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Strong Tradition of Vision & Mission

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Duffy, Sioux Falls, Chair
Tolcha Mesele, Sioux Falls, Chair Elect
Paul Bruflat, Sioux Falls, Secretary/Treasurer

Rev. Jeff Backer, Sioux Falls
Rev. Rebecca Breddin, Madison
Pat Eidsness, Sioux Falls
Bishop Constanze Hagmaier, Sioux Falls
Nancy Halverson, Sioux Falls
Curt Hohman, Chester
Anne McFarland, Sioux Falls
Tracy Olson, Frederick
Rev. Becky Piper, Rapid City
Pooja Pullman, Sioux Falls
Brian Weber, Rapid City
Goi Yol, Sioux Falls

Updated: 01.02.2024


Foundation Board of Directors

Curt Hohman, Chester, Chair
Kathy McHenry, Clark, Vice Chair

Elizabeth Duffy, Sioux Falls
Allan Johnson, Sioux Falls
Erik Ustad, Sioux Falls

Updated: 01.02.2024


Executive Leadership

Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, President & CEO

Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen began serving as President & CEO in December 2021. "I have been blessed to spend twenty years of my professional career with LSS. Throughout my time here I have been inspired by the richness of the agency’s programs and the myriad ways that LSS helps to strengthen South Dakota communities. I’ve witnessed the team at LSS follow in Christ’s footsteps and respond to community needs with creativity, compassion and a deep respect for those we serve. I feel honored and humbled to carry on the tradition of strong executive leadership and help shape the agency’s vision in its next century of service."

Kiesow-Knudsen served as Chief Operating Officer for one year and as Vice-President of Community Services for ten years before taking the President/CEO role. Although Kiesow-Knudsen has held multiple leadership roles at LSS, she began her career at LSS as the first director of Mentoring Services.

Originally from Sioux Falls, Kiesow-Knudsen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a master’s in public administration with an emphasis in nonprofit administration from the University of South Dakota. Kiesow-Knudsen’s professional vision, work ethic and commitment have led to providing health, safety and acceptance of all people and communities across South Dakota.


Amy Witt, Chief Program Officer

As Chief Program Officer, Amy Witt oversees LSS’ externally facing relationships, strategy and implementation of our strategic vision, grants/contracts, advocacy and program development, implementation and sustainability.

Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, and her master’s in social work from the University of North Dakota. She has 23 years of 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 that she realized 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.


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.


Staci Jonson, Vice President of Program Operations

As the Vice President of Program Operations, Staci Jonson provides a broad oversight of statewide services ensuring individuals, families and communities have access to the support and resources they need to thrive. As Vice President of Program Operations, Jonson’s responsibilities also include collaborating closely with senior leaders and directors to ensure standards of quality service and service delivery.

Jonson has more than 15 years of experience working in various roles supporting children, youth and families. Since 2018, Jonson served as LSS Senior Director of Children and Youth Services.

Jonson is a graduate of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where she earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice. She furthered her education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, obtaining a master's degree in social work.


Cheryl Kappenman, Vice President of Human Resources

Cheryl Kappenman began serving as the Vice President of Human Resources in March 2024. “It is the mission of LSS that brought me here—strengthening people's lives. The opportunity to influence the way that individuals and organizations feel about us as an employer resonates with me. I want to do what it takes to make the mission come alive—focusing on positive employee experiences.”

As Vice President of Human Resources, Kappenman oversees all aspects of human resource operations. This includes strategy development for workforce recruitment and retention, policy and procedure development, compliance with state and federal regulations, continued accreditation, benefit negotiation and enrollment, and payroll operations.

She grew up in Madison, S.D.; and she is a graduate of South Dakota State University, Brookings, with degrees in geography and sociology. Kappenman's passion for human resources grew into a career, driven by her interest in its diversity and challenges.

Kappenman’s professional credentials include certifications as Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute; Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-CP) from the Society for Human Resources Management; and Certified in 360 Assessment by the Center for Creative Leadership.


Paige Short, Vice President, Philanthropy Services and Marketing/Communications

As the Vice President of Philanthropy and Marketing/Communications at LSS, Paige oversees the fundraising and marketing departments, builds strategies to create public awareness, raises funding to support vital LSS services, and cultivates community partnerships that help make the work of LSS possible. 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 the LSS executive team, Paige spent the last decade working for higher education institutions across the U.S. in fundraising management and consulting and most recently worked as Director of Development for the University of South Dakota Foundation.

Although she has dedicated the majority of her professional career to higher education fundraising, she has found a passion for social and human services. “I knew LSS was the right place for me after hearing story after story of how we truly change the trajectory of a person's life, how we reset their perspective and outlook on the future, how our services help people heal from trauma and all the times we hear ‘LSS saved me and my family.’”