Contact Staff


  • Slater Barr, President

    Open or Close  • (605) 376-8242 (Cell) • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    Slater joined the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in August of 2008 as President. He pursues a holistic approach to economic development, incorporating strategies ranging from conventional recruitment to entrepreneurship, from industrial park development to farmland preservation. He has worked in the area of economic and community development since 1990 in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia, in addition to South Dakota.

    A seasoned professional, Slater is a Certified Economic Developer and an Economic Development Finance Professional. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and of the prestigious Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has also earned a Certificate in Real Estate Development from the Urban Land Institute.

    He is a member of the International Economic Development Council. Slater and his wife Kimi have five children.

  • Dean Dziedzic, Vice President

    Open or Close • (605) 988-4259 (Cell) • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    In his role as Vice President, Dean Dziedzic is often the face or voice of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to executives of prospective new businesses looking at our community. Working with international and U.S. corporate executives in high-potential targeted industries, Dziedzic works for extended periods of time developing relationships with company decision-makers and providing them with the resources they need to expand or relocate to Sioux Falls. With a background in finance, sales and software management, Dziedzic is uniquely suited to develop and maintain a constantly growing list of prospects seeking information and business success in Sioux Falls. A graduate of Westmar University in Le Mars, Iowa with a Business Management and Marketing degree, Dziedzic also represents the Development Foundation at trade shows and business networking opportunities throughout the U.S.

  • Lon Clemensen, Vice President of Workforce Development

    Open or Close • (605) 254-7089 (Cell) • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    In his role as Vice President of Workforce Development, Lon Clemensen works with leaders in Education, Government, Non-Profits and business executives in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area to strategize new and enhanced workforce initiatives. His role is to collaborate education and training provided by high schools and post-secondary institutions with the needs of employers across the area to address workforce demands. These opportunities may be current openings in the workforce or future jobs related to expansion and growth of existing facilities in the area or to plan for new employers relocating to Sioux Falls.

    With a background of over 30 years in human resources, having worked in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, Clemensen is uniquely qualified to focus on talent attraction, retention, and talent development. He has his Business Management degree from Northern State University and earned his Master’s of Science in Industrial Management degree from South Dakota State University. He is a member of the Sioux Empire Society for Human Resource Management and has been actively involved in Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce committees for multiple years.

  • Karen Ruhland, Director of Research & Communication Services

    Open or Close • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    Karen joined the Foundation in 1989 as a Research/Prospect Service Specialist and is currently the Director of Research and Communication Services. Her career in economic development started with an internship at the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce while completing her degree at Briar Cliff University.

    With a knack for editing and attention to detail, Karen serves as a valuable resource for the Foundation. And with a love of demographics and stats, that resource extends beyond the Foundation and Forward Sioux Falls, to partner organizations, members, and local businesses.

    Karen is responsible for research activities and coordinates the organization´s digital newsletters as well as the Cost of Living Index for the Sioux Falls area. She designs the Foundation´s most notable publications - the Community Profile and business directories; tracks and provides information for the website and annual report; and surveys area businesses to maintain the Foundation´s extensive databases.