2018 Honorees

Governor Dennis Daugaard

Governor Dennis Daugaard

Governor Dennis Daugaard has demonstrated tremendous leadership in increasing employment and other opportunities for South Dakotans with disabilities and their families. Through his support of policies and initiatives that reflect that commitment, the Governor has led the way to advance employment outcomes in the state. The Governor sought the input and feedback of all stakeholder groups through the establishment of a statewide strategic Employment Works Task Force to guide the state’s employment policies and practices. His innovative “Ability for Hire” campaign has increased awareness and education on the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities and engaged the public and private sectors in these efforts. During his tenure, Governor Daugaard has emphasized the state of South Dakota as an employment first state and has promoted this concept through leadership, advocacy, and modeling.

Accepting the award on behalf of Governor Daugaard is Jacqueline Sly, former Republican member of the South Dakota House of Representatives. Sly was an ardent supporter of human services while in the Legislature and also serves on the Council of State Government’s National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities.

jacqueline.jpgRepresentative Jacqueline Sly will be accepting the award on Governor Daugaurd’s behalf. Jacqueline Sly is a former Republican member of the South Dakota House of Representatives, representing District 33 from 2009 to 2017. She served as Majority Whip in 2014. Sly was a 2016 Republican candidate for District 33 of the South Dakota State Senate. She was defeated in the Republican primary

Rita Landgraf,
Delaware’s former Secretary of Health and Social Services

Rita Landgraf, Delaware’s former Secretary of Health and Social Services

As Delaware’s former Secretary of Health and Social Services, Ms. Landgraf showed extraordinary leadership in support of people with disabilities and their families in the state of Delaware. Working under Governor Jack Martkl, Secretary Landgraf helped expand community living for people with mental health and developmental disabilities and spearheaded cutting edge employment policies in Delaware as well as nationally through the National Governors Association. She has been heralded as spending a lifetime fighting for the rights of underrepresented groups. Ms. Landgraf now serves as the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences professor of practice and distinguished health and social services administrator in residence.