Board of Trustees
Board Trustees are elected by the members at the Annual Meeting to serve three-year staggered terms.
Russell Halgerson is the Electric Department Manager at Brookings Municipal Utilities and joined the SDMEA board in 2017. He constantly strives to strengthen SDMEA's mission in helping municipal communities provide locally-owned, affordable, and reliable power to their communities. Russell received his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from South Dakota State University in 2007 and is a licensed professional engineer in South Dakota and Minnesota. He has over 13 years of electric utility experience in both distribution and transmission, including engineering planning, design, project management, and operations. Outside of work, Russell enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with family.
Bert Magstadt is the Director of Operations for Watertown Municipal Utilities (WMU), where he oversees the operations and budgets for the electric, natural gas and water systems for the City of Watertown, SD. Since Bert’s arrival in 2018, he has overseen the construction of a new 28 MW substation and new natural gas tap off Northern Border Pipeline. Bert has held this position since 2018 and was in the same role for WMU from 2000 – 2005. Prior to that, Bert was the Gas Superintendent for WMU from 1995 – 2000. Bert started his career out of college with Northwestern Public Service from 1990 - 1995, most recently serving as Director of Gas Engineering and Area Superintendent for the Brookings, SD district.
During the time between 2005 and 2018, Bert was in the ethanol industry responsible for marketing / sales of ethanol production, railroad logistics, margin management and business development opportunities with two separate companies.
Bert received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State in 1989 with a Mathematics minor. In 2009 he completed his MBA from Mount Marty College and is a Registered Professional Engineer since 2005.
When not working, you can find Bert and his wife Tami at their lake cabin hosting family and friends for weekend gatherings and attending Jackrabbit football and basketball games. Bert and his wife have three daughters between them and two grandchildren.
Jerry started with the City of Sioux Falls South Dakota as the Light and Power Superintendent back in June of 2014. In January of 2018, he led a merger between the Light and Power division and the Traffic division. He became the Light, Power, and Traffic Superintendent. This new role included overseeing and budgeting for an operations team that maintains a substation that delivers power to City customers; over 21,000 street lights, the traffic signals in 290+ intersections alongside installing and maintaining of over 45,000 street signs.
Prior to joining the City of Sioux Falls Jerry spent 13 valuable years with an electrical contractor in multiple capacities in the field and office; creating a service and industrial department in the company that grew every year. Additionally, Jerry is a part-owner of a successful home building business and also owns an electrical contracting business. Jerry is chair of the board of the Lincoln County Planning and Zoning Commission; vice Chair of the South Dakota Municipal Electric Association, and serves on many other boards in the area.
In his spare time, Jerry enjoys time at the lake house, riding trails on ATV’s, hunting, and spending time with family
Sioux Falls, SD
Mike grew up on a farm south of Beresford along with 3 siblings. After graduation from Beresford, Mike joined the South Dakota Air National Guard and served as a Crew Chief on the F-16. I attended Mitchell Technical Institute and received my degree in Powerline Construction and Maintenance.
In 2003, Mike started working as a Lineman for the City of Elk Point, and always thought it would be nice to move back to the town and work where he grew up. Then in 2016, Mike was given the opportunity to work for the Beresford Electric Dept. and serve the community he had always called home. Mike became the Electrical Superintendent of Beresford in 2019.