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Executive and Legal Advocacy Staff

Tim Neyhart

Tim Neyhart
Executive Director

Character: "Be true to you work, your word and your friends." – Henry David Thoreau

Tim has a B.S. in Secondary Education. He has been an active member of a number of disability policy work groups concerning special education, mental health, vocational rehabilitation and other related topics. He is the past chair of the Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired Rehabilitation Advisory Council, past member of the Division of the Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council, etc. In 1998 Tim was identified as the Governor’s Advisory Council Distinguished Service Award.

Tim began his career with DRSD on January 1, 1990. He is now the Executive Director. He says that he likes helping people to identify the things that are important to them and assisting them to achieve those things.

C.J. Moit

C.J. Moit
Program Director, PAVA

“It is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences”.
– Audre Lorde

C.J. has been trained as a Medical Assistant, PIP Year 12 Grad. She also worked for 13 years as a Service Coordinator for the Birth to Three Program with the State of South Dakota. C.J. started working at DRSD in 2015 as the Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) Director/Advocate. She says that she really likes it when an issue has been resolved and an individual with a disability is able to participate the same as all individuals.

C.J. has four adult children and a 16-year-old Mini Schnauzer who likes to talk. She enjoys camping, fishing, gardening and going to concerts.

Brandy Rhead

Brandy Rhead
Staff Attorney

Brandy is a South Dakota native who calls the Black Hills home. She started working for the Pennington County Public Defender’s Office in July 2004, where she worked as an Assistant Public Defender until December 2007. Brandy then went into private practice, doing both criminal defense work and family law. She was in private practice until May 2011 at which time she joined the Murphy Law Office, PC as an associate attorney in the firm. In March 2015, Brandy joined APLC Moore-Faust Law Group doing personal injury cases, and civil cases in bother state and federal court.

Brandy joined the DRSD team in May 2018 where she is happy to be providing protection and advocacy for those in our population who are often our most vulnerable and in need of representation.

John Hamilton
Legal Affairs Director

John has a B.S. in Business Administration, USD, I.D., USD School of Law MBA, USD School of Business prior to working at DRSD. John was a Law Clerk in the Northern Hills for one year.

John has been part of many committee’s and has received many awards. Some of the committee’s and awards that John has been part of are Minnehaha County JDAI policy Committee in 2013, Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI Facility Inspection Team, Co-Team Lead 2012), SD Voices for Children’s Champion for Children Award, 2009 South Dakota Parent Connection Board of Director, 2000-2006 (President 2001-03), Liberty Center/Here4YOUth Board of Directors, 1999-2008, 2009-2014 (President 2003-07), South Dakota Advisory Panel for Children with Disabilities, 1988-1994 (Chairman 1992-03). John has also been involved in many significate court cases over the years.

John began working for DRSD in 1986. He is the Legal Affairs Director and works in the Sioux Falls field office. He says he enjoys the variety of work and constant challenges as the agency and the world we work in evolves. He also enjoys his co-workers.

John is married and has 1 daughter. He also has two Cairn Terriers. He enjoys playing softball, gardening, photography and golf which he seldom has time for. He enjoys singing with the Singing Legionnaires (Post 15) and spending time with his family. He has coached softball, soccer and basketball.

Jennifer Grove

Jennifer Grove
Staff Attorney / Program Director, PAIR

Jennifer holds a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University School of Law. Her professional background is in corporate law. Jennifer is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota.

She began her employment with DRSD began in 2018 as a Staff Attorney/Program Director. She says that she likes the opportunities to help people.

Jennifer likes to read, run and enjoys any activities that are outside in the fresh air.

Brian Poelstra

Brian Poelstra
Intake Specialist/ASR

Brian has a master’s degree in physical therapy and is a licensed Physical Therapist. Brian has worked as a certified Athletic Trainer, he has been an EMT and he taught Physiology labs at the collegiate level.

Brian became a part of the DRSD team in 2017 as an Intake Specialist/Advocacy Services Representative. He says that he enjoys helping people and working to provide resolution to a problem that a person is dealing with.

Brian has 2 cats, Shadow and Dakota. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, riding his motorcycle and being with his family. He says he is an adrenaline junkie and that he has gone bungee jumping, rock climbing and hopes to someday cross skydiving from his list.

Rod Raschke

Rod Raschke
Intake Specialist/ASR/Systems Administrator

“Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”.
– Lance Armstrong

Rod graduated from Winner High School and went on to college at University of South Dakota where he received his BS in Criminal Justice/Political Science.

Rod joined the Disability Right South Dakota team in 2016 as an Intake Specialist/ASR/Systems Administrator. He says that he enjoys it when parents/guardians/people with disabilities thank us for giving them the information or advocacy that made a difference in their lives. We know that we have made a positive impact for someone.

