Vicki Kerkvliet, Executive Director, Business Resource Network (BRN)
Vicki Kerkvliet is the Executive Director of the Business Resource Network in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Vicki has a B.A. in religion with a minor in psychology from Augustana University. She has worked in the field of disabilities for 24 years. Vicki was born with the disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) and uses a wheelchair for mobility. She currently serves on the Sioux Empire United Way Disability Impact Team. She is also a Peer Visitor for Independent Living Choices. Vicki was Ms. Wheelchair South Dakota in 1998. She also received the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Employee with a Disability in 2000.
Bonnie Duffy, Owner, Duffy Appraisals
Bonnie owns and operates Duffy Appraisals with her husband. She has been an appraiser since 1995 in addition to many years of experience with multiple boards, including Minnehaha County Planning and Zoning, Interlakes Community Action Partnership, East Dakota Educational Foundation, East Dakota Educational Cooperative, and Brandon Valley School Board.
Dan Goodwin, Goodwin and Sommervold Consulting
Dan is the former Director of the East Dakota Educational Cooperative/Education Service Agency 2 located in Sioux Falls, SD. He began his professional education career as a teacher in Dakota, Illinois, completed his Master’s Degree in Special Education and later served as High School/Middle School Special Education Coordinator for the Rockford, Illinois School District.
Dan returned to South Dakota to manage a federal grant for the State of South Dakota focused on developing transition plans for youth returning to their home schools from state institutions. He later joined the East Dakota Educational Cooperative as Educational Program Coordinator, was appointed to the Directorship of East Dakota and served in that capacity for 17 years, retiring in the spring of 2011. Dan was responsible for developing numerous programs serving local and regional special education and general education students during his career.
Pat Herman, Department Manager/Event Planner, USD Center for Disabilities
Pat Herman, a native South Dakotan, is a problem solver, advocate, and architect of change who works to assist others in reaching their full potential. Graduating from Augustana College with no plans, an internship sparked an interest leading to a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a 20-year career in that field. Opening the door to new experiences, she joined the Center of Disabilities in October 2014 where she applies her management, planning, and communications experience to department management. When not at the office, Herman is a champion dog sitter; DIY-er with home improvement projects; board game player; and is passionate about inspiring women through Dress for Success Sioux Falls. She also can be found serving wine during special events at Wilde Prairie Winery.
Michelle Grimm, Human Resource Manager, Costello Companies
Michelle Grimm is the Human Resource Manager for Costello Companies. She has been with Costello since 2014. Previously she worked with the Employment Connection program with Southeastern Behavioral HealthCare for 7 years. Michelle's experience includes recruiting, employee relations, training and development. Michelle is a previous member of the Sioux Falls Disability Awareness Commission.
Greg Johnson, Administrator/Manager, South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
Greg is originally from Omaha Nebraska where he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Greg worked for Target Stores for 31 years in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. He served many years as a store manager as well as a district trainer for Target, recruiting for store positions in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota University campuses.
Greg was offered the opportunity to join the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation in 2003 and has enjoyed the State DLR focus on Workforce Readiness and Development. As part of his effort to assist the business community with workforce issues, he has achieved the SHRM certification of Senior Professional Human Resource Manager (SPHR). Greg has served on the State of South Dakota SHRM Council Board, the Sioux Empire SHRM Board of Directors, City of Sioux Falls Diversity Committee, Volunteers of America board of directors, Target National Bank Board of Directors, Sioux Area Metro Transit Advisory Committee and on going volunteering in various capacities with the Sioux Empire United Way since 1993.
Vicki Nelson, District Supervisor, Division of Rehabilitation Services
Vicki Nelson currently serves as District Supervisor for the Division of Rehabilitation Services. She is a Certified Senior Rehabilitation Counselor and served in this capacity for 19 years, until she was appointed District Supervisor in 2014. Vicki received a BA Degree from South Dakota State University and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from California State University in Sacramento. Vicki has worked in the field of disabilities for over 30 years. She has served on the Mayor’s Disability Awareness Commission and was a past President of the SD RehabACTion. She is currently a member of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month committee, TBI Workgroup, and Consumer Advisory Committee member.
Heather Springer, Attorney, Woods Fuller Schultz & Smith P.C.
Heather is an attorney and shareholder at Woods Fuller Schultz & Smith, whose practice focuses on health care and employment matters. Due to her expertise in a wide variety of health law matters, Heather represents hospitals, physicians, physician groups, and ambulatory surgery centers in South Dakota and Minnesota and assists in representing such facilities throughout the country. She also guides many employers, ranging from publicly traded companies to small employers, in all areas of employment law.
