Meet the Committee

South Dakota Day of Giving was driven by a team of volunteers from all across our awesome state who care deeply about the people and communities who make us unlike anyone else. We tip our cowboy hats to each of them for the time and expertise they’ve contributed to champion this state-wide effort.

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Matt Gassen
Executive Director, Feeding South Dakota

Matt returned to South Dakota to complete his career in the United States Air Force and has gone on to direct the activities of Feeding South Dakota. Feeding South Dakota partners with over 450 charitable organizations to provide over 11 million meals annually to struggling South Dakota families and provides strategic support to communities regarding food security. Their mission is to eliminate hunger in our state.


Bernie Hunhoff
Editor-at-Large, South Dakota Magazine

Bernie is a South Dakota native, writer and journalist, business owner and former member of the South Dakota Legislature. In 1985, he founded South Dakota Magazine, a bi-monthly journal that explores the history, culture and geography of our state. He has authored and co-authored several books, including Uniquely South DakotaSouth Dakota Curiosities and South Dakota's Best Stories.


Paula Jensen
Vice President of Advancement, Dakota Resources

Paula’s passion for community leadership and development is what drives her in her personal and professional life. Her responsibilities at Dakota Resources include resource development, community coaching and implementation of programs. She resides in her hometown of Langford, South Dakota (population 318+), where she and her husband have owned and operated an auto repair shop for the past 25 years.


Maree Larson
Community Leader

Maree is the director of the Larson Foundation located in Brookings, SD. Maree graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a degree in Communications. She serves on the board of the South Dakota Community Foundation and has served on the boards of the South Dakota Art Museum, Easter Seals South Dakota and Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity. She also volunteers for a number of non-profit organizations including the local schools.

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Beth Massa
Regional Director of Foundation Relations, South Dakota Community Foundation

Beth joined the South Dakota Community Foundation team in February 2015.  As the Regional Director for Foundation Relations, Beth works with donors and nonprofit partners in western South Dakota.  Based out of Rapid City, she works to bring together stakeholders in the state to build stronger and more vibrant communities.  She enjoys working with donors to make their charitable visions a reality, and loves engaging citizens to be partners in change by implementing local solutions for local issues.

Prior to working at the SD Community Foundation, Beth worked as the Resource Development Director at the United Way of the Coastal Bend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before moving to Texas, she served as the Western Regional Director for Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota. Beth is currently on the South Dakota Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals and was recently selected to participate in Leadership South Dakota, where she will spend the next year expanding her knowledge of the state and the amazing people that make it a great place to live.


Lakota Vogel
Executive Director, Four Bands

Lakota Vogel serves as the Executive Director at Four Bands and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America and taught on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation at Todd County High School. Lakota obtained her Masters in Social Work Degree from Washington University in St. Louis with the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies. She also has served on the Native American Alumni Board of Directors at the University of Notre Dame.

South Dakota Gives is also grateful to the following individuals who served as advisors as community members across South Dakota began discussions about a South Dakota Day of Giving.

  • Maree Larson, Larson Family Foundation

  • Elli Harter, Bush Foundation

  • Sandy Diegel, John T. Vucurevich Foundation

  • Stephanie Judson and Beth Massa, South Dakota Community Foundation

  • Andy Patterson, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation

  • Liz Hamburg, Black Hills Area Community Foundation

  • Jan DeBerg, Watertown Area Community Foundation