He is also responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting Air and Army National Guard members in South Dakota. General Reisch serves as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of the Military and serves as the principle advisor to the Governor on all matters involving use of the National Guard.

Reisch has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University, a Master of Science degree in Administrative Studies from the University of South Dakota and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. In 2010 Reisch was one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by the Council of State Governments. He is married to the former Anne Roby of Carthage, and they have five children and a grandson. Reisch enjoys the pastimes of hunting and camping.


1994 Upper Iowa University, Bachelors Degree, Public Administration, Fayette, Iowa
2001 The University of South Dakota, Masters Degree, Administrative Studies, Vermillion, South Dakota
2005 United States Army War College, Masters Degree, Strategic Studies, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania


December 1978 - July 1979, Enlisted Service, Det. 1, Company B 153rd EN Battalion, Howard, SD
July 1979 - July 1980, Officer Candidate School, South Dakota Military Academy, Mitchell, SD

July 1980 - August 1981, Platoon Leader, Company B (-) 153rd Engineer Battalion, Madison, SD
August 1981 - August 1984, Commander, Det. 1, Company B 153rd Engineer Battalion, Howard, SD
August 1984 - October 1985, Commander, Company C, 153rd Engineer Battalion, Parkston, SD
October 1985 - November 1988, Commander, Company B, 153rd Engineer Battalion, Madison, SD
November 1988 - August 1989, Assistant S-3, Headquarters, 153rd Engineer Battalion, Huron, SD
August 1989 – June 1992, S-4 Officer, Headquarters, 153rd Engineer Battalion, Huron, SD
June 1992 - July 1992, Asst Operations Officer, Headquarters, 109th Engineer Group, Rapid City, SD
July 1992 - November 1992, Engineer Equipment Officer, HQ, 109th Engineer Group, Rapid City, SD
November 1992 - September 1993, S-1 Officer, Headquarters, 109th Engineer Group, Rapid City, SD
September 1993 - September 1996, S-3 Officer, Headquarters, 109th Engineer Battalion, Sturgis, SD
September 1996 - July 1998, Executive Officer, Headquarters, 109th Engineer Battalion, Sturgis, SD
July 1998 - October 2001, Commander, 153rd Engineer Battalion (CORPS) (MECH) Huron, SD
November 2001 - July 2002, Chief, Exercise Division, HQ STARC, Rapid City, SD
July 2002 – July 2004, Deputy STARC Commander, HQ STARC, Rapid City, SD
July 2004 - June 2005, Student in Residence, United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA
June 2005 – September 2005, Director of Logistics, SD Army National Guard, Rapid City, SD
September 2005 – April 2007, Commander, 109th Engineer Group, Rapid City, SD
April 2007 - May 2009, Commander, 109th Regional Support Group, Rapid City, SD
May 2009 – April 2011, Assistant Adjutant General – Army, JFHQ, Rapid City, SD
April 2011 – Present, The Adjutant General, South Dakota National Guard, Rapid City, SD


Legion of Merit

Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Commendation Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (1 Silver and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
National Defense Service Medal (with Star Device)

Global War on Terrorism Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Gold Hour Glass Device)
Army Service Ribbon
Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (with "2" Device)
South Dakota Distinguished Service Award (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

South Dakota Emergency Operations Ribbon
South Dakota Recruiting Ribbon
National Guard Service Medal

South Dakota State Partnership Ribbon
South Dakota Desert Storm Ribbon
Bronze deFleury Medal, United States Army Engineer Regiment


Adjutants General Association of the United States

American Legion
Army Engineer Association
Knights of Columbus
National Guard Association of South Dakota (Life Member)
National Guard Association of the United States (Life Member)
United States Army Engineer Association (Permanent Member)


2003 – 2011 Cabinet Secretary, South Dakota Department of Corrections

2010 Named a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments


Second Lieutenant 27 July 1980
First Lieutenant 26 July 1983
Captain 29 July 1985
Major 28 July 1992
Lieutenant Colonel 10 August 1998
Colonel 30 April 2002
Brigadier General 3 May 2009
Major General 17 February 2012


Trevor Jones

Secretary Trevor Jones   •   Public Safety

Trevor Jones serves as the Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Public Safety. Prior to this, he spent twenty years working law enforcement in South Dakota.

After graduating from Aberdeen Central High School, Trevor earned his B.S. in Criminal Justice from The University of South Dakota in 1990.

Trevor is married with three children. His hobbies are spending time with his family and golfing.

Darin Bergquist

Secretary Darin Bergquist   •   Transportation

Darin Bergquist was named Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Transportation after serving as Interim Secretary since June of 2007. After two years in private law practice, Bergquist began working for state government in 1996 as an Administrative Law Judge with the Department of Labor. He joined the Department of Transportation in 1998 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel and served as the Program Manager for the Right of Way Office and Director of Operations before his current appointment.

Bergquist is a graduate of Jamestown College with a degree in Business Administration. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from The University of South Dakota School of Law in 1993.

