DOVIA of the Sioux Empire


Cindy Elifrits Peterson

Cindy is a proven expert in resource development with 16 years of experience in fundraising, volunteer management, strategic planning, board development, program design and outcome measurement.

From 2005 until 2010, Cindy directed the annual fundraising effort for the Sioux Empire United Way. Already boasting the second highest per capita of giving in the nation, under Cindy’s leadership, the Sioux Empire United Way raised $44 million dollars, producing a five year increase of 20%.

Holding a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from University of Nebraska-Omaha, Cindy has a unique way of bringing people together by identifying personal motivators and incorporating them into a common objective. At Maximizing Excellence, Cindy customizes each project specific to the strengths, mission, and goals of the organization and its individuals. She is known for being a catalyst of change while empowering and mentoring those involved in sustaining success.

Cindy lives in Salem, South Dakota, with her husband Kent who farms in the area and their children Alex and Maddie. In Sioux Falls, she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals South Dakota Chamber, serves on the Kilian Community College’s Board of Trustees, is part of the volunteer planning committee for the Sioux Empire United Way’s Women Unite! event, and is in the inaugural class of Leadership South Dakota.

Dee Dee Raap

Since 1997, Dee Dee has inspired audiences with values-based, 

inspirational programs and presentations in service, leadership and 

life balance. A member of the National Speakers Association, Dee Dee has spoken in 40 states, consulted and coached many organizations. She’s known for stories and passion that connect us to the best of ourselves and others in ways that make our journey great, every day.

Rhonda Kemmis BS, BA, M.Ed.

Rhonda Kemmis earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Bemidji State University, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Augustana College, and a master’s degree in secondary education from Augustana College. She was an educator for the Sioux Falls School District for three decades as well as a national consultant and trainer at the State Department of Education in Pierre, S.D. For Avera EAP, Rhonda has designed and delivered trainings on Generational Diversity in the Workplace, It’s All About Attitude, Working “With” the Media, Transitioning From Peer to Su-Peer-Ior, Crisis Management, Servant Leadership, Difficult Discussions, Manager vs. Leader, Leadership at All Levels, Public Speaking for Supervisors, and Preparing for ‘Emotional Retirement.’ She is passionate about researching current trends in the workplace and creating fresh and engaging training for participants of all ages.

Jeanine Brizzolara

Jeanine started her career with Sanford USD Medical Center in March of 2008 – working in Human Resources on the Employment Acquisition team first as a Employment Specialist and now in her most recent position as Talent Acquisition Manager.

Jeanine loves all aspects of the recruitment process and especially passionate about making the candidate’s onboarding experience positive.

Jeanine has three fur babies that vary in ages….. all Labrador Retrievers J. She enjoys camping, boating, hiking, running, and spending time with friends and family.

Patsy Kramer

Patsy has been an employee at Sanford for 16 years – working in a variety of positions. Patsy began her HR career with Sanford Employment team. In 2007, Patsy transferred into an Employee Relations Specialist role. Most recently Patsy has had management responsibility over Employee Relations and Organizational Development team members based in Sioux Falls.

Patsy enjoys the variety of Employee Relations and Organizational Development. Through the role, Patsy and her team are able to support employees at all levels of the organization on a daily basis. Support is provided through but not limited to individual conversations, conflict resolution, leadership development, and management training.

Patsy’s 5lb dog Sophie keeps her busy. She also enjoys biking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Lisa White

Lisa has been a member of the Sanford Human Resources team since 2000.  Over the years she has dedicated her time and energy to recruiting in a variety of departments throughout Sanford.  She prides herself on excellent customer service and connecting the needs of the department with finding the best person for the job.  She is passionate about the candidate experience and works closely with new hires to make sure a positive onboarding experience occurs from the time of hire all the way through to their first day.


In her spare time Lisa is busy with her husband and three boys.  She enjoys running, watching her son’s sporting events, and travel.

Karla Harmon, CSW-PIP, QMHP

Born in the same hospital as she’s worked for the past 16 years, Karla has over four decade of learning about mental health and illness in a variety of venues. Her past includes clinical social work, detention centers, residential treatment programs for children and adolescents, Sioux Valley to Sanford Hospital/Clinic system. She currently works on the QMHP evaluation team with Minnehaha and Lincoln County Board of Mental Illness.  She earned her undergraduate degree in sociology, criminal justice, and social work and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Iowa. 

Rika Peterson

Rika Peterson joined Maximizing Excellence, LLC in September 2013 as the Administrative and Project Coordinator. A Sioux Falls native, Rika graduated from Augustana College with her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. She went on to pursue her Masters of Social Work at the University of South Dakota, graduating in 2014.

Rika is committed to the health and wellbeing of our community through practicing social work on the macro level, engaging data, volunteers, strategy, and planning for the greater good. She likes to say she does therapy on organizations, guiding them toward effective and impactful operation.

She sees philanthropy and volunteerism as agents of change that have the potential to better the individual and society.