Board of Directors

Needle & Thread
Kendra Gottsleben standing in front a house wearing a pink, green and white strip shirt. Wearing glasses and has shoulder length hair.

Kendra Gottsleben
Founder & Executive Director
Rare by Design

Kendra is the marketing communication specialist at the Center for Disabilities at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is an author and spokesperson on living a life with a rare disease and disability. Kendra is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization, Rare by Design. She is an Augustana University graduate with a double major in Sociology and Psychology. Her career blends the two worlds in which she grew up: medicine and education. Kendra’s memberships on numerous boards, advisory groups and professional societies keeps her actively engaged locally, state-wide and nationally.

She has defined her life by a positive outlook and success in overcoming obstacles. Kendra refuses to be defined by Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS)—the rare genetic condition she has had since birth. Kendra enjoys a stylish outfit and shoes to match as she strives to make a difference. One of her favorite colors is yellow which embodies her life motto: When life hands you lemons, make the BEST lemonade possible!

Alicia Boe siting on steps in a park wearing a black jacket and top with yellow flowers on a black background. Blond shoulder length hair.

Alicia Boe
Senior Marketing and
Communications Manager
Black Hills Energy

Alicia is a senior marketing and communications manager for Black Hills Energy, headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota. A graduate of Augustana University in 2009, Alicia also spent a year abroad in Oslo, Norway, where she worked at the U.S. Embassy. She has over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, including time spent at the YMCA of Rapid City and in the tourism industry, promoting the Black Hills and Badlands region. Alicia joined Black Hills Energy in 2018 and has since continued to manage the strategic communications needs of the company’s natural gas utility

and large-scale customer communication campaigns as well as special projects

and initiatives spanning across the company’s 1.3 million customers throughout an eight-state service territory.

 

Alicia lives in Rapid City with her husband

and daughter, and together they’re awaiting the arrival of another child later in 2021. They are an active outdoors family with a shared love for canoeing/kayaking, hiking and camping. In her downtime, Alicia finds great joy in thrift shopping and hitting up garage sales.

Ashley Ballou-Bonnema is standing in front of a store wearing a red jacket with black buttons. Blond hair length below shoulder.e

Ashley Ballou-Bonnema

Founder & Executive Director

Breathe Bravely

Ashley is a professional vocalist from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she not only sings professionally with regionally and nationally acclaimed ensembles, but also maintains a private voice studio specializing in helping 15-18-year-old singers discover the beauty within every breath and the power it gives to their unique voice. She passionately helps individuals find their voice all while serving as the executive director and founder of the nonprofit organization, Breathe Bravely. An organization dedicated to giving voice to cystic fibrosis (CF).

Ashley is a passionate advocate for the cystic fibrosis community both locally and nationally, having served on the Adult Advisory Council

for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. After graduating with her master's degree in vocal performance, she was inspired to bring both her life as a musician and an individual with

CF together in Breathe Bravely’s flagship program, sINgSPIRE. An innovative approach to combating CF through the art of singing.

Ashley is grateful for the opportunity to share her life, hoping that through her own story others might know the beauty and power alive in every breath they are gifted. She and her husband, Mark, along with their two dogs, are lucky to call Sioux Falls, home.

Colette Manning light brown hair above the shoulder. Wearing a black v neack top.

Colette Manning
Vice President, Marketing
Sanford Health

Colette is the vice president of marketing at Sanford Health. She is a proud graduate of the University of Nebraska where she earned her bachelor’s in marketing. She has lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, since 2008 when she started at Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad/Canadian Pacific Railway where she focused on strategic service management. While there, Colette grew her skills in process improvement, data analytics and strategic problem-solving. Since joining the Sanford Health family in 2012, Colette has served in many roles and currently leads marketing insights, creative and digital strategy and marketing operations. She takes great pride in her teams’ impact on the experience of

Sanford Health employees and patients.

 

Colette lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, Justin, and their three boys, ages nine,

seven and five, and their two vizslas. She enjoys a busy household full of laughter, family hiking adventures, kids dinners, and Husker volleyball.

Judy Struck standing in front of a house wearing a gold top and glasses. Light brown short hair.

Judy Struck

Professor Emeritus

University of South Dakota

Judy is a professor emeritus at the University of South Dakota (USD) Sanford School of Medicine’s (SSOM) Department of Pediatrics. She earned an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from California Coast University. In addition, She has an M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and Intellectual Disabilities from USD and a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Dakota State University.  

 

Judy's career spanned over 35 years in both North and South Dakota and always emphasized early intervention and community integration. She spent the last 25 years of her career with the Center for Disabilities at the SSOM, where she retired after almost twenty years as the Executive Director. During her tenure, she broadened the Center's focus to encompass statewide, regional, and national activities. Research and family-centered clinical diagnostic activities were added, as was a commitment to collaborate with Native American communities and diverse populations across the region. Judy retired in 2013 but has remained active in issues concerning people with disabilities and community involvement. 

 

She spends the majority of her time now enjoying her family, including three married children, eight wonderful grandchildren, and one marvelous great-grandchild, with a second due in Fall 2021. Judy has enjoyed traveling the U.S. and abroad, reading for pleasure, having coffee with friends, and watching her grandchildren’s various activities. In addition, one of her consistent delights is meeting former students and their families around South Dakota and catching up on what they are doing. 

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Molly O'Connor
Visual Designer
Lemonly

Molly is a visual designer at Lemonly who lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with her husband Zach and daughter Lucy. She has a strong arts background with a passion for giving back to the community through design, mentoring young designers, and pushing the design industry to be more inclusive and accessible. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Molly is a self-proclaimed urban gardener and a sideline advocate for bugs, bats, snakes and all generally underrated creatures.