Board of Directors
Children's Home Society is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors composed of individuals in Eastern and Western South Dakota.
Board Vice President
Laura Johnson, Board President, Reva
Occupation: Retired from Harding County Schools, Rancher, Instruction Manager with Apex
Laura’s hometown is Sturgis. She attended college in the Black Hills where she received a BA in Education and later received an MA in Administration at Grand Canyon. Laura and her husband, Bill, have four children: Robin, Keri, Katie, and Brad and 12 grandchildren. Laura is a nationally registered EMT and her hobbies include reading, walking and sports.
Laura belongs to the National Association of Music Educators and National EMT.
Eric Lee, Board Vice President, Rapid City
Occupation: Wealth Adviser, Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management
Eric resides in Rapid City with his wife, Terri. They have two daughters: Hannah attends the University of Utah, and Julia attends South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, where she also plays on the volleyball team.
Eric attended the University of Wyoming and has been a Wealth Adviser helping individuals make smart money moves for nearly three decades. He loves wake surfi ng and powder skiing with family and friends, mountain biking in the Black Hills and traveling with Terri.
Gina Hopkins, Board Treasurer Sioux Falls
Occupation: Facilities Manager, CorTrust Bank
Gina’s hometown is Mitchell and she has a degree in Tailoring and Textiles from Minnesota West. She and her husband, Jack, have three children: McKinzie, Jerrod, and Spencer. Gina enjoys biking, reading, sewing and spending time with family.
John S. "Jack" Marsh, Board Secretary, Sioux Falls
Occupation:Co-Founder/Co-Chair, South Dakota News Watch
Lifelong journalist Jack Marsh, a retired media and foundation executive, is a 2020 inductee in the South Dakota Hall of Fame, honored for his commitment to excellence, truth, ethics and human rights. He’s a native of New York, holds a BA from Baldwin Wallace University and has been recognized with distinguished service and lifetime achievement awards from his alma mater, the Native American Journalists Association, South Dakota Newspaper Association, University of South Dakota and Pi Lambda Phi. Marsh serves on numerous nonprofi t boards, chairs the Sioux Falls Board of Ethics and is immediate past chair of Face It TOGETHER and the Elimination of Prejudice Foundation. Marsh and his wife Betty have two daughters, Dr. Elizabeth Jensen and Colleen Olson, and seven grandchildren.
Sally Anderson, Honorary Member, Mesquite, TX
Sally is the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Bixby Sherrard, Children’s Home Society’s founder, and as such holds an honorary seat on the Children’s Home Society Board of Directors.
Jim Berman, Sioux Falls
Occupation: President/General Manager, Dakota News Now
Jim’s hometown is New York, NY. He and his wife, Theresa, currently reside in Sioux Falls and have two children, Claire and David. Jim enjoys running, working out, coaching/mentoring, sports and spending time with his family.
Jim received an English degree from Rutgers University. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish, Junior Achievement and Family Services.
Helen Boer, Lyons
Occupation: Retired Rosenbauer Firefighting Technology
Helen also serves on the board of West Side Lutheran Church.
Darla Crown, Rapid City
Darla is originally from Wall. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Black Hills State University and her Masters of Education and Masters of Science in Guidance Counseling and Human Resource Development from South Dakota State University. Darla is retired from the South Dakota Army National Guard and the US Army. She is married to Douglas and they live in Rapid City.
Darla belongs to Rushmore Rotary, Women’s Veterans of the Black Hills and American Legion #246. She serves on the Central States Fair Foundation Board, Veteran’s Court, Rushmore Rotary Board, the ESGR (Employer Support of Guard and Reserve) and on the Liturgy Committee at Blessed Sacrament Church..
Paulette Davidson, Rapid City
Occupation: President/CEO, Monument Health
Paulette’s hometown is Waukegan, IL. Paulette and her husband, Dru, live in Rapid City with their three children: Alanna, Payton and Alyssa. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Business Administration, and earned her MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Certifi ed Member of the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Paulette also serves on the boards of Elevate Rapid City, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations and Monument Health Systems. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, horseback riding and fly fishing.
