Thrive Strategy Council

Cindy Dannenbring, Pam Homan, Stephanie Monroe, Jill Franken, Doug Morrison, Andy Patterson, Kari Benz, Janet Kittams, Kris Graham, and Christina Riss. Not pictured: Alicia Collura, Traci Jensen, Mike Lynch, and Betty Oldenkamp

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”. 


The Council

  • Develops an informed understanding of the public and private resources available to assist disadvantaged children and their families in the community.
  • 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.
  • Reviews research findings.
  • Based on research findings, recommends the formation of Action Teams.
  • With the approval of Thrive’s governing board, 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.
  • Monitors the progress of Action Teams. Reports findings to the governing board. 


2020 Members

Kari Benz ─ Director, Minnehaha County Human Services
Cindy Dannenbring ─ Executive Director, Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Alicia Collura ─ Assistant Director, Health Department, City of Sioux Falls
Kris Graham ─ Executive Director, Southeastern Behavioral Healthcare
Pam Homan ─ Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, Augustana University
Traci Jensen ─ Homeless Education Social Worker, McKinney-Vento Homeless/Sioux Falls School District
Janet Kittams ─ Executive Director, Helpline Center
Mike Lynch ─ Investor Relations Director, Forward Sioux Falls
Stephanie Monroe ─ Managing Director, Volunteers of America, Dakotas/Children, Youth & Family Services
Doug Morrison ─ Director of Research, Innovation and Accountability, Sioux Falls School District
Betty Oldenkamp ─ President, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Andrew Patterson ─ President, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
Christina Riss ─ Community Impact Director, Sioux Empire United Way

Designated Alternates
Patrick Gale ─ Vice President, Community Investment, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
Dennis Hoffman ─ CEO, Volunteers of America, Dakotas
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen ─ Vice President, Community Services, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Jay Powell ─ President, Sioux Empire United Way

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