The society’s trustees meet Friday in Pierre but they technically don’t have a voice in the matter. The vacancy could be a topic of conversation but it’s not on the board’s official agenda.
Because of IRS rules the Heritage Fund has its own board, called the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, that serves as the society’s non-profit financial arm.
“A permanent replacement has not been chosen, and we are working on a possible interim replacement. I am hopeful that we will have a decision sometime next week,” Jay Vogt, the society’s administrative director, said Friday afternoon.
Vogt said the fund’s board of directors would make the decision in consultation with him. That board has 14 members, including Secretary of State Jason Gant.
Gant decided last month to hire Miller as his new deputy, as part of several staff changes in his office.
Miller, who is married to former Gov. Walter Dale Miller, had been the fund’s president since 2008.
She succeeded Bonnie Bjork and previously was chief executive officer for Easter Seals South Dakota for seven years.
Miller starts in her new post Sept. 4. She was South Dakota’s First Lady from the couple’s marriage on July 4, 1993, after he already was in office, through his final day as governor Jan. 7, 1995.
He was serving his first term as lieutenant governor when his first wife, Mary, died in 1989 after 46 years of marriage.
At 67, he became South Dakota’ s chief executive upon the death of Gov. George S. Mickelson at age 52 in the April 19, 1993, state plane crash.
Walter Dale Miller was South Dakota’s only governor to marry while in office. Before becoming Mickelson’s running mate in 1986 he had served 20 years in the state House of Representatives from New Underwood.
The State Historical Society and the Heritage Fund are headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center was opened to mark South Dakota’s centennial of statehood in 1989, while Mickelson and Miller were in office.