State Employee Awards

2009 Awards

2009 Awards

Agency/Employee (s)

Awards and Honors

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The South Dakota Army National Guard named Sgt. Leroy Lockwood Jr., Rapid City, as the Soldier of the Year and Sgt. Jackson Moeller, Ames, Iowa, as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Each award is the top honor for both the enlisted and noncommissioned officer corps within the state's Army National Guard.
Department of Corrections Michaelyn Mieczkowski was named STAR Academy Employee of the Year.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area received an award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve as a "Patriotic Employer". The award was presented to Jeff VanMeeteren, Regional Park Supervisor on behalf of the Lewis & Clark Park District, near Yankton, SD.  District Park Ranger, Scott Pospishil nominated the park district for the award.  Scott has been an employee with the district since 2003 first as a seasonal law enforcement officer and eventually as a full-time park ranger in January of 2007. Scott has been a member of the National Guard (Charlie Battery - Yankton, SD) for approx. 13 years and currently holds the rank of Sergeant.  In 2005-06, Scott's unit was deployed to Iraq and is scheduled to deploy again in April of 2009.
Department of Social Services
Deb Bowman received the 2008 Roberta Vogt Award from AARP at a luncheon at the Americ Inn in Ft. Pierre.
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The South Dakota National Guard presented an award for outstanding support to a military member to Jenny Briest, Yankton, S.D.   Briest received this award at the South Dakota National Guard’s Legislative Dining Out, for her outstanding care and support that she provided to her husband, Sgt. (Ret.) Corey Briest, member of Charlie Battery, 1st Battallion, 147th Field Artillery, after he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Iraq in Dec. 2005.

Seven National Guard soldiers from Detachment 48, Operational Airlift Support Command were honored today for their service to the nation during a National Guard Freedom Salute Ceremony at Camp Rapid.  The National Guard members were awarded five Air Medals and two Army Commendation Medals for their six months of service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lynn Hussman, president and board member of the B.H. Stock Show Foundation, invited 10 members of the Army National Guard and 10 members of Ellsworth Air Force Base to a military appreciation luncheon to honor their service to the state and nation.
Department of Health The department’s HealthySD ads promoting physical activity and nutrition received silver and gold awards at the South Dakota ADDY® awards, a premier national advertising competition through the American Advertising Federation and the South Dakota Advertising Federation. Two TV ads, “Riding a Bike” and “Plant a Garden” received silver ADDY® awards. The HealthySD print ad campaign received a Gold ADDY Award and will go on to regional competition. The ads were created for DOH by ADwërks, a Sioux Falls agency.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks GFP Senior Biologist Receives Award

The South Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society annually presents the Wildlife Professional of the Year Award to an individual who is employed in the field of wildlife management and has made an outstanding contribution in wildlife management in South Dakota.  The 2009 Wildlife Professional of the Year Award recognized William (Bill) Smith.  Bill is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in the Habitat Section serving as the Department’s Farm Bill coordinator and administers the Walk-In Area Program. 

He serves as a liaison for the Department with the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bill has vigorously worked to maximize the wildlife benefits found within these federal conservation programs, in particular the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  Working with other staff, Bill has provided guidance and expertise in designing GFP habitat programs to fully complement federal programs.  Bill also serves on a variety of committees and working groups which strengthen GFP’s partnerships with federal and state conservation agencies, as well as working closely with non-governmental organizations on habitat and access related topics.

GFP Educator Honored

Chad Tussing, Education Services Coordinator for Game, Fish, and Parks has been honored by the South Dakota Science Teachers Association (SDSTA) with the 2009 Friend of Science Award. Tussing has worked as an educator with GFP for over eight years.  The award is given each year to an individual for their support of South Dakota students and the work done by the association.

Tussing has given presentations related to Project WILD and other GFP education programs at the SDSTA conference, as well as providing materials for teachers attending the annual Science and Math Conference. He has also developed and presented numerous workshops for educators across South Dakota.

Mobridge Park Manager Receives Top Award

Jim Straight, Park Manager at Indian Creek State Recreation Area, was recognized as Mobridge Area Employee of the Year by the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce at their annual winter banquet.  Jim has been at Indian Creek since May of 2007 and oversees Revheim, West Pollock, and Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Areas, the Indian Creek Off-Road Vehicle Area, and the boat ramps on northern Lake Oahe.  Before coming to Indian Creek, Jim worked at Snake Creek Recreation Area, Custer State Park, and the Black Hills Snowmobile Trail System.  Straight is a graduate of South Dakota State University. 
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Dale Healey was named Young Engineer of the Year for the Central Chapter or the South Dakota Engineering Society.
Department of Corrections Yankton Minimum Unit Senior Correctional Officer James Binder was named 2009 Officer of the Year by the Yankton Lions Club.

Danielle Meyer, STAR Academy Treatment Supervisor, was named the recipient of the Jodi Larabee Spirit of Character Award during the first annual Performance based Standards Recognition Awards ceremony.  The award is named after Larabee, a long-time juvenile division employee who passed away last year from cancer.
Department of Health Immunization Registry Award

