Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: SD Tourism takes Mount Rushmore to NYC

For 88 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been the official kick-off to the holiday season! As the nation gathers to celebrate and give thanks with family and friends, the biggest spectacle of the holiday season returns to entertain more than 3.5 million people in New York and 50 million people at home on Thursday, November 27 (9:00 a.m. to noon in all time zones).

South Dakota Department of Tourism takes Mount Rushmore to NYC with the float “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride”. A group that toured with Taylor Swift will represent South Dakota in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Performing on “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride” float will be the band NEEDTOBREATHE. “Mount Rushmore's American Pride” is scheduled to come through camera at approximately 11:04am. It will be preceded by the Gibson Float and Spider-Man Balloon.

Tune in to see giant balloons, floats, performances and much more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Joe Kafka Joins the BIT Team!

Joe Kafka, BIT’s newest Point of Contact/Project Manager, recently started in the Kneip Building in Pierre. Joe will be working with five smaller agencies, as well as managing a number of projects in the future. His primary agencies will be Legislative Audit,  Legislative Research, Bureau of Administration, SD Retirement and the State Investment Council.  Joe is excited to engage within BIT and assist agencies with logical, intuitive solutions to their IT needs.

Joe is a family man, first and foremost. He spends a majority of his free time at home with his wife, Tia, and his sons Gavin (6) and Aiden (6 months). He is slowly readjusting to life with an infant and loves the noticeable lack of diapers at BIT. He met his wife during college and moved with her to Minneapolis in 2008.

After a few years living in Minnesota, they decided that the open pastures of South Dakota were beckoning them home. Before BIT, Joe worked at Revenue & Economic Development. He’s genuinely enjoyed his time working in state government and looks forward to working with another great group of individuals.

In his free time, he enjoys camping, hiking, disc golfing, snowboarding, and a good cup of coffee. He’s also one of those freakish people who love snow and cold, so try not to hold it against him if you see him smiling on the blustery days.

Take the time out of your day to introduce yourself and welcome Joe into this great organization!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Welcome Two New Employees to BIT!

Eric Frankhouser

Eric is one of the newest BIT employees under the Network and Security Technologies sector as a Technology Engineer II. After a career mix of Graphic Design and Plumbing, Eric moved from Apple Valley, Minnesota to Sioux Falls where he attended DSU and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Network Security in 2012. With that degree, he worked as an Information Security Administrator for The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls for 2 years.

Currently, Eric is in the process of moving his family to Pierre, commuting here during the week for work. He has been married for 18 years with two daughters (2nd grade and 6th grade). He enjoys hanging out with family, going to concerts, and doing outdoor activities. When he is not busy with family activities, he has a small garage shop where he does woodworking (home remodeling projects and small furniture cabinetry). In his spare time, he spends a lot of time with his computers either working with graphics (design/illustration and Web), or experimenting with software and tools.

Sam Carlson

Sam has joined BIT as a Software Engineer on the development team 1. His main job will focus on developing .Net applications. 

Sam was born in Texas and grew up in Iowa. He graduated from William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa with a BA in Software Engineering.  Same joined the state after working Eagle Creek as an associate consultant for the last year.  Same moved to SD leaving his mom and dad as well as his brother in Iowa. Outside of work, Sam enjoys PC gaming and modding, RC airplanes, reading, and pheasant hunting. He is a big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek and his favorite color is #0F32AF.

Welcome, Eric and Sam! We are glad to have you on the team and look forward to learning more about you.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Live Coverage of the SD High School Football Championship Games

Operated by the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, South Dakota Public Broadcasting is a vital community resource producing and broadcasting high-quality, commercial-free programs and valuable community outreach projects that educate, enlighten and entertain.

This week we focus on the partnership between South Dakota Public Broadcasting and the South Dakota High School Activities Association that provides results on the Internet for all SDHSAA state championship events. November 13-15 hold the South Dakota High School Football Championships. If your location is holding you back from watching your school of choice, SDPB can help by providing live coverage of all championship football games.

You can watch live video and more at

Thursday 11/13:

Class 9A Final – Howard 32, Wolsey-Wessington 20
Class 9AA, Gregory vs. Woonsocket-Wessington Springs-Sanborn Central, 1:30pm CT
Class 11A, Madison vs. Dell Rapids, 7:30pm CT

Friday 11/14:

Class 9B, Hamlin vs. Faulkton Area, 10:30am CT
Class 11B, Parkston vs. St. Thomas More, 1:30pm CT
Class 11AA, Yankton vs. Brookings, 7:30pm CT

Saturday 11/15:

Class 11AAA, Sioux Falls Lincoln vs Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 7:30pm CT

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day, November 11th

As you know, Veterans Day is today and the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, state government and citizens of South Dakota will gladly celebrate Veterans Day, honoring those who have served their country and risked their lives to protect our freedom. Join BIT in thanking and welcoming home the veterans in our lives who, like all who fight for our country, are heroes worthy of our constant gratitude and support.

We would like to recognize the members of our BIT team who served in the Armed Forces. Below are some of the many veterans who now serve the State of South Dakota working for the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications—Thank you for your service.

Daren Jessip
Bill Welch
U.S. Air Force, 1966-1970

Larry Christenson
U.S. Air Force, 1968-1969

Dennis Nincehelser
U.S. Air Force, 1971 – 1975

David Cole
U.S. Army, 1975-1977

Jeff Pierce
National Guard, 1976 - 1982

Marty Keegan
U.S. Air Force, 1976-1996

John A Shaner

Kenneth Hutchinson
U.S. Air Force, 1976 - 1996

Bob Fancher
Marines, 1977-1986

Jeanne Mertz
U.S. Army, 1978-1982

David Harding
South Dakota and Arizona Army National Guard,
Inactive Ready Reserve 1995-1998

Tony Tibbs
U.S. Navy 1979-1990

David R. Smith
U.S. Marine Corps
Kevin Sunde
U.S. Air Force, 10 years

Randy Slama,
South Dakota National Guard, 1979 - 1986
U.S. Air Force, 1987- 1990

Lonnie Stoltenburg
U.S. Navy 1980-1986

Dallas Thompson
U.S. Air Force, 1983-1992

David R. Smith
U.S. Marine Corps, 1983-1991

Joe Birgen
SD Air National Guard
David Ames
U.S.  Navy, 1987-1993

Daren Jessip
U.S. Air Force, 1988- 1991
 Iowa Air National Guard, 1991-1995

Brad Trautman
U.S. Army, 1988-2000

Kenneth Hutchinson
U.S. Air Force, 1993-1999

Joe Birgen
U.S. Navy, 1997-2003
Navy Reserve, 2007-2013

Tony Tibbs
U.S. Navy
South Dakota Air National Guard, Currently
(2014 – 2020)

David Ames
U.S. Navy

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Member of the BIT PMO Team-Welcome, Megan!

Megan Schwinler has joined the BIT PMO team! Please give her a warm welcome.

Megan is the Technology Contract & Security Audit Specialist focusing on I/T contracts, RFPs and technology purchase processing along with management of I/T security audits. Learn more about Megan’s background, education and hobbies below.
Megan graduated high school from Parkston, South Dakota and attended Mitchell Technical Institute receiving an Associate degree in Computer Systems Technology. After graduating from Mitchell Tech, she worked on the web design team for the Yankton Press & Dakotan for a one year and then First National Bank of Omaha in Yankton for six years in many different roles.

In 2008 Megan moved herself and her then 3yr old daughter Keeley to Fort Pierre after accepting a position with Eagle Creek Software Services. Over the years she filled a variety of different roles within Eagle Creek including Consultant, Team Lead, Trainer, Resource Developer, Business Analyst and most recently Project Manager/Coordinator.

Megan became engaged on July 5th after hiking to the top of Harney Peak, Her fiancĂ© Tom and herself have 2 girls, Keeley(9) and Hannah(12) who keep them very busy with martial arts competitions, volleyball games, snowboarding, school activities and the everyday unplanned surprises. They also became the proud “grandparents” of two bearded dragons in the last year; they call them Tiger and Buddha.

When Megan gets some free time (which is not often) she enjoys reading, traveling, relaxing, socializing with friends and eventually will begin planning a wedding hopefully someplace tropical and on a beach.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Manage your Outlook Mailbox with Quick Steps-Part 2

Depending upon your job and your general day to day activities, you might want to create different Quick Steps that are customized to your needs. Here is a list of other Quick Steps that can work for you as well as directions on how to create them! Be sure to read Part 1 on the blog as well.

·         Flag & Move-Marks the message as read. Flags the message. Moves it to your 1-Reference folder.-You are flagging things for different dates, such as Tomorrow, This Week, etc. Create one per flag you use often.

·         FYI & Move-Marks the message as read. Creates a forward as FYI message. Moves it to your 1-Reference folder.-You are often forwarding email to other people (articles, etc.)

·         Delegate- Marks the message as read. Creates a forward to a specific person. Moves it to your 1-Reference folder.-You receive messages now meant for others.

·         Reply & Delete- Opens a reply window. Deletes the original message -You often receive quick messages that you need to respond to, but that after which, you don’t need the original message. For example: “Hey, do you want to go to lunch with us tomorrow?” Your response: “You bet!”

After you start creating Quick Steps, you will find that there might be other ways that you can optimize the number of clicks required to get something done. Whenever you find yourself doing the same thing repeatedly, try creating a Quick Step. And as projects change, update your Quick Steps so that they are only the things you really do.