Stacey McMahan - President
Stacey is a licensed Architect and has been a Principal with Koch Hazard Architects since 1999. She has served in the local architectural and arts community for the last 20+ years and has developed a passion for sustainability and environmental justice including design awareness! In 2008, she co-founded the Plain Green Conference bringing many interesting speakers to Sioux Falls. Leadership with other startups included US Green Building Council SD, Architecture for Humanity Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Green Project. Stacey has served the national US Green Building Council as an item writer and participated in creation of the International Code Council’s Green Construction Code.
Stacey has served as editor of sdAIA magazine and has written or has been interviewed for articles appearing in Architecture, Architectural Record, Huffington Post, ICC’s Building Safety Journal and several Midwest publications and has presented at the national USGBC and AIA conferences.
Sara Lum - Vice President
After receiving her Master of Architecture degree from Rice University, Sara completed a fellowship at Emerging Terrain, a design research non-profit. At Emerging Terrain, she was project director and primary researcher for Shifting Thresholds, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Humanities Council. She returned to South Dakota to be an Instructor of Architecture at South Dakota State University, where she taught design studio, architectural representation courses and coordinated the Department’s annual lecture series. In 2015, Sara decided to complete her architectural licensure and has been working at JLG Architects ever since as a member of multiple project teams. In addition to volunteering with the Sioux Falls Design Center, she is an active member of AIA South Dakota and a member of the N-Club as a former student athlete at the University of Nebraska. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, husband and dog, building furniture with her husband, writing, reading and hosting a podcast about local female leaders.
Russ McKnight - Secretary
Russ McKnight is actively engaged in design, art and the humanities in many ways across a broad spectrum of interests. He currently works as a design and strategic planning consultant, associated with Sumption & Wyland, serving small businesses, non-profits, and other organizations in the region. As a marketing consultant, he is equally versed in both the account and creative sides of marketing, and therefore is able to advise and steer clients to right size and effectively market their services. Over the past 30 years, McKnight has worked in higher education, the high-tech industry, and healthcare as well as the advertising agency world.
Joel Rische - Treasurer
Joel Rische spends his days practicing law at the Davenport Evans law firm and his evenings searching for the best food in Sioux Falls with his wife, Jackie. A South Dakota native, Joel moved back to Sioux Falls in 2015 after attending the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Joel is a former television journalist who understands and appreciates how intelligent design can convey meaning and emotion efficiently and often more effectively than words. Working with the Sioux Falls Design Center gives Joel the opportunity to promote intelligent design and make this great place even better.
Ceca Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Sioux Falls, where she teaches drawing and painting. Her paintings have been exhibited regionally and nationally. In 2000, she was selected as one of 24 out of 600+ artists in the United States to be featured in New American Paintings: MFA Journal, which was juried by the art historian and critic, Klaus Kertess.
Current: Executive Director Sioux Falls Arts Council
Past: Visual Arts Center Director, Washington Pavilion; Fine Art Appraiser and Consultant, Artisia Fine Art Services, Educator in Minnesota and Iowa
BA – Augustana University
MS – Minnesota State University, Mankato
Importance of Design:
"As an intensely visual thinker and learner, isn’t enough for me that objects, rooms or buildings are simply functional. Thoughtful design results when things also have aesthetic merit and their function and beauty support one another. That harmony is exciting; it elevates our experience of day-to-day life whether we know it or not."
Cory Knedler has served as Chair for the Department of Art at the University of South Dakota since 2002. He received his MFA in Printmaking from USD and BFA in Art Education from Fort Hays State University. Knedler’s artwork is found in public and private collections in the US and abroad. He continues to exhibit his work nationally and internationally.
Mark Lukonen has been part of the Sioux Falls community since graduating from SDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. Upon arrival in Sioux Falls he began employment with Sioux Falls Construction. Mark learned about the progression of design in Sioux Falls while he learned about the 105 year history of his employer. “Some of the buildings and streets I walk by on my way to our board meetings were originally built by the founding members of our company.”
Mark Schmidtbauer has been employed at Krier and Blain for the past 20 years, currently serving as a HVAC foreman. He has had the opportunity to work on many significant projects in South Dakota, including the SDSU fieldhouse, Augustana’s Froiland Science Center, and the Washington Square. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology from St. Cloud State University. His interest in the natural environment led to an awareness and affinity for the patterns, symmetry and complementary elements found in the world around us. With an eye for detail, “craft” is very important to him personally and professionally. Mark enjoys the challenge of taking a flat image on a blueprint and visualizing it into its three-dimensional function and position in space. While most of his handiwork will be concealed by ceilings and walls, he doesn’t compromise the integrity of the design. His appreciation for this extends well beyond the ductwork and into the exposed spaces of art and architecture, and he is continually cognizant of the quality of spaces in which people interact. Mark and his wife Jennifer reside on acreage outside of Brandon and regularly enjoy hiking and kayaking.
Jim Speirs is an experienced arts administrator and a working musician. Speirs was touring and operations coordinator for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and membership coordinator for the Washington Pavilion, as well as alumni programs coordinator for the SDSU Alumni Association. He is an active jazz musician with the JAS Quintet, the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society’s educational touring program the “Jazz Diversity Project,” the Hegg Brothers touring “Holiday Jam” and a 9-piece funk horn band based in Sioux Falls called “Main Avenue Warehouse.” His touring groups are on the South Dakota Arts Council’s touring arts roster. Jim most recently worked as an Account Executive for Fresh Produce, a boutique marketing agency in Sioux Falls. He served as president of the board for the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival and was a South Dakota Arts Council member for 7 years. He currently serves on the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society’s education committee. Speirs grew up in Rapid City, SD and graduated with a degree in music from South Dakota State University.
Tom Trenolone architect, design enthusiast and wanna-be ad man, calls Omaha, NE home with his wife Amy and sonsJohn “Jack” and Gunnar. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska (Advertising Journalism and Architecture). He received his Masters of Architecture at the University of Kansas and is a Studio 804 alumnus (216 Alabama). Tom is a Design Principal and Vice President with the international design firm of HDR Architecture. His work has been published and exhibited domestically and internationally, most notably in The New York Times, Architect, Domus, Interior Design, Architectural Record, Metropolis and the 2000 Venice Biennale. He was the recipient of the 2002 Kagan Design Fellowship and for his research proposal entitled “Speed, Sex, Firepower”. He and his teams have garnered over 75 awards for design excellence that include both national and regional AIA Honor Awards. He served on the 2002 AIA National Honor Awards Jury for Architecture and AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Design Awards in 2011 . In 2011 he was one of 11 young Architects to receive the prestigious Young Architects Award from the AIA. Tom recently completed the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, in Chicago, IL, a ground breaking high-rise facility for the research of bionics and spinal cord injuries. In partnership with Koch Hazard Architects Tom served as the Creative Director for the Sanford Health Imagenetics building in Souix Falls, SD. In collaboration with some great colleagues, he founded the non-profit daOMA (design alliance OMAha, Inc.) in 2016 daOMA celebrated a decade dedicated to bringing greater awareness of progressive architecture and design to Nebraska and western Iowa.
Brenna Wiertzma is an interior designer at TSP, an architecture and engineering firm in Sioux Falls, SD. In addition to interior design, she has a background in psychology and art.
Brenna is drawn to projects that offer an opportunity to create uplifting, comfortable environments. She believes design affects everyone's lives on a daily basis, and she wants her work to provide surroundings where people can thrive.
She is an active board member of the South Dakota Interior Designers, a nonprofit organization whose members advance the practice of design across the state.
The Sioux Falls Design Center (SFDC) is a non-profit organization hoping to build connections among diverse people and organizations interested in design in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. The main objective of the SFDC is to build connections in the community that are focused, involved or otherwise interested in design. This includes planners, architects, interior designers, engineers, landscape architects, artists, community leaders, and the greater public.