The department’s immunization registry, the South Dakota Immunization Information System (SDIIS), received an AIRA Center of Excellence Award for Data Use at the recent National Immunization Conference. AIRA is the American Immunization Registry Association. “Your creative approach to engaging providers proved to be a very practical approach for South Dakota.  You should be very proud of your accomplishments,” noted the award letter from AIRA. South Dakota was recognized for its success in using the registry’s assessment function along with GIS mapping software to identify pockets of need, and determine solutions to improve statewide immunization rates. Since 2004 DOH has used the registry’s assessment function to produce statewide immunization coverage results. In 2004, the statewide baseline coverage rate was 50% for the 24-35 month age cohort. By July 2007, the coverage rate had increased to 86%, in large part due to utilizing the SDIIS coverage data in combination with the GIS mapping software to identify pockets of need and individual providers with low immunization rates.
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Gov. John Hoeven, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk and other leadership thanked nearly 350 members of the South Dakota Army National Guard for their service in North Dakota during the flood. Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk presented commander’s coins of appreciation to about 40 South Dakota Soldiers and told them they all also would receive the Federal Humanitarian Service Medal and the State Emergency Service Ribbon.
Department of Social Services
  • Pamela Bennett, Program Specialists in Child Protection Services (CPS) State Office was a recipient of the Administration for Children and Families 2009 Commissioner’s Award.  Pam, along with other recipients, received the award at the 17th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1, 2009.  The Commissioner’s Award recognized Pam’s dedication and collaborative efforts to improve child welfare practice in South Dakota which has result in continued progress toward ensuring the safety and well-being of children.   A quote from the awards program state, “Pam’s leadership has been instrumental in the Division’s efforts to make a shift from incident based decision-making in child maltreatment cases to a fully integrated approach based on safety assessment and safety management.  The positive results of the safety integration work were evident during South Dakota’s 2008 Child and Family Services Review.”  Pam Bennett has been with Child Protection Services since June 1988, first as a social worker in the Rapid City office and as a Program Specialist in State Office for the past 11 years. 
  • Deb Bowman was notified that she will be the recipient of the Dakota State University Distinguished Alumna Award at their commencement exercises on May 9.
Department of Health
  • The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, recently received a national award which recognized the transition of the board from a medical association to a state regulatory agency. The award was presented by Administrators in Medicine (AIM) at a national meeting.
  • Linda Marchand received the Outstanding Professional in Home and Community Award from the SD Association of Family and Consumers Sciences at the group’s recent annual meeting. Linda is the Regional Manager for Community Health Services in the Rapid City area.
Bureau of Information and Telecommunications SDPB Television won three SD Associated Press awards. SDPB Radio awarded 3 of 7 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and 8 of 11 SD AP Awards. SDPB interns swept the SD AP Awards for students.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Spirit of Discovery Award: Lewis & Clark Regional Water System awarded this posthumously to Dave Ryan for his years of dedication to the program.  His wife Cindy Ryan accepted the award.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Stearns received the Army Values Award.  This award goes to the soldier who best exemplifies Army values among the officers attending the course.  Soldiers attending the training vote on who should receive this award.  Congratulations to Trooper Stearns!
Department of Health Galen Jordre, RPh, has been named by the SDSU College of Pharmacy as the Alumni of the Year. He is a Pharmacy Consultant for the Office of Licensure and Certification in Pierre. Galen will be honored at an event on the Brookings campus later this fall and according to the dean, truly earned the award. “Mr. Jordre has had a tremendous career,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Dennis Hedge. “His deep involvement in professional and community organizations is truly noteworthy.  Beyond that, Galen is a true gentleman and a great ambassador of our College and SDSU.” Congratulations Galen!
Department of Corrections Sgt. Mark Kannenberg of the South Dakota State Penitentiary was named Officer of the Year by the Sioux Falls Optimist Club at a ceremony May 14th.  Kannenberg has worked at the Penitentiary since 1989. He was promoted to his current position as K-9 Sergeant in 2002.  Kannenberg handles the dogs that conduct searches for drugs, tobacco, cell phones and other contraband at the Penitentiary.
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The South Dakota National Guard (SDNG), in honor of the 2009 National Volunteer Week thanked our military volunteers. Volunteers have spent numerous hours in support of the National Guard throughout the state by leading Family Readiness groups, providing education, consultation, mediation for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and honoring those who have served our nation with military funeral honors. 
Bureau of Information and Telecommunications SDPB radio staff, Cara Hetland and Charles Michael Ray, awarded National Public Radio fellowships.
Department of Transportation Junction City employees provide emergency assistance two days in a row

Richard Jahn, Lead Highway Maintenance Worker at Junction City, was traveling north on Interstate 29 in the North Sioux City area on May 18 when he witnessed the vehicle in front of him leaving the road. The vehicle appeared to be increasing in speed when Jahn saw an individual in the passenger seat trying to get the vehicle back on the road.

When the vehicle came to rest underneath an overhead bridge, Jahn called 911; he could see the driver had a medical problem. As he approached the vehicle, the passenger said the driver had passed out. Richard got the driver’s seat tilted back and listened for breathing, but couldn’t feel any air coming out of the man’s nose. The man had his tongue out with his mouth closed.

After Jahn gave him a couple of chest compressions, the man’s mouth came open and he came to. Jahn stayed at the scene until emergency medical services people arrived. DOT staff never learned what the man’s medical problem was.

The next day, Jahn and some other Junction City DOT employees were traveling on SD50 near Gayville when they noticed a vehicle had run off the road where some construction was about to start.

The vehicle had crashed into a concrete paving machine. The crew pulled up and found the driver still in the vehicle and suffering from severe head trauma. Jahn again called 911. Crew members Trevor Job, Tyler Small and Darin Brandt got the victim out of his vehicle, and Job worked to control the bleeding and keep the man comfortable until the ambulance arrived. The victim later was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital
Department of Health Linda Marchand, our Community Health Services Regional Manager in Rapid City, received the Second Century of Helping Centennial Community Service Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at the group’s 100th annual conference. Linda received the award for donating the most hours to community service projects during the past year.<
Bureau of Information and Telecommunications SOS Central Election Reporting system given National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED) National 2009 State Award.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Stacy Froelich was awarded Registered Professional Engineer in South Dakota by State of South Dakota - Board of Technical Professions.

