Hansen, Gustafson retire from SDRS board

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Other South Dakota Retirement System trustees and staff wore their tennis shoes Wednesday in honor of Jim Hansen.

The quarterly SDRS board meeting was the last for trustees Hansen and Laurie Gustafson. Hansen, who served 28 years, represented retirees after a career in state government, including service as education secretary. Gustafson, a long-time state Department of Transportation who served 16 years and recently retired, represented state government employees. Both are from Pierre.

“It’s been a pleasure, Doc,” the board’s chair, James ‘JJ’ Johns of Rapid City, said, as the trustees passed a resolution honoring Hansen.

Vice chair Eric Stroeder of Glenham honored Gustafson. “She’s kind of been my partner in crime for a while,” he joked.

Johns added, “You and Doctor Hansen both have been absolutely important to all the work we have done.”

Mark Barnett of Pierre, a retired attorney general and circuit judge, recently was elected by retiree members to succeed Hansen. Jill Lenards, a state Department of Revenue accountant and auditor from Watertown, won the election among state employees to succeed Gustafson.

Barnett and Lenards officially start at the trustees’ September 2 meeting. Teacher Jim Appl of Aberdeen was re-elected, without an opponent, to represent educators.

SDRS is one of the nation’s top-ranked public employees retirement system.

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