Our speaker today was Miranda O’Bryan, Miss South Dakota 2023.  Miranda is originally from Martin and a South Dakota girl through and through.  She is a graduate of South Dakota State University (BA Journalism and History), and worked as a news anchor for KOTA Territory News/KEVN Black Hills FOX. Her presentation included information about the Miss SD competition as well as her community service initiative entitled “Page Turners: Fall in Love with Reading.”  
Miranda shared that she has competed locally in competitions over the last five years and has earned over $25,000 in scholarships, which she will use to further her education.  She will compete on the Miss America Stage.  She described the five stages of competition for Miss South Dakota:  Evening Gown, Talent, Private Interview, Fitness (new in 2023), and On-Stage Question.  Part of her community service initiative on Literacy involves access, education and representation.  She has traveled across South Dakota and the US sharing her initiative which involves building and placing little libraries.  She has collected over 10,000 books.  She is into her second season of a podcast focused on literacy.  She recently finished writing a children’s book “Jericho the Journalism Kitty” based on her cat “Jericho”.  We wish this delightful young woman success in the Miss America pageant! 
New Member – Francie Fortune
Welcome to our newest member Francie Fortune.  She is Executive Director for SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy.  She is a native of our South Dakota grasslands, growing up near Interior and Belvidere, continuing five generations of ranching alongside three brothers.  A non-traditional graduate of BHSU, her work background includes ranch management, editor and publisher for SD State Poetry Society, multiple sales/marketing and support roles, and diverse health care experience.  Her greatest joy is spending time with her three grown sons Grady, Garrett, and Gage, and their precious wives.  Outside of work, she loves playing in the yard and garden with her partner Christopher Montileaux, hiking, riding her Indian Scout, writing, and creating a joyful ruckus wherever she can.