Mark Lauseng

Executive Director Mark Lauseng   •   Housing Development Authority

Mark Lauseng was appointed Executive Director of SDHDA in April of 2006. Prior to his appointment, he was the Director of Finance and the Assistant Treasurer of SDHDA. Mark is a certified public accountant and a member of the South Dakota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Mark grew up and graduated from high school in Watertown, SD. He graduated from college at Northern University in Aberdeen, SD. Mark and his wife Sherry have two sons, Alex and Ryan.

Meolody Schopp

Secretary Melody Schopp   •   Education

Secretary of Education Melody Schopp is a lifelong educator with 23 years of classroom teaching prior to coming to the Department of Education in 2000. She served as a school board member for nine years in Lemmon, SD following her departure from teaching. Schopp worked in a number of different roles in the Department to include Deputy Secretary and was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for education since 2011.


Secretary Schopp is passionate about assuring that students are well prepared for careers and post-secondary after leaving the K12 education system.  She works closely with the technical institutes and the Board of Regents to align the work for a seamless transition for students after graduation from high school.

Schopp received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Mary and a PhD in Educational Studies and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Although Schopp grew up in and graduated from Greeley, Colorado, she lists South Dakota as home after living here her entire adult life. Schopp’s husband, Arnie, farms in the Meadow area. They have two children. Heather is employed with Black Hills Special Services Coop in Rapid City. Stephen, a highway patrolman in Spearfish, is married to Megan who is employed at the School of Mines as a counselor. Secretary Schopp enjoys remodeling/building as well as yard work in the summers.

David Zolnowsky

David Zolnowsky   •   Information and Telecommunications

David Zolnowsky was appointed Commissioner of the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications in August of 2012.  He had previously served in technology management roles with several state agencies including the Department of Transportation, the Unified Judicial System, and the Department of Health.  Most recently he had served as the Chief Information Officer at Dakota State University.

David was raised near Hot Springs and obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of South Dakota, achieving a Phi Beta Kappa selection, prior to earning a master’s degree at the University of Wyoming.

David and his wife Betty currently reside on a small family ranch in Jones County.  They have four grown children and nine grandchildren.  In their spare time they enjoy traveling and visiting with friends and family.

Gloria Pearson


Secretary Gloria Pearson  •   Human Services

Gloria Pearson was appointed Secretary of the Department of Human Services by Governor Daugaard in August of 2013 and began as Secretary in November of 2013.  Prior to becoming Secretary, Pearson served as Executive Director/CEO of Ability Building Services in Yankton from 2000 to 2013.  She served as Executive Director of the Community Support Providers of South Dakota in 2000 and Executive Director of Dakota Milestones in Chamberlain, SD, the prior 12 years.

Pearson is passionate about providing leadership in assuring quality services and supports for citizens with disabilities.  For more than 25 years, she has worked to improve the standard of living for people with disabilities and how people with disabilities are viewed and supported.

Pearson is originally from Sisseton.  She earned a bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University and a master's degree from Northern State University.

Pearson and her husband, Jim, who is an Episcopal priest at Christ Church in Yankton, have three sons (Julian, James, and Joel), two daughters-in-law (Sandi and Hilary), and two granddaughters (Josie and Sydney).  Pearson enjoys yoga, reading, travelling, and being outdoors.  She especially likes getting the family together at Pickerel Lake, on the Missour River, in the Black Hills, or any other beautiful place.


Lynne Valenti

Secretary Lynne A. Valenti  •   Social Services

Lynne Valenti serves as the Secretary of the Department of Social Services for the Daugaard Administration.  Prior to joining Governor Daugaard's cabinet, Lynne served the state of South Dakota in many capacities, serving as Deputy Secretary of Social Services, general counsel for the Bureau of Personnel (now the Bureau of Human Resources), and legal counsel for the Department of Human Services.  Prior to working for the state, Lynne focused her legal practice in mental health disabilities law, helping individuals and their families.

Lynne is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the New England School of Law, magna cum laude.

Lynne and her husband Mike have four children:  Cody, Ashley, Tessa, and Tucker.  In her spare time, Lynne enjoys camping and spending time outdoors.

Laurie Gill

Commissioner Laurie Gill   •   Human Resources

Laurie Gill was appointed the Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources in September 2013. Gill has 20 years of experience working in State Government and was honored to join Governor Daugaard’s Cabinet in June 2011 serving as the Secretary of the Department of Human Services.

Her passion is working in government. Gill is currently the mayor of Pierre being reelected to a third 3-year term as Mayor in 2014. Prior to being elected mayor, she served on the Pierre City Commission.

Gill is also member of several boards including the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Capital University, South Dakota Municipal League, South Dakota Retirement System, and Capital City Beautification committee.

Gill and her husband Bob moved to Pierre with their four children in 1991. She graduated from SDSU, majoring in Commercial Economics. Prior to joining Governor Daugaard’s Cabinet, she worked as a business manager for a non-profit agency, served in management positions in state government, and as a clinic administrator in the private sector. When time allows, she enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren, traveling, and reading.