Mick Gibbs, Sioux Falls
Occupation:President/CEO, Avera Heart Hospital
Mick’s hometown is Minot, ND. He attended the University of North Dakota, University of Minnesota, and Case Western Reserve University, and earned a BA, MA and MHA. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children: Abbie, Ava, and Claire. Mick’s hobbies include baseball, hunting, woodworking and kids’ activities. Mick belongs to the American College of Healthcare Executives and South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations.
Tim Hamel, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Retired, US Bank
Tim’s hometown is Dodge, NE. He attended the University of Nebraska, Omaha and Creighton University School of Law. He received his Bachelor in Criminal Justice and has a Law Degree. He and his wife, Somboon, have two children and one grandchild. Tim’s hobbies include golf and biking.
Lafawn Janis, Rapid City
Occupation: Business Development Specialist, Bluebird Consulting
Lafawn is a seventh generation member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, born on the Pine Ridge Reservation and a long time resident of Rapid City where she lives with her two sons, Dominic and Greyson.
She attended Black Hills State University and graduated with a BS in Education. Lafawn serves on the Sanford Labs Cultural Advisory Committee and Monument Health Community Advisory Committee. Her hobbies include mountain biking, hiking and skiing. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially over dinner.
Lafawn stated that she is “honored and excited to help at Children’s Home in whatever ways I am capable!”
Melissa Johnson, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Founder/CEO, Oh My Cupcakes!
Melissa is a member of SME, CQ (a high level women’s professional development group), and the South Dakota Retailers Association. She also serves on the VOA Foundation Board and Avera Philanthropy Council. She is a writer and a public speaker who facilitates professional development for teams of all sizes.
Melissa’s hometown is Larchwood, IA. She has four children: Randi, 26; Emily, 23; Brandon, 18, and Lyric, 9, and one grandson, Elias, who is six months old. She enjoys writing, reading and hiking.
Amy Koenig, Rapid City
Occupation: VP - Governance, Corporate Secretary and Deputy General Counsel, Black Hills Corporation
Amy’s hometown is Yankton. She earned a BS in ChemE at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and a JD from the University of South Dakota School of Law. Amy is a board member of Dakota Territory Resource Corporation and South Dakota Mines CARA. She is a member of the Society of Corporate Governance, South Dakota Bar, Wyoming Bar, National Association of Corporate Directors, EEI and AGA.
Amy has two children: Mason, 11, and Ellie, 9. Her hobbies include biking, running and hot room exercise. She also enjoys reading and wine.
Deanna Larson, Brandon
Occupation: CEO, Avel eCARE
Deanna and her husband, Dan, live in Brandon where they raised their three children: Mandy, Kelly and Matt, and are now enjoying their fi ve grandchildren—all under six years of age! Family camping, cribbage and card night are among her interests.
Deanna received an ADN from Dakota Wesleyan, a BSN from Presentation College and a Certifi cate of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She serves on the American Telehealth Association and American Board of Telehealth, NALC.
Dustin Morrison, Rapid City
Occupation: Lieutenant Pennington County Sheriff’s Office
Dustin resides in Rapid City with his wife, Sarah, and their youngest child. Dustin enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, boating, coaching his children’s athletic teams and spending time with his family. Dustin says the work done by CHS is something he is very passionate about.
John Rozell, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Retired Businessman
John’s hometown is Rapid City. He graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of South Dakota. He also attended the University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma three-year banking courses. John and his wife, Kay, have one adult daughter, Katy. She is married to Joe Gaspar and has two sons, Drew and Alex. Hobbies include biking, fly fishing, reading and music. He serves on the Lifescape Board of Directors and the Mount Rushmore Society. John is a CHS Director Emeritus who served as President of both the Foundation and Society Boards.
Jim Schmidt, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Lincoln County Commissioner
Jim’s hometown is Lennox. He attended Augustana University, the University of South Dakota and the University of Wisconsin. Jim is a member of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, South Dakota Association of Counties, National Association of County O cials and the National Association of Housing Partnerships. In addition, he serves on these boards: SDML Workers’ Compensation, Southeastern Counties of Government, Glory House, Accessible Housing Advisory Board, Sioux Empire Leadership Council and South Dakota Economic Development Finance Authority (EDFA). Jim states that it is “an honor and privilege to serve and hopefully make a di erence in the lives of CHS children.” He and his wife, Teri, have three adult children: Anthony, Brittany and Brianna. Jim’s hobbies include public speaking, farming and golf..
Karen Schreier, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Judge, US District Court
Karen is originally from Flandreau. She is married to Tim Dougherty. She attended St. Louis University where she obtained both her BA and JD degrees. Her hobbies include hiking, biking and art. Karen belongs to the Federal Judge Association, American Bar Association and the South Dakota Bar Association.
Greg Schweiss, Rapid City
Occupation: Chief Risk Officer, Pete Lien & Sons, Inc.
Greg’s hometown is Watertown. He attended the University of South Dakota and graduated with a BS in Business Administration. Greg and his wife, Melissa, have three children: Erin, Jamie and Nathan. Greg’s hobbies include kids’ activities, hunting, fi shing and outdoor activities.
Greg belongs to the American Institute of Certifi ed Public Accountants and South Dakota CPA Society. Other boards he serves on include Blessed Sacrament Church, Western South Dakota Catholic Foundation and Youth & Family Services.
Scott Scofield, Sioux Falls
Occupation:Owner, Scofield & Associates, LLC
Scott’s hometown is Sioux Falls. He attended the University of South Dakota and has served on the boards of Dakota State University, Great Plains Zoo, South Dakota Symphony, Ottertail Energy Services, ANZA, Inc. and The Dolphin Group. Scott also has nine grandchildren!.
Chirag Shukla, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Chief Information & Technology Officer, Risk Administration Services, Inc.
Chirag graduated from South Dakota State University with an MS in Engineering. He has over 25 years of experience in IT across various sectors such as fi nance, insurance, manufacturing, health care, public safety and academia. He mentors young talent in Sioux Falls and worldwide through well-known sites like Udacity and StackOverfl ow. His connection to CHS began seven years ago when his wife served as a volunteer..
Scott Sletten, Sioux Falls
Occupation: President/CEO, JDS Industries, Inc.
Scott’s hometown is Sioux Falls. He received a BS in Business from the University of South Dakota and an MBA from Arizona State University. Scott and his wife, Ronna, have two children: Nathan and Melissa. Scott’s hobby is coin collecting. He serves on the University of South Dakota Foundation Board of Trustees as well as the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business Dean’s advisory board.
Deb Soholt, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Co-Owner, Influential She, LLC
Deb’s hometown is Mayville, ND. She earned her BSN from the University of North Dakota and an MSN from South Dakota State University. She and husband, Jerry, have three adult children: Josh, Sam and Molly, and three grandchildren: Jake, Maya and Brooke. Deb enjoys being being outdoors, “anything water” and reading.
Deb was inducted in 2021 as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and she also belongs to the ANA/SD Nurses Association. She has served on a variety of boards, including the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, Sioux Falls Chamber, South Dakota State University Council of Trustees, Women in Balance, South Dakota Board of Nursing, South Dakota Nurses Association, Ronald McDonald and the University of Sioux Falls Center for Women. In 2021, Deb fi nished her eight-year term as a South Dakota State Senator from District 14.
Carolynn Stavenger, Sioux Falls
Occupation: Retired, Education
Carolynn’s hometown is Sioux Falls from the third grade on. She attended Iowa State, South Dakota State Univeristy and Augustana University where she earned a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Carolynn and her husband, Jim, have three married children and six grandchildren who live in South Dakota and Colorado. She says, “They are the light of my life!” Carolynn enjoys bridge, mahjongg, baking, travel, wines, needlepoint, spending time with her grandchildren and relaxing at their home in the Black Hills.
Carolynn has been a CASA Advocate for 14 years and belongs to the Junior League of Sioux Falls. She has volunteered at Children’s Inn for 18 years and continues to do this weekly. Carolynn also mentors former CASA and CHS little buddies.
Maureen Suga, Sioux Falls
Maureen and her husband, Bob, live in Sioux Falls where they raised their three children: Ben, Kim and Ellyn. Maureen attended the University of South Dakota where she graduated with a BS in Psychology and an AA in Nursing. Now retired, Maureen enjoys oil painting, gardening and reading..
Marilyn Van Demark, Sioux Falls
Marilyn’s hometown is Sioux Center, IA. She received a BA from Augustana University and an MS in Nursing at Boston University. Marilyn’s hobbies are needlepoint and golfing.
Marilyn is a member of the First Lutheran Church Foundation Board. She and her husband, Bob, have three children: Katherine, Rob, and Sara, and eight grandchildren.
Michelle Lavallee, Chief Executive Officer, Sioux Falls
Prior to assuming the CEO role at CHS, Michelle held executive level positions with Avera, the University of South Dakota (USD) and Raven Industries. She attended Northwestern University in Chicago where she received both her BS and MBA.
Michelle is currently board president of the SD Hall of Fame, serves on the Board of RAS and Sioux Falls Development Foundation, past president of the SD Symphony, past president of Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary, past board member of Ronald McDonald House, Washington Pavilion and the USD Foundation.
Joe Herdina, Chief Financial Officer, Sioux Falls
Prior to assuming the CFO role at CHS, Joe worked decades with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in various roles focused on accounting, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, debt capital financing, treasury, investments, supply chain and risk management functions.
Prior to his work with Good Samaritan, Joe spent eight years as a licensed CPA in public accounting in Rapid City and Sioux Falls with his auditing focused almost exclusively on long-term care, senior living, acute care and school districts. Joe attended the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and graduated with a BS in business administration – accounting from the University of South Dakota. He holds a a CPA – inactive license.
Karl Jegeris, Chief Operations Officer Rapid City
Prior to joining the CHS team, Karl worked in various positions with the Rapid City Police Department for over 24 years, including six years as chief of police. He attended Minnesota State University, Mankato for his undergraduate degree and St. Cloud State University where he received a master's degree in public safety executive leadership.
Karl is a past board member of the Salvation Army of Rapid City and WAVI (Working Against Violence Inc) and has been a classroom volunteer for Junior Achievement for the past 20 years. He recently became a member of the Rushmore Rotary in Rapid City.
Mark Niemeyer, Chief People Officer, Sioux Falls
Prior to assuming the CPO role at CHS, Mark held leadership positions with Elanco Animal Health (Eli Lilly), Novartis Animal Health and Marsh & McClennan Agencies. He attended Dordt University where he received his BA degree and the University of Sioux Falls, where he received his MBA.
Rick Weber, Foundation Development Director, Sioux Falls
Prior to coming to CHS to work in the foster care program in 1987, Rick worked at Sioux Vocational School for the Handicapped (now Lifescape), Southeastern Mental Health Center and as a Probation Officer for the Second Judicial Circuit Court. Rick received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology from the University of Sioux Falls, a master's in public administration from the University of South Dakota, and a master's in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University.
Rick has served as board member of the SD Association of Fundraising Professionals, board member and president of Catholic Family Services, member and president of Siouxland Child Protection Council, advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters, board member of South Dakota Corrections Association, South Dakota Children’s Justice Task Force, Sioux Empire Parenting Coalition and the Sioux Empire United Way Planning Division.
CHS Executive Leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Chief People Officer
Foundation Development Director
CHS Program and Department Leadership
- Ondrea Patzlaff, Director of Residential Treatment
- Mike Groher, Director of Schools
- Freddy Maseman, Black Hills Children's Home Program Director
- Lisa Johnson, Sioux Falls Children's Home Program Director
- Chelsie Ogaard, Community Based Services Program Director
- Tifanie Petro, Advocacy and Prevention Program Director
- Amy Carter, Children's Inn and Bright Start Operations Director
- Kathy Schneider, Bright Start Nurse Supervisor
- Teresa Pick, Human Resource Director
- Jeff Lush, Accounting Director
- Mike McKnight, IT Director
- Janet Andersen, Marketing and Communications Director
- Jody Carpenter, Compliance Director