Dan Oakland
CEO & Senior Human Resources Consultant
Karen DeLange
Senior Human Resources Consultant
Julie Nelson

Senior Human Resources Consultant
Melissa Moerike
Senior Human Resources Consultant & Leadership Coach
Kayla Johnson
Human Resources

Sandy Herkenhoff
Sandy Herkenhoff
Human Resources


Jessica Ashton
Human Resources Consultant

Gail Anderson
Human Resources Consultant

Holly Hansen
Holly Hansen
Human Resources/Recruiting Specialist & Office Manager

Sarah Meusburger
Sarah Meusburger
Project Consultant

Tammy Loos
Project Consultant

Teri Bertness
Teri Bertness
Project Consultant

Jacqueline Rust
Jacqueline Rust
Financial Analyst
Rachel Davis
Rachel Davis
Human Resources Intern

Dan Oakland, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CEO & Senior Human Resources Consultant

Dan Oakland is the founder and CEO of Alternative HRD, LLC.  He started the consulting firm in 1992 with a desire to bring human resource services and solutions to small employers, giving them a better chance of competing with large employers for talent!  Dan has more than 40 years of experience in business operations, human resource management, management training and consulting.

Through the years, Dan has worked with a variety of businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations, and has created and presented numerous training programs for managers and supervisors.  Dan says he gets his greatest satisfaction from helping supervisors, managers and executives improve their communications and leadership skills!

Dan is a member of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sioux Empire Society for Human Resource Management (SESHRM), and is past president of the Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).

Dan is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute and as a  Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Contact Dan at 605.335.8198 or

Karen DeLange, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Human Resources Consultant

delange1000x1500Karen DeLange has over twenty years of human resource experience, and has been with Alternative HRD since 2011.  She is heavily involved in assisting clients and overseeing client engagements.  She also serves on the firm’s leadership team and has an active role in sales and marketing for the company.

Karen’s experience includes serving as an HR Generalist and HR Manager with Citicorp in Kansas City.  While there, Karen managed a wide range of functions, including recruiting, staff relations, benefits administration, performance management, workers’ compensation, policy development, payroll liaison and salary administration.

After moving to Sioux Falls, Karen was an HR manager in the non-profit sector, and successfully built and managed her own business.  Karen is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and is certified by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP).  She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Sioux Empire SHRM.

Karen has a broad understanding of strategic management and organizational needs, and her knowledge and expertise enable her to provide a high level of human resource expertise and assistance to her clients.

Contact Karen at 605.335.8198 or

Julie Nelson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Human Resources Consultant

julienelson1000x1500Julie Nelson joined Alternative HRD in 2013, after spending 20 years in human resource management in Lincoln, NE, primarily in the healthcare industry where she managed recruitment, benefits, workers’ compensation, policy administration, and employee relations.  Julie obtained her undergraduate degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.

After moving to Sioux Falls, Julie worked in human resources within the credit card industry and with staff recruitment in the non-profit sector.  As an HR Consultant, Julie has worked with a wide variety of businesses and industries.  Whether working with public entities or with start-up or spin-off businesses, Julie assesses needs quickly, and provides sound advice and wise counsel!

Julie is also on Alternative HRD’s leadership team.   She is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and is certified by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP).

Julie’s understanding of HR management issues and day-to-day business operations, along with her knowledge and experience, enable her to build strong relationships with her clients, and provide expert assistance tailored to the specific needs of your organization.

Contact Julie at 605.335.8198 or

Melissa Moerike, MSM-HR, Senior Human Resources Consultant & Leadership Coach

moerike1000x1500Melissa Moerike has  over 20 years of experience in the human resources profession in the healthcare and hospitality industries.  Along with her experience in HR management, Melissa has developed expertise in executive and leadership coaching, conflict management, and social media recruiting.

Whether guiding start-ups as they put HR strategies and systems in place, assisting mid-level managers as they deal with performance issues, or helping a Board of Directors draft organizational philosophies, Melissa has an obvious passion and enthusiasm for helping her clients excel!  Melissa is also a great presenter, and has trained on topics such as social media recruiting, talent acquisition, leadership coaching, and conflict resolution.

Melissa joined Alternative HRD in 2016, and has shared her knowledge and expertise with clients in several industries.  Melissa has helped start-ups and long-established employers improve their hiring, engagement and retention!  Melissa is a part of Alternative HRD’s leadership team, and is very active in company social media and marketing efforts.

Melissa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management.  She has served on the board of Sioux Empire SHRM (SESHRM) and as an Advisory Board Member for the BRIDGES at Active Generations.

Contact Melissa at 605.335.8198 or

Kayla Johnson, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Consultant

kaylajohnson1000x1500.jpgKayla Johnson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Affairs with an emphasis in Financial Planning from South Dakota State University.  Kayla began her career handling human resources and accounting for an auto dealership in Rapid City, and discovered her passion for the HR profession.

After moving to Sioux Falls, Kayla managed HR functions as well as member services at Avera Power and Wellness, and then went to Harrisburg School District where she managed human resources.

Kayla joined Alternative HRD in 2016, and as an HR Consultant, has clients in the manufacturing, hospitality, and non-profit industries.  Kayla has become a ‘go-to’ consultant in dealing with Affordable Care Act (ACA) issues, and has saved clients thousands of dollars in ACE-related fines and penalties!

Kayla has great instincts for people and businesses, and she can easily flow from counseling clients’ staff members on benefit issues to coaching supervisors on performance best practices to meeting with executives and developing effective HR practices that impacts the bottom line.

Kayla is certified by the Society of Human Resource Management as a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).

Kayla can be reached at 605.335.8198, and at

Sandy Herkenhoff, Human Resources Consultant

Sandy HerkenhoffSandy Herkenhoff is a highly service-oriented human resource professional. Sandy’s experience includes several years’ in customer/client services and employee services, where her team handled up to 1,000 payroll and benefit related calls each day.  During her career, Sandy has been an HR Generalist with RSM McGladrey in Bloomington, MN, and then managed human resources for the University of Minnesota at its Crookston campus.

After moving to Sioux Falls, Sandy served as HR Director of the YMCA, then as a generalist at Capital Card Service before joining Alternative HRD in the fall of 2018.

Sandy has experience in all aspects of HR management, including recruiting and performance management, HRIS data management, and strategic HR leadership. With Alternative HRD, Sandy has worked with a number of family-owned businesses, helping them structure their HR practices to compete for top talent, and to assure compliance with the state and federal employment regulations.

Sandy is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI, where she received her BS in Business Management.

Contact Sandy at 605.335.8198 or

Jessica Ashton, MBA-HRM, PHR, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Consultant

Teri BertnessJessica Ashton has over 10 years of experience as a Human Resource Director. She is a dedicated professional that has worked in the corporate, cooperative and non- profit sectors. Jessica would say she fell into, and subsequently in love, with human resources. In addition to the many areas of HR, she performed all payroll functions at the companies she has worked.

Being a firm believer that employees are a company’s best asset and HR’s main customer, Jessica is an advocate for equipping people with the knowledge they need to be successful and make informed decisions.

Jessica joined Alternative HRD in 2020. She has a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management (MBA-HRM). She is also certified by the Human Resource Institute (HRCI) as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and is certified by the Society of Human Resource Management as a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). Locally, Jessica has served on the board of Sioux Empire SHRM (SESHRM).
Contact Jessica at 605-335-8198, and at

Gail Anderson, Human Resources Consultant

Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson joined Alternative HRD in 2020, after 20 years of HR work in Northwest Iowa.  Gail originally began her HR career as a generalist at Demco Manufacturing in Boyden. During that time, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University.  In 2005, she joined Aventure Staffing from Sioux City as a Branch Manager in her hometown of Sheldon, IA.  

For the next 14 years, Gail held several positions with Aventure, primarily in Operations Management of multiple branches. Gail became the “go-to” person for many clients that needed advice, and she served as an on-site consultant for others.  She is very strong in relationship building with clients, as well as providing great customer service.  As a consultant for clients, Gail has been a critical element in helping them be compliant with laws and a resource for them as needed.  

Gail has experience in setting up HR departments for smaller employers, and in addition to recruiting, she has worked with performance management, benefits, employee relations and conflict management.  

Gail has a strong reputation with her clients for her ability to counsel and help employees work through issues, whether work or personal. 

Gail can be reached at, or at Alternative HRD at 605.335.8198.

Holly Hansen, Human Resources/Recruiting Specialist & Office Manager

hollyhansen1000x1500.jpgHolly Hansen has more than 18 years of human resource experience with considerable focus on the health care industry. She has worked for community hospitals, clinics and large health care systems including multiple facilities within the Avera network. Holly graduated from the University of South Dakota where she earned her degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing.

Holly has a particular interest and talent for workforce development and recruiting. For more than a decade she attracted and retrained hundreds of employees to the Sioux Falls community and region. Holly has been recognized for building relationships with top medical talent and with other professionals within her organizations. She is highly experienced in communicating HR benefit plans and negotiating offers of employment, all while delivering outstanding customer satisfaction.

Holly joined Alternative HRD in 2016, and uses her recruiting experience to aid clients in attracting and retaining top talent.  She also serves as office manager, overseeing all administrative functions.  As if that’s not enough, Holly manages the firms e-mail marketing and client communications.  Holly is also a member of Sioux Empire SHRM.

Holly can be reached at 605.335.8198, and at

Sarah Meusburger, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Project Consultant

meusburger1000x1500Sarah currently holds down two positions!  She is the full-time Director of Human Resources at Banner Associates in Brookings, SD, and ‘moonlights’ as a Special Projects Consultant for Alternative HRD.  In addition to project management, Sarah provides research assistance and has authored several human resource related articles.

Sarah received her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from South Dakota State University.  She started her human resources career at Daktronics in Brookings, then served as Director of Human Resources for the City of Marshalltown, IA.  After returning to Brookings, Sarah managed the HR functions for Brookings Municipals Utilities, and then as Title IX/EEO Coordinator for SDSU.

Sarah is extremely active in her community of Brookings, and was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s December 2019 edition of ’40 Under 40′ which honors select individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishments.

Throughout her career, Sarah has consistently helped organizations streamline and improve their HR and management functions, while reducing turnover and saving money.  Sarah is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and is certified by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP).

Sarah can be reached at 605.335.8198, and at

Tammy Loos, MSAS, PHR, SHRM-CP, Project Consultant

Tammy LoosTammy Loos has over 20 years in human resource management, primarily in the financial services industry and non-profit sector. She has managed recruitment, benefits, compensation plans, workers’ compensation, employee relations and conducted numerous staff/management training sessions.

Tammy teaches a full load of human resource related classes at the University of South Dakota, and in her ‘spare time’ works with clients and manages projects at Alternative HRD!

Tammy has a Masters of Administrative Studies with a Human Resource emphasis from the University of South Dakota, and is certified as a Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute.

Tammy currently serves as President of the Sioux Empire Society of Human Resource Management (SESHRM) and Certification Director of the South Dakota Society of Human Resource Management’s State Council, and she volunteers for Junior Achievement and the Center for Active Generations – BRIDGES program.

Contact Tammy at 605.335.8198 or

Teri Bertness, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Project Consultant

Teri BertnessTeri Bertness is a part-time project consultant with Alternative HRD. Her full-time work, since 2011, is as an HR Specialist with the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development, in their Employment Services Division. Prior to that, Teri spent 12 years as Director of Human Resources with the City of Mitchell.

Well versed in the public sector, Teri also has experience working with private-sector businesses, and with Alternative HRD she handles projects for clients in both sectors!

Teri earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development, both from SDSU in Brookings. Teri is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP).

Teri lives in White Lake, SD, and can be contacted by phone at 605.335.8198, and by e-mail at

Jacqueline Rust, Financial Analyst

Jacqueline Rust

Jacqueline Rust joined the Alternative HRD team in 2020, as a part-time Financial Analyst. In that role, Jackie manages bookkeeping and accounting functions, provides financial and project analysis, prepares reports for clients’ review, and assists with a variety of projects that involve data analysis.

Jackie’s actually owns her own business, OnSite State Tax LLC, where she conducts internal tax audits and assists businesses with state tax audits. Before starting that business, Jackie worked for ten years for the SD Department of Revenue as a Senior Revenue Agent, and discovered that she wanted to help clients not only stay out of trouble, but thrive as a business, rather than assist the state in closing them down.  Prior to working with the state, Jackie was a Mortgage Processing Manager for Equity Leadership Group.

Jackie is a veteran of the South Dakota Army National Guard. She’s married with three kids, and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, cooking and volleyball! Jackie can be reached at or at Alternative HRD at 605.335.8198.

Rachel Davis, Human Resources Intern

Teri BertnessRachel joined Alternative HRD in September 2020. She is attending Augustana University, majoring in Management & Communication Studies. Her anticipated date of graduation is May 2021. Contact Rachel at 605.335.8198 or