Rod has two adult children. The family enjoys the company of their dog a Chihuahua Silken Terrier mix. Rod enjoys outdoor activities, travel and gardening. He has two grandchildren ages 13 and 11.

Cole Uecker

Cole Uecker
Staff Attorney / Program Director, CAP

“To obtain a bird’s eye is to turn a blizzard to a breeze”.
– Incubus

Cole graduated from Pierre‘s T.F. Riggs High School in 2000. After a four year enlistment in the Marine Corps, he returned to school and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Black Hills University. A year later, Cole went back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Law. In 2014, he earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota.

Cole is a year 24 graduate of the Partners in Policymaking program. He sits on the South Dakota Board of Vocational Rehabilitation as well as the Board for the Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Cole joined the team at DRSD in 2015 as the Director of the Client Assistance Program (CAP) and Disability Rights Advocate.

Cole says that he enjoys working at DRSD because it gives him the opportunity to help people work, play, and live fully integrated in the community whereas historically they may not have been able to do so. He truly appreciates the opportunity to work for an agency that protects the rights of people who may not have any other resource.

Cole is married and has two school age children. Cole is an animal lover and he and his family have three dogs, three cats and a lizard.

Cole spends much of his free time fishing Lake Oahe, Lake Sharp, as well as in whatever local fishing hole that he can get a bite. He has been active in Tae Kwon Do since childhood. He holds a blackbelt in the art and enjoys teaching and mentoring at the school where he went through the ranks. What time there is left in the day is filled with projects around the house and in the community.

Cole loves adventure and the outdoors. He enjoys free climbing rock walls when he gets the opportunity and is a certified SCUBA diver.

Diane Roy

Diane Roy
Staff Attorney / Program Director, PABSS

Diane graduated with Honors with a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, she went on to obtain her Master of Criminal Justice at the University of Mississippi and furthered her education abroad in England receiving a certification In forensic science. Diane’s work as an attorney has taken her to different places around the world where she has worked as both a State and Federal Assistant Attorney General.

While in school Diane was an Attorney General for the Student Association, President of the Criminal Justice Society, and a Member of the President’s Advisory Board. She was recognized as the Outstanding Young Woman of Mississippi, and by the FBI Quantico for in helping to reconstruct unidentified murder victim from bones found during investigation and ultimately identifying perpetrators for federal prosecution.

Diane joined the DRSD team in February of 2018 as a Staff Attorney and Program Director. She says she likes to see successful advocacy for people with disabilities.

Diane is married and has one adult son. On her off-time Diane enjoys growing her own herbs for cooking, restoring old houses and writing fiction from which she has had two books published.

Dianna Marshall

Dianna Marshall
Program Director, PAIMI

Dianna Marshall is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, born and raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. She is the Program Director for the Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Program. Dianna joined Disability Rights South Dakota in May 1987 working in the Pierre office for five years and then transferring to the Rapid City office. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor‘s degree in criminal justice and a law degree. Dianna is married, has two children, and two grandchildren.

Natalie Perry

Natalie Perry
Program Director, PADD

“I believe great people do things before they know they are ready”.
– Amy Poehler

Natalie started working with DRSD in 2018 as our PADD Director and an Advocacy Service Representative. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge as a graduate of the Drake Law School of Minnesota State University in Mankato MN. Natalie loves working for DRSD because it provides her with the opportunity to advocate for and give a louder voice to those who don't have the same opportunities to speak up for themselves. She says she feels that it is an absolute honor.

Natalie enjoys swimming, yoga, dancing, reading, being in the sun, trying to be funny, and looking for stuff to make her laugh. She has a Doberman named Malachi Jackson. Says that Malachi is everything she hopes to be one day. But no, she says, she has yet to reach the point of sending out Christmas cards of Malachi and herself in matching holiday sweaters. Don't worry.

She spent the first part of her career representing hurt and abused children in New Mexico as a Crimes Against Children Prosecutor. She is so eager to take those experiences in advocacy and help people with disabilities in her home state of South Dakota, so that they can continue to excel and live their best life...whatever they may want it to be!

Chris Houlette

Chris Houlette
Staff Attorney

"Be eager to learn and improve."
– John Wooden

Chris is a graduate of Black Hills State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Economics. He then went on to pursue and earn his Juris Doctor from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

He received the Black Hills State University Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2002.

Chris worked previously as a Staff Attorney with Black Hills Legal Services, Division Counsel with the South Dakota Division of Insurance, as a Staff Attorney here under our previous agency name “South Dakota Advocacy Services” [2001-2014], and as a Staff Attorney with the South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources. Chris returned to Disability Rights South Dakota in 2019 to resume his duties as a Staff Attorney to provide legal assistance to South Dakotans with disabilities and is excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals who reach out to our agency.

