Advisory Board

Meet our Advisory Board

ERIC HANSON

Chair

Eric has been a permanent resident of Spearfish since graduating from Black Hills State University in 1995.  He is currently the Grounds Crew Leader at that very institution.  He has a long history of volunteering with various local organizations and boards like the Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee; Spearfish Parks, Rec and Forestry Advisory Board; and is currently the Vice Chair of the Lawrence County Conservation District.

Eric, his wife Sherry and two children, Elsie and Loman became neighbors with Gramma Jean and (G)Randpa Deibert nearly 14 years ago.  They immediately realized the kindness and goodness this family bestowed their own family and others, and watched it grow as grandchildren arrived. Their first granddaughter, Kenadi was a beautiful child that would melt your heart with just a smile or a sideward gaze from those big blue eyes.  Eric claims that he learned from her how to communicate love without ever uttering a word.

It is with great pleasure that he serves on the Advisory Board for the Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation.

JAYNA WATSON

Secretary

Jayna has over 33 years of experience in all aspects of planning, community development, and code enforcement activities.  She presently serves as the City Planner for the City of Spearfish where she manages a variety of requests for development approval as well as supervises the City’s property maintenance code enforcement efforts.  She has experience in working with citizens and business owners to solve complex development issues and values the collaborative process.

MATT SYMONDS

Matt hails from Whitewood, South Dakota, moving to Spearfish after coming off of Active Duty Army. He has served as a full-time Spearfish Police Officer and an active-duty Soldier with the South Dakota Army National Guard 842nd EN Company. He spent over a year in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, most recently returning from a ten month deployment to Camp Leatherneck in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
Matt is currently employed by the SD National Guard serving as a Contract Specialist in the United Stated Property and Fiscal Office, and continues his work in the law enforcement capacity as a Deadwood Police Officer and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Matt is part of a non-profit Service Member Motorcycle Club named the Militiamen, who bond together to help others in their time of need… and take an occasional ride through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.
Together Matt and his wife, Amber have a beautifully blended family with four amazing children and stay extremely busy with numerous school activities, hiking, snowmobiling, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers/ Denver Broncos, hunting, four-wheeling, and simply enjoying the great outdoors.
One of the reasons Matt got involved with the Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation is to show his kids that the best feeling of happiness is when you’re happy, because you’ve made someone else happy! He believes in leading by example and Kenadi’s foundation makes it easy to be successful at it.

Brian Baczwaski

Vice Chair

Brian manages Dakota Title. He has been living in Spearfish for one year now, and has been in the Black Hills for almost four years. Prior to living and working in Spearfish, he was a resident of Deadwood and operated his own law firm there.

Brian completed both law school and his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Dakota (Go Yotes!).

In his free time Brian enjoys being outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, and spending quality time with family and friends.

His decision to become involved with the Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation is the result of simply being asked.  After visiting an Advisory Board meeting he determined it would be worth his time to be a part of a team whose mission for inclusion is making an impact locally and growing forward.

Nonprofit organizations face a number of legal challenges throughout their inception and lifespan and Brian feels that he can help steer the organization in the right direction.

DIRK VANZEE

Dirk and his wife Kari Ann have been joyfully married for twenty years and have four children. He makes a living working as a Lab Tech for American Colloid Company but he makes a life in Spearfish, SD. Together they enjoy worshiping at North Point Church, hiking in the Hills, playing ultimate Frisbee, attending their kids sporting events, and helping others in need. They have changed lives and perspectives by hosting foreign exchange students and traveling to Haiti to assist with the recovery from the 2010 earthquake. Dirk and his family were fortunate enough to have cared for Kenadi while she was young. Their compassionate hearts and welcoming home were always open to her- offering her family some well-deserved Respite Care. They continue to love Jesus with all of their hearts so that one day they will see Kenadi again. Dirk’s non-nonsense, grounded personality is greatly appreciated on the Kenadi Jean Weis Advisory Board.

PHIL OLSEN

Phil is a native of the Black Hills of SD with his family roots going back to the early 1900’s in the northern Black Hills.  Phil married his wife Iris in 1975 and together they have three married children and five grandchildren.  With a 38 year career in real estate construction, development and sales, Phil’s passion is to help direct the KJW Foundation with all aspects of its’ growth with a special emphasis on project development.  Currently his focus is to help KJWF break ground with Kenadi’s Playground Destination. His future vision and goal for the Foundation is to create, fund and break ground on a state of the art Respite Care Center that will provide special care, education and relief to those families with children who have special needs.

Ashley Jasinski