AIA South Dakota Past Presidents

When I served on the AIA Strategic Council we worked on an initiative to reengage past leaders of our organization.  Sometimes leaders are just “done” but many times we just don’t ask them for more.  I am pleased that South Dakota AIA has asked past presidents of the organization to organize for the purpose of selecting the Champion of Architecture each year. 

The Champion of Architecture is not an architect but is awarded to an individual or a company that has made significant contribution to the profession.  The Board of Directors selected the first Champion of Architecture in 2017.  Vintner Jerry Lohr  (J. Lohr wines) was recognized for his contribution to the School of Architecture at South Dakota State University.  The second year, the Board asked the past presidents to select a candidate.  In 2018, the award went to the late Steve Metli, former City Planner of Sioux Falls for his role in revitalizing downtown Sioux Falls and to Gage Brothers, a Sioux Falls precast and block manufacturer, for their influence of regional architecture through innovative architectural material design and construction.  This year past presidents have met and the recipient will be announced just before the AIA South Dakota State Convention in September.

The list of past presidents of the AIA South Dakota reads like a “who’s who” of architects in the state.  In honor of their service and leadership we wanted to recognize them:

1951-53               Walter Dixon, Mitchell

1954                     Earl McLaughlin, Sioux Falls

1955-56               Harold Spitznagel, Sioux Falls

1957                     Wendell C. Fritzel, Sioux Falls

1958                     Roland L. Robel, Watertown

1959                     Clarence L. Herges, Aberdeen

1960                     Jean R. Kroger, Sr., Sioux Falls

1961                     William Bentzinger, Sr., Sioux Falls

1962                     Frank C. Aukerman, Jr., Rapid City

1963                     Wallace S. Steele, Sioux Falls

1964                     James E. Peterson, Mitchell

1965                     Thurman Potts, Watertown

1966-67               Edward L. Griffin, Sioux Falls

1968                     William Bentzinger, Sr., Sioux Falls

1969                     Ralph Koch, Sioux Falls

1970                     R.Z. Hazard, Sioux Falls

1971                     Robert B. Gay, Rapid City

1972                     Marvin L. Peterson, Sioux Falls

1973                     Ward Whitwam, Sioux Falls

1974                     Linford Meese, Huron

1975                     Don Baltzer, Sioux Falls

1976                     Leroy Bean, Sioux Falls

1977                     Terry Geisler, Aberdeen

1978                     Frank C. Aukerman, Jr., Rapid City

1979-80               R.Z. Hazard, Sioux Falls

1981                     Gary Stanley, Sioux Falls

1982                     Marshall Mickley, Rapid City

1983                     Alan R. Dempster, Sioux Falls

1984                     Richard Robinson, Rapid City

1985                     Robert Rysavy, Sioux Falls

1986                     Blake Holman, Sioux Falls

1987                     Mark Aspaas, Sioux Falls

1988                     Michael McKay, Rapid City

1989                     Kent Neiman, Rapid City

1990                     John Van De Walle, Sioux Falls

1991-92               Steve Jastram, Sioux Falls

1993                     Paul Boerboom, Sioux Falls

1994                     Robin Miller, Sioux Falls

1995                     Alan Leither, Sioux Falls

1996                     James Heroux, Sioux Falls

1997                     David Noyes, Brookings

1998                     Elizabeth Squyer, Sioux Falls

1999                     Jeff Kreiter, Sioux Falls

2000                     Jeffrey Hazard, Sioux Falls

2001                     Jeffrey Nelson, Sioux Falls

2002                     Jeff Krieter, Sioux Falls

2003                     Alan Leither, Sioux Falls

2004                     Thomas Baffuto, Rapid City

2005                     Gerald Lindberg, Sioux Falls

2006                     Sandra Lea Dickenson, Vermillion

2007-09               Jeffrey Nelson, Sioux Falls

2010-11               Keith Neuharth, Sioux Falls

2012-13               Larry Crane, Sioux Falls

2014-15               Dave Van Nieuwenhuyzen, Sioux Falls

2016-17               Gene Fennell, Custer

2018-19               Patri Acevedo, Rapid City

In the AIA, we spend time informing architectural professionals of what the organization can do for them.  There does come a time, however, when the perspective shifts to what the architect can do for the profession through the AIA.  Our organization is stronger if we all stay involved. 

2 Replies to “AIA South Dakota Past Presidents”

  1. In a geographic area having limited appreciation for, and understanding of, the role of architects (and having a limited number of architects), the leadership of these folks has greatly improved the both the safety and quality of life – and the economic development in our state. Architecture matters and serving here matters.

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