Chris is married and enjoys attending his children's activities, travelling, fishing, reading, watching sporting events, spending time outdoors, and volunteering in the community. Chris is also a member of the Elks and the Knights of Columbus.

Something you should know about Chris is that he acted in “The Trial of Jack McCall” (a stage play reenacting the trial of Jack McCall, who killed Wild Bill Hickok).

 

 

Administrative Staff

Sandy Hook
Executive Assistant and Partners in Policy Making Coordinator

“Never tire of doing the right thing”.

Sandy says that she had some college and has worked 40 plus years in the administrative field. In 1994 she became an Outstanding Member of the Winner Community Playhouse. She won the award for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1995 and qualified for National Rodeo Competitions years ago. She also played on a softball All Star Team some years ago.

Sandy came to work for DRSD in 1996 and is the Executive Assistant and Partners in Policy Making Coordinator. Sandy enjoys coordinating Partners in Policy Making each year and she enjoys her co-workers, she feels DRSD is a “team effort”.

She is married and has four adult children, two are hers and she has two step-children. She also has a Shepador, Walker who is huge. Her husband Dennis wanted a hunting dog, they got a horse. They also have three cats, Madden (named after John Madden), Boston, and AWOL. All their pets have been rescue animals.

Sandy says she doesn’t have a lot of spare time but when she does she enjoys reading.

Annette July
Director of Finance and Administration

Annette graduated form North Dakota State College of Science. Her prior experience has been in the area of providing supports and services to people with disabilities while working with Easter Seals, ARC/SD, OAHE, Inc. and Kelly Retirement Homes.

Annette was hired by DRSD in 2017 as the Director of Finance and Management. She says that she loves the people she works with and that we are all here for one purpose, to make life better for all people with disabilities.

Annette has four adult children and a golden retriever/cavalier spaniel mix rescue dog named Reggie. He was 1 1/2 years old and had already been in five different homes. She says her first year with him was a challenge, but he has now been with her for six years. She calls him her “little red head”.

When the weather permits, Annette and Reggie love to go on long walks. She also likes to work in her yard and ride her exercise bike. She enjoys reading when Reggie isn’t trying to get all her attention and she loves spending time with her family.

Kim Kietzmann
Administrative Assistant, Pierre

“Some men see things as they are and ask why, I dream things that never were and say why not”.
– Robert Kennedy

Kim has worked in the Human Services Field for approximately 30 years. She was employed with Capital Area Counseling Services for a couple of years and worked at OAHE, Inc. for 20+ years in direct care and then moved into administration/management in the early 90’s. She worked at Kelly’s Retirement Homes as an Administrative Assistant/Human Resource for six years.

Kim has been trained as a certified instructor in CPI and CPR. She has also had training in People First and Person-Centered Planning for people with disabilities.

She began working for DRSD in 2018 as an Administrative Assistant. She says that she loves working with people with disabilities and that this is where her heart is.

Kim is married to her high school sweetheart and has 2 adult children. She has two cats that were both rescue animals. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, children and husband. She has six siblings that she loves seeing as much as possible. She enjoys reading, talking long walks with her husband and traveling. She says that her grandchildren and children are the light of her life.

Marie McQuay
Administrative Assistant, Rapid City

Marie graduated from the National College of Business. She is the recipient of a Shorthand Award.

Marie was hired as the Administrative Assistant in 1989 in the Rapid City Field Office. She is proud to be part of the accomplishments and success DRSD has had on behalf of people with disabilities.

Marie is married and has four adult children. She enjoys studying the Bible, attending her grandchildren‘s baseball, softball and basketball games.

She enjoys spending time with her husband of 47 years, her children and grandchildren, great grandchildren and all their spouses. She enjoys celebrating all her family’s successes and accomplishments in life.

Diane Wurtz
Administrative Assistant, Sioux Falls

Diane is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Diane considers her greatest accomplishments in life were raising her two amazing children.

Diane began work at DRSD in 2018 as the Administrative Assistant in the Sioux Falls field office. Diane says that she loves working for a company that advocates for people with disabilities as they need a voice.

Diane has 2 adult children that she says are amazing. She does not have any pets but would someday like to have a small dog. She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her children.

Diane believes that you should be kind whenever possible-it is always possible.

A fun fact about Diane is that she worked at one time for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (1980’s). She said it was a blast!!!

Ona Arnold
Fiscal Assistant, Pierre

Ona attended Chadron State College in Nebraska where she received her Master’s in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration/Office Management. She was inducted into the Delta Mu Delta business honor society in 2009.

Ona began working for DRSD in 2016 as the Financial Assistant. She says that DRSD is a great place to work. She feels she gained a new family when she joined the team.

Ona is married and has three young children. The other member of their family is a Black Lab/Chesapeake Bay cross whose name is Rylee.

Ona enjoys playing cards/games and watching movies with her family. Ona believes that everything happens for a reason.

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