Commissioner Liza Clark - Bureau of Finance and Management
Liza Clark serves as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management. She previously served as Policy Advisor to Governor Daugaard on issues relating to labor and regulation, workforce development, human resources, and higher education, and 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.
Secretary 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.
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.
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.
Interim Secretary Dr. Dustin Oedekoven - Agriculture
Dr. Dustin Oedekoven serves as the Interim Secretary of Agriculture. He has served as the State Veterinarian for South Dakota and the Executive Secretary for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board since 2009. He directs the Board's responsibilities in animal and public health and food safety. Dr. Oedekoven is a member of multiple agricultural, veterinary, and animal health organizations and committees. Prior to employment with the AIB in 2003, he worked in private equine veterinary practice in Wyoming.
"Dusty" grew up in rural Meade County where his passion for agriculture was cultivated through 4-H and FFA. He graduated from Sturgis Brown High School before attending South Dakota State University for a B.S. in Agricultural Science, and received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from Iowa State University. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine. Dusty and his wife Jenn live in Pierre with their five children.
Secretary Marcia Hultman - Labor and Regulation
Marcia Hultman was appointed the Cabinet Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) by Governor Dennis Daugaard in 2014. Prior to her appointment, she had served in a variety of leadership roles with DLR for 17 years.
Throughout her career, Marcia has been actively involved in the delivery of workforce training, employment, adult education and literacy, and unemployment insurance services funded by USDOL, as well as state specific wage and hour, workers' compensation, and human rights programs.
Marcia chairs the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, and serves on the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council, Workforce Development Council, Governor's Workforce Cabinet, and the DOL Retirement Board. Additionally, Marcia is responsible for regulatory functions related to the banking, insurance, and securities industries, as well as occupational and professional licensing boards and commissions.
Marcia received a bachelor's degree from Black Hills State University and completed the Council of State Government Henry Toll Leadership program in 2016.
She is a native of Belle Fourche, South Dakota. 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 joining state government in 1997.
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.
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.
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.
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, Pennsylvani
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 â€“ Army, JFHQ, Rapid City, SD
April 2011 - Present, The Adjutant General, South Dakota National Guard, Rapid City, SD
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
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
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS:
Adjutants General Association of the United States
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
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTIONS:
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
Interim Secretary Shawnie Rechtenbaugh - Public Safety
Shawnie Rechtenbaugh serves as the Interim Secretary of Public Safety and the State 9-1-1 Coordinator. Prior to assuming the interim Secretary position, she served as the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety for 2 years.
Shawnie began her work with the State of South Dakota in 2005 at the Department of Human Services. She joined Public Safety in 2012 as the State 9-1-1 Coordinator and continues in that dual role today.
As State 9-1-1 Coordinator, Shawnie works directly with the State's 9-1-1 Coordination Board and is South Dakota's representative to the National Association of State 911 Administrators. She served as the lead on the statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 project for 5 years. In recognition of her work on that project, she received the "Government Leader Award" given by the NG9-1-1 Institute in Washington, DC.
Shawnie grew up in Mobridge (Go Tigers!), received a bachelor's degree from Northern State University and in 2011 she received her State Government Leadership Excellence Certificate from the University of South Dakota for completing the Governor's Leadership Program
Shawnie and her husband, Scott, who is assistant director for the Division of Criminal Investigation, have been married for 19 years and they have two young daughters that keep the days interesting and always entertaining. In her spare time she enjoys golfing and spending time on the river with her family.
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.
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.
Interim Secretary Mary Stadick Smith - Education
Mary Stadick Smith is serving as the Interim Secretary of Education. Prior to assuming the interim role, she served as the Deputy Secretary of Education for seven years and the Communications Director for the Department of Education for seven years.
Smith's background is in communications and public relations. Over the course of her career, she has worked in the government, non-profit and for-profit sectors. Smith launched her career at a very young age, working at her parentsâ€™ family business in small-town Minnesota, an experience that helped to develop her deep appreciation for hard work.
She is grateful for the opportunity to have meaningful work as a public servant and, specifically, the chance to impact school children and educators across the state in a positive manner.
She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris and an executive master's in public administration from the University of South Dakota.
She and her husband, Jeff, have a teenage daughter who is in the public school system. She enjoys teaches cycling classes at Oahe YMCA, volunteering at PAWS Animal Rescue, hiking, biking and reading.
While she is a Minnesota native (Skol Vikings!), Smith has lived in South Dakota long enough that she can proudly call the Mount Rushmore State home.
Interim Commissioner Pat Snow - Information and Telecommunications
Pat Snow was appointed Intern CIO for the State of South Dakota in March, 2018. As the CIO, he also serves as Commissioner for the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT). BIT serves as the central IT authority for the State of South Dakota, providing comprehensive technology services to executive branch state agencies, K-12 education, and higher education customers. Services provided include technology asset management, endpoint services, data center systems and facilities, consolidated network services, voice and video telecommunications, first responder land-mobile radio, cyber security, application development, email, web, database, and cloud services.
Pat is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in information technology service development and implementation. He is deeply experienced in application development and system administration, identifying opportunities to bridge unique systems, processes and cultures through eloquent technology solutions.
Pat is profoundly passionate about the advancement of not only the state's enterprise technology solutions, but of the driven staff that design and operate these technologies on a daily basis. Through a combination of framework-driven architecture, agile methodologies, and common sense execution strategies, he champions innovative technology concepts and strategies from clients and staff alike. During his tenure with South Dakota state government, BIT has achieved national recognition as a leader in technology service consolidation efforts in government and education.
His specialties are enterprise system architecture, strategic and tactical planning, business intelligence, data analytics, business continuity, technology analysis / implementation, security operations, and application development.
He currently serves as:
- National Association of State Technology Directors, President
- Mitchell Technical Institute, Information Systems Technology Advisory Board Member
- South Dakota Educational Telecommunications Board Member
Pat holds a BS from Chadron State College
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.
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.
Commissioner Laurie Gill - Human Resources
Laurie Gill was appointed the Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources in September 2013. Gill has over 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 served as Mayor of Pierre for nine years and chose not to run again in June 2017. Prior to being elected Mayor, she served on the Pierre City Commission for nine years.
Gill is the Governor's appointee to the South Dakota Retirement System Board of Trustees.
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.
Commissioner Scott Bollinger - Administration
Scott Bollinger serves as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration. He previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration. He also served as the Director of Operations for the Department of Corrections, the Finance Administrator for the Bureau of Administration, and a Budget Analyst with the Bureau of Finance and Management.
Scott is a Woonsocket native and graduated with a BS in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.
Scott and his wife Deb live in Pierre and have four adult sons. Scott enjoys time with family, golf, reading, and volunteering with his church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Pierre Tennis Association.
Secretary Andy Gerlach - Revenue
Andy Gerlach was appointed Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Revenue in December of 2010. 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 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 and the American Legion.
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.
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 â€œIf you have all the answers, you don't know all the questions.â€
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.
DECORATIONS AND AWARDS:
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