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South Dakota:
Under God, the People Rule

Governor's Office staff

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Tony Venhuizen | Chief of Staff

Tony serves as Chief of Staff to Governor Kristi Noem and as a member of the Governor's executive team. Tony previously served as a Senior Advisor to Governor Noem, as Chief of Staff and Director of Policy and Communications to Governor Dennis Daugaard, and on the South Dakota Board of Regents during the administration of Governor Mike Rounds. He also worked in private law practice in Sioux Falls.

Tony is a graduate of Armour High School. He earned his bachelor's degree in history and political science from South Dakota State University, where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Tony earned his law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law, where he was an editor of The South Dakota Law Review.

Tony and his wife Sara, an electrical engineer, have three children, Henry, Elizabeth, and Madeleine. Tony serves on the Trail of Governors Foundation board. He enjoys studying the history of South Dakota governors and cheering on the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers.



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Beth Hollatz | Deputy Chief of Staff

Beth Hollatz serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and is 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.



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Liza Clark | Chief Financial Officer

Liza Clark serves as Governor Noem's Chief of Finance and as Commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management (BFM), and she is a member of the Governor's executive team. She is also one of the Governor's appointees to the South Dakota Retirement System Board of Trustees.

Liza previously served as BFM Commissioner in the Daugaard administration, as well as policy advisor on issues relating to labor and regulation, workforce development, human resources, and higher education, and before that as chief budget analyst with the Bureau of Finance and Management.

A South Dakota native, Liza graduated from Miller High School and holds a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from Northern State University and an master's of business administration from the University of South Dakota.

Liza and her husband Zach, a small business owner, live in Pierre with their two daughters. Liza enjoys spending time with her family, playing a variety of sports, and having fun on the Missouri River.



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Steve Westra | Commissioner of Economic Development

Steve Westra serves as the Commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) and is a member of the Governor's executive team. Prior to joining the GOED, he served as the chief operating officer of Hegg Companies in Sioux Falls.

A native of Sioux Falls, Westra earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. He has spearheaded various public/private partnerships and has extensive experience in working with both in-state and out-of-state private equity and debt providers for the purpose of creating jobs in South Dakota. He served in the State House of Representatives from 2013-2016 and also served on the State Tourism Advisory Board.

Westra and his wife, Julie, have three children. When he's not busy at one of his children's activities, his family enjoys spending time boating.



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Mark Miller | General Counsel

Mark Miller serves as General Counsel to Governor Kristi Noem and as a member of the Governor's executive team. He also serves as the Preborn Person Advocate within the Governor's Office.

Mark attended college and law school at the University of Florida, earning both diplomas with honors. He elbow clerked for U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr., and Florida state appellate court judge Emerson R. Thompson, Jr. Before joining the Governor's Office, he served as co-counsel at the Supreme Court of the United States in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Company, and lead counsel for the family landowners in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, two important wins for property rights at the nation's High Court. He has dedicated much of his time as an attorney to give back to his community, volunteering to serve on the boards of directors for a number of charities, including non-profits dedicated to providing legal aid to the poor.

Mark lives in Pierre; he and his wife Mindy, a University of Notre Dame graduate, have four children.



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Katie Hruska | Deputy General Counsel

Katie Hruska is Deputy General Counsel in the Governor's Office.

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 son. They enjoy the outdoors and doing home renovations together. Katie is a proud coach for the Oahe Elite Volleyball Club.



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Melissa Klemann | Senior Policy Advisor

Melissa Klemann serves as a Policy Advisor in the Governor's Office for the Department of Social Services, the Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services. Before joining Governor Noem's office, Melissa worked for the Department of Labor and Regulation, most recently as the deputy director for the Division of Insurance, where she focused on health insurance.

Melissa grew up on a ranch south of Highmore and graduated from Highmore High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University.

Melissa and her husband Boonie, live in Pierre with their three children. Her hobbies include hunting, gardening, being on the Missouri River, watching a variety of sports, and transporting kids to all their various activities.



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John Coleman | Senior Policy Advisor

John Coleman serves as Senior Policy Advisor in the Governor's Office for the Department of Labor and Regulation, Bureau of Human Resources and Bureau of Information and Telecommunications. Before joining the Governor's Office, John served for over six years as counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, assisting the Committee on issues related to legal and constitutional policy. Following that service, John worked for the U.S. Small Business Administration and at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

John earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.

John lives in Pierre; he and his wife, Allyson, have two children and a cat.



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Allen Cambon | Policy Advisor

Allen Cambon serves as a Policy Advisor in the Governor's Office focusing on agriculture, natural resources, public lands, conservation, and sportsmen's issues. Allen previously served as Legislative Director for a Member of Congress on the House Agriculture Committee. He has more over seven years of experience working for Congress. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor's degree in History.

Allen and his wife, Emily, live in Pierre with their son, Miller. He enjoys fishing and kayaking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.




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Caroline Thorman | Policy Advisor & Federal Liaison

Caroline serves as the conduit between South Dakota and the federal government and oversees Governor's Associations, Ellsworth Authority, and Science and Tech Authority.

Caroline comes to Governor Noem's team with experience in the private and public sector. She most recently managed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families communications shop and federal outreach.

Previously, she oversaw high-profile accounts at a Public Relations firm, carrying out successful communications strategies. She worked on Capitol Hill for four years, doing policy and communications. Her professional background also includes working at a newspaper, the Georgia House of Representatives, and a law firm.

A Georgia native, Caroline graduated from the University of North Georgia, earning a degree in English Publication and Writing with a minor in Political Science. Caroline enjoys the outdoors – spending time on the water, hiking, dirt biking, and traveling.




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Rachel Oglesby | Policy Advisor

Rachel Oglesby serves as a policy advisor in the Governor's office, focusing on transportation, housing, tourism, and public safety. She previously spent five years in Washington, D.C., in a variety of advocacy roles at national trade associations that required excellent writing, public speaking, and communications skills, extensive research and analysis, and a deep understanding of the nuances of a variety of policy issues.

Rachel grew up in Maryland and holds a master's in public policy from George Mason University and a bachelor's in philosophy from Wake Forest University.




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Ian Fury | Communications Director

Ian Fury serves as Communications Director in the Governor's Office. Ian previously served as Communications Director for Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Ian 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 spends his free time running with his dog, playing guitar, and rooting for the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Texas Longhorns, and Green Bay Packers.




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Julie Muldoon | Director of Coalitions and Policy Advisor

Julie serves as the Director of Coalitions and Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office for the Department of Education, Board of Regents, Department of the Military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, Julie worked for the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications as the Communications and Social Media Manager.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Julie attended the University of Nebraska on a full athletic scholarship. She graduated with a degree in Business Management and was a four time All American gymnast.

Julie and her husband, Jason, live in Pierre with their two daughters. Outside of work Julie enjoys spending time at the river with her family, coaching gymnastics, and helping small businesses throughout South Dakota with her family owned digital marketing business.



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Megan Goltz | Deputy Policy Advisor

Megan Goltz serves as Deputy Policy Advisor for Governor Kristi Noem.

Megan grew up near Estelline, where she graduated high school. She attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston, where she earned her bachelor's degree in animal science. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, Megan worked as a veterinary technician and a horse trainer. She also worked on the Kristi for Governor campaign in 2018.

In her free time, Megan enjoys rodeoing and hunting big game with her husband, Trapper.




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Sandra Douvier | Scheduler

Sandra Douvier serves as the Scheduler in the Governor's Office. Sandra previously worked as an IT consultant were she was the finance lead and worked with the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. She graduated from the University of Missouri Science & Technology with a degree in Business Management & Systems. While attending the university, she was a 4-year collegiate athlete on the women's basketball team.

In her free time, Sandra enjoys hiking, traveling, playing competitive sports, and reading about American history & politics.




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Ben Koisti | Policy Analyst - Scheduler for First Gentleman

Ben Koisti serves as a Policy Analyst in the Governor's Office and Scheduler for the First Gentleman.

Ben grew up in Northeast South Dakota near Lake Norden and graduated from Hamlin High School. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in turfgrass science and business management from the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

While in college, Ben served in various roles in student government, most notably Student Body President and worked closely with the Minnesota State Legislature, Board of Regents and the University's Administration.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing golf, visiting his friends and family, and watching his favorite Netflix series The West Wing.



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MadisonSheahan | Policy Analyst

Madison Sheahan serves as a policy analyst in the governor’s office. Madison most recently worked as an advisor for Election Operations to the NRSC and was an Election Operations Director for Donald J. Trump for President.

Madison is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she studied public affairs, leadership, and agribusiness. While at The Ohio State University Madison was a member of the Women's Rowing team, a part of two BIGTEN Championship teams, and established leadership development programs for student-athletes.

Madison grew up in North-West Ohio on her family farm. She lives in Pierre, enjoys hunting and spending time on the Missouri River.



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Lana Blair | Executive Assistant

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.



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Judy Davis | Executive Assistant

Judy Davis serves as an 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.



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Morgan Ness | Executive Assistant

Morgan Ness serves as an Executive Assistant to the Governor's Office.

Morgan previously served as an Executive Assistant in the Daugaard administration and was also Governor Daugaard's Correspondence Manager. Before joining the Governor's Office, Morgan served as the Executive Assistant for Secretary Marcia Hultman in the Department of Labor and Regulation.

Morgan grew up in Watertown where she graduated high school. She and her daughter moved to Pierre in 2013. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and being outdoors.



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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.



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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, and grant administrator.

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.



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Lisa Lei | Receptionist

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 are excited to become first time grandparents. They enjoy time fishing and relaxing on the Missouri River, walking their dogs and tackling home improvement projects.



SD State Seal KEEPING TAXES LOW • LIMITING GOVERNMENT REGULATION
• FIGHTING GOVERNMENT INTRUSION • KEEPING GOVERNMENT OPEN AND HONEST