Gary Hanson is chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He has served in many leadership roles including six times as the PUC’s Chairman, and on the executive committee and as treasurer of the Organization of MISO States, and on the steering committee of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative. He represents South Dakota on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committee on Electricity, and he is President of the 14 state Mid-America Regulatory Conference. Hanson serves on the Advisory Council for New Mexico State University’s Center for Public Utilities, and NARUC’s working groups on Electric Vehicles, Utilities for Low Income Families, and Conflict of Interest Policy.
Gary served as chairman of the South Dakota Underground Pipeline Task Force, as member of Gov. Mike Rounds’ Task Force on Wind Development, South Dakota’s Energy Task Force, and Gov. George S. Mickelson’s Cumulative Environmental Evaluation of Black Hills Mining Task Force. His service to the state includes three terms in the South Dakota Senate where he was chairman of the committees of Bonding and of Government Audit and Operations, and vice chairman of the Taxation Committee.
Gary was twice elected as mayor of Sioux Falls and oversaw multiple departmental operations of more than 1,200 employees. Prior to serving as mayor, Gary was Sioux Falls’ utilities commissioner for six years and was responsible for the development and day-to-day activities for three municipal utilities. He owned several businesses before elected office and was a licensed real estate auctioneer, appraiser, and broker.
As a regional and industry leader, Gary is co-founder, past president and chairman, of the now $600 million Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. He was chairman of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance, and president of the Sioux Falls Board of Realtors. He has served on the boards of directors of Lutheran Social Services Credit Counseling Advisory Board, DAV Arthur H. Muchow Independent Living Center, Sioux Falls Jaycees, Northern State University Foundation, Minnehaha Metro Communications Systems, South Dakota Water Congress, and Sister Cities Association. Gary was instrumental in the founding of the Multicultural Center in Sioux Falls, the Great Plains Waicipi, Community Drug Concerns Task Force, as well as endowments for the Sioux Falls Pavilion and the Great Plains Zoo.
Awards and honors received by Gary include being named Distinguished Alumnus of Northern State University, Sioux Falls’ City Father of the Year, YMCA Tri-State Hall of Fame, International Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellow, Outstanding Young Citizen of South Dakota, Habitat for Humanity’s Hat’s Off Award, Spirit of Downtown Sioux Falls Award, White Cane Safety Award, Multiple Sclerosis Society Chapter’s Mayor of the Year, Children’s Care Hospital Wings of Love Award, Disabled American Veteran’s Outstanding Legislator Award, and Life Member of Lions Club Sight and Service Foundation.
Gary and his wife, Sandy have three children and seven grandchildren.
Sandye Kading was elected as the National Committeewoman from South Dakota in June 2012. She is a strong supporter of the Pro-Life movement and was a peer counselor at the Crisis Pregnancy Center and received training in Abortion Recovery Assistance. Her political activities include serving as the Precinct Captain, Legislative Director, Secretary, County Chairman, State Committeewoman and Member-at-Large for the Pennington GOP, a member of the South Dakota GOP Central Committee, the NFRW Campaign Committee, and the Legislative committee and Leadership Development Committee. Kading is a member of the SD Right to Life, and a member of the Concerned Women for America, a volunteer with Black Hills Works, a non-profit servicing people with disabilities, former 4-H leader and volunteered with the Angel Tree program on Rosebud Indian Reservation. She currently resides in Rapid City, SD with her husband Lynn, and is the mother of two grown children, Jade and David and Nanna to five grand treasures.
A lifelong South Dakotan, Ried Holien is a writer and businessman in Watertown. In 2010, he was elected to the State Senate from his hometown and served in that capacity for six years. In 2016, Holien became the National Committeeman representing South Dakota to the Republican National Committee. He is married (Tonya) with four children.
Governor Kristi Noem
Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden