Tony is a partner at Redstone Law Firm whose practice encompasses trusts and estates, government relations, and business law.
Primary Practice Groups:
- Trusts and Estates
- Government Relations
- Business Law
Tony reflects our core values. Here is what people who have worked with Tony over the last decade say about him:
- "Tony brings an unusual degree of perception and insight to decision-making. His advice and counsel have brought me considerable comfort over the years."
- "Tony's ability to combine his expert-level understanding of South Dakota history with visionary strategic directions make him a rare talent in this region."
- "There’s one perspective, over all others, that I seek out when faced with a problem or opportunity – that’s Tony’s."
- "Tony has an incredible breadth of experience at all levels of South Dakota government. He understands how to shape complex policy arguments to connect with the intended audience. He does this well because he actively listens and takes the time to understand differing viewpoints. Successful policy in South Dakota requires this coalition building and Tony has excelled at it his entire career."
- "Tony is one of the best strategic thinkers in South Dakota politics. If you’re looking for help on a campaign or in the legislative arena, you will find no better advocate."
- "Tony is extremely insightful and able to distill complex matters down into an understandable and actionable plan. This practical intelligence, combined with his even temperament, make him an excellent lawyer and adviser."
- "Five years as a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents and eight years as the Governor’s senior staff member gives Tony unique experience. No one understands the people, issues, agendas, personalities, conflicts, laws and regulations when dealing with South Dakota state government issues like Tony Venhuizen."
Tony's professional background:
- Lawyer at Redstone 2019-present.
- Worked in office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard as chief of staff and as director of policy and communications, and in the office of Gov. Kristi Noem as senior advisor. At various times, oversaw legislative strategy, communications, litigation management, and judicial selection, as well as policy areas including K-12 and higher education, election law, open government and ethics, information technology, corrections, banking and trusts, and insurance.
- Worked on three gubernatorial transitions, in 2002-03, 2010-11, and 2018-19.
- Led the Daugaard for Governor campaign in 2010 as campaign manager. Also worked on Rounds for Governor campaigns in 2002 as Black Hills director and in 2006 as deputy campaign manager.
- Served on the South Dakota Board of Regents from 2003-08.
- Chaired the Open Government Task Force (2012), the State Board of Finance (2011-19), and the Council on Higher Education Policy Goals, Performance and Accountability (2013-16). Also served on the DakotaCorps Scholarship board, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students, and task forces on campaign finance, anti-meth efforts, and K-12 capital outlay taxation.
- Law Clerk for the First Judicial Circuit, 2008-09.
- Law degree from the University of South Dakota, 2008.
- Thomas Sterling Honors Graduate (top 10% of class)
- Note & Comment Editor of the South Dakota Law Review
- Bachelor’s degree in history and political science from South Dakota State University, 2005.
- Armour High School, 2001.
Most interesting place he's visited in South Dakota: South Dakota has lots of interesting places, but Tony’s favorite is Custer State Park during the annual Buffalo Roundup. There is nothing like it in the world, and every South Dakotan should see it at least once.
Little known fact about Tony: Over the past several years, Tony has focused on studying the history of South Dakota governors – he has written, and is constantly revising, a book on the that topic. In 2017, Tony appeared on C-SPAN’s “American History TV’ in segments on the South Dakota State Capitol and grounds. He has also encouraged the placement of SD State Historical Society markers honoring former governors, leading to the placement of ten new markers. Tony maintains a blog, https://sodakgovs.wordpress.com, and a Twitter feed, @SoDakGovs, on which he posts on South Dakota historical topics.
Places where Tony is serving to Make It Better: Tony serves on the board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America (Sioux Council) and is a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls. Tony is also on the board of the Trail of Governors, a project that is commissioning life-size bronze statues of each of South Dakota's former governors, to be placed in Pierre on a trail connecting the State Capitol grounds to the Pierre business district. To date, nearly $1.8 million has been raised to commission 25 statues, with six remaining over the next two years.
- Movies: The James Bond films (especially From Russia With Love, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Casino Royale), Dave, Back to the Future, Star Wars, The American President, The Darkest Hour, The Incredibles, The Martian, Primary Colors, The Naked Gun, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ocean’s Eleven, Airplane, Iron Man, The Wizard of Oz.
- Television Show: The West Wing.
- Non-fiction Books: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell, Churchill by Andrew Roberts, The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark, Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen, History of the English-Speaking Peoples by Winston S. Churchill, Truman by David McCullough, John Adams by David McCullough, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham, Summer of ’49 by David Halberstam.
- Fiction Books: The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré, the James Bond novels (especially Moonraker, Thunderball, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) by Ian Fleming, All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren, Hercule Poirot mysteries (especially The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) by Agatha Christie, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.
While not at the office working with the Redstone Team, Tony enjoys: Traveling with his wife, Sara, and playing Legos and telling Batman stories with their three children: Henry, Elizabeth, and Madeleine. He likes to read and, in addition to South Dakota governors, he also enjoys studying the American Presidency and is a self-described Winston Churchill enthusiast. Tony is also a proud fan of the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers.