Board Members

Our Board of Directors has extensive business experience and represent several communities in South Dakota including Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Pine Ridge.

Ms. Suzi Aadland is the director of the Ivanhoe International Center at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) and has been at the university since 1989. She has been a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, since 1990.  She works with all international students, faculty, and staff, and also with SDSM&T students who wish to study abroad.  She also works collaboratively with the South Dakota Board of Regents universities and other post-secondary institutions in South Dakota on international endeavors.  She regularly gives presentations on intercultural communication to classes, student organizations, and community groups. 

Suzi has served on the board of directors for the Dacotah Territory International Visitor Program since 2006.  She is also involved with the Workforce Development Committee for the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce. She has also been involved in a number of events and organizations that highlight cultural variety and she collaborates with cultural organizations in the community.


Suzi Aadland
Donna Denker

Donna Denker has been on the board of directors of the DTIVP since its formation in 1995.  She has served as Treasurer for most of this time.  Donna is a Certified Public Accountant and owns her own firm in Rapid City - Donna Denker & Associates.  Prior to starting her own firm she was a partner for 19 years at a regional accounting firm.  She has also served on several other boards in the Rapid City area including the Zonta Club of the Black Hills and the Black Hills Pow Wow Association. Donna enjoys spending time with her two children, and other hobbies include four wheeling, Sudoku puzzles, bowling, and reading.

Pat Sutliff is new to the DTIVP board but has been involved in some of it's programs over the years.  She is a Volunteer Coordinator and has done lots of volunteering through the years especially in the school system as a program organizer and mentor.  An active member of Rotary and the Rapid City Nikko City Sister City Association she and her family have hosted many international guests throughout the years including 8 year long exchange students and innumerable short term exchanges.  As a member of Habitat for Humanity she has worked to provide decent housing for members of our community.  Pat and her husband, Willis, have been married for 49 years and have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.  They love to travel and have visited every continent except Antarctica.  They also enjoy hiking and biking. Pat is currently secretary of DTIVP.

Pat Sutliff
Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson was the first President of DTIVP and now happily serves as the program director. He has, with great joy and enthusiasm, worked on hundreds of programs with many interesting people ever since. Mike was born in the Panama Canal Zone and lived in Florida, Tennessee and Texas before moving to Ellsworth Air Force Base and then into Rapid City. His father's career was in the Air Force, and his mother was a teacher and special education school principal. Mike has had a lifelong interest in politics, international relations, and the military. He has worked on many political campaigns, from school board to the U.S. Presidency. He did his first U.S. State Department work for Douglas Brooks of the Free Trade Union Institute, and Marc Fallow, a program officer for Meridian International Center in August of 1992. Mike majored in Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology before attending Black Hills State University and majoring in Political Science. Mike left school to be part of U.S. Representative Jim Abourezk’s Senate Campaign and was a field representative for Senator Abourezk after the election.  He returned to college before deciding to work “briefly” for SD Cement. (He retired this July after 36 years). Mike’s wife Janine LeRoy is finishing her Geology degree from S.D.S.M.& T. Their daughter has majors in Spanish and Arabic and works internationally. Their son has interests in music and languages and is starting college this fall. His family has helped and participated in many programs over the years.

Additional Board Members

Tom Katus

Tom Katus has a large presence with with many other organizations. Tom is currently the President of TK Associates International, board member of the South Dakota Nonprofit Association, served two terms on the US Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council and served as a South Dakota Senator from 2007-2008. He is a founding Director of the Rural Ethnic Institute, which has sponsored multi-cultural community programs in the Northern Plains region for the past 36 years, including the Northern Plains Tribal Voter Education Project. Tom also has extensive experience in writing and is an accomplished author with 30 published professional articles and books.

Hakeem Nizar

Hakeem Nizar has been a board member since 2013 and  he has met with several visitors from around the world. He is a mechanical engineering student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology(SDSM&T) and will graduate in May 2015. Hakeem is originally from Sri Lanka and transferred to SDSM&T to complete his degree. He has been involved in many leadership positions on campus, district, and national levels while maintaining good academic standards. He enjoys meeting people from different cultures, learning and sharing cultures. Hakeem likes to travel, enjoys nature, photography and drawing in his leisure time activities. He is fluent in Tamil, Sinhalese, and English. 




Dr. Michael Saba

Michael Saba is currently the Executive Director Development of Sanford Children's World Clinics.  He served as the Executive Director of Friends of Saudi Arabia, an organization facilitating "People to People" relationships between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.  Friends of Saudi Arabia is a 501c3 organization registered in Washington, DC. Michael previously served as President of Saba and Associates. His company facilitated joint ventures with health care institutions around the world, developed fund raising strategies to apply to foreign countries, and demonstrated cross cultural concerns in the U.S. and abroad Prior to that he served as Vice President for International for ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He was also President of GULFAMERICA, an international business services company which facilitated trade between the U.S. and the Arab Gulf, Southeast Asia, and North and East Africa. Formerly manager of Middle East Public Affairs for Mobil Oil Corporation, Michael has been working internationally since the 1960’s. He is past president of the Central Illinois Exporters’ Association, an organization which promoted Illinois exports, and president of the Attiyeh Foundation, a not-for-profit Foundation promoting U.S.-Arab Relations.

Silvia Christen

Silvia Christen has been a member of the DTIVP Board of Directors since 2013.  She grew up on her family’s diversified crop and livestock farm in northern Missouri.  She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri.  Silvia moved to South Dakota in 2006 and since 2011, serves as Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association taking on all aspects of the Association including state and national agriculture policy work, fundraising, membership development, and communications to advocate for independent livestock producers.  She lives and works in Rapid City, SD where she is involved in a number of professional and community organizations including the Rushmore German Club and the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee.

Larry Mintzlaff

Larry Mitzlaff has also been involved in DTIVP since its formation. In that time, he has met and lent a helping hand to over one hundred visitors. Larry was born near Hermosa, SD on a wheat/cow ranch.  His family still owns it and he works there during the summers. The rest of the year he works in education as a teacher at North Middle School. His first job was spent at Timber Lake, SD, where he taught for one year. After that, Larry returned to Rapid City as a substitute teacher. He has now taught Social Studies at North Middle School for 28 years in Rapid City.  This has given him the opportunity to become active in the South Dakota Education Association. He has served for 11 years on the SDEA Board of Directors and attended 17 NEA Representative Assemblies. There, he represents South Dakota on the NEA Resolutions Committee.

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