Board of Directors


Board of Directors

Tammy Silvernagel, Chair of the Board of Directors and board member since 1994

Retired from South Dakota Department of Labor/Regulation. Earned Associate Degree at Black Hills State University (BHSU)

Tammy’s 39-year career with the State of South Dakota included assisting individuals to find success in their life goals. In her retirement she remains on the Victims of Violence Intervention Program (VVIP) board, as well as a member of the board and a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Clinic. She is also a member of a Northern Hills Relay for Life team and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Education Committee. From her years of working with individuals from different walks of life, she feels strongly of the need to educate the community of domestic violence and sexual assault issues and to ensure there are services available for victims.

Sharon Culbertson, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Past President and board member since 1992

Social Worker with Spearfish Regional Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care. Earned Bachelor of Science degrees in History and Psychology from Black Hills State College (now BHSU)

Sharon's professional career provided a variety of positions at South Dakota Department of Social Services and she also served the Board of Directors with Big Brother/Big Sisters, Rapid City Area Senior Companion, Ponderosa Apt Large Board, Spearfish Cooperative Preschool, is a volunteer/sub with the Good Shepherd Clinic a Board Member for the Health Ministry Team for the United Methodist Church in Spearfish.

Karen Griffith, Secretary and on the Board of Directors from 2002-2009 and from 2010 to present

Founding member of Black Hills Counseling where she had a private counseling practice until 2017. Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, and her MA/MS Ed. in Agency Counseling from the University of Nebraska-Kearney

Karen is a crisis mental health responder with the Spearfish Ambulance Service and a crisis/trauma responder for emergency service professionals. She is trained in critical incident stress managment and mass casualty mental health response. She was honored to be a response team member after 9/11 working with NYPD officers impacted by the mass casualty terrorist attack. She provides training for the public and agencies on trauma, stress management, and self care. Karen retired from her full time counseling practice in 2017 and remains active in crisis/trauma work.

Verla Little, Serving on the Board of Directors since July 2015

Corporal with Spearfish Police Department.  Earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Geology/Geography from BHSU

Verla began her law enforcement career in 1998 with the Spearfish Police Department and has a strong sense of community and helping residents feel safe. Verla has served as a member of the Lawrence County Child Protection Team and the Spearfish Community Coalition. She is a certified DARE Instructor and is the Vice President of the South Dakota DARE Officers Association. Her training and expertise enable her to recognize that education and support are key components necessary for victims of violence to recovery from trauma and heal.

Renee Bisgaard, Serving on the Board of Directors since March 2016

Owner/Broker of Black Hills Team. Earned her master’s degree in Education/School Counselor and bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Secondary Physical Education

Renee is the owner/broker of Black Hills Team, a real estate business serving the Northern Black Hills. She has been recognized as member of the top 10% of real estate sales for the Northern Black Hills M.L.S. for the past 35 yrs. Prior to her real estate career, Renee taught school and remains very community minded. She is a member of the ConBa business association, Belle Fouche Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul’s Catholic Church Stewardship committee, ABC- Action for Betterment of Our Community, Realtor for Kids and Mount Rushmore M.L.S.

Anthony Galbraith, serving on Board of Directors since July 2017

General Manager at The Lodge at Deadwood. Earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with minors in Economics and Business Management from South Dakota State University

Anthony has worked for Regency Hotel Management for 18 years in five states and eight different properties. He has worked in many different areas of hospitality management and serves on numerous local and statewide boards including the South Dakota Hotel and Lodging Association. He lives Spearfish with his wife and four children. He enjoys working with individuals and families on community and environmental improvement projects.

Michael Isaacson, serving on the Board of Directors since March 2018

Title IX Coordinator, Black Hills State University

Mike is responsible for campus sexual assault prevention and response at BHSU and believes that engagement between BHSU and the surrounding area is a key factor in a successful and efficient Title IX program. Mike feels this partnership will cultivate mutual benefits for students and the communities. He has devoted his entire adult life--and is fundamentally committed--to helping others maximize their potential to be successful. He believes in service leadership and finds this is a good fit.

Kristy Schumacher, serving on the Board of Directors since March 2018

Registered Nurse in the Electrophysiology Lab at Rapid City Regional Health, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Program Coordinator at Spearfish Regional Hospital

Kristy lives in Lead, SD with her husband of 14 years. Having lost her young daughter to cancer after a long and difficult battle, Kristy brings a strong sense of empathy and compassion to the VVIP Board of Directors, as well as to her patients. She believes that the emergency room is where she got the true sense of what she could do to make even the smallest improvements in people's lives. Kristy currently works in an operating room-type setting where abnormal cardiac rhythms are treated, including placement of pacemakers and defibrillators. Kristy has also worked as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) for a number of years and now oversees that specialty as the SANE Coordinator at our local Emergency Department. She works closely with VVIP Advocates during these cases and strongly values the empathy, compassion and support they provide.

Alexandra "Lexi" Lux, serving on the Board of Directors since September 2019

Director of Lawrence County Teen Court, Prior law enforcement community service officer, telecommunication, and police officer. She earned her Bachelor of Science in political science and history from the University of South Dakota

Lexi has lived in the Black Hills for most of her life. She spent ten years working in and around law enforcement and received training in domestic violence, crisis intervention, DARE, and sexual assault response. She was actively involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. In May 2019, Lexi assumed the role of Director of Lawrence County Teen Court. She is passionate about investing in the younger generation to create a brighter future and is currently working to expand Teen Court to better serve area youth outside of the court room. Lexi serves as part of the Lawrence County Child Protection Team, Spearfish Community Coalition, and Deadwood Optimist Club. In her free time, Lexi enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her husband and children.

Julia O'Neil-King, serving on the Board of Directors since October 2019

Retired from U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, served as full-time VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) with VVIP/Artemis House for 1 year, then as a staff member and Resource Development Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Western State College of Colorado and her Masters in Public Administration from University of Alaska Southeast.

In addition to her involvement with VVIP, Julia also serves on the board of directors with the Matthews Opera House and Arts Center and volunteers at the Spearfish Food Pantry, Good Shepherd Clinic, and with Lawrence County 4-H. She is a member of Northern Hills Master Gardeners and Beta Sigma Phi sorority. Julia has had a number of experiences which motivated her to join AmeriCorps as a VISTA and begin her association with VVIP. Prior to working for the federal government, Julia was a paramedic and firefighter. Serving as a first responder to domestic and sexual violence emergencies were difficult and challenging and in 2013, the daughter of a good friend was the victim of a domestic violence murder-suicide.These experiences gave Julia a passion for fulfillment of the VVIP mission. She and her husband live in Spearfish and she cherishes time with family and friends, and enjoys reading, travel, and outdoor activities.