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New members join South Dakota Historical Society Foundation board

The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation board of directors has named new officers and welcomed new board members for 2019.

The foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society, with offices in Pierre and Sioux Falls.

New officers, elected by the board of directors, are Greg Risse, Sioux Falls, chairman; Randy Seiler, Fort Pierre, vice chairman; Chuck Riter, Rapid City, secretary; and Curt Mortenson, Fort Pierre, treasurer.

Other board members are Cindy Eilers, Wessington Springs; Jacqualyn Fuller, Lead; Brian Gatzke, Brookings; Gary Heintz, Pierre; Charlie Hoffman, Eureka; Eric Jennings, Spearfish; Roger Meyer, Yankton; Patricia Miller, Fort Pierre; Betty Olson, Prairie City; Robert Peterson, Sioux Falls; Rich Sattgast, Pierre; Chuck Schroyer, Pierre; and John Teupel, Spearfish.

New board members are Eilers, Hoffman, Jennings, Miller, Olson, Peterson, Sattgast and Seiler.

“These new members have diverse backgrounds, but all share an interest in South Dakota’s history and helping preserve it,” said Catherine Forsch, foundation president.

Below is biographical information about each of the new board members:

Eilers ranches with her children and grandchildren. She preserves South Dakota’s prairies and wildlife through her involvement with Master Gardeners South Dakota Soil Health and Grasslands Coalition. She helps preserve state history by promoting the Jerauld County Pioneer Museum. She graduated from the South Dakota State University School of Nursing and worked at hospitals in Wessington Springs, Huron, Pierre and Sioux Falls.

Hoffman lives on the cattle ranch near Eureka that his great-grandfather homesteaded in 1885. He has served on the Eureka Public School Board and spent six years in the South Dakota House of Representatives. He currently sits on the NEDSCAP board of GROW SD and the Eureka Pioneer Museum board of directors.

Jennings is a great-grandson of South Dakota governor and U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck. He owns and operates a beef cattle ranch, living in the house in which he grew up. Because the ranch includes land in the Black Hills National Forest and land along Spearfish Creek, Jennings has been active in protecting the private property and public grazing rights, and educating the public on how responsible management of these lands can contribute to the ecological health of the land. He serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, Black Hills Regional Multiple Use Coalition and the Society of Black Hills Pioneers.

Miller served as South Dakota’s First Lady when her late husband, Walter D. Miller, was governor from 1993-1995. She has a close connection to the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, as she served as its president from 2008-2012. A few of the many leadership and volunteer positions in which she has served are Community Food Bank of South Dakota, Children’s Care Hospital and School, Habitat for Humanity, South Dakota Tourism Board of Directors, and delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.

Olson is a fourth-generation rancher in Harding and Perkins counties. She and her husband, Reuben, live on the ranch that was founded by Reuben’s grandfather in 1898. Their east place was founded by Olson’s great grandparents. Olson represented District 28 in the South Dakota Legislature for 10 years. She is president of the Harding County Historical Society, president of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association and former president of the High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish. She writes a weekly column, the “Grand River Roundup,” that is published in several newspapers in North Dakota and South Dakota.

Peterson graduated from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. He has worked as an intern for U.S. Sen. John Thune and professionally on two statewide political campaigns. He recently joined Fredrikson & Byron’s Government Relations Group. His work includes state and local lobbying.

The Sattgast family came to South Dakota during the 1930s when Rich’s grandfather accepted the position of president of what is now called Sioux Falls University. Rich Sattgast joined the U.S. Army after high school and served 18 years in the military. He is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Sattgast brings a history of serving the people of South Dakota to his role as board member. He was elected State Auditor in 2002 and re-elected to that position in 2006. He was then elected State Treasurer in 2010 and 2014. Sattgast was again elected State Auditor in 2018.

A graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, Seiler had a law practice in Mobridge before beginning a career with the U.S. Department of Justice. He received the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention in 2001 and became the first recipient of the U.S. Attorney Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Indian Country in 2009. Seiler has worked as the U.S. Attorney in South Dakota, the Hughes County State’s Attorney and is currently working with the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Sioux tribes to provide legal services.

Please contact Foundation President Catherine Forsch at 605-773-6003 or by email at for more information about the foundation.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.

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