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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Jan. 6, 2017
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327           

Kristie Fiegen elected new South Dakota PUC chairperson

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Kristie Fiegen was elected to serve as PUC’s chairperson and Commissioner Gary Hanson was elected as vice chairman. The leadership election took place at the commission’s regular meeting on Jan. 3, 2017, in Pierre. The third member of the commission is Commissioner Chris Nelson.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be the chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission,” Fiegen said. It is an honor to represent the commission and I am committed to looking out for South Dakota consumers every day with the highest degree of integrity, respect and fairness. I am eager to continue our work on the commission to ensure South Dakotans have safe, reliable and affordable utilities,” she concluded.

Fiegen was appointed to the PUC by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in August 2011 to fill a vacancy on the commission. She was elected to a six-year term on the commission in November 2012 and served as vice chairperson in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Fiegen’s public service career includes four terms as a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives. She was the president of Junior Achievement of South Dakota before joining the commission.

Hanson was first elected to the PUC in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2014. Prior to joining the commission, he was mayor of Sioux Falls from 1994 to 2002 and served three terms as a South Dakota state senator.

Nelson reflected on Hanson’s experience and contributions to the commission. “Commissioner Hanson’s experience in the legislature, on the Sioux Falls city council and as mayor of Sioux Falls continues to be relevant in his work on the commission. The expertise he brings as a result of those roles and the experience he gained is a great benefit to the PUC,” Nelson stated.

Hanson remarked about the compatibility of the commissioners. “I am appreciative of the manner in which this commission operates. Certainly, we three commissioners have our own opinions. As many folks have noted by observing our commission meetings, we have great discussions and reach agreements that are in the best interests of the South Dakota utility customers we serve,” Hanson stated.

View full biographies of Commissioners Fiegen, Hanson and Nelson on the PUC website,

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MEDIA NOTE: Download photos of Commissioners Fiegen, Hanson and the passing of the gavel at