Marla headshot.1

Marla Meyer

Chief Executive Officer 

Marla's Bio

Marla Meyer is a strong supporter of leadership development for women and girls and loves working with Girl Scouts. She is a mom and aunt to two amazing Girl Scouts, Madi and Savannah. For them and all Girl Scouts, she works to unleash the power of girls through experiences that build leaders of tomorrow and help them realize there is always a solution to every problem. “Think like McGyver,” as Marla would say.

One thing you might not know about Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons’ CEO, is that she spent her childhood on a farm near Beaver Creek, MN, with sheep, more sheep and lots of sheep. Marla’s down to earth personality started on that farm and grew into a love of getting to know people authentically, and engaging people in their interests and figuring out how to make life fun and adventurous.

Marla’s love of iconic brands (like Girl Scouts) led her to work for more than 20 years for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, at the forefront of sales, marketing and service leadership across the United States and Canada.

Marla holds an MBA in Marketing from the Craig School of Business, California State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Management from Minnesota State University, but her biggest accomplishment is being a mom to twins, Max and Madi.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

Samoas! What’s better than crisp cookies, coated in caramel and sprinkled with toasted coconut? And the best part? Dark Chocolate stripes on top of it all!

lori headshot.1

Lori Dykstra

Chief Operations Officer 

Lori's Bio

Lori Dykstra has moved all over the Midwest. Growing up as a self-proclaimed army brat, she attended every grade in elementary school in a different state. So being a Girl Scout from an early age was instrumental in helping her make new friends everywhere she went. Lori brings a background of technology, operations, project management and marketing to her role as COO and enjoys helping people get to their own success stories by combining the right thing to do with the best thing to do. Lori is passionate about helping Sioux Falls community children impacted by cancer and is the founder of the Jakob L. Beier Endowment benefitting Sanford Cure Kids Cancer. She is also a committed volunteer for Children’s Miracle Network.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

Samoa and Savanah Smiles; I like them all! I like diversity and I don’t want the same cookie-cutter mold every single time. I think diversity and inclusion brings about better collaboration and better results. So embrace your uniqueness.

Kate headshot.1

Kate Reed

Chief Marketing and Advancement Officer 

Kate's Bio

Born and raised on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Kate grew up with horses, rabbits and cows, Oh My! What she didn’t have was access to a Girl Scout troop – a source of true disappointment because she feels sure she would have rocked it! Nonetheless, she powered through to attain leadership positions in marketing, business development and strategy that took her to New York, Raleigh and Tampa before returning to Sioux Falls to join our Council. Kate’s passion is to grow funding and marketing presence so Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons can bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to every girl in the Council’s geography.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

The Trefoil. They are a classic, buttery shortbread cookie in the shape of our iconic brand. A trefoil is Latin meaning a three-leaved plant. The three parts of the design represent the three parts of the Girl Scout Promise: building girls of courage, confidence, and character.

kailene headshot.1

Kailene Frey

Chief Human Resources and Risk Officer

Kailene's Bio

Kailene was born in Aberdeen, SD and raised in Reno, Nevada, the biggest little city in the world. To this day, Kailene has an affinity for mountain ranges, jeans and a great pair of boots. Kailene’s passions include her faith, family, good music, friends, real estate, country and understanding what makes people who they are. Kailene decided to pursue education with a double major in Business and Psychology and has held multiple leadership positions in the Human Resources field. This background has brought her to Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons where she is inspired every day by the Girl Scouts mission and the important work we do. She is committed to helping develop a great culture where together anything and everything is possible.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

The Thin Mint. The Thin Mint is a round chocolate wafer with just the right hint of mint flavor and is one of the most popular Girl Scouts cookies. They freeze great and bonus, the Thin Mint has the most cookies per sleeve of all the Girl Scout cookies!

joy headshot.1

Joy Johnson

Vice President of Sales

Joy's Bio

There truly is green blood running through Joy Johnson’s veins, as she has been a volunteer for our council as a Leader, Service Unit manager, CSC, FSC, Volunteer Teller at National Convention, Delegate at National Convention, and a member of the Gold Award Committee, the Volunteer Recognition Committee and the Minn-Ia- kota Jamboree Committee. Joy grew up in La Crescent, the Apple Capital of Minnesota and spent her youth attending Girl Scouts from Brownies to Cadettes. Joy attended the University of Wisconsin and majored in Business Management and Marketing and brings over 30 years of business and retail experience to Girl Scouts–Dakota Horizons.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

Savannah Smiles! The name just makes me smile. Savannah Smiles incorporates the Girl Scout Birthplace and my love of Girl Scouting in one amazing lemon cookie with a crisp lemon taste combined with a shortbread and of course covered in powdered sugar. Who wouldn’t smile after eating one of these?

kristi headshot.1

Kristi Thunker

Director of CEI Integration/Business Operations Analyst

Kristi's Bio

Kristi Thunker’s love of adventure and lifelong learning led her to Girl Scouts—Dakota Horizons, where girls can travel, see new places and discover all the world has to offer. Driven by her work to provide opportunities for every girl, Kristi strives to ensure our council offers experiences so girls can reach their full potential. Kristi grew up as a South Dakota native Girl Scout in Rapid City, SD and went on to receive a double major in International Business and Communications from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. Formally the Program Director, Kristi has been with GSDH for almost 12 years and enjoys sharing her random knowledge and plethora of movie quotes with staff and members.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

S’mores!  The S’mores cookie is the perfect mix of crunchy graham cookies with creamy chocolate and marshmallowy filling that remind me of all the great times I’ve spent outdoors, camping with my family.

jackie headshot.1

Jackie Swanstrom

Director of Governance and Executive Support

Jackie's Bio

As the one in charge of the council’s corporate governance, Jackie runs a tight ship. But looking at her desk with files organized by color, it’s clear she brings fun and flair to the mission as well. And her boys and husband make sure she stays in touch with her “wild” side with regular camping outings in the Yankton area where she and her husband both grew up. What drives her in her work life? Her personal mission statement: “to make the world a better place by helping young girls become young women of courage, confidence and character.” Sounds like a Girl Scout to us!

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

Thin Mint! Isn’t it everybody’s favorite cookie?

daleDSC_2351

Dale Norton

Chief Financial Officer

Dale's Bio

Dale Norton has always been good with numbers and his attention to detail make him the ideal CFO for Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons. Dale grew up in Spirit Lake, IA and graduated from the University of South Dakota, BSBA, with an emphasis in accounting. Immediately out of college, Dale went to work with Deloitte in Phoenix, AZ, working his way up to become an auditing manager. Most recently, Dale was a Financial Advisor but has also been a CFO or Controller of various companies in Sioux Falls, SD. Dale’s drive to succeed supports the critical role of the financial aspect in our great girl-centered organization and he strives for accurate recording and proper use of communication channels. When he isn’t attending his sons’ sporting events, Dale participates in competitive sailing, which has been a passion of his from the age of six.

Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite?

Thin Mints, preferably frozen!