South Dakota News Watch is governed by a nine-member board of directors and staffed by two full-time professional journalists. The board members and staff represent decades of news and management
The staff will increase as the organization matures, allowing South Dakota News Watch to expand and deepen its impact.
Bart Pfankuch, Rapid City, S.D., is content director and an investigative reporter for South Dakota News Watch. A Wisconsin native, he is a former editor of the Rapid City Journal. Pfankuch worked for about 30 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers and magazines in Wisconsin, Florida and South Dakota; he also is a syndicated writing coach.
Nick Lowrey, based in Pierre, S.D., is an investigative staff reporter for South Dakota News Watch. A South Dakotan for more than 20 years and a U.S. Army veteran, Lowrey is the former managing editor of the Capital Journal in Pierre and previously was a reporter for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls.
Board of Directors
Co-Chair – Randell Beck, Sioux Falls, S.D., is a retired editor and publisher of Argus Leader Media in Sioux Falls (2001-2013). He previously held editing and reporting roles at newspapers in Delaware, California, Missouri and Tennessee.
Co-Chair – Jack Marsh, Sioux Falls, S.D, is a former media and foundation executive. He worked as an editor, publisher and reporter at seven newspapers in four states before becoming president/chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota. He retired in 2014.
Jack.Marsh@SDNewsWatch.org and @JohnSMarsh
Treasurer – Jay Huizenga, Sioux Falls, S.D, is the vice-president/general manager of KELOLAND Media Group. He joined KELOLAND TV as a local account executive in 1980 and was promoted to general sales manager in 1990. He worked as business development manager for KRON-TV in San Francisco from 2004 to 2005 and served as regional vice president for Media General from June 2014 to January 2017.
Secretary – Jon Hunter, Madison, S.D., is the publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. He was named to that position in July 1990. He also served as president of the South Dakota Newspaper Association.
Nancy Turbak Berry, Watertown, S.D., is an attorney, former South Dakota state legislator and longtime advocate of open government. Turbak Berry served in the South Dakota Senate, 2007-2010, where she championed efforts to promote public access to information about state and local government. As a result, she received the Eagle Award from the South Dakota Newspaper Association, honoring her efforts on behalf of government transparency. Turbak Berry was the 1996 Trial Lawyer of the Year in South Dakota, is past president of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law. Turbak Berry’s education began in a one-room schoolhouse in Kranzburg, S.D. She graduated from Watertown High School and obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She received her law degree from the University of California. Turbak Berry founded Turbak Law Office in Watertown, where she works with her sons Seamus Culhane and Liam Culhane.
Christine Hamilton is the co-owner and managing partner of Christiansen Land and Cattle, Ltd. in Kimball, S.D. The company is consistently in the forefront of innovation embracing new technologies, and participating in research and development opportunities within the agriculture industry. She is the co-founder and chair of the Matson Halverson Christiansen Hamilton Foundation whose mission is to improve quality of life and create opportunities for growth and development, primarily in rural areas.
Shannon Brinker, Rapid City, S.D., is the former publisher of the Rapid City Journal. She worked in advertising and marketing for Lee Enterprises newspapers for more than 15 years, including time in Duluth, Minn.; Columbus, Neb.; Davenport, Iowa; and Carbondale and Bloomington, Ill.
Arnold Garson, Sioux Falls, S.D., is a retired journalist and media executive. He worked in the newspaper business for 46 years as a reporter and editor at the Omaha World-Herald, The Des Moines Register and The San Bernardino County Sun, then as president and publisher of Argus Leader Media, group vice president for Gannett Co. and president and publisher for the The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.
Cory Myers, Sioux Falls, S.D., is the news director for Argus Leader Media. He has been with the Argus Leader since 2005 in various capacities including photo editor and consumer experience director. He is a member of the South Dakota Newspaper Association Board of Directors.