SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People who frequent Levitt at the Falls or the State Theater may already know Diane Olson. She usually has a big smile and is moving to the music, and the people who interact with her often walk away with a smile on their faces, too.

Olson volunteers hundreds of hours a year at the State Theater. Sometimes cleaning, sometimes taking tickets.

“I need to get out and be a part of it and contribute in whatever small way I can,” said Olson.

The theater’s General Manager says Olson is often the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. And is always high energy.

“It’s infectious, always smiling, always happy, always just ready to take on the day even if it is early morning or if we are here late for something or an event or something, never turns down any challenges as far as cleaning something she just loves it,” said State Theater General Manager Steven Dahlmeier.

“Every once in a while, we will get a pop spill or a wine spill, and we always make sure that is cleaned up because otherwise, it gets sticky,” said Olsen while mopping the floor.

To see her in action, you would never know the woman mopping the floor was once one of the leading minds in the computer software industry.

“I worked for IBM, I was a software engineer, and a lot of the projects I worked on were the brand new leading, bleeding edge projects, and so I did rack up lots of patents,” said Olson.

You know the cookies that track where you’ve been on the internet? Olson didn’t invent those, but she is responsible for the technology that made them possible.

“It was a suspend resume kind of technology, and then cookies came along later, and they did it differently, but it was still suspend resume, so you are not actually using my invention. But you are using the next thing that was created that did what mine did, after mine, so I got the patent, and they had to reference mine,” said Olson.

Olson has a rare distinction of being named a Master Inventor. A designation by tech giant IBM for those who have added to IBM’s global portfolio and demonstrated sustained innovation. Her name appears on dozens of patents.

After she retired from the high-pressure, highly focused arena of software engineering, Olsen got out into the real world and found out…

“I know nothing! And everyone else they live their lives, and they just kind of know this stuff. And they thought, wow, is she ever stupid! She should know these basic things: how to use a screwdriver. It wasn’t that bad,” she said, laughing. “But it felt like it sometimes. And so I am learning how to be like a regular human being, and it is such a pleasure and a delight, and I think that’s why I find so much joy in it.”

Olson also loves traveling and exploring and has been to all seven continents. She could live anywhere but she chose Sioux Falls. She even found a historic home and restored it to its original condition.

“I could not get myself to look at anything newer than an old historic home. For some reason, it just kind of turned me off, so I just didn’t. I said I’ve got to have one of these old homes,” said Olson.

Olson says she fell in love with this community’s dedication to preserving history and its dedication to the arts.

“This is a small city, but it’s huge in terms of all the art and the Washington Pavilion, the shows and the concerts and the museums and the buildings, and you know there is so much that we offer here,” said Olson.

The State Theater isn’t the only place Olson volunteers. You can also find her at the Levitt.

“I know anybody who’s been to the Levitt has seen her dancing on the dance floor out front,” said Dahlmeier.

Because of her world travel and exposure to many different cultures, she was invited to be on the board of directors for The Levitt.

“So if you come into the theater and Olson is working, feel free to give her a high five. I’m sure she would love that, and if she is dancing in the back, feel free to join her, he said.