DENR received an outstanding review from EPA Region 8.  EPA concluded: "We continue to find the management of the South Dakota SRF programs is conducted exceptionally well.  We appreciate all the work that DENR has put into implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  We recognize that several unique aspects related to funding from the Act have placed a significant burden on your staff and we are impressed with the manner in which DENR is ensuring that all funding will go towards projects starting construction by February 17, 2010
Department of Public Safety Trooper Michael Bock received the prestigious Forty & Eight Award from the American Legion.  He received the award at ceremony in Hot Springs the last weekend of July.  The Forty & Eight was formed in 1920 by American Legionnaires as an honor society and from its earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims.  Membership is by invitation for members of the American Legion who have shown exemplary service.  All Forty & Eight members are thus veterans of congressionally recognized wartime periods via their Legion membership.  Congratulations to Mike and his family for the well-deserved recognition.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks The Bureau of Reclamation presented an award of appreciation to Secretary Vonk on behalf of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks for successful efforts to save Shadehill Recreation Area during the worst flooding since the reservoir was closed in 1951. The Bureau owns Shadehill and leases the land to the State.  The credit goes to Park Manager Dallas Ingles, park staff from throughout the region, and Lemmon area volunteers.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks Parks Planning Staff receive Craftsmanship Award
The Black Hills area Construction Industry Center presented the 2008 Craftsmanship Award to RCS Construction and the SD Division of Parks and Recreation for the Roughlock Falls Improvement Project.  The Construction Industry Center is a member owned construction association with approximately 700 members in the Black Hills region.  The Roughlock Falls project involved constructing accessible boardwalks, viewing platforms, stamped concrete sidewalk, improving parking accommodations, and protecting and enhancing the riparian habitat along the creek.  Due to the extreme topography of the area, much of the work had to be done by hand.  RCS took exceptional pride in the project and developed several innovative techniques to protect the natural resources in the area while accomplishing challenging construction tasks.  The project was totally designed by the Division of Parks and Recreation planning staff.  The feedback from the visitors to the improvements at Roughlock Falls has been extremely positive.
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Cited for their strong dedication to serving veterans and their families, county/tribal veteran service officers (C/TVSO) and support staff members from within the veteran network were recognized at an the annual awards program held Monday evening, Aug. 31, at the Pierre American Legion Cabin. The following individuals were recognized: 
  • Larry Person, of our Pierre staff, was awarded the 2009 Glenn Green Advocacy Award. 
  • Jerry Lolley, of Sturgis, received the Jim Melgaard Award that distinguishes him as the 2009 County/Tribal Veteran Service Officer of the Year.
  • Alvin Janzen, of Watertown, was awarded the 2009 Robert Lindblad Award that distinguishes him for excellence in outreach.
  • Ken Lindblad, of Huron, was presented the 2009 Les Mord Award that distinguishes him for excellence in education.
  • Phyllis Mills, of Pierre, received the 2009 Support Staff of the Year Award. 
  • Todd and Kathy Fierro, of Belle Fourche, received the 2009 Partner of the Year Award.
  • Amber Heinert, OEF/OIF Case Manager at the Black Hills VA Medical Center in Hot Springs and Bill Disbrow, Enrollment Coordinator at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center were presented the 2009 VA Staff Award. 
  • JoAnn Huntington, of Sisseton, was recognized as the 2009 Veteran Volunteer of the Year.
In addition to these awards Doug Brown, VSO in the Sioux Falls Claims Office, was awarded the Airman’s Medal. Adjutant General Doohen presented the award and commended Doug for his heroic acts.

Allen Hellesund, former VSO for Dewey County; Lester Patocka, former VSO for Charles Mix County, Marvin Bertsch, former VSO for Corson County and Thomas Murphy, former education representative for the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs, were recognized by the County/Tribal Veterans Service Officer Association for their years of service.
Dale Bertsch, from the Governor’s office, presented Gene Murphy, State Adjutant for the Disabled American Veterans, with a check for $13,500 in support of the DAV transportation program.
Department of Transportation The Nebraska and South Dakota Discovery Bridge at Yankton is one of ten finalists in the 2009 America’s Transportation Awards competition

The project was completed one year ahead of schedule and came in under budget due to close cooperation between the Nebraska Department of Roads, their partners across the border in South Dakota, and the contractors and subcontractors involved in the project, a press release from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. The bridge was a winner in the “Under Budget” category. A grand prize winner will be selected by independent judging and announced in October.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks The South Dakota Division of Parks and Recreation recognized several individuals for their dedication and hard work in the State Parks system.  The awards were part of the Division’s fall meeting.

“This year’s honorees were all very deserving,” said Doug Hofer, Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation.  "The dedication of these individuals can be seen in parks across the state and is enjoyed by the many visitors to South Dakota state parks and recreation areas each year."

Dallas Ingles of Lemmon received the 2009 South Dakota State Parks Distinguished Service Award.  Ingles has been the park manager at Shadehill Recreation Area for over thirty years.  “When Dallas began at Shadehill, few improvements had been made to the park,” stated Hofer.  Hofer credits Ingles for his ingenuity and hard work that has transformed Shadehill into a premier recreation area within South Dakota’s state park system.

Dennis Williams of Pierre received one of the two Awards of Appreciation.  “Dennis has been employed with Game, Fish, and Parks for 44 years,” said Hofer.  “He has worked with many different aspects of facility development and resource protection within the department which makes him a very valuable employee.”

Jason Bauman of Brandon was honored with the other Award of Appreciation.  “Over the years that Jason has been with us, I have watched him grow immensely,” said Mark Steck, regional park supervisor.  “He has vision and lots of confidence in himself.  He doesn’t look for a lot of credit he simply does a great job day in-day out.”

Two Team Awards were given out this year.  One was presented to the park staff that helped integrate the new “Point of Sale” computer system at parks statewide incorporateing real-time camping reservations and allowing park visitors to use credit cards.  Contributing to the effort were Vicki Kist, John Christensen, Justin Thede, Derek Dorr, Lance Catron, Travis Theilen, Jim Straight, Brad Nelson, Lynn Spomer, Michelle Delaney, and Steve Papendick.  “These individuals put in countless hours developing procedures, testing system components, and providing input to programmers,” according to assistant director Bob Schneider.  “Because of their efforts the public has a user-friendly system making it more convenient to pay for park services.”  

The Spring Creek Marina Breakwater development team received the second teamwork award.  ““Lake Oahe is a true treasure for South Dakota and these efforts have ensured that reliable, quality marina services will be there for the enjoyment of South Dakotans and our guests,” said Assistant Division Director Al Nedved.  “Assembling this marina and breakwater required a tremendous amount of planning, precision, and cooperation.  It simply could not have been done if it were not for this team of committed individuals.”  Members of the team include Pat Buscher, Travis Theilen, Henry “Tuck” Durham, Ross Hatheway, Ryan Persoon, Joe Miklos, Levi Akerman, Pat Redden, Dennis Williams, Sean Blanchette, Stephanie Griese, Kelcey Abbot, and Marlin Fallon.

The 2009 Seasonal of the Year Award was given to Mark Mewshaw.  Mark has always been a problem solver and has played a major role in planning, organizing, and implementing the annual Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival.  “Mark is team player who supports the big picture and is a pleasure to work with each and every day,” said Craig Pugsley visitor services coordinator for Custer State Park.

Joan and Odean Deutsch were named the South Dakota State Park Volunteers of the Year.  They has been campground hosts at Angostura Recreation Area for the last five years.  “Joan and Odean go above and beyond their job description,” said Angostura park manager Willy Collignon.  “They clean bathrooms, pick up garbage, mow, clean fire pits – anything that needs done.”  Joan and Odean have each put in over 3000 volunteer hours at Angostura.  “These two have been a great asset to me over the years and will continue to be a friend to the park and me for many years to come,” added Collignon.
Department of Social Services The Division of Child Support (DCS) was notified that the Division will be the recipient of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Commissioner’s Award for High Performance.  This award is presented to a child support team that has sustained exceptional performance, and the outcomes achieved are a major contribution to the success of the program.  The SD DCS is recognized as having ranked #1 in the country in performance for the past 8 consecutive years. 

Darlene Moore and Jody Cornwell regional administrators from the federal Department of Agriculture came to South Dakota to present a performance bonus check to Deb Bowman, Sharon Sonnenschein and Judy Tolle for the South Dakota SNAP (formerly food stamp) program.  South Dakota has received a performance award for 25 years in a row.  According to Ms. Moore, that has amounted to 15 milllion dollars.

The South Dakota Health Care Association presented Deb Bowman with their legend award at their annual conference in Sioux Falls. 
Department of Health We recently honored several individuals in our third annual Secretary’s Awards Program:

  • Linda Schaefer and Norma Schmidt received the Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Awards for contributions made over the course of their careers. A 29-year veteran of the department, Schaefer is the Disease Surveillance Coordinator for the Office of Disease Prevention. Schmidt is the Cancer Program Director for the Office of Health Promotion and has been with the Department for 21 years.
  • Jennifer Griesse received the Rising Star Award, which recognizes fresh new talent in the agency. Griesse originally started with the DOH as an intern, and has helped to beef up the agency’s GIS and data management capabilities.
  • Halley Lee and Barb Buhler received Excellence in the Workplace Awards for contributions over the past year.  Lee is the Healthcare Workforce Manager for the Office of Rural Health.  Buhler is the Department’s Public Information Officer and has served 23 years for the agency.  
  • We have two additional awards to present for staff in the field which will be announced when we get the chance to present them publicly.
Gary Myers, Trauma Program Manager in our Office of Rural Health, received the 2009 President’s Award at the recent SD Emergency Medical Technician Association conference. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promoting EMS and the association.
Department of Social Services The Division of Child Support (DCS) was the recipient of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Commissioner’s Award for High Performance.  Division Director Terry Walter accepted the Award on behalf of all DCS staff from OCSE Commissioner Vicki Turetsky on November 3rd during the 19th Annual National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference in Washington, DC.  The award recognizes a child support team that has sustained exceptional performance, and outcomes achieved are a major contribution to the success of the program.  The SD DCS is recognized as having ranked #1 in the country in performance for the past 9 consecutive years.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks All SD state parks recognized for outstanding customer service

The South Dakota Office of Tourism recently named 63 Game, Fish, and Parks entities as recipients of the 2009 Great Service STAR Program.

Every South Dakota state park, recreation area, nature area, the state park system’s main office in Pierre, and the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls were honored.  The program recognizes both government agencies and private businesses for providing outstanding customer service.

“This award is a tribute to the customer service that our entire Game, Fish, and Parks staff provides,” said Department Secretary Jeff Vonk.  “State park staffers across South Dakota do an excellent job of providing quality service to park visitors, and The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls is an outstanding quality education experience.  This recognition reaffirms their efforts."

To qualify for the honor, participants must complete a set of criteria for hospitality training of their employees.  Those completing the four steps of the program are awarded the Great Service STAR logo to use in their marketing.

The requirements include attending hospitality training, implementing a system for visitor feedback, and recognizing outstanding employees.  When those requirements are met, participants apply for the award through the South Dakota Office of Tourism.
Department of Human Services Patriotic Employer Award: HSC Adolescent and Chemical Dependency Program Director Jody Smith received a notification letter and will be presented with the plaque for ‘Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’ in early December 2009.  The ‘My Boss is a Patriot Award’ will be presented in December by the 114 Fighter Wing Division of the South Dakota Air National Guard (SDANG).  The honor recognizes Jody’s and HSC’s support as an ‘employer going above and beyond what is expected by law’ for those in the military.  The award nomination was submitted by HSC Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Karl Hoskins who is a member of the F-16 Armament Systems of the South Dakota Air National Guard and who will be deployed to Iraq in December.
Department of Game, Fish, and Parks Conservation Officer Jeremy Roe will be formally recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation in Mitchell on Jan 9, 2010, as recipient of their South Dakota Officer of the Year.
Department of Corrections
  • Dennis Lauseng was named Employee of the Year at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
  • Tony Hillmer was named Employee of the Year at the South Dakota Women’s Prison.
  • Jeremy Spulak was named Security Employee of the Year at the Mike Durfee State Prison while Tena Denouden was named Non-Security Employee of the Year.
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
The South Dakota Army National Guard named Sgt. Leroy Lockwood Jr., Rapid City, as the Soldier of the Year and Sgt. Jackson Moeller, Ames, Iowa, as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Each award is the top honor for both the enlisted and noncommissioned officer corps within the state's Army National Guard.


