U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced that she has filled out her key staff positions.

Washington, D.C. staff

Andrew Christianson will serve as legislative director.

Christianson will oversee the legislative team and handle policy issues related to education, health care and defense. Christianson, originally from Tea, graduated from Lennox High School and the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science. After graduating, he worked for Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and as a research analyst at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Renee Latterell will serve as legislative assistant.

Latterell will handle policy issues related to agriculture, energy, international affairs and tribal relations. She will also handle Committee work related to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. Latterell is originally from Aberdeen. After receiving her bachelor's degree, she interned for Sen. John Thune in his Washington, D.C., office. She went on to serve as a political appointee under the Bush Administration at the United States Department of Agriculture. More recently, she worked for an international organization to further agricultural development in Latin America.

Anne Thimsen will also serve as legislative assistant.

Thimsen will focus her energy on policy issues related to budget, law enforcement, small business and veterans' affairs. Thimsen, a Sioux Falls native, worked on Noem's congressional campaign as a volunteer coordinator. She has a background in finance working as both an equity analyst and in corporate finance. Thimsen also has international experience including living two years in Japan. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a B.B.A in finance and economics and an MBA.

Danielle Nadler will serve as legislative correspondent.

Her focus is to respond to constituents' input through phone calls and letters. Nadler came to Noem's office after six years in journalism. She worked as a reporter for daily newspapers in Minn., Calif., Nev. and Va., covering primarily education and politics. Nadler, a Watertown native, graduated from Watertown High School before attending Minnesota State University- Moorhead, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications/print journalism.

Jennifer Fierro will serve as scheduler.

Fierro will manage Rep. Noem's schedule in Washington, D.C. and throughout South Dakota. Fierro, was homeschooled K-12 then received her bachelor's degree from USD - Vermillion. After graduating, she worked for Sen. John Thune at his Washington, D.C. office.

Katie Douglas will serve as staff assistant.

Prior to working for Rep. Noem, Douglas attended USD where she studied political science. She has held multiple internships, including working for Sen. John Thune, the South Dakota State Legislature, and the South Dakota Republican Party. While at USD, Douglas served as College Republicans president, working closely with the Noem campaign during the election. Douglas is originally from Pierre.

South Dakota staff

Beth Hollatz will serve as Northeast Regional Director.

Hollatz's duties include managing office operations and representing Rep. Noem at meetings and events around the community. She will work with constitutes in the Northeast to help resolve issues and address concerns. Hollatz was part of Noem's congressional campaign team. Prior to that, she and her husband owned a business that they ran for 23 years. Hollatz resides in Clark with her husband Alan.

Brad Otten will serve as West River Regional Director.

Otten's duties include managing office operations, and representing Rep. Noem at meetings and events around the community. Otten is a graduate of Lennox High and USD with a degree in business administration. Otten has worked in the tourism industry including six years as a sales and customer service representative at Coleman Black Hills Gold. Otten has also served on the Rapid City School Board and the Black Hills Special Services Board of Directors.

Suzanne Veenis will serve as Southeast Regional Director.

Veenis will be responsible for community outreach and oversee the operation of the Sioux Falls office. Veenis, a Sioux Falls native, graduated from Washington High School and the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in business administration. After a career in banking with Norwest Bank (Wells Fargo), Veenis served as a community volunteer with various Sioux Falls non-profit organizations. Veenis also served the grassroots/volunteer coordinator of Rep. Noem's General Election campaign.

Danica Allmer will serve as a West River constituent services representative in Rapid City.

Allmer will handle casework for individuals needing help with a federal agency. Allmer is originally from Rapid City, and attended college in Springfield, Mo., where she obtained a degree in political science. After graduation she worked for Rep. John Thune in his Washington D.C. office as staff assistant and then for Rep. Tom Osborne as executive assistant. Allmer then moved back to her hometown of Rapid City where she has owned a small business and practiced real estate.

Peter Eckrich will serve as East River constituent services representative.

Based out of the Sioux Falls office, Eckrich will handle constituent case work and maintain working relationships with various agencies in the state of South Dakota. Eckrich is originally from Spearfish where he graduated from Spearfish High School. He received his bachelor of arts in history from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. After graduating, Eckrich worked on Rep. Noem's campaign in the General Election as her West River field representative.

Courtney Heitkamp will serve as East River constituent services representative out of the Sioux Falls office, serving the greater Southeast area.

Heitkamp will be responsible for handling constituent casework and maintaining working relationships with various agencies across the state of South Dakota. A Sioux Falls native, Heitkamp interned with Sen. John Thune in his Washington, D.C., office prior to graduating from Washington High School. She received her B.A. in political science, humanities, and political communication from Valparaiso University. Following graduation, Heitkamp worked for Friends of John Thune.

Sandy Massey will serve as West River constituent services representative in Rapid City.

Massey worked for then Congressman John Thune in the House of Representatives as a constituent service representative and field representative from 1998-2002. Massey again worked as constituent services sepresentative from 2005 until January 2011. Massey is taking a leave of absence from Sen. Thune's office to assist with getting Rep. Noem's Rapid City office up and running and train staff regarding casework. Massey is a graduate of Black Hills State University with a BS degree in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.


(3) comments


Kristi isn't very good at research, that's why she had to hire all these people to do it for her. Remember, she didn't finish college, and she wasn't elected for her academic skills. What she is good at is looking cute, getting speeding tickets, getting government-provided healthcare for herself, and obtaining federal money for her own personal use on her ranch. She just wants to make sure nobody else in the state can get all that.


It is too bad that she could not find someone to handle veterans affairs that was at least a veteran and understood a veterans side of things.

On another note 13 people for one Representative if all 435 have at least 13 that is a total of 5655 people the tax papyers are paying for. I thought they were elected them to do the the job, wtih all the recesses they take they should have plenty of time to do research for themselves omn issues.

Local Observer
Local Observer

It's interesting to note that 3 of the 13 positions are filled by men. Nobody can call this a "good ol boy" club.

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