Bio

Like many South Dakotans, I grew up in a farming community and worked growing up doing a variety of jobs in the field, raising livestock, and fixing farm equipment.  In high school I was active playing football, basketball, baseball, and participated in track. Throughout these years, my parents taught me the importance of good character and hard work.
 

After graduating from high school I worked in the construction industry with heavy equipment.  I’ve also worked as an electrician, plumber, and carpenter.  My family has a history of military service which also prompted me to enlist in the United States Air Force.  I served as a Staff Sergeant Instructor for heavy vehicle maintenance. 

I have been blessed with a wonderful family including 48 years of marriage.  Judi and I have two daughters and six grandchildren. They are a constant reminder that we must invest in our children’s future through K-12 education and post secondary education.  

I have served under three Governors (Mickelson, Miller, and Janklow) as the State Director of Adult Vocational and Technical Education which included Technical Institutes, K-12 programs, and programs for the Board of Regents.  While in this position I received an award for State Director of the Year for Vocational/Technical Education.

In addition to working on statewide workforce development issues in technical education, I also served as President and CEO of the Associated General Contractor Building Chapter in South Dakota.  In this role, I built relationships with contractors and business leaders across the state.  The experience collaborating with the various groups and associations gave me a better understanding of how different industries and groups work together in creating jobs and growing communities across the state.  Partnering with this diverse group of stakeholders allowed me to see how we can build common ground to advance legislation.  The experience provided the opportunity to work with both Republicans and Democrats.

While President/CEO of the Associated General Contractors Building Chapter, I helped pioneer Operation Opening Doors to remodel and construct new homes for our returning disabled veterans.  This program has been replicated nationally.  During my tenure at the Associated General Contractors, South Dakota received an award for National Chapter of the Year in 2009 and the AGC Disabled Veterans Association award for helping put returning veterans back to work.  We also received many public relations awards, helped sponsor the Honor Flight, and gave to a number of charities. 

Community involvement is important.  I have been active in Sioux Falls and across South Dakota for over 30 years in the following organizations throughout my career.


Current Organizations

American Legion and the American Legion Chorus
Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and SF Chamber Veterans Affairs Committee
Disabled American Veterans
El Riad Shrine
National Rifle Association
First United Methodist Church, Member
Washington Pavilion
South Dakota Association of Career and Technical Education
National Association of Career and Technical Education


Past Organizations:

  United States Air Force
  City Planning Commission - Pierre
  City Commission and Chair Zoning Commission - Stockton, Illinois
  Police Commissioner - Stockton, Illinois 
  Advisory Council for Career Tech Academy (high school tech programs)
  South Dakota State Construction Management Committee
  University of South Dakota Lead Program
  National Association of State Directors of Vocational Technical Education, Board Member
  Associated General Contractors of America National Executive Leadership Council
  Lions and Kiwanis Clubs
•  Honor Flight

Education:

Associate of Arts, BS in Industrial Education, and MED in Vocational Education Administration.


Volunteering my time to make life better for others gives me great satisfaction and an opportunity to meet many interesting people in the community.  Being a veteran myself, I am proud to volunteer for DAV (Disabled American Veterans) as a van driver bringing disabled vets to the VA Hospital and Clinic for appointments.  These men and women have wonderful stories to share and are so grateful for this service. As a volunteer "Roadrunner" for the El Riad Shrine I take children and their parents to Minneapolis or Omaha for medical appointments. Another Shrine project I support is CHIPS, providing fingerprinting and other forms of identification of children.  These documents are given to parents so that a child can be identified if are lost or abducted.