Jeff Holden

Commissioner Jeff Holden  •   Administration

Jeff Holden was appointed as Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration by Governor Daugaard in November of 2015.  Jeff is a graduate of T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre and Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Jeff began his career with the State of South Dakota in 1985. He was the director of the South Dakota State Energy Conservation Program from 1985 through 1989. From 1989-1992, he served as director of the South Dakota Community Assistance Program, managing Community Services Block Grant, Victims of Crime Assistance and Domestic Violence Program grants.  In 1992, he was appointed director of the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and added duties of director of the South Dakota Division of Human Rights in 1997. He became director of the South Dakota Office of Procurement Management in July of 1999, and served as President of the National Association of State Procurement Officials in 2007-2008.  Jeff was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration in 2011.  

He and his wife Staci live in Pierre and have three children, Halli, Sam and Mollie.

Andy Gerlach

Secretary Andy Gerlach   •   Revenue

Andy Gerlach was appointed Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Revenue in December of 2010 and officially assumed this role on May 23, 2011. Prior to becoming Secretary of Revenue, he served with the South Dakota Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs, first as Finance Officer and later as Deputy Secretary. He started his service to the state in 1993 as a Budget Analyst with the Bureau of Finance and Management.

Gerlach has served on the Pierre/Fort Pierre State Government United Way Advisory Board, South Dakota National Guard Museum Board of Directors, and Lutheran Memorial Church of Pierre Board of Trustees. His affiliations include the Federation of Tax Administrators, American Legion, and National Guard Officers Association at the state and national level.

A native of Armour, Gerlach earned his Bachelor's degree from Northern State University, Aberdeen. He continued his education and earned his Masters of Business Administration from The University of South Dakota and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. In 2013 he graduated from the Council of State Governments Henry Toll Fellowship Program.  Gerlach is a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and has served in Afghanistan.

Steve Emery

Secretary Steve Emery  •   Tribal Relations

Secretary Steve Emery is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and spent his early years on the Rosebud Reservation.  He attended high school on the Crow Creek Reservation.  In 1980, he joined the United States Army and is a combat veteran.  He has an extensive background working in various positions with the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG). 

Following his military service he worked briefly in agriculture until becoming an advocate for Dakota Plains Legal Service.  His advocate experience led him into court service, first as a Judge for the Eastern District of Pine Ridge based out of Kyle, S.D., then an Associate Judge for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  Before taking the position as Secretary for the Department of Tribal Relations he was serving as a Chief Judge for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and a Special Judge for the Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Secretary Emery enjoys spending time with his family and is an avid sportsman who likes hunting and fishing.

One of his favorite mottos is “If you have all the answers, you don’t know all the questions.”

Larry Zimmerman

Secretary Larry Zimmerman   •   Veterans Affairs

Larry D. Zimmerman was appointed Secretary of the SD Department of Veterans Affairs in September 2011.

Secretary Zimmerman serves as the voice for South Dakota’s seventy-five thousand veterans and advocates for and provides the pathway for all veterans and their families to receive the benefits due to them.

In 2014 Secretary Zimmerman led the Department and its partners on a statewide campaign to reach all veterans – Operation RAV.  The Department was recognized nationally for their efforts and was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence award.  Zimmerman and his team will spend the next three years reaching out to veterans per war era.

Secretary Zimmerman attended high school in Belle Fourche, S.D., his hometown. He graduated from Ashford University in Clinton, IA, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Organizational Management. His military education includes many schools including the Sergeants Major Academy.

Prior to being selected as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in South Dakota he served as the State Command Sergeant Major, he also served as Postmaster in Spearfish, Pierre and Sturgis. His career in the U.S. Postal Service spanned 35 years and he held many positions in western South Dakota. Secretary Zimmerman retired from the Post Office on February 1, 2009.

Zimmerman served 29 years in the South Dakota National Guard retiring in January of 2013.

He completed a tour in Afghanistan (OEF) as the Operations SGM for the nine Northern provinces in that country, and before that was the CSM in both the 109th RSG in Rapid City, SD and the 109th En Bn in Sturgis, and the Regional Training Institute at Ft Meade along with numerous other positions within the Army Guard.  Zimmerman was Active Duty Army from 1973-1976 in the 4th Infantry Division at Ft Carson, CO.

Zimmerman is a lifetime member of: the American Legion (Piedmont), Veterans of Foreign Wars (Custer), Disabled American Veterans (Sturgis) and Vietnam Veterans of America (Watertown).
Secretary Zimmerman is married to Dyann and they have three daughters, Misty, Crisha, and Lanna and five grandchildren. 

Legion of Merit Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/star
Army Commendation Medal w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Good Conduct Medal
Reserve Component Achievement Medal 5th Award
National Defense Service Medal 3rd Award
Art 5 NATO ISAF Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M device
SD Distinguished Service Award
SD Recruiting Ribbon
SD Service Medal
SD Desert Storm Ribbon