Our Board

CHAIR

Dana Loseke is the chairperson of Friends of the Big Sioux River and a board member of East Dakota Water Development District. A graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha, he is a retired general manager from Dean Foods and has lived in Sioux Falls for 26 years. 

SECRETARY

Mary Ellen Connelly serves as secretary for Friends of the Big Sioux River. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in microbiology. Connelly is a lifelong South Dakota resident and an avid gardener. In 2001, she published a reference book titled How Our Garden Grows.

TREASURER

Michelle Hentschel is the treasurer for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Michelle received her undergraduate degree from USD, then went on to earn an MBA from Gonzaga University. She currently is a CPA, working as a Financial Auditor at Sanford Health Plan and riding her bicycle into downtown Sioux Falls from Brandon most days. Michelle’s love of the environment was fostered by her father, who taught her to fish and take care of the water at a very early age.


EVENTS

Steven Dahlmeier serves as the event coordinator for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Dahlmeier grew up on a farm in Moody County and graduated from Dakota State University. He is currently the event manager for Downtown Sioux Falls Inc.

 


OUTREACH

Travis Entenman serves as the outreach director for Friends of the Big Sioux River. In addition to his work with FBSR, he works in digital marketing at KeyMedia Solutions and is pursuing his Masters of Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. Travis enjoys spending time with his fiancé and dog as they travel the country in search of the next national park.


OUTSTATE

Nels H. Granholm serves as outstate coordinator for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Dr. Granholm is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology, Micrcobiology, and Global Studies at South Dakota State University. Dr. Granholm continues to write and lecture. He shares his knowledge and passion for life as our upstream representative.

PRINT STRATEGY

Peter Carrels is an award-winning environmental activist, educator and author. He has successfully petitioned the federal government to designate the pallid sturgeon as an endangered species, won a George Polk Award for Environmental Reporting as part of a team representing the publication High Country News, and produced a national river education project for the river conservation group American Rivers. After a lifetime of environmental advocacy, Carrels now directs communications for the University of South Dakota’s Division of Health Affairs.

DEVELOPMENT

Ted Thoms serves at development coordinator for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Thoms is a graduate of USD with a Masters in Political Science. He has served on U.S. Congressman Frank Denholm's staff and has been active in politics. His professional career was involved in real estate where Ted served as President of the Sioux Empire Realtors Association. As a lifelong resident of Sioux Falls, Ted has served his community as an active member of numerous boards and organizations. 

AT LARGE

Dave Swift serves as member-at-large for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Swift is the Head Grounds Superintendent at the Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls. He bring knowledge of turf management to FBSR and has been an advocate for using sustainable lawn care practices which reduce the use of fertilizer, chemicals, and water.


AT LARGE

Mike Scott serves as member-at-large for Friends of the Big Sioux River. Scott is the founder and owner of Neighborhood Dental Clinics, which has locations in eastern South Dakota and Nebraska. Mike joined FBSR to bring his concerns regarding impaired water throughout eastern South Dakota. He hopes to expand and instill his feelings of a need to change in water management to more communities in South Dakota.

ADDITIONAL TEAM MEMBERS

A special thanks to Directors Emeritus Paul Connelly and Joe Kirby and our advisors Jay Gilbertson, Dr. Craig Spencer, John Davidson, and Eric Cleveringa.