Thrive Strategy Council

Members of the strategy council are representatives of entities in the community that provide significant sources of funding and/or services designed to ensure the welfare of children and families who stand in need. They are appointed annually to a one-year term of office by the governing board on the recommendation of the organizations they represent. Thrive’s Board of Directors calls the strategy council, its “brain trust”.


Thrive Strategy Council Members, back row, L-R: Stephanie Monroe, Kari Benz, Andy Patterson, Doug Morrison, Mike Lynch, Daren Ketcham, Traci Jensen, and Cindy Dannenbring. Front row L-R: Pam Homan, Betty Oldenkamp, Alicia Collura, (Alternate), Janet Kittams-Lalley, Christina Riss, and Kris Graham. Not pictured: Jill Franken and Kristi Kranz.

The council
− develops an informed understanding of the public and private community resources available to assist disadvantaged children and their families.
− works to improve communication among public and private resource providers.
− identifies and prioritizes obstacles to children’s well-being and educational success.
− informs Thrive’s governing board of its research recommendations.
− recommends the formation of action teams.
− convenes action teams, soliciting applications for membership, reviewing the qualifications of applicants, and assuring that the membership reflects a cross-sector of business, government, nonprofit and faith-based sectors.

2017 Members
Kari Benz ─ Director, Minnehaha County Human Services
Cindy Dannenbring ─ Executive Director, Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Jill Franken ─ Director, Health Department, City of Sioux Falls
Kris Graham ─ Executive Director, Southeastern Behavioral Healthcare
Pam Homan ─ Executive Director, Augustana University/Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Traci Jensen ─ Homeless Education Social Worker, McKinney-Ventos Homeless/Sioux Falls School District
Daren Ketcham ─ Director, Community Development, City of Sioux Falls
Janet Kittams-Lalley ─ Executive Director, Helpline Center
Kristi Kranz ─ Community Impact Director, Sioux Empire United Way
Mike Lynch ─ Investor Relations Director, Forward Sioux Falls
Stephanie Monroe ─ Managing Director, Volunteers of America, Dakotas/Children, Youth & Family Services
Doug Morrison ─ Member, Sioux Falls School Board
Betty Oldenkamp ─ President, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Andrew Patterson ─ President, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
Christina Riss ─ Community Impact Specialist, Sioux Empire United Way

Allicia Collura, Assistant Director, Health Department, City of Sioux Falls
Dennis Hoffman ─ CEO, Volunteers of America, Dakotas
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Vice President, Community Services, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Brian Maher ─ Superintendent, Sioux Falls School District #49-5
Brent O’Neil ─ Manager, City of Sioux Falls
Jay Powell ─ President, Sioux Empire United Way