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South Dakota:
Under God, the People Rule

Governor's Office staff


Darin Seeley | Chief Operations Officer

Darin Seeley serves as the Chief Operations Officer in the Governor’s Office, as Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources and Administration, and is a member of the Governor's Executive Team. Prior to joining the Noem Administration, he spent his human resources career in the private sector, serving all levels of organizations across energy, retail, logistics, and manufacturing industries. Darin previously was Director of Human Resources for Harms Oil Company in Brookings. Prior to that, he was a member of human resources leadership with Black Hills Corporation in Rapid City.

Darin earned his bachelor's degree in agriculture business from South Dakota State University and his MBA from the University of Findlay.

Darin is married to his wife Andrea, and they have a daughter and son. Most of his time outside of work is spent going to their various activities in the arts and sports.


Beth Hollatz | Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor

Beth Hollatz serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor. She is also a member of the Governor's executive team. Prior to her current role, Beth spent eight years with then-Congresswoman Noem, first as Northeast director and then as state director. Beth also worked on all four Kristi for Congress campaigns.

Beth is a Watertown native. She and her husband, Alan, owned Playhouse Family restaurant in Clark from 1985-2008. Beth and her husband currently live in Watertown, where they own Hollatz Dragline Service, and where Alan works as a crane operator. Beth and Alan have four grown daughters and nine grandchildren.

Beth enjoys, first and foremost, spending time with her family and grandchildren, refinishing furniture, detailing automobiles, and reading. She is also an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan.


Katie Hruska | General Counsel

Katie Hruska serves as General Counsel in the Governor's Office and is a member of the Governor's executive team.

A native of Fargo, Katie earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law. Katie was a law clerk for the Sixth Judicial Circuit for two years, assisting the Court on a variety of issues from election law and public utility disputes to workers' compensation appeals and insurance actions. Following that service, Katie worked in private practice until joining the Governor's Office in January 2019.

Katie lives in Pierre with her husband, Eddie who is also an attorney and a member of the South Dakota National Guard, and their two children.


Ian Fury | Chief of Communications and Unborn Child Advocate

Ian Fury serves as Chief of Communications in the Governor's Office and is a member of the Governor's executive team. He also serves as the Governor's Unborn Child Advocate.

Ian previously worked in a variety of communications and policy roles in both Kansas and Washington, DC. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Economy from Hillsdale College, where he also competed in collegiate speech and debate. A native of Houston, Texas, he has lived in four states throughout the Midwest before moving to South Dakota.

Ian lives in Pierre with his wife Hannah and son Gavin. They spend their free time skiing, playing disc golf, and exploring the beautiful Black Hills.


Mackenzie Decker | Director of Policy

Mackenzie Decker leads the policy team where she helps direct policy initiatives while also serving as a policy advisor for government operations through technology, human resources, and finance, as well as tribal relations. She is also a member of the Governor's executive team. She has worked in government for over 12 years with experience in communications, workforce programs, and economic development.

Pierre has been home for Mackenzie, a Minnesota native, since 2014, but she also has family ties in the Winner and Yankton areas. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University and earned her master's in administration and organizational leadership from the University of South Dakota.

Mackenzie and her husband enjoy life just north of Pierre with their two daughters, taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities central South Dakota has to offer.


Leslie Hicks | Director of Scheduling

Leslie Hicks serves as the Director of Scheduling and Executive Assistant to Governor Noem. Prior to her current role, Leslie worked for the District Court of South Dakota as a Judicial Assistant.

Leslie grew up in rural Bennett County, graduating from high school in Martin. She then obtained a degree in court reporting and worked as a court reporter in both state and federal court in South Dakota.

Leslie and her husband Chad live in Pierre and have two daughters. Having recently become empty nesters, they are transitioning back to what life is like on their own again, enjoying time in the Black Hills hiking and kayaking any chance they get.


Jim Terwilliger | Commissioner of Bureau of Finance and Management

Jim Terwilliger is the Commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management and is a member of the Governor’s Executive Team. He most recently served for 3 years as the Secretary for the Department of Revenue under Governor Noem. In his 16 years of public finance service for the State of South Dakota, he also held the titles of Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Finance and Management and State Economist. In his time with state government, the state has made significant financial improvements that focus on the long-term financial health of South Dakota.

Jim graduated from Guthrie Center (Iowa) High School in 1998. He chose to make South Dakota his home when attending the University of South Dakota, where he obtained a bachelor's in mathematics and a master's in business administration.

Jim and his wife Alexis have three children. He has served as president of the Capital City Baseball Association in Pierre and as a member of the Saint Joseph School Council. Jim enjoys spending time with family, exploring the great outdoors and watching his children compete in various activities.


Ryan Brunner | Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Legislative Relations

Ryan Brunner serves as a Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Legislative Relations in the Governor’s Office, focusing on corrections, public safety, military, public utilities, and state lands and is a member of the Governor's executive team. He served as the state Commissioner of School and Public Lands after being elected in 2014 and 2018 before joining the Governor’s office in 2022. Ryan also previously served on the Brookings City Council and worked for the Brookings Economic Development Corporation after graduating from SDSU with a degree in agricultural economics.

Ryan grew up on a family farm/feedlot operation at Nisland and graduated from Newell High School. Ryan and his wife Whitney now live in Pierre with their three children.


Laura Ringling | Senior Policy Advisor

Laura Ringling serves as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office focusing on health policy, social services, and human services. Laura has served in state government working on legal, health, and social aid issues since 2008.

Laura is a South Dakota native. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Dakota State University and her law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law, where she was an editor of The South Dakota Law Review.

Laura serves on the board of the Capital Area United Way and enjoys live music, photography, and travel.


Jon Kotilnek | Deputy General Counsel

Jon Kotilnek serves as Deputy General Counsel in the Governor's Office. He was born and raised in Pierre, SD, graduating from T.F. Riggs.

Jon went to SDSU and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science while playing on the Jacks club hockey team. He then went to Marquette University and earned his Juris Doctor. Upon graduation, Jon moved to Washington D.C. and earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree specializing in International Law from American University. He then joined the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate (JAG Officer). Jon served in the Army for over 7 years, spending time in Germany, Oklahoma, and Maryland. After leaving the Army, Jon came back to Pierre and worked for Game, Fish and Parks as Senior Staff Attorney for over 6 years.

Jon lives in Pierre with his wife, Patrycja, whom he met while stationed in Germany. They have two wonderful kids and two big dogs. Outside of work, Jon's passion is hockey. He coaches Varsity hockey for the Oahe Capitals and helps coach his son's mite level team. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Oahe Hockey Association as the Director of Coaching. In the winter months, Jon and his family spend almost all their free time at the rink.


Megan Goltz | Policy Advisor

Megan Goltz serves as a Policy Advisor for Governor Kristi Noem in the area of infrastructure and resources, focusing on agriculture, natural resources, transportation, and game, fish and parks.

Megan grew up near Estelline where she graduated high school. She earned her degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota-Crookston, while playing basketball. Megan worked as a veterinary assistant and a horse trainer before joining the Kristi for Governor campaign in 2018. Following the election, Megan joined the Governor's Office and has held leadership positions for the entirety of the Noem administration.


Sarah Hitchcock | Policy Advisor

Sarah Hitchcock serves as a Policy Advisor in the Governor's Office focusing on industry and education, including workforce, regulation, economic development, and tourism.

A former high school teacher and coach, Sarah has also coordinated grassroots and campaign operations across five states for the National Rifle Association. She's a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in political science and a master's in public administration.


Brad Otten | Director of External Affairs

Brad Otten serves as a Director of External Affairs for Governor Kristi Noem. Brad previously worked as West River Director during the Governor’s eight years in Congress. Brad has also served on the Rapid City Board of Education and on the South Dakota Advisory Panel on Children with Disabilities.

Brad was born in Sioux Falls, grew up near Tea, and graduated high school at Lennox. He holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota. In 1995, he moved to the Black Hills.

Brad is married to Holly, and together they have three children: Morgan, Alex, and Eden. When not attending children’s events, you might find the family out exploring South Dakota’s open spaces.


Ben Koisti | Director of Boards and Commissions

Ben Koisti serves as the Director of Boards and Commissions in the Governor's Office.

He previously served as a Policy Analyst and Director of Operations in the Governor's Office. He also worked on her 2022 gubernatorial re-election campaign.

Ben grew up in Northeast South Dakota near Lake Norden and graduated from Hamlin High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, Crookston. In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing golf, visiting his friends and family, and watching his favorite series The West Wing.


Jayden Bies | Policy Analyst

Jayden Bies serves as a Policy Analyst in the Governor’s Office. Jayden grew up in Fairburn, South Dakota on her family ranch. She graduated from St. Thomas More High School and earned her degree in Government with an emphasis in Legal Studies from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona in 2022.

Before joining the Kristi for Governor campaign in 2022, Jayden worked on two political campaigns in Arizona. Following the election, Jayden joined Governor Noem’s official staff.

In her free time, Jayden loves spending time with her family on the ranch along with her dogs and cows.


Travis Dovre | Fiscal Officer

Travis Dovre serves as the Fiscal Officer for Governor Kristi Noem's office, a role he also held in the Daugaard administration beginning in 2015. Wearing multiple hats, Travis also oversees the fiscal operations of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), Department of Tourism, and Department of Tribal Relations. Previously, he worked for GOED as assistant finance director, loan officer, grant administrator, and as interim commissioner.

Travis grew up in Spearfish where he developed a love for the outdoors, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and graduated high school. After learning the welding trade at Lake Area Technical Institute, he spent several years working in Watertown and served as a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard in the 147th Field Artillery. After relocating to Pierre in 2004, Travis earned a bachelor's degree in banking and financial services from Northern State University.

In his spare time, he and his wife Dawn enjoy outdoor activities, culinary experiments, and spending time with family and friends.


Judy Davis | Office Manager and Executive Assistant

Judy Davis serves as an Office Manager and Executive Assistant for the Governor's Office. Before coming to the Governor's Office in 2011, Judy worked at the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office in Deadwood.

Judy is a Winner native and graduated from Winner High School. She went on to further her education at Western Dakota Technical Institute and graduated with a degree in computerized office careers.

Judy has two sons. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Pierre Governor athletic teams, spending time outdoors, working in her yard and spending time with family and friends.


Lana Blair | Administrative Specialist

Lana Blair serves as Executive Assistant to Governor Kristi Noem. Before joining Governor Noem's office, Lana worked for the Department of Social Services as the Executive Assistant to the Cabinet Secretary. Prior to working for State Government, Lana worked many years in sales and marketing in Pierre, SD and Houston, TX.

Lana grew up in Sioux Falls and Aberdeen before attending college at South Dakota State University in Brookings. She earned a bachelor's degree in Printing Management/Business.

Lana and her husband Ron live in Pierre and enjoy traveling, time on the water, motorcycling, gardening and spending time with family, friends and most of all grandchildren.


Morgan Wiegel | Executive Assistant

Morgan Wiegel serves as an Executive Assistant in the Governor's Office. Morgan previously worked for Sanford Health in Sioux Falls in the Patient Access Management department for three years.

Morgan is from Huron, SD and attended college at South Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor of Science degree in Community and Public Health with a minor in Health Sciences.

In her free time, Morgan enjoys spending time with family & friends, listening to music, and binge-watching a good Netflix or Hulu series.


Lisa Lei | Constituent Services Representative

Lisa was born in Pierre and grew up in Nebraska. She attended Black Hills State University where she earned a bachelor's degrees in elementary and special education. Lisa taught in the South Dakota public school system before joining a large nonprofit social service agency in the Twin Cities as a program coordinator. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, Lisa worked as an executive assistant for the Department of Social Services.

Lisa and her husband Jeff Kroll have six children and three grandchildren. They enjoy time fishing and relaxing on the Missouri River, tackling home improvement projects and creating special memories with their grandchildren.


Sheri Arnold | Constituent Services Representative

Sheri Arnold serves as Constituent Services Representative in the Governor’s office and works remotely. Prior to her current role, she was proud to be a part of the Governor’s 2022 re-election campaign.

A native of Colorado, she has made South Dakota home for the past 24 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is also a Certified Dietary Manager. She has spent the past 3 plus decades using her skills to serve others in various hospitality and client-oriented settings.

She resides in Watertown with her husband, Guy, 15 yr. old son Sam, and German Shepherd, Ava. She has 6 other grown children. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, writing, studying about nutrition, and staying active and fit with the family.


Claire Rydberg | Administrative Assistant

Claire Rydberg serves as an Administrative Assistant in the Governor’s Office. Claire previously served as the Legislative Communications Director for the SDGOP during the 2019 South Dakota Legislative Session. Claire served as an intern in the Governor’s Office prior to working on the Kristi for Governor re-election campaign. Following the election, Claire again joined the Governor’s Office.

Claire graduated from Pierre T.F. Riggs in 2020. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree online in Local Government and Public Policy. In her free time Claire likes to go fishing with her boyfriend Brant, as well as spend time with her friends and family.