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Executive and Legal Advocacy Staff

Tim Neyhart

Executive Director

Character: "Be true to your 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.

Brandy Rhead

Legal Director

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 both 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

Operations 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 committees and has received many awards. Some of the committees 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), and South Dakota Advisory Panel for Children with Disabilities, 1988-1994 (Chairman 1992-03). John has also been involved in many significant court cases over the years.

John began working for DRSD in 1986. He is the Operations 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.

Cole Uecker

Adult Team Lead / Staff Attorney / CAP Lead

“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.

Sean Hegyi

Youth Team Lead / Staff Attorney 

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
– Albert Einstein

Sean holds an undergraduate degree in Secondary English Education from Indiana University. He attended law school at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. 

Sean taught on the Navajo Indian Reservation and worked at school districts in Indiana, Missouri, and Arizona with middle and high school students. Before coming to DRSD in 2019, Sean worked at an employment law firm in Kansas City and interned with the U.S. Department of Labor. He says that he enjoys protecting underrepresented individuals and helping individuals with disabilities learn to assert their rights. 

Sean is married to Megan and has a bernedoodle puppy named Cooper. In his free time, Sean likes taking Cooper on long walks. He is also an avid video game player and is passionate about sports. He loves the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Cubs, Indiana Pacers, and Indiana Hoosiers! 

Brandon Booth

Monitoring & Investigations Team Lead / Staff Attorney / PABRP Lead

Brandon holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Morningside College and a J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law. He joined DRSD in 2019 as the Monitoring and Investigations Director.  

Brandon has received the International Academy of Trial Lawyer's Award, and he was a Finalist in the Texas Young Lawyer's Division Regional Trial Team Competition. He says he enjoys being able to make a difference in individuals' lives and to help make our community better as a whole. 

Brandon is married and has a Husky named Nitro. In his free time, Brandon likes watching the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins and LSU Tigers. He also enjoys hiking and camping with his wife and dog. 

Dianna Marshall

Advocacy Services Representative / PAIMI Lead

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.

C.J. Moit

Advocacy Services Representative / PAVA Lead

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

C.J.  Moit began working as an Advocacy Services Representative at Disability Rights South Dakota (DRSD) on January 1, 2015. Ms. Moit works in the Pierre office as a client advocate and is the lead for the Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) program. Ms. Moit is a member of the State Independent Living Council and a Liaison for Bridging South Dakota. Prior to working at DRSD, Ms. Moit worked as an Early Intervention Service Coordinator for South Dakota’s Birth-to-Three Program for 13 years.  She is also a Year 12 graduate of the leadership empowerment course Partners in Policymaking. 

PAVA is a federally funded program created as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). PAVA works to ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in the voting process. Ms. Moit monitors polling sites for accessibility as well as provides individuals with disabilities voter rights education, training on the voting process, and provides voter registration opportunities. In her duties as the PAVA Lead, Ms. Moit collaborates with various agencies to stop the disenfranchisement of individuals with disabilities in the electoral process.  

Ms. Moit obtained a Medical Assistant degree, from the American Institute for Medical and Dental Technology in 1988. When not working, Ms. Moit enjoys camping, Trout fishing, gardening, attending concerts, playing with her grandchildren and dog.

 

Rod Raschke

Intake Specialist / DAD 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.

Brian Poelstra

Advocacy Services Representative / PATBI Lead

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.

Jacob Koch

Advocacy Services Representative / PAAT Lead

Jacob is currently attending college at the University of Sioux Falls to obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Jacob started with Disability Rights South Dakota in September of 2019 as an Advocacy Services Representative in the Sioux Falls Office.

Jacob has worked in the healthcare/ human services field for about 7 years. He says he has a passion for helping those that have a hard time representing or advocating for themselves. Jacob says that working at DRSD allows him the ability to help those with disabilities to achieve their dreams and goals.

Jacob and his significant other, Kourtney, have two pets. One cat, Apollo, and a yellow lab, Leo. Jacob and Kourtney enjoy taking both pets on car rides and playing fetch in the yard with Leo. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys golfing and bowling. When the weather allows Jacob also enjoys taking his motorcycle out on rides. He calls it his “wind therapy.” Jacob also loves spending time with his nieces and nephews.

Katrina Mulloy

Advocacy Services Representative / PADD Lead

“Adjust, Adapt, Overcome.”

Katrina has a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Sioux Falls, SD. She joined the DRSD team in 2019 as an Advocacy Services Representative after interning with The South Dakota Department of Social Services and working at several nonprofit agencies.

Katrina has always been drawn to the social services field because she enjoys helping individuals, families, and communities enhance their collective well being. Her four dogs keep her and her fiancé busy, and she enjoys camping, motorcycle riding, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.

Delores Lipp

Advocacy Services Representative / PAIR Lead

“How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”
– Annie Dillard

Delores graduated from Northern State University with a BS in Sociology and minors in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She joined Disability Rights South Dakota (DRSD) in October of 2019 as an Advocacy Services Representative.

Prior to DRSD, Delores worked for 30+ years in both community and inpatient mental health programs in South Dakota. She was the recipient of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Heroes in the Fight Award in 2008. She also received the 1997 Professional Job Developer of the Year Award from the National Association of Persons in Supported Employment (NAPSE). Delores is pleased to be part of the DRSD team where she has opportunities every day to promote positive change.

Delores is married and she and her husband enjoy the many offerings of Sioux Falls including music, dining out, recreation, and observing all the seasonal changes that come with living in South Dakota. She has a passion for animals and nature and spends the spring and summer months submerged in her hobby of increasing the survival of the monarch butterfly.

Hanna Glissendorf

Advocacy Services Representative / Digital Media Administrator

Hanna graduated from Harvard University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minored in English.

Hanna joined the DRSD team in 2019 as an Advocacy Services Representative. She enjoys working at DRSD because she is passionate about advocating for individuals with disabilities, and she likes knowing that her work makes a difference in people’s lives.

Before coming to DRSD, Hanna worked in fundraising and development at her alma mater. She also spent time working as a research assistant in a developmental psychology lab, and is a Year 28 graduate of South Dakota's Partners in Policymaking program. In her free time, Hanna enjoys reading and writing, and spending time with her 15-year-old pug, Baxter.

Heather Pelle

Intake Specialist

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Heather is a graduate of Spooner High School in Spooner, WI and is currently taking college classes. She joined Disability Rights South Dakota in 2019 as an Intake Specialist. 

Before coming to DRSD, Heather previously worked as a dispatcher for the local police department. She says that being able to do something, even just taking an initial call and getting someone the information they need, or connecting them to someone who can help, has always been a rewarding thing. 

Heather is married and has three children. She also has a dog, and her daughter is getting a bearded dragon this summer. Outside of watching her kids in their various activities, Heather enjoys woodworking, crocheting, sewing, baking, and traveling. However, with three kids, she doesn't really have time to do many of these activities! An interesting fact about Heather is that she is looking forward to someday owning a hobby farm and raising cows on a small acreage.

Sarah Svoboda

Sarah Svoboda

Advocacy Services Representative 

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” -Dalai Lama

Sarah has a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a law degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law. She joined DRSD in 2020 as an Advocacy Services Representative.

Sarah was a Jessup International Moot Court Competitor in law school and has received both a Diversity Merit Scholarship and a Pro Bono Service Award. Sarah says that she enjoys working at DRSD because it is an agency where she can provide legal services to underrepresented groups and be a voice for those often overlooked in society. 

Something interesting about Sarah is that she originally wanted to go to law school to be an international human rights lawyer. After going to college and law school, however, she realized that there were already so many vulnerable people right at home that she could help. Both of her internships in law school focused on supporting and counseling people who did not have the resources to get aid or were not aware when their rights were being violated. She has worked for Military Matters, assisting veterans with legal issues, and for the Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom, assisting low wage workers with employment issues, housing, discrimination, and other rights violations.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and anything that she and her fiancé and can do with their two dogs. She is very close to her family and loves to travel to visit her parents and three sisters who are spread throughout the Midwest.

 

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.

Ona Arnold

Fiscal Director

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, and then became Fiscal Director. 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.

Annette July

Fiscal Assistant

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.

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