CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. — Five West River residents have been announced as inductees for the 2021 South Dakota Hall of Fame.
Each year, the Hall of Fame elects up to 10 South Dakotans that inspire and represent the Hall of Fame’s mission to “champion a culture of excellence in South Dakota.”
Gary Cammack of Union Center – “Visionary Agriculturalist and Statesman”
Gary Cammack of Union Center served two years in the state House of Representatives and currently serves as Majority Leader of the state Senate. He and his wife, Amy, grew their 320-acre ranch into 11,000 acres of living environmental stewardship. His land practices have been lauded by state-wide conservation organizations. Recognizing a need for equipment and supplies, he started a successful agribusiness during a difficult economic time in the late 1970s. Gary has been an influential force for positive change to benefit youth and community, resulting in a new elementary school, community center, church, firehouse, and cemetery. He hosts leadership classes to demonstrate first-hand rural community empowerment and personal impact.
Jon Crane of Hill City – “Capturing the Beauty of Rural America”
Jon Crane’s art is known for a subtle and realistic treatment of subjects from rural America in transparent watercolor. Using a dry brush technique, he captures nostalgic landscapes with exquisite detail. Claiming the trademark of “Art That Takes You Home,” Jon’s paintings evoke emotions of familiarity and belonging. He is adept at finding old farms and homesteads that evoke a sense of the simpler life, telling through his nostalgic watercolors the story of rural America. Jon lives in the Black Hills with Gail, his wife near a secluded trout stream. His highest award was presented in 2015 when he received the South Dakota Governor’s Award for Distinction in Creative Achievement.
Ray Hillenbrand (1934 – 2019) of Rapid City – “Guardian and Guiding Light of the Community”
“Every community has an angel” and for the Rapid City community, that angel was Ray Hillenbrand. It started with his store Prairie Edge, showcasing the beauty of local Native American culture, then moved on to Ray being a part of the Governors REDI Fund for Economic Development. Ray was integral in researching, funding, and developing Main Street Square, the development of Legacy Commons playground, and the rebuilding of Memorial Park and the 6th Street Promenade joining downtown to the Civic Center. The OneHeart Campus will truly be a huge part of the Ray Hillenbrand legacy. Hundreds if not thousands of people could have their lives turned around by this cornerstone of helping people adjust during hard times.
Ryan McFarland of Rapid City – “Lifelong Passion of Entrepreneurship”
Ryan McFarland is an entrepreneur with a passion for mountain biking and motorsports. His mechanical inclination, and early exposure to entrepreneurship led him to invent two award-winning U.S. Patents. Innovations continued when Ryan’s first son, Bode, was just two years old. Ryan was eager to have his son join him in adventure sports and the great outdoors. The original bike built for his son evolved through numerous prototypes and was ultimately issued a U.S. Patent. Strider Sports International was born in 2007 with its global headquarters located in Rapid City, SD. McFarland’s company has evolved from his backyard garage in South Dakota to 75+ countries worldwide and sales of 16 million in 2019.
Craig Tieszen (1949 – 2017) of Rapid City – “Lifetime Dedication to Community Service”
Craig Tieszen led a dedicated career as a Police Chief and legislator with honesty, kindness, and integrity. As a leader, he was analytical, practical, and respectful. This lifelong learner was always chasing that big adventure. Craig believed that everyone could learn to be tolerant and care for each other. He never stopped learning and worked hard to make life better in our state and in our world. That’s the South Dakota way. His experiences and learning prepared him for his exemplary life and public service. “From Peace Corps to a police officer, to Chief of Police, and then legislator, his life was one of service to his family, friends, community, and the State of South Dakota,” stated Dave Olyer of the RC Club for Boys.
The 2021 inductees will be celebrated in an Honors Ceremony on April 1 and 2, 2022 in Chamberlain/Oacoma, S.D.
Click here for more information on the South Dakota Hall of Fame.