Department of Corrections
Michaelyn Mieczkowski was named STAR Academy Employee of the Year.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area received an award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve as a "Patriotic Employer". The award was presented to Jeff VanMeeteren, Regional Park Supervisor on behalf of the Lewis & Clark Park District, near Yankton, SD.  District Park Ranger, Scott Pospishil nominated the park district for the award.  Scott has been an employee with the district since 2003 first as a seasonal law enforcement officer and eventually as a full-time park ranger in January of 2007. Scott has been a member of the National Guard (Charlie Battery - Yankton, SD) for approx. 13 years and currently holds the rank of Sergeant.  In 2005-06, Scott's unit was deployed to Iraq and is scheduled to deploy again in April of 2009.


Department of Social Services
Deb Bowman received the 2008 Roberta Vogt Award from AARP at a luncheon at the Americ Inn in Ft. Pierre.


Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
The South Dakota National Guard presented an award for outstanding support to a military member to Jenny Briest, Yankton, S.D.   Briest received this award at the South Dakota National Guard’s Legislative Dining Out, for her outstanding care and support that she provided to her husband, Sgt. (Ret.) Corey Briest, member of Charlie Battery, 1st Battallion, 147th Field Artillery, after he was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Iraq in Dec. 2005.

Seven National Guard soldiers from Detachment 48, Operational Airlift Support Command were honored today for their service to the nation during a National Guard Freedom Salute Ceremony at Camp Rapid.  The National Guard members were awarded five Air Medals and two Army Commendation Medals for their six months of service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lynn Hussman, president and board member of the B.H. Stock Show Foundation, invited 10 members of the Army National Guard and 10 members of Ellsworth Air Force Base to a military appreciation luncheon to honor their service to the state and nation.


Department of Health
The department’s HealthySD ads promoting physical activity and nutrition received silver and gold awards at the South Dakota ADDY® awards, a premier national advertising competition through the American Advertising Federation and the South Dakota Advertising Federation. Two TV ads, “Riding a Bike” and “Plant a Garden” received silver ADDY® awards. The HealthySD print ad campaign received a Gold ADDY Award and will go on to regional competition. The ads were created for DOH by ADwërks, a Sioux Falls agency.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
GFP Senior Biologist Receives Award

The South Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society annually presents the Wildlife Professional of the Year Award to an individual who is employed in the field of wildlife management and has made an outstanding contribution in wildlife management in South Dakota.  The 2009 Wildlife Professional of the Year Award recognized William (Bill) Smith.  Bill is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in the Habitat Section serving as the Department’s Farm Bill coordinator and administers the Walk-In Area Program. 

He serves as a liaison for the Department with the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bill has vigorously worked to maximize the wildlife benefits found within these federal conservation programs, in particular the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  Working with other staff, Bill has provided guidance and expertise in designing GFP habitat programs to fully complement federal programs.  Bill also serves on a variety of committees and working groups which strengthen GFP’s partnerships with federal and state conservation agencies, as well as working closely with non-governmental organizations on habitat and access related topics.

GFP Educator Honored


Chad Tussing, Education Services Coordinator for Game, Fish, and Parks has been honored by the South Dakota Science Teachers Association (SDSTA) with the 2009 Friend of Science Award. Tussing has worked as an educator with GFP for over eight years.  The award is given each year to an individual for their support of South Dakota students and the work done by the association.

Tussing has given presentations related to Project WILD and other GFP education programs at the SDSTA conference, as well as providing materials for teachers attending the annual Science and Math Conference. He has also developed and presented numerous workshops for educators across South Dakota.

Mobridge Park Manager Receives Top Award

Jim Straight, Park Manager at Indian Creek State Recreation Area, was recognized as Mobridge Area Employee of the Year by the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce at their annual winter banquet.  Jim has been at Indian Creek since May of 2007 and oversees Revheim, West Pollock, and Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Areas, the Indian Creek Off-Road Vehicle Area, and the boat ramps on northern Lake Oahe.  Before coming to Indian Creek, Jim worked at Snake Creek Recreation Area, Custer State Park, and the Black Hills Snowmobile Trail System.  Straight is a graduate of South Dakota State University. 



Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Dale Healey was named Young Engineer of the Year for the Central Chapter or the South Dakota Engineering Society.


Department of Corrections
Yankton Minimum Unit Senior Correctional Officer James Binder was named 2009 Officer of the Year by the Yankton Lions Club.

Danielle Meyer, STAR Academy Treatment Supervisor, was named the recipient of the Jodi Larabee Spirit of Character Award during the first annual Performance based Standards Recognition Awards ceremony.  The award is named after Larabee, a long-time juvenile division employee who passed away last year from cancer.


Department of Health
Immunization Registry Award

The department’s immunization registry, the South Dakota Immunization Information System (SDIIS), received an AIRA Center of Excellence Award for Data Use at the recent National Immunization Conference. AIRA is the American Immunization Registry Association. “Your creative approach to engaging providers proved to be a very practical approach for South Dakota.  You should be very proud of your accomplishments,” noted the award letter from AIRA. South Dakota was recognized for its success in using the registry’s assessment function along with GIS mapping software to identify pockets of need, and determine solutions to improve statewide immunization rates. Since 2004 DOH has used the registry’s assessment function to produce statewide immunization coverage results. In 2004, the statewide baseline coverage rate was 50% for the 24-35 month age cohort. By July 2007, the coverage rate had increased to 86%, in large part due to utilizing the SDIIS coverage data in combination with the GIS mapping software to identify pockets of need and individual providers with low immunization rates.


Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Gov. John Hoeven, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk and other leadership thanked nearly 350 members of the South Dakota Army National Guard for their service in North Dakota during the flood. Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk presented commander’s coins of appreciation to about 40 South Dakota Soldiers and told them they all also would receive the Federal Humanitarian Service Medal and the State Emergency Service Ribbon.


Department of Social Services
  • Pamela Bennett, Program Specialists in Child Protection Services (CPS) State Office was a recipient of the Administration for Children and Families 2009 Commissioner’s Award.  Pam, along with other recipients, received the award at the 17th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1, 2009.  The Commissioner’s Award recognized Pam’s dedication and collaborative efforts to improve child welfare practice in South Dakota which has result in continued progress toward ensuring the safety and well-being of children.   A quote from the awards program state, “Pam’s leadership has been instrumental in the Division’s efforts to make a shift from incident based decision-making in child maltreatment cases to a fully integrated approach based on safety assessment and safety management.  The positive results of the safety integration work were evident during South Dakota’s 2008 Child and Family Services Review.”  Pam Bennett has been with Child Protection Services since June 1988, first as a social worker in the Rapid City office and as a Program Specialist in State Office for the past 11 years. 
  • Deb Bowman was notified that she will be the recipient of the Dakota State University Distinguished Alumna Award at their commencement exercises on May 9.



Department of Health
  • The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, recently received a national award which recognized the transition of the board from a medical association to a state regulatory agency. The award was presented by Administrators in Medicine (AIM) at a national meeting.
  • Linda Marchand received the Outstanding Professional in Home and Community Award from the SD Association of Family and Consumers Sciences at the group’s recent annual meeting. Linda is the Regional Manager for Community Health Services in the Rapid City area.



Bureau of Information and Telecommunications
SDPB Television won three SD Associated Press awards. SDPB Radio awarded 3 of 7 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and 8 of 11 SD AP Awards. SDPB interns swept the SD AP Awards for students.


Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Spirit of Discovery Award: Lewis & Clark Regional Water System awarded this posthumously to Dave Ryan for his years of dedication to the program.  His wife Cindy Ryan accepted the award.


Department of Public Safety
Trooper Stearns received the Army Values Award.  This award goes to the soldier who best exemplifies Army values among the officers attending the course.  Soldiers attending the training vote on who should receive this award.  Congratulations to Trooper Stearns!


Department of Health
Galen Jordre, RPh, has been named by the SDSU College of Pharmacy as the Alumni of the Year. He is a Pharmacy Consultant for the Office of Licensure and Certification in Pierre. Galen will be honored at an event on the Brookings campus later this fall and according to the dean, truly earned the award. “Mr. Jordre has had a tremendous career,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Dennis Hedge. “His deep involvement in professional and community organizations is truly noteworthy.  Beyond that, Galen is a true gentleman and a great ambassador of our College and SDSU.” Congratulations Galen!


Department of Corrections
Sgt. Mark Kannenberg of the South Dakota State Penitentiary was named Officer of the Year by the Sioux Falls Optimist Club at a ceremony May 14th.  Kannenberg has worked at the Penitentiary since 1989. He was promoted to his current position as K-9 Sergeant in 2002.  Kannenberg handles the dogs that conduct searches for drugs, tobacco, cell phones and other contraband at the Penitentiary.


Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
The South Dakota National Guard (SDNG), in honor of the 2009 National Volunteer Week thanked our military volunteers. Volunteers have spent numerous hours in support of the National Guard throughout the state by leading Family Readiness groups, providing education, consultation, mediation for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and honoring those who have served our nation with military funeral honors. 


Bureau of Information and Telecommunications
SDPB radio staff, Cara Hetland and Charles Michael Ray, awarded National Public Radio fellowships.


Department of Transportation
Junction City employees provide emergency assistance two days in a row

Richard Jahn, Lead Highway Maintenance Worker at Junction City, was traveling north on Interstate 29 in the North Sioux City area on May 18 when he witnessed the vehicle in front of him leaving the road. The vehicle appeared to be increasing in speed when Jahn saw an individual in the passenger seat trying to get the vehicle back on the road.

When the vehicle came to rest underneath an overhead bridge, Jahn called 911; he could see the driver had a medical problem. As he approached the vehicle, the passenger said the driver had passed out. Richard got the driver’s seat tilted back and listened for breathing, but couldn’t feel any air coming out of the man’s nose. The man had his tongue out with his mouth closed.

After Jahn gave him a couple of chest compressions, the man’s mouth came open and he came to. Jahn stayed at the scene until emergency medical services people arrived. DOT staff never learned what the man’s medical problem was.

The next day, Jahn and some other Junction City DOT employees were traveling on SD50 near Gayville when they noticed a vehicle had run off the road where some construction was about to start.

The vehicle had crashed into a concrete paving machine. The crew pulled up and found the driver still in the vehicle and suffering from severe head trauma. Jahn again called 911. Crew members Trevor Job, Tyler Small and Darin Brandt got the victim out of his vehicle, and Job worked to control the bleeding and keep the man comfortable until the ambulance arrived. The victim later was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital


Department of Health
Linda Marchand, our Community Health Services Regional Manager in Rapid City, received the Second Century of Helping Centennial Community Service Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at the group’s 100th annual conference. Linda received the award for donating the most hours to community service projects during the past year.<


Bureau of Information and Telecommunications
SOS Central Election Reporting system given National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED) National 2009 State Award.


Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Stacy Froelich was awarded Registered Professional Engineer in South Dakota by State of South Dakota - Board of Technical Professions.

