Strong Tradition of Vision & Mission
Board of Directors
Paul Bruflat, Sioux Falls, Chair
Mike Jamison, Sioux Falls, Chair Elect
Tolcha Mesele, Sioux Falls, Secretary/Treasurer
Joel Black, Rapid City
Kim Cournoyer, Dell Rapids
Elizabeth Duffy, Sioux Falls
Pat Eidsness, Sioux Falls
Kim Elbers, Sioux Falls
Bishop Constanze Hagmaier, Sioux Falls
Phil Hogen, Black Hawk
Erv Nesheim, Hill City
Rev. Becky Piper, Rapid City
Rev. Craig Wexler, Pierre
Foundation Board of Directors
Joel Black, Rapid City, Chair
Mike Jamison, Sioux Falls, Vice Chair/Secretary
Mark Thomas, Sioux Falls
Ron Hegge, Renner
Rev. Tom Opoien, Tea
Betty Oldenkamp, President and CEO
Betty Oldenkamp has served as the President and CEO for Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota since March 2006. Prior to LSS, Betty served as the Cabinet Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Human Services, the state agency with oversight for the disability-related services. Betty dedicated 15 years of her career to public service. Betty is a native South Dakotan. She grew up in Murdo, graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, and attended graduate courses at Northern State University in Aberdeen. Betty currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Dakota Wesleyan University. Betty was twice awarded a Governor’s Award for Employee Excellence and received distinguished service awards from the Rocky Mountain Council of Community Mental Health Centers and Dakota Wesleyan University.
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen responsibilities include the oversight of all program services and information technology. She leads the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, annual service plans, and race equity and inclusion efforts. In addition, she evaluates all potential service opportunities in relation to the mission, impact, delivery and financial viability of service opportunities. She also oversees the performance and quality improvement process and accreditation with the Council on Accreditation.
Rebecca previously served as Vice-President of Community Services for the past ten years and played a significant role in the growth and stability of LSS during that time. She began her career with LSS in 2001 as the director of the school-based mentoring program and has held various roles d u ring her time at LSS. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and a master’s in public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit administration from the University of South Dakota.
Kiesow-Knudsen is originally from South Dakota, growing up in Sioux Falls and graduating from Lincoln High School. Kiesow-Knudsen has been a mentor in the Sioux Falls School District for more than 19 years and has been a soccer coach in the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club for six years. Rebecca and her family are members of First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls.
Nathan Beyer, Vice President, Finance & Support Services
Nathan Beyer is responsible for finance, information technology and property management services for Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota. He came to LSS in October 2012 as Director of Accounting, transitioning to Vice President of Finance and Support Services in 2015. Prior to joining LSS, Nathan worked in public accounting in Worthington, Minn. Nathan grew up in Flandreau. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Business Economics.
Sheri Ekdom, Vice President, Community Services
As Vice President, Community Services, Sheri Ekdom is responsible for strategy development, financial management, performance and quality improvement, regulatory compliance, and personnel management for community-based services statewide. This includes Behavioral Health Services, the Center for Financial Resources, the Center for New Americans, Childcare & Education Services, Re-entry Services and Mentoring Services.
Sheri holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. She began her career with Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota in 2012 as the director of the Center for Financial Resources and assumed a role as Senior Director in Community Services in 2016. Sheri is a native of Sioux Falls but also lived in Fargo, ND, for 20 years where she worked at a nonprofit agency overseeing their financial counseling and operations in North Dakota and Minnesota. Sheri has a wealth of experience in nonprofit social services leadership and management as well as a background in corporate training and operations supervision.
Paige Short, Vice President, Philanthropy Services
As Vice President of Philanthropy, Paige Short is responsible for the leadership and oversight of LSS Philanthropy Services. She leads all fundraising activities including major, planned, annual, and capital gift solicitation as well as multi-media fundraising communication to donors.
Paige came to LSS in November 2020 as the Director of Development and transitioned to Vice President of Philanthropy Services in May 2021. Prior to joining LSS, she worked as the Director of Development at the University of South Dakota Foundation for four years, managing a portfolio of School of Business and School of Health Sciences constituents. Prior to her work at the University of South Dakota Foundation, she worked as a Client Services Manager and Fundraising Manager for a fundraising consulting and management firm. Although she has dedicated the last ten years of her professional career to higher education fundraising, she is thrilled to be a part of the LSS mission committed to social and human services. “I am passionate about our services and feel blessed to play a role in making our state a better place to live, work, and grow”, she says.
Paige grew up in a small town in Iowa. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. She is a Coyote fan through and through! She enjoys spending time with her family, being active, doing anything outdoors and participating in the Coyote community.
Amy Witt, Vice President, Children & Youth Services
As Vice President, Children & Youth Services, Amy Witt’s responsibilities include leadership and oversight of psychiatric residential treatment (Canyon Hills, Summit Oaks), group care (New Beginnings), detention alternatives (Arise Youth Centers), treatment and specialized foster care, kinship services, adoption services, pregnancy counseling, and independent living services (New Alternatives, Community Resource Program).
Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, and her master’s in social work from the University of North Dakota. She has 18 years’ experience working with at-risk youth and families. During her undergraduate studies, Amy completed an internship with LSS Foster Care Services. It was through this experience when she realized that she wanted to be a part of LSS. Amy began her career with LSS in 2002. Throughout her time at LSS, Amy has held various positions in both direct service provision and leadership.
“I am passionate about serving youth and families. I strongly believe in the mission and the work LSS does across South Dakota,” she says. Amy is originally from southwestern Minnesota and currently lives in Sioux Falls.