2018 Speakers

Mark Vargo Erik Bringswhite

Mark Vargo and
Erik Bringswhite

Mark has spent a lifetime pursuing the art of persuasion. A high school and college debater, he and his partner were Team of the Year his senior year at Princeton. After graduating from Georgetown Law, Mark went pro as an Assistant State Attorney for Janet Reno in Miami, Florida in 1988.

Relying upon his wife's description of Rapid City as "the banana belt, " he moved to South Dakota, where he served as a Deputy State's Attorney for three years, joined the Rapid City United States Attorney's Office for 15 years, and then, in 2012, was elected as Pennington County State's Attorney. In his copious free time, he has also been a professor of Rhetoric, an instructor for prosecutors around the world, including Tbilisi, Georgia, and Vladivostok, Russia, and was the debate coach for Rapid City Stevens for the last seven years.

Erik is an organizer, a strong advocate and considers himself a servant and protector of the youth, families, and community. Erik strongly believes that by utilizing education, culture and principles, together, we can be successful in the facilitation of the betterment and uplifting of one another; as well as the safety and wellbeing of community. Erik utilizes his experience and education as he serves on many community groups, committees and conversations. He a 2018 Bush Fellow and serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Pennington County MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge.

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