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Augustana University has added eight staff members.
Travis Ahlers is a career and academic planning specialist. He has been working in higher education for eight years, most recently at the University of South Dakota as an academic adviser in health sciences.
Willette Capers is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Capers has 16 years of experience in higher education, most recently at Coastal Carolina University. She is a doctoral student at Northeastern University, where her research focuses on the impact of value for black women and their persistence rates in the field of student affairs.
Maureen “Mo” Hurley has returned to her alma mater as an admissions counselor. She previously taught English at Roosevelt High School, worked as a gallery host at the Denver Art Museum and served as a social worker for child protection services in the Black Hills.
Jay Kahl is the director of assessment and institutional research. Kahl, who has a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching, has been working in higher education for almost 14 years and most recently served at Dakota State University as director of institutional effectiveness and assessment.
Katie LeBrun is a public relations strategist. She has more than a decade of marketing and communications experience, most recently working as the corporate communications director at MetaBank.
Jon Mammenga is the assistant vice president for major and planned gifts. Mammenga has been working in nonprofit development for the past nine years in South Dakota. Most recently, he was the associate vice president for development and executive director of planned giving at the University of South Dakota Foundation.
Kiana Overby, a 2018 graduate of Augustana, is the director of annual giving. She previously worked in retail.
Greta Stewart is an editorial strategist. Stewart has worked at KSFY-TV, spent several years in public relations at South Dakota State University and most recently served as the lead copywriter for Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center and the video coordinator at Avera Health.
The Growth Coach, an international business and sales coaching franchise, has named Steve Larsen of The Growth Coach of Sioux Falls as the Domestic Coach of the Year. Larsen founded The Growth Coach of Sioux Falls 10 years ago.
Lawrence & Schiller has hired nine staff members.
Aaron Bauer is a business specialist. Bauer’s background is in finance, business analytics and billing. He previously worked at Howalt+McDowell Insurance in accounting.
Jordan Calef is a media coordinator. Calef earned her degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Sioux Falls.
Brent Clouser is a video editor. Clouser previously worked at EROS as an editor and animation specialist.
Alex Dysthe is a business specialist. Dysthe brings several years of financial and analytics experience to the position, having worked as a financial adviser for Edward Jones and as administrator at Tuff Memorial Home in Minnesota.
Ben Gerig is a web developer. Gerig graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of South Dakota. While at USD, he worked as a lab support consultant in the university’s IT department.
Rachel Hennen is an account coordinator. Hennen interned in account service at L&S after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in public relations.
Tim Hoss is an account executive. Hoss has more than a decade of experience in nonprofit senior care and health care.
Dustin Olson is the director of finance. Olson worked for L&S from 2009 to 2013 and has returned after working at Austad’s Golf as the accounting manager and VistaComm as the director of accounting.
Matt Sebert is a copywriter. He started at L&S as a copywriting intern and graduated from South Dakota State University with degrees in advertising, marketing and history. He previously worked for the Healing Words Foundation in Brookings.
Tony Venhuizen will join Redstone Law Firm on June 3. Venhuizen will focus his private law practice on trusts and estates, government relations and business law. He currently serves as senior adviser to Gov. Kristi Noem. He previously spent eight years in the office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard, including four years as chief of staff. At various times, Venhuizen oversaw communications, legislative strategy, litigation management and judicial selection, as well as policy areas such as K-12 and higher education, open government, election law, corrections, banking and trusts, and insurance. Before working in the governor’s office, Venhuizen served as a law clerk in South Dakota’s First Judicial Circuit and served five years on the Board of Regents.
Abby Bischoff has been hired as the executive director of the Stockyards Ag Experience. Bischoff has 13 years of marketing and nonprofit management experience and most recently served as the marketing director at EmBe. She grew up on a farm near Huron.
Xcel Energy has been selected among the nation’s top corporations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality by earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. For the third consecutive year, Xcel achieved a perfect score and the distinction of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. The national benchmarking tool evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices within corporations nationwide. The rating process considers factors such as equivalency in spousal and partner benefits, equal employment opportunity policy, LGBTQ-specific public engagement efforts and responsible citizenship.
Here’s a look at this week’s People You Should Know.