Board of Directors
President: Kaye Hunt, Wentworth SD
Vice-President: Charlie Johnson, Madison SD
Secretary-Treasurer: Lawrence Novotny, Brookings SD
- Luanne Napton, Brookings SD
- LaVia Merrick, Rapid City SD
- Gerald Lange, Madison SD
- George Piper, Huron SD
- Lois Haertel, Bruce SD
- Jeanne Koster, Watertown SD
- David Staub, Sisseton SD
Honorary Board Member: Robert Roby, Howard SD
I began my interest in the environment and protecting it with an organic garden to provide my family with pesticide free vegetables. As the kids grew older, I was able to be involved outside of the family. Shortly after the first Earth Day, I started working on getting recycling going in the city of Sioux Falls, SD.
Not long after that, I was asked to serve on the board of Catholic Rural Life, a staunch defender of the family farm. I also began my association with the South Dakota Environmental Coalition, as SDRC was called originally. I have served on this Board for many years and was President for one term. I also did some lobbying at the State Legislature with our founder, Esther Eide. I am presently serving as president of the Board.
While not as active as in the past, I continue to monitor environmental issues at the local, state and federal levels and contact officials with our concerns.
Jeanne Koster has been a member of SDRC since 1977 (when it was still SDEC). A special concern of hers is energy policy. Koster retired in 2006 after 22 years of service to members of SD Peace & Justice Center, a statewide organization. Before working with SDPJC, she taught college courses in writing and literature and worked as a technical writer for an aerospace engineering firm. She lives with husband Jim and a serious garden in Watertown.
LaVia Merrick has an MBA and is a consultant for a long-term care organization.
Luanne Napton has been active in environmental work for more than forty years and holds a master’s degree in environmental geography. She has been a member of the SDRC board for seventeen years, during which time she served as the SDRC lobbyist in Pierre for nine years and as SDRC president for ten years.