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Employment Works Task Force Members Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 29, 2013

CONTACT: Patrick Baker, DHS communications officer, at 605-773-5990 or patrick.baker@state.sd.us


PIERRE, S.D. – The members of Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Employment Works Task Force were recently announced. The task force was created as part of an initiative to study employing South Dakotans with disabilities.


The Employment Works Task Force will meet three to four times between now and early fall and then make recommendations to the Governor toward increasing the number of South Dakotans with disabilities who are employed. The task force will be chaired by Laurie Gill, Secretary of the Department of Human Services. The task force will bring together a broad group, including people with disabilities and their family members, the business community, legislators, representatives of state government, service providers and nonprofit stakeholders.


The Employment Works Task Force is comprised of the following members:



  • Avera McKennan, Sioux Falls – Julie Benz
  • Black Hills Corporation, Rapid City – Darin Seeley
  • Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Sioux Falls – Jennifer Erickson
  • Dakota King, Inc., Sioux Falls – Cindy Walsh
  • Larson Manufacturing, Brookings – Gary Isenberg
  • Lowe’s, Rapid City – John Fenske
  • National Park Service, Midwest Region-West, Hot Springs – Andrea Kern
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings – Samuel Jennings
  • Walgreens, Rapid City – Don Wiltgen

Individuals and family members:

  • Deb Docken, Sioux Falls
  • Beth Haug, Custer-Hermosa
  • Terry Rist, Sioux Falls
  • Wendy Rossman, Rapid City
  • Milt Schlichenmayer, Pierre
  • Brenda Smith, Sioux Falls


  • Rep. Don Haggar, District 10, Sioux Falls
  • Rep. Paula Hawks, District 9, Hartford
  • Rep. Leslie Heinemann, District 8, Flandreau
  • Sen. Bruce Rampelberg, District 30, Rapid City
  • Rep. Fred Romkema, District 31, Spearfish
  • Sen. Deb Soholt, District 14, Sioux Falls

Nonprofit stakeholders:

  • Center for Disabilities-Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls – Wendy Parent-Johnson
  • Council on Developmental Disabilities, Rapid City – Monica Burgess
  • South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, Pierre – Shelly Pfaff
  • South Dakota Parent Connection, Sioux Falls – Elaine Roberts


  • Behavior Management Systems, Rapid City – Alan Solano
  • Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, Sturgis – Gloria Pluimer
  • SESDAC, Inc., Vermillion – Rennae O’Connor
  • South Dakota Achieve, Sioux Falls – Rick DiSanto

State government:

  • Bureau of Human Resources – Kim Stahl
  • Department of Education – Melody Schopp
  • Department of Human Services – Laurie Gill
  • Department of Labor and Regulation – Pam Roberts
  • Department of Social Services – Kim Malsam-Rysdon



About DHS

In partnership with its stakeholders, the South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to optimize the quality of life of people with disabilities through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the 2013 DHS Strategic Plan.


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