Recently, Kala nominated her boss, Jim Dean, to be recognized as an employer who supports the National Guard and Reserve. Kala explained, “I have submitted Jim for this because he has stood behind my being in the guard and having to be gone sometimes with little or no notice for drills or other assignments they may throw at me.”
“Although I personally have not served in the military, I come from a family where my dad was a WWII and Korean War veteran in the U.S. Navy; and my brother-in-law, Fred, served in the U.S. Marine Corps. I understand the importance of supporting our military forces.” He went on to state, “It is my belief as a United States citizen that we owe our military servicemen and woman the highest respect and honor for their service and sacrifice to this great nation. It is my honor as an employer in BIT to support Kala as a National Guard member in any way I can by allowing her the necessary time off to attend drills in Milbank and attend summer training exercises. Thank you Kala for your service!”
Jim also added, “During this time I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge and honor others on my team that have served in the military – Dave Ames (U.S. Navy), John Wulf (U.S. Army), and Tony Tibbs (U.S. Navy). Thank you for your service as well!”
Jim has worked for the state for many years and has been with BIT since its consolidation in 1996. He was born and raised in Pierre and graduated from T.F. Riggs High school. Jim is married to Marliss and they will be celebrating their 35th anniversary in March!
Jim has three children: Jennifer, Amanda, and Chris; and two grandchildren: Jacob and Ashlynn. In his free time, he enjoys doing home improvement projects (which he noted never seem to end!), fishing, target shooting, riding his Harley and cheering for his favorite football teams the Green Bay Packers and the Nebraska Huskers!
Kala first got involved with the National Guard her junior year of high school when a recruiter visited her history class. She explained, “He [the recruiter] had just gotten back from Iraq at the time with what is now my unit. He gave a speech and after that I was signed within the next month. Not really sure what it was but I just decided that I wanted to sign so I did at the age of 17.” Kala’s grandpa served in the army for 3 years and she currently has 3 cousins who are currently serving.
Kala is originally from Milbank, South Dakota and has a 6 month old son named Charlie. She attended Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls where she graduated in 2009. Kala loves to play darts and currently serves as the treasurer for the Pierre Area Dart League (PADL) here in Pierre.