People You Should Know

FEB. 6, 2018

People You Should Know features new hires, promotions and awards involving top executives and organizations. For consideration, email Guaranteed placement is provided only to partners of SiouxFalls.Business.

Avera Research Institute

Amy Elliott

Amy Elliott and members of her research team have joined the Avera Research Institute as the Center for Pediatrics and Community Research. Elliott’s studies that will continue at Avera include Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes, or ECHO, a seven-year initiative launched through the National Institutes of Health. The work builds on an earlier NIH study that examined environmental influences on child health outcomes and will include following those  cohorts. The study also will involve starting a pregnancy cohort. ECHO is studying four key outcomes that have a high public health impact, including asthma, obesity, prematurity and neurodevelopment — ADHD and autism. Another study being continued by the team is Reducing Infant Mortality in American Indian Communities. Elliott and her team previously worked at Sanford Health.


Allison Dvorak

Allison Dvorak has joined TSP Inc. as an architect. In addition to being an AIA South Dakota board member, she is a certified passive house consultant. She is particularly passionate about inclusive practices in design and focuses on how architecture can help facilitate interactions between those with autism and others. In May, she will be a co-presenter of “Discovering Human Experience in Accessibility” at a U.S. Green Building Council conference in Denver.


DocuTap has hired two members for its leadership team.

Robert Rueckl has been named chief financial officer. Rueckl has more than 30 years of experience in finance and operations.

Jared Lisenby is senior vice president of sales. Lisenby previously worked in a similar capacity at PointClear Solutions, Patientco and Greenway Health.

Hegg Realtors

Maria Hopkins

Colleen Clavel

Two broker associates have joined Hegg Realtors.

Colleen Clavel is on The Amy Stockberger Team. She has been a Realtor for five years.

Maria Hopkins started her real estate career in Los Angeles in 1999. Before that, she worked as a Beverly Hills hairdresser and entertainment makeup artist.


Paulsen received 10 awards at the Region III Best of NAMA Awards program. The National Agri-Marketing Association’s awards honor the best work in agricultural communications in six regions across the U.S. Region III includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota.

Paulsen’s first-place awards included:
• Multimedia Campaign-National, for Alltech Inc.
• Direct Mail Directed to Growers/Ranchers, for the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
• Smartphone Apps, for the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
• Advertising to Agribusiness, for Paulsen.

Merit awards included:
• Multimedia Campaign-Local, for Curry Seed.
• Multimedia Campaign-National, for Kubota Tractor Corp.
• Corporate Identity, for Central Plains Dairy Expo.
• Company Publications-Annual Report, for Wheat Growers.
• Smartphone Apps, for Ridley Block Operations.
• Company- or Producer-Funded Advertising to Consumers, for Stockyards Foundation.

Both merit and first-place awards are eligible to be entered in the national Best of NAMA competition.

South Dakota Corn Growers Association

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association has presented its annual awards.

Sydney Kern

Craig Schaunaman

Dale Locken

Dale Locken of Aberdeen was named Most Valuable Player in Agriculture. Locken served as the CEO of Wheat Growers for 15 years until retiring in August 2017. He led the co-op through its recent merger with North Central Farmers Elevator, forming the new Agtegra Cooperative.

Craig Schaunaman of Aberdeen received the Excellence in Agriculture award. He served for eight years as the executive director of the Farm Service Agency’s office in South Dakota.

Sydney Kern received the Excellence in Public Outreach award for her work while she was a reporter at KDLT-TV. Kern now works at a TV station in Louisiana.

South Dakota Multi-Housing Association

The South Dakota Multi-Housing Association has presented its annual awards.

Michelle Wagner

Brit Smith

Lorae Lodes

  • Outstanding Service Professional: Lorae Lodes, Midco. 
  • Outstanding Maintenance Professional: Brit Smith, Samuelson Development. 
  • Outstanding Property Management Professional: Michelle Wagner, Thies & Talle Management. 
  • Outstanding Property Management Firm: Costello Cos. 
  • President’s Appreciation: Nick Blau, Lloyd Cos.

The group also honored lifetime members Craig and Pat Lloyd, Don Dunham Jr., Ken and Linda Schulte, and Merle Wollman.

The South Dakota Multi-Housing Association has inducted officers for its board of directors: Chair, Paul Gourley, Pioneer Property Management; vice chair, Jody Bjornebo, IRET Properties of South Dakota; secretary, Drew O’Brien, Lloyd Cos.; treasurer, Brian Majerus, F&M Properties. New board members are Amy Miller, Charisma Property Management; Erik Meyer, Regency Property Management; Michelle Blair, LPM Properties; and Julie Redlin, Rainbow International.

Travis Benson

Thompson Law

Travis Benson, an attorney at Thompson Law PC, has been certified as a farm succession coordinator through the International Farm Transition Network.


USD Discovery District, Research Park at SDSU

James Abbott

The USD Discovery District and the Research Park at SDSU have awarded USD President James Abbott the inaugural State of Innovation Visionary Award for making South Dakota a state of innovation. According to the two organizations, the initiatives championed by Abbott have become the heart of the state’s growing research and bioscience infrastructure dating back more than 20 years. Abbott, who is retiring in June, has been a catalyst for growing health and medical related research areas, strategic workforce development and funding.

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