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Staff & Board


Staff Members

Melinda Berdanier

Grants Coordinator

Melinda, a transplant from Ohio, started working as the SDHC Grants Coordinator in 2018. She and her family have enjoyed globe-trotting, including numerous trips to Bolivia, Haiti, Dubai, and six months spent living in the Middle East. Melinda truly enjoys diving into the details of the grant applications she manages for the humanities council. She also has a special place in her heart for knitting, and has been knitting since she was 10 years old.

Ann Brandt

Development Coordinator

Ann began leading development for SDHC in 2023.  She brings experience from her work as a director of marketing and a graphic designer, with a work ethic of rolling up her sleeves and collaborating. Her progress over perfection attitude is also evident in her office: her gardening hobby means that she has a collection of greenery that she coaxes to keep growing—and thriving.

Stacy Chidaushe

Stacy Chidaushe

Staff Assistant

Stacy, having joined SDHC in 2021, graduated from SDSU with a BS in Sociology, an MS in Sociology, and an MEd in Adult & Higher Education. Her primary responsibilities at the council involve assisting with the annual Festival of Books, coordinating the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street exhibition tours, and managing the distribution of thousands of books for the Young Reader One Book Program. An avid reader, Stacy enjoys spending her free time relaxing with a good book and a cat in her lap.

Colby Christensen

Colby Christensen

Program Officer

Colby joined the SDHC team in 2022. Assisting with the implementation of initiatives including the Veterans Program, Museums on Main Street, Brainstorming, and Young Readers One Book, he also looks forward to exploring more programming options for people across South Dakota. He particularly appreciates poetry and novels about the American West. When not reading, he enjoys walking, being outdoors, and chasing around his two adopted greyhounds.

Deb Delaney

Programs and Data Coordinator

Deb, a member of the SDHC team since 2015, processes and manages the Speakers Bureau program and discussions and is also responsible for database administration. She enjoys spending time with family, bargain hunting, and creating. Her preferred reading is in the “how to” genre, but to escape reality, she chooses gothic novels or fantasy and likes protagonists to have strong personalities with courage and determination.

Carolyn Marshall-Speakman

Office Manager

Carolyn joined the SDHC team in 2011 and organizes finances and daily operations as the Office Manager. She graduated from Southeast Technical Institute with an AAS degree in Business Administration/Accounting. She is also a proud veteran, having served in the South Dakota National Guard. Stories are what interest Carolyn, and the humanities have many to share. Her favorite stories are – well, anything involving people!

Jennifer Widman

Interim Executive Director/Center for the Book Director

Jennifer, Center for the Book Director since 2012, manages the Festival of Books, One Book South Dakota, and Young Readers Initiative. Having worked in public relations and taught both high school and college English, she loves language and serves as SDHC’s unofficial editor. A true bookworm with a special fondness for literary fiction, she met her favorite author (and the subject of her master’s thesis), Louise Erdrich, at a Festival four years before joining SDHC. Destiny!

Board of Directors

*Governor Appointee

Bobbie Bohlen

*Bobbie Bohlen (Chair)

Wilmot, SD
Stephen Williamson

*Stephen Williamson (Chair Elect)

Sioux Falls, SD
Jay Perry

Jay Perry (Past Chair)

Pierre, SD
Kristi Tornquist

Kristi Tornquist (Treasurer)

Brookings, SD
Kelly Kirk

Kelly Kirk (Secretary)

Spearfish, SD
Kathy Antonen

Kathy Antonen

Lake Norden, SD
Tawa Ducheneaux

Tawa Ducheneaux

Kyle, SD
Darlene Farabee

*Darlene Farabee

Vermillion, SD
Jerome Freeman

Jerome Freeman

Brandon, SD
Tanya Grassall-Krietlow

Tanya Grassell-Krietlow

Pierre, SD
Kate Hayes

Kate Hayes

Sioux Falls, SD
Katie Hunhoff

*Katie Hunhoff

Yankton, SD
Heidi Kruse

Heidi Kruse

Sturgis, SD
Frank Pommersheim

Frank Pommersheim

Vermillion, SD

Carol Rempp

Avon, SD

Joshua Rudnik

Rapid City, SD
Rosie Sprague

Rosie Sprague

Spearfish, SD