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Staff & Board


Staff Members

Christina Oey

CEO

Christina Oey is an experienced advocate and nonprofit professional with over 17 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has over 15 years of experience in fundraising and has received formal training from The Fundraising School in Major Gifts, Fundraising 101, Grant Writing, and more. Christina previously served as the CEO of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. where she empowered thousands of members throughout the country. Prior to that she served as the Development Director for Feeding South Dakota, where she raised over $14 million in one fiscal year to fight hunger. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of the Capital Area United Way, fundraising for her community’s health, education, and financial stability. Christina’s collaborative leadership style, coupled with her Master’s Degree in Advocacy & Political Leadership with a focus on nonprofit organizations, reflects her passion for using her voice to help others grow and succeed.

Jennifer Widman

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!

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!

Ann Brandt

Development Coordinator

Ann, leading SDHC’s development since 2023, brings a wealth of experience from her previous role as Director of Marketing, where she led, created, and oversaw all marketing facets for a management company’s multimillion-dollar assets in an entrepreneurial environment. A strategic thinker and organizer, she excels in value system creation and streamlined processes, fueling workflow efficiencies that contribute to company growth. With expertise in communications, relationship-building, evaluation, online technology and databases, program onboarding, marketing, and design, Ann consistently delivers impactful results. Her adaptability and proactive approach make her indispensable for organizational expansion.

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.

Stacy Chidaushe

Stacy Chidaushe

Program Associate

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.

Deb Delaney

Program 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.

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.

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
Sioux Falls, SD
Kristi Tornquist

Kristi Tornquist

Treasurer
Brookings, SD
Heidi Kruse

Heidi Kruse

Secretary
Sturgis, SD
Katie Hunhoff

Katie Hunhoff*

At Large
Yankton, SD
Kelly Kirk

Kelly Kirk

At Large
Spearfish, SD
Kathy Antonen

Kathy Antonen

Member
Lake Norden, SD
Tawa Ducheneaux

Tawa Ducheneaux

Member
Kyle, SD
Darlene Farabee

Darlene Farabee*

Member
Vermillion, SD
Jerome Freeman

Jerome Freeman

Member
Brandon, SD
Tanya Grassall-Krietlow

Tanya Grassel-Krietlow

Member
Pierre, SD
Kate Hayes

Kathryn Hayes

Member
Sioux Falls, SD
Frank Pommersheim

Frank Pommersheim

Member
Vermillion, SD

Carol Rempp

Member
Avon, SD

Joshua Rudnik

Member
Rapid City, SD
Rosie Sprague

Rosie Sprague

Member
Spearfish, SD