DENR received an outstanding review from EPA Region 8.  EPA concluded: "We continue to find the management of the South Dakota SRF programs is conducted exceptionally well.  We appreciate all the work that DENR has put into implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  We recognize that several unique aspects related to funding from the Act have placed a significant burden on your staff and we are impressed with the manner in which DENR is ensuring that all funding will go towards projects starting construction by February 17, 2010


Department of Public Safety
Trooper Michael Bock received the prestigious Forty & Eight Award from the American Legion.  He received the award at ceremony in Hot Springs the last weekend of July.  The Forty & Eight was formed in 1920 by American Legionnaires as an honor society and from its earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims.  Membership is by invitation for members of the American Legion who have shown exemplary service.  All Forty & Eight members are thus veterans of congressionally recognized wartime periods via their Legion membership.  Congratulations to Mike and his family for the well-deserved recognition.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
The Bureau of Reclamation presented an award of appreciation to Secretary Vonk on behalf of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks for successful efforts to save Shadehill Recreation Area during the worst flooding since the reservoir was closed in 1951. The Bureau owns Shadehill and leases the land to the State.  The credit goes to Park Manager Dallas Ingles, park staff from throughout the region, and Lemmon area volunteers.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
Parks Planning Staff receive Craftsmanship Award
The Black Hills area Construction Industry Center presented the 2008 Craftsmanship Award to RCS Construction and the SD Division of Parks and Recreation for the Roughlock Falls Improvement Project.  The Construction Industry Center is a member owned construction association with approximately 700 members in the Black Hills region.  The Roughlock Falls project involved constructing accessible boardwalks, viewing platforms, stamped concrete sidewalk, improving parking accommodations, and protecting and enhancing the riparian habitat along the creek.  Due to the extreme topography of the area, much of the work had to be done by hand.  RCS took exceptional pride in the project and developed several innovative techniques to protect the natural resources in the area while accomplishing challenging construction tasks.  The project was totally designed by the Division of Parks and Recreation planning staff.  The feedback from the visitors to the improvements at Roughlock Falls has been extremely positive.


Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Cited for their strong dedication to serving veterans and their families, county/tribal veteran service officers (C/TVSO) and support staff members from within the veteran network were recognized at an the annual awards program held Monday evening, Aug. 31, at the Pierre American Legion Cabin. The following individuals were recognized: 
  • Larry Person, of our Pierre staff, was awarded the 2009 Glenn Green Advocacy Award. 
  • Jerry Lolley, of Sturgis, received the Jim Melgaard Award that distinguishes him as the 2009 County/Tribal Veteran Service Officer of the Year.
  • Alvin Janzen, of Watertown, was awarded the 2009 Robert Lindblad Award that distinguishes him for excellence in outreach.
  • Ken Lindblad, of Huron, was presented the 2009 Les Mord Award that distinguishes him for excellence in education.
  • Phyllis Mills, of Pierre, received the 2009 Support Staff of the Year Award. 
  • Todd and Kathy Fierro, of Belle Fourche, received the 2009 Partner of the Year Award.
  • Amber Heinert, OEF/OIF Case Manager at the Black Hills VA Medical Center in Hot Springs and Bill Disbrow, Enrollment Coordinator at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center were presented the 2009 VA Staff Award. 
  • JoAnn Huntington, of Sisseton, was recognized as the 2009 Veteran Volunteer of the Year.
In addition to these awards Doug Brown, VSO in the Sioux Falls Claims Office, was awarded the Airman’s Medal. Adjutant General Doohen presented the award and commended Doug for his heroic acts.

Allen Hellesund, former VSO for Dewey County; Lester Patocka, former VSO for Charles Mix County, Marvin Bertsch, former VSO for Corson County and Thomas Murphy, former education representative for the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs, were recognized by the County/Tribal Veterans Service Officer Association for their years of service.
Dale Bertsch, from the Governor’s office, presented Gene Murphy, State Adjutant for the Disabled American Veterans, with a check for $13,500 in support of the DAV transportation program.


Department of Transportation
The Nebraska and South Dakota Discovery Bridge at Yankton is one of ten finalists in the 2009 America’s Transportation Awards competition

The project was completed one year ahead of schedule and came in under budget due to close cooperation between the Nebraska Department of Roads, their partners across the border in South Dakota, and the contractors and subcontractors involved in the project, a press release from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. The bridge was a winner in the “Under Budget” category. A grand prize winner will be selected by independent judging and announced in October.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
The South Dakota Division of Parks and Recreation recognized several individuals for their dedication and hard work in the State Parks system.  The awards were part of the Division’s fall meeting.

“This year’s honorees were all very deserving,” said Doug Hofer, Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation.  "The dedication of these individuals can be seen in parks across the state and is enjoyed by the many visitors to South Dakota state parks and recreation areas each year."

Dallas Ingles of Lemmon received the 2009 South Dakota State Parks Distinguished Service Award.  Ingles has been the park manager at Shadehill Recreation Area for over thirty years.  “When Dallas began at Shadehill, few improvements had been made to the park,” stated Hofer.  Hofer credits Ingles for his ingenuity and hard work that has transformed Shadehill into a premier recreation area within South Dakota’s state park system.

Dennis Williams of Pierre received one of the two Awards of Appreciation.  “Dennis has been employed with Game, Fish, and Parks for 44 years,” said Hofer.  “He has worked with many different aspects of facility development and resource protection within the department which makes him a very valuable employee.”

Jason Bauman of Brandon was honored with the other Award of Appreciation.  “Over the years that Jason has been with us, I have watched him grow immensely,” said Mark Steck, regional park supervisor.  “He has vision and lots of confidence in himself.  He doesn’t look for a lot of credit he simply does a great job day in-day out.”

Two Team Awards were given out this year.  One was presented to the park staff that helped integrate the new “Point of Sale” computer system at parks statewide incorporateing real-time camping reservations and allowing park visitors to use credit cards.  Contributing to the effort were Vicki Kist, John Christensen, Justin Thede, Derek Dorr, Lance Catron, Travis Theilen, Jim Straight, Brad Nelson, Lynn Spomer, Michelle Delaney, and Steve Papendick.  “These individuals put in countless hours developing procedures, testing system components, and providing input to programmers,” according to assistant director Bob Schneider.  “Because of their efforts the public has a user-friendly system making it more convenient to pay for park services.”  

The Spring Creek Marina Breakwater development team received the second teamwork award.  ““Lake Oahe is a true treasure for South Dakota and these efforts have ensured that reliable, quality marina services will be there for the enjoyment of South Dakotans and our guests,” said Assistant Division Director Al Nedved.  “Assembling this marina and breakwater required a tremendous amount of planning, precision, and cooperation.  It simply could not have been done if it were not for this team of committed individuals.”  Members of the team include Pat Buscher, Travis Theilen, Henry “Tuck” Durham, Ross Hatheway, Ryan Persoon, Joe Miklos, Levi Akerman, Pat Redden, Dennis Williams, Sean Blanchette, Stephanie Griese, Kelcey Abbot, and Marlin Fallon.

The 2009 Seasonal of the Year Award was given to Mark Mewshaw.  Mark has always been a problem solver and has played a major role in planning, organizing, and implementing the annual Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival.  “Mark is team player who supports the big picture and is a pleasure to work with each and every day,” said Craig Pugsley visitor services coordinator for Custer State Park.

Joan and Odean Deutsch were named the South Dakota State Park Volunteers of the Year.  They has been campground hosts at Angostura Recreation Area for the last five years.  “Joan and Odean go above and beyond their job description,” said Angostura park manager Willy Collignon.  “They clean bathrooms, pick up garbage, mow, clean fire pits – anything that needs done.”  Joan and Odean have each put in over 3000 volunteer hours at Angostura.  “These two have been a great asset to me over the years and will continue to be a friend to the park and me for many years to come,” added Collignon.


Department of Social Services
The Division of Child Support (DCS) was notified that the Division will be the recipient of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Commissioner’s Award for High Performance.  This award is presented to a child support team that has sustained exceptional performance, and the outcomes achieved are a major contribution to the success of the program.  The SD DCS is recognized as having ranked #1 in the country in performance for the past 8 consecutive years. 

Darlene Moore and Jody Cornwell regional administrators from the federal Department of Agriculture came to South Dakota to present a performance bonus check to Deb Bowman, Sharon Sonnenschein and Judy Tolle for the South Dakota SNAP (formerly food stamp) program.  South Dakota has received a performance award for 25 years in a row.  According to Ms. Moore, that has amounted to 15 milllion dollars.

The South Dakota Health Care Association presented Deb Bowman with their legend award at their annual conference in Sioux Falls. 


Department of Health
We recently honored several individuals in our third annual Secretary’s Awards Program:

  • Linda Schaefer and Norma Schmidt received the Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Awards for contributions made over the course of their careers. A 29-year veteran of the department, Schaefer is the Disease Surveillance Coordinator for the Office of Disease Prevention. Schmidt is the Cancer Program Director for the Office of Health Promotion and has been with the Department for 21 years.
  • Jennifer Griesse received the Rising Star Award, which recognizes fresh new talent in the agency. Griesse originally started with the DOH as an intern, and has helped to beef up the agency’s GIS and data management capabilities.
  • Halley Lee and Barb Buhler received Excellence in the Workplace Awards for contributions over the past year.  Lee is the Healthcare Workforce Manager for the Office of Rural Health.  Buhler is the Department’s Public Information Officer and has served 23 years for the agency.  
  • We have two additional awards to present for staff in the field which will be announced when we get the chance to present them publicly.
Gary Myers, Trauma Program Manager in our Office of Rural Health, received the 2009 President’s Award at the recent SD Emergency Medical Technician Association conference. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promoting EMS and the association.


Department of Social Services
The Division of Child Support (DCS) was the recipient of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement Commissioner’s Award for High Performance.  Division Director Terry Walter accepted the Award on behalf of all DCS staff from OCSE Commissioner Vicki Turetsky on November 3rd during the 19th Annual National Child Support Enforcement Training Conference in Washington, DC.  The award recognizes a child support team that has sustained exceptional performance, and outcomes achieved are a major contribution to the success of the program.  The SD DCS is recognized as having ranked #1 in the country in performance for the past 9 consecutive years.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
All SD state parks recognized for outstanding customer service

The South Dakota Office of Tourism recently named 63 Game, Fish, and Parks entities as recipients of the 2009 Great Service STAR Program.

Every South Dakota state park, recreation area, nature area, the state park system’s main office in Pierre, and the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls were honored.  The program recognizes both government agencies and private businesses for providing outstanding customer service.

“This award is a tribute to the customer service that our entire Game, Fish, and Parks staff provides,” said Department Secretary Jeff Vonk.  “State park staffers across South Dakota do an excellent job of providing quality service to park visitors, and The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls is an outstanding quality education experience.  This recognition reaffirms their efforts."

To qualify for the honor, participants must complete a set of criteria for hospitality training of their employees.  Those completing the four steps of the program are awarded the Great Service STAR logo to use in their marketing.

The requirements include attending hospitality training, implementing a system for visitor feedback, and recognizing outstanding employees.  When those requirements are met, participants apply for the award through the South Dakota Office of Tourism.


Department of Human Services
Patriotic Employer Award: HSC Adolescent and Chemical Dependency Program Director Jody Smith received a notification letter and will be presented with the plaque for ‘Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’ in early December 2009.  The ‘My Boss is a Patriot Award’ will be presented in December by the 114 Fighter Wing Division of the South Dakota Air National Guard (SDANG).  The honor recognizes Jody’s and HSC’s support as an ‘employer going above and beyond what is expected by law’ for those in the military.  The award nomination was submitted by HSC Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Karl Hoskins who is a member of the F-16 Armament Systems of the South Dakota Air National Guard and who will be deployed to Iraq in December.


Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
Conservation Officer Jeremy Roe will be formally recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation in Mitchell on Jan 9, 2010, as recipient of their South Dakota Officer of the Year.


Department of Corrections
  • Dennis Lauseng was named Employee of the Year at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
  • Tony Hillmer was named Employee of the Year at the South Dakota Women’s Prison.
  • Jeremy Spulak was named Security Employee of the Year at the Mike Durfee State Prison while Tena Denouden was named Non-Security Employee of the Year.