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Employees Of The Quarter!

On a quarterly basis, BIT recognizes staff in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication to our agency, state government and the citizens of South Dakota. This time around, we gladly recognize:

Greg Peters

Greg is a Technical Engineer for the BIT Data Center, Technical Administration & Integration Team. His primary responsibilities include many areas of enterprise governance, specifically account administration and mobility. This last spring, Greg was a vital player in the setup and deployment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Responder application; a highly sensitive and publicized system for the new facility in Hot Springs. Greg’s dedication to the use of AirWatch to find a deployment strategy, ability to explore new possibilities and security options not tried before, and focus on client service were success factors in that project.

Greg grew up in White Lake and attended Mount Marty College after high school, completing a BA in Music Merchandising with a minor in Computer Science. One of the highlights of his educational career was through a unique opportunity to study one semester in Spain. Additionally, he joined Up With People in 1992, where he was able to visit Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia, Australia and Mexico.

Greg joined BIT on June 3, 1996 as a desktop support technician working in the Capitol building. Within a few years he was brought into the Integration Team where his focus has been primarily on Active Directory administration and Group Policy. Recently, Greg helped implement the State’s first mobile device management system, AirWatch, and has received his AirWatch Associate Certification. Prior to AirWatch, Greg administered the systems supporting the use of the once-popular BlackBerry smartphone system.

In his spare time he enjoys participating in the Pierre Players, mostly assisting with technical sets, sound, and lighting. Greg also helps determine the group’s direction as a 13-year member of their Board of Governors. If you ask Greg, he says he never performs under the lights; however people will tell you they have seen him on stage in around 40 productions over the years.

Matt Guelde

Matt Guelde started with BIT LAN Services in April 2006. Matt is located on the BIT-LAN Services team in the Capitol Building. He has a daughter Victoria that keeps him busy outside of work. Matt brings a sense of humor to the team that makes the work fun. He is always looking for ways to streamline a process that benefits not only LAN Services but the client’s needs as well. Matt can always be counted on to take on any challenge presented to him like in this case of LANDesk patch management and goes the extra mile in supporting his clients.

Matt Guelde has dedicated himself to learning LANDesk patch management. He have done this with very little training and mostly trial and error. LANDesk patch management will be used in conjunction with GoverLAN to patch machines.

Matt has also been busy patching machines on a statewide for the following products: Symantec Endpoint Protection, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat. LANDesk has the capability of scheduling jobs so they continue to run until all the machines are patched. A couple of examples of the power of LANDesk patching:

  • Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) – LAN Services had a project to upgrade 9,600 systems statewide to the latest version. From March to April, LAN Services personnel completed installs on about 5,661 machines. 
  • Adobe Reader DC patch – LANDesk showed about 1,020 machines needing the patch and GoverLAN showed 570 of the machines were turned on. The next morning LANDesk was showing 524 machines needing the patch so overnight 496 machines were patched.

LANDesk patch management has proven to be a good tool used to apply security updates for several different software. Matt continues to learn the ins and outs of Patch Management but through his efforts to date, it has been a great tool and timesaver for all of LAN Services.

Curtis Conner

Curtis started with BIT in February of 2015 and currently serves as a Software Engineer II in Development on Team 1B. He began at the beginning of the annual enrollment season where he willingly “jumped into the pile” to start helping out.

Since joining, Curtis has acted as the Technical Lead in implementing new vendors for BHR Benefits such as Staywell and Discovery Benefits. Both vendors required a great deal of customizing in order to retrofit to their product offerings. File layouts needed to be designed coded, implemented, and then be deployed and automated in an encrypted manner. This required a high degree of technical ability as well as an excellent vendor relationship and communication skills, both of which Curtis possesses.

The Discovery Benefits implementation required learning and automating a process that previously did not exist with regard to the Health Savings Accounts and planning for that information to flow through the enrollment website and into Lawson HR software.

Meanwhile, Curtis has also continued to support “current year” onboarding and “next year” annual enrollment systems. It is a critical task to continue to allow new hires in the current fiscal year to select benefits while simultaneously allowing them to go through annual enrollment for the next fiscal year. Additionally, all employee benefits need to be maintained correctly with proper rates during the current fiscal year while they go through and select benefits for the next fiscal year. Curtis was instrumental in toggling the two systems in order to keep the data accurate and organized for both fiscal years.

Curtis lives in Pierre with his wife and daughter. In his free time, he partakes in archery hunting and fishing. When he can, he enjoys entering tournaments around the area.

Sarah Etzkorn

With grace, diplomacy, and efficiency, Sarah:

1. Addresses travel requests from BIT employees, securing airline/travel/event reservations confirmed by the employee.

2. Processes requests for travel reimbursement and provides continuing education to employees to increase their awareness of travel regulations promulgated by either BFM or the Auditors Office. With tact, provides clarifying explanations of the need to document all expenses claimed in the reimbursement request.

3. Ensures the supply closet is stocked with the appropriate inventory, and without comment maintains the organization and order of the supply closet so employees can easily locate items to replace expended desk supplies.

4. Maintains an orderly file of approved contracts.

5. Ensures the Commissioner is on schedule and on time.

6. With a smile, participates in and provides delectable treats and food for many, if not all, of BIT’s socials and special meetings.

In addition to these and a myriad other duties, Sarah serves as coordinator of a number of BIT activities and events. When dealing with employees, vendors, or external visitors, she is invariably polite; she possesses excellent Customer Service skills. As we close the fiscal years, some employees express concerns regarding processing deadlines imposed by external agencies and sometimes these concerns are addressed to Sarah. She utilizes these interactions to politely and tactfully educate the employee about the relationships between personal and agency responsibilities.

Educator, Planner, Reimbursement auditor, Organizer – Sarah keeps the train on the rails.

Again, congratulations and thank you all for your efforts and for all the years of dedication of service to the State—BIT looks forward to many more!