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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello, Dolly! A Production You Can't Miss

Pierre Players most recent production, Hello, Dolly!, is one you simply cannot miss!

Dolly Levi, the famed New York City matchmaker, receives her toughest challenge yet when rich grump Horace Vandergelder seeks a suitable wife. She successfully matches many others in the city, including Horace’s niece and two clerks, but everything seems to go wrong when it comes to matching Horace. Dolly finally realizes that maybe she’d like to marry Horace herself, but only if her late husband will send her a sign - and if Horace himself will have her.

Mrs. Levi tracks Horace to his hay and feed store in Yonkers, then by train back to Mrs. Molloy’s hat shop in New York, out into the streets of the city where they are all caught up in the great Fourteenth Street Association Parade, and finally to the most elegant and expensive restaurant in town, the Harmonia Gardens.

There, Dolly is greeted by the waiters, cooks, doormen and wine stewards in one of the most famous songs in the history of American musical comedy, Hello, Dolly! “Hello Dolly!” is full of memorable songs including Put On Your Sunday Clothes; Ribbons Down My Back; Before the Parade Passes By; Hello, Dolly!; Elegance; It Only Takes a Moment; and So Long, Dearie.

“Hello, Dolly!” was first produced on Broadway in 1964, winning a record 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a record held for 35 years. The show, which made Carol Channing a star, became one of the most iconic Broadway shows of its era, running for 2,844 performances, and was for a time the longest-running musical in Broadway history. The show has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits, enjoying three Broadway revivals, several national tours, and international success.

What makes the play even more enticing is the fact that a few BIT employees happen to be involved in it!

Zachary Kantack plays Barnaby Tucker who explains, “A young store clerk who gets dragged along on a New York Adventure, unenthusiastically. Maybe it’s because he has to pay for everything?” Brian Oakland plays a waiter and chorus member and Kathy Holtquist is also a chorus member. Interestingly, both Kathy and Brian have children in this production as well! Brian’s son, Justin, plays the role of Cornelius Hackl and Kathy’s daughter is a chorus member! In addition to the current BIT staff, Diane Kehrwald, a former BIT employee, stars as Dolly in this production!

Both Zachary and Brian have had prior experience with Pierre Players. Brian has been in the past 3 summer musicals while Zachary starred in Little Shop of Horrors this past year. For Kathy, this is not only her first play with Pierre Players, but this is her first play ever!

When asked to explain why YOU should check out this production, all three cast members agreed that the plot line of the play is a hoot! Brian Oakland explained, “A wonderful cast featuring local talent of all ages, great music, great vocals, and lots of laughs!” and Zachary went on to elaborate, “Hello Dolly is one of the few shows I can think of that plays everything for laughs. There’s suspense, there’s romance, and even some tender moments - but at no point does the show stop being a comedy.”

Eager to see what all the buzz is about? Here are a few opportunities for you to catch this production!

Friday, July 29th

Saturday, July 30th

Thursday, August 4th

Friday, August 5th

Saturday, August 6th

Doors Open @ 7:00pm, Performance @ 7:30pm

Sunday, July 31st

Sunday, August 7th

Sunday Matinee Doors Open @ 1:30pm, Performance at 2:00pm

The performance will be held at the Grand Opera House on Pierre Street.

To reserve your tickets, please call 605-224-7826.


Photo Credits:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pierre Junior Shooting Club

The Pierre Junior Shooting Club was organized in the mid 1970s as a way to teach gun safety and marksmanship to the youth in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area. The primary goal of the organization is to teach gun safety and help prepare our youth for the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Hunt Safe program with their secondary goal being to teach marksmanship. Currently, the Pierre Junior Shooting Club teaches three separate disciplines: BB gun, Sporter Air Rifle and Air Pistol.

BB gun is the largest group and includes youth from eight years old to fifteen years old. BB gun is an excellent starting point for competitive shooting sports. The equipment is relatively inexpensive and can be easily fitted to any stature of shooter All of the basic precision shooting fundamentals are taught in this program with safety being the top priority. The BB gun season starts with an informational meeting in late October or early November for interested shooters and parents, with practices starting around the 1st week of January. For the past few years we have run three two hour practice sessions on Sundays with the younger shooters sessions in the afternoon and the evening session for veteran shooters. Last year we had about 65 shooters in the program. Air Rifle and Air Pistol are options for the older shooters with a year or two of BB gun under their belts. Air Rifle and Air Pistol is the next step for shooters who want to continue shooting competitively. There are opportunities available at the collegiate and possibly even the Olympic level.

Phil Rose is one of four certified coaches currently involved with the program. With an average of about sixty five plus shooters a year, all four coaches are involved in just about every aspect of the program. Phil explained:

“I enjoy working with and coaching the beginning shooters as well as the veterans in the group. I have also been elected or volunteered as the team’s gunsmith, I make sure all of the guns are working correctly and operate as they should which includes cleaning and lots of tweaking to make the guns shoot perfectly. I have two children (Wyatt 13, Megan 9) who participate in all of the shooting disciplines. This year at the National match I coached two of the five team members during the competition.”

The most recent competition, the Daisy National BB Gun Match was held in Rogers, Arkansas. This event is held indoors at a convention center and is typically shot over two days. The course of fire for all of our BB gun matches is 4x10 which means four positions with ten record shots and unlimited sighting shots in each position. The four positions in the order fired are Prone, Standing, Sitting and Kneeling. Each shooter shoots one target in each position with a ten minute time limit. The target contains 10 record bulls and 2 sighting bulls; each bull on the target is worth ten points for a possible 100 points in each positon. There is also a testing component in our matches; each competitor takes a 50 question test on safety, safe gun handling and NRA rules which is worth a possible 100 points. Testing and shooting scores are combined for an aggregate score for each shooter, the total possible points is 500 per shooter.

The team did well this year winning the 2016 Daisy National BB gun Match with a combined score of 2,374 points and 70 center shots. Wyandotte Co. 4-H from Kansas placed 2nd with a score of 2,368 and 80 center shots and Spink County from Redfield, SD placed 3rd with a score of 2367 and 64 center shots. It was a team effort this year with every shooter doing their part for the team and bringing home the trophy.

The team is made up of five team members and two alternates. This year’s team members were: Nathan Schnabel, Andrew Kliewer, Alexandra Smith, Wyatt Rose and Jessica Hays. The two alternates were: Vanya Kliewer and Austin Lesmann.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Please Welcome Our New Employee Heidi Brosz!

Recently, Heidi Brosz joined BIT as a Software Engineer for Development Team 4. She is originally from Mitchell, South Dakota and attended college at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) where she majored in Metallurgical Engineering. Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys.

Prior to coming to work at BIT, Heidi worked the last 12 years in Pierre as an on-site contractor in the Department of Health, Office of Vital Records. Before that she has had jobs with CHR (telecommunications software) in Rapid City and software consulting companies in Minneapolis and Denver. Her previous experience has allowed her to develop her project management skills by being involved in all phases of the lifecycle of software implementations (i.e. requirements, design, testing, implementation, post production support).

Heidi is most looking forward to working on a team with other like-minded individuals. In her free time you can find her spending time with her 7 year old son and husband, teaching spin, strength, and boot camp classes at the Oahe YMCA.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Employees Of The Quarter!

On a quarterly basis, BIT recognizes staff in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication to our agency, state government and the citizens of South Dakota. This time around, we gladly recognize:

Greg Peters

Greg is a Technical Engineer for the BIT Data Center, Technical Administration & Integration Team. His primary responsibilities include many areas of enterprise governance, specifically account administration and mobility. This last spring, Greg was a vital player in the setup and deployment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Responder application; a highly sensitive and publicized system for the new facility in Hot Springs. Greg’s dedication to the use of AirWatch to find a deployment strategy, ability to explore new possibilities and security options not tried before, and focus on client service were success factors in that project.

Greg grew up in White Lake and attended Mount Marty College after high school, completing a BA in Music Merchandising with a minor in Computer Science. One of the highlights of his educational career was through a unique opportunity to study one semester in Spain. Additionally, he joined Up With People in 1992, where he was able to visit Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia, Australia and Mexico.

Greg joined BIT on June 3, 1996 as a desktop support technician working in the Capitol building. Within a few years he was brought into the Integration Team where his focus has been primarily on Active Directory administration and Group Policy. Recently, Greg helped implement the State’s first mobile device management system, AirWatch, and has received his AirWatch Associate Certification. Prior to AirWatch, Greg administered the systems supporting the use of the once-popular BlackBerry smartphone system.

In his spare time he enjoys participating in the Pierre Players, mostly assisting with technical sets, sound, and lighting. Greg also helps determine the group’s direction as a 13-year member of their Board of Governors. If you ask Greg, he says he never performs under the lights; however people will tell you they have seen him on stage in around 40 productions over the years.

Matt Guelde

Matt Guelde started with BIT LAN Services in April 2006. Matt is located on the BIT-LAN Services team in the Capitol Building. He has a daughter Victoria that keeps him busy outside of work. Matt brings a sense of humor to the team that makes the work fun. He is always looking for ways to streamline a process that benefits not only LAN Services but the client’s needs as well. Matt can always be counted on to take on any challenge presented to him like in this case of LANDesk patch management and goes the extra mile in supporting his clients.

Matt Guelde has dedicated himself to learning LANDesk patch management. He have done this with very little training and mostly trial and error. LANDesk patch management will be used in conjunction with GoverLAN to patch machines.

Matt has also been busy patching machines on a statewide for the following products: Symantec Endpoint Protection, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat. LANDesk has the capability of scheduling jobs so they continue to run until all the machines are patched. A couple of examples of the power of LANDesk patching:
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) – LAN Services had a project to upgrade 9,600 systems statewide to the latest version. From March to April, LAN Services personnel completed installs on about 5,661 machines. 
  • Adobe Reader DC patch – LANDesk showed about 1,020 machines needing the patch and GoverLAN showed 570 of the machines were turned on. The next morning LANDesk was showing 524 machines needing the patch so overnight 496 machines were patched.
LANDesk patch management has proven to be a good tool used to apply security updates for several different software. Matt continues to learn the ins and outs of Patch Management but through his efforts to date, it has been a great tool and timesaver for all of LAN Services.

Curtis Conner
Curtis started with BIT in February of 2015 and currently serves as a Software Engineer II in Development on Team 1B. He began at the beginning of the annual enrollment season where he willingly “jumped into the pile” to start helping out.

Since joining, Curtis has acted as the Technical Lead in implementing new vendors for BHR Benefits such as Staywell and Discovery Benefits. Both vendors required a great deal of customizing in order to retrofit to their product offerings. File layouts needed to be designed coded, implemented, and then be deployed and automated in an encrypted manner. This required a high degree of technical ability as well as an excellent vendor relationship and communication skills, both of which Curtis possesses.

The Discovery Benefits implementation required learning and automating a process that previously did not exist with regard to the Health Savings Accounts and planning for that information to flow through the enrollment website and into Lawson HR software.

Meanwhile, Curtis has also continued to support “current year” onboarding and “next year” annual enrollment systems. It is a critical task to continue to allow new hires in the current fiscal year to select benefits while simultaneously allowing them to go through annual enrollment for the next fiscal year. Additionally, all employee benefits need to be maintained correctly with proper rates during the current fiscal year while they go through and select benefits for the next fiscal year. Curtis was instrumental in toggling the two systems in order to keep the data accurate and organized for both fiscal years.

Curtis lives in Pierre with his wife and daughter. In his free time, he partakes in archery hunting and fishing. When he can, he enjoys entering tournaments around the area.

Sarah Etzkorn

With grace, diplomacy, and efficiency, Sarah:

1. Addresses travel requests from BIT employees, securing airline/travel/event reservations confirmed by the employee.

2. Processes requests for travel reimbursement and provides continuing education to employees to increase their awareness of travel regulations promulgated by either BFM or the Auditors Office. With tact, provides clarifying explanations of the need to document all expenses claimed in the reimbursement request.

3. Ensures the supply closet is stocked with the appropriate inventory, and without comment maintains the organization and order of the supply closet so employees can easily locate items to replace expended desk supplies.

4. Maintains an orderly file of approved contracts.

5. Ensures the Commissioner is on schedule and on time.

6. With a smile, participates in and provides delectable treats and food for many, if not all, of BIT’s socials and special meetings.

In addition to these and a myriad other duties, Sarah serves as coordinator of a number of BIT activities and events. When dealing with employees, vendors, or external visitors, she is invariably polite; she possesses excellent Customer Service skills. As we close the fiscal years, some employees express concerns regarding processing deadlines imposed by external agencies and sometimes these concerns are addressed to Sarah. She utilizes these interactions to politely and tactfully educate the employee about the relationships between personal and agency responsibilities.

Educator, Planner, Reimbursement auditor, Organizer – Sarah keeps the train on the rails.

Again, congratulations and thank you all for your efforts and for all the years of dedication of service to the State—BIT looks forward to many more!

SharePoint Tip: Utilizing Multiple Calendars To Create A Master Calendar

Overlay multiple calendars in SharePoint to create a master calendar. This feature only works when your calendars are on the same site

Your team can now have a master calendar that includes calendar rollup information from calendars that are nestled deeper into the SharePoint site hierarchy. You can overlay up to 10 calendars over one another to create this master calendar, and each calendar is displayed in a different color code. (It's kind of like what happens when you link a SharePoint calendar to Outlook and then overlay the two calendars within the Outlook client.)

At the main SharePoint site where you want the master calendar to live, either create a new calendar list from the Site Actions menu, or use an existing calendar that already is configured at the level you want. On the Calendar tab in the Ribbon, click Calendars Overlay, and then click the New Calendar link to add a new calendar to the overlay view.

This next part is a bit trickier: You have to give SharePoint some information about the calendar that you are adding, such as a name and its plain-English description, and you need to have the URL of the site that houses the calendar. This is the link to the site itself, not a link directly to the calendar. After you enter in the web URL and click the Resolve button, SharePoint will use that URL to crawl the site and find the calendar lists and views.

If the site you provided has many calendar lists or views, SharePoint will ask you to choose the ones you want to overlay; just select the box next to Always Show, and when you're done, click OK. Lather, rinse, repeat for each separate website (again, up to 10 individual calendars) that contains calendars you want to overlay, and then click OK. Now you'll see all of those calendars rolled up into one master calendar.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Please Welcome Our New Employee Harold Bruce!

Harold Bruce has joined BIT as an Analyst Manager for Team 4 under the Development Division.

Harold is originally from the southern region of Luling, Texas. He attended Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University) where he majored in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics.

Prior to working at BIT, Harold was the Project Management Bureau Chief for the State of Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Technology Services Division.

Harold is excited for the new challenges and adventures that BIT will provide. In his free time he explained that his primary hobby is his 11-year old son who keeps him busy with baseball, basketball, football, bicycling, snowboarding, and skateboarding (Harold noted that he is merely a spectator in these events, not a participant!)

He went on to note that he and his wife have six children. Although they are new to the Pierre area, his wife is originally from Aberdeen and his brother-in-law and his family live there as well near his mother-in-law.

Welcome to BIT, Harold! We are excited to have you!