Heather received her J.D. from University of Iowa College of Law in 1999 with Highest Distinction, Order of the Coif, and was awarded Honor for graduating first in her class. She was inducted into Best Lawyers of America for Health Care Law (2006) due to recognition as one of South Dakota’s preeminent health care lawyers. She has also been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in Labor & Employment Law; listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2014 in Health Care Law; and identified in Great Plains Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2013. Heather was recently recognized by 2017 Best Lawyers® “Women in the Law” for her work in health care law. She is a member of American Health Lawyers Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, and the State Bar of South Dakota.
Dawn Uthe, Human Resources Director, Carsforsale.com
Dawn Uthe is a HR Professional with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. She is currently the Human Resources Director at Carsforsale.com and previous HR experience includes 17 years at Citibank and 16 years at Capital One, formerly HSBC. Her work experience includes the management of recruiting and marketing strategies for the business, business client relationships, employee relations and training/development of current employees and the leadership team.
Dawn serves on the National Academy of Finance Board and has been a Junior Achievement teacher in the community for over 16 years. She is active in the SHRM local chapter and is a past SESHRM Board Member. Dawn is a Sioux Falls native and is active in the community; you may find her teaching classes on Human Resources to High School students or patrons at the Center for Active Generations. Dawn is PHR certified and maintains her SHRM-CP certification.
Dawn Backer, Manager, SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (SDRC)
Dawn Backer is the Manager of the SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (SDRC) in Sioux Falls, SD. Dawn began working for SD Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI) in 1985 as a Rehabilitation Teacher, shortly after she became the staff Low Vision Therapist and was then appointed SDRC Manager in 2005. Dawn has served as President of SD RehabACTion, participates in the ADA Celebration, the National Disability Employment Awareness Month committee, and the United Way Disability Impact Team. Dawn received a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in Family and Consumer Science. She also attended Salus University, formerly Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and is a certified low vision therapist.
Julie Benz, Assistant Vice President of Ortho/Neuro/Rehab, Avera McKennan
Julie Benz has over 29 years of experience in healthcare, working as a physical therapist and in leadership in rehabilitation at Avera McKennan. Julie is the business liaison for Avera McKennan on the Project SEARCH Transition Program. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the YWCA in Sioux Falls Julie received a BS Degree from the University of South Dakota, Certificate of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa and a Master’s Degree in Administrative Studies from the University of South Dakota.
Jennifer Erickson, Co-Owner, Camille’s Sidewalk Café
Jennifer Erickson worked for Marathon Oil for 12 years as a process engineer and natural gas marketer after obtaining her Chemical Engineering degree at Tulsa University. She also obtained her MBA at Houston Baptist University. Her desire to leave the big city of Houston led her to seek employment closer to her family ties in the Midwest. She was National Marketer for Mid-American Energy in Sioux City, IA for 2 years. She left Mid-American Energy in 1996 to join a start-up company located in Sioux Falls, PAM Natural Gas. She joined PAM when the company had 1 customer and was asked to buy into the partnership after 1 year. The company grew to 175 customers with revenues of $13 million dollars after 3 years. The company was sold in 1998. Jennifer then became a trend trader of securities and taught herself option strategies and market technical and fundamental analysis techniques. She has also done extensive traveling with trips to Germany, England, France, Kenya, Greece, China, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, and Peru. She is interested in becoming more involved with the community, obtaining satisfaction from her job responsibilities and creating a profitable business. These interests led her open Camille’s Sidewalk Café in 2003 along with co-owner Beth Behal.
Brenda Kibbe, Business Training Director, Citi
Brenda Kibbe has over 30 years working in the Financial Services Industry at Citi. She is currently a Business Training Director. In this role, she supports the Central Region training team who deliver training to both new hires and current employees at Citi. Prior to working in the Learning organization, Brenda spend several years in the Retention Sales, Customer Service and Transaction Services operational areas leading her teams to success. Brenda is a Sioux Falls area native and is active within the community volunteers as mentor at Hawthorne, Junior Achievement class volunteer, United Way Community Impact team and campaign supporter, Embe Mentor, and serves as an advisory board member for Volunteers of America.
Colleen Moran, Assistant City Attorney/ADA Coordinator/Human Relations Manager, City of Sioux Falls
Colleen Moran currently serves as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Sioux Falls. She is the City’s Human Relations Manager and ADA Coordinator. Colleen is also the City’s liaison to the Human Relations Commission, the Disability Awareness Commission, and the ADA Accessibility Review Board. Before working for the City, Colleen worked as a Deputy State’s Attorney at the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s office and as a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court. Colleen is a member of the Board of Directors of the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, Children Rescue International, and Special Olympics Sioux Falls.
Terry Rist, Commercial Credit Analyst, Minnwest Bank
Terry Rist obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Augustana College and began a career in banking in 1993 with Norwest Bank. In March of 2009 he obtained employment with Home Federal Bank in Sioux Falls as a Senior Commercial Credit Analyst. Terry became paralyzed in 1983 as a result of a diving accident and has used a wheelchair for mobility since.
Not Pictured: Nicole Freesemann, Michelle Morrison