Noem appoints members for Freedom Scholarship endowment Original
KELO Gov. Kristi Noem

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem on Friday announced via news release that she had appointed five board members for the Freedom Scholarship endowment.

Dana Dykhouse, Miles Beacom, Phyllis Heineman, Diana Vanderwoude and Chris Houwman will serve as the inaugural board members for the endowment and will deliver awards for its first-ever needs based-scholarship program.

Noem said in the statement that this scholarship will “ensure that South Dakota is securing some of the top talents in our colleges and universities,” and that “as more and more companies move to our state, we need today’s workforce ready to take on tomorrow’s jobs.”

Dana Dykhouse is the CEO of First PREMIER Bank and currently serves on the board of the Build Dakota Scholarship Fund.

Miles Beacom is the CEO of PREMIER Bankcard and has been a member of the Board of Governors of the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business.

Phyllis Heineman is a former educator, South Dakota State University alum, and has previously served on numerous boards, including the South Dakota Partners in Education.

Diana VanderWoude has 40 years of experience in healthcare administration and education and is currently the Vice President of Learning, Education, and development for Sanford Health.

Chris Houwman is CEO and President of Malloy and currently serves on the South Dakota Workforce Development Council.

Created during the 2021 legislative session, the Freedom Scholarship endowment was initially allocated $50 million. Partnerships with private donors including First PREMIER Bank and T. Denny Sanford have lifted the allocation to $175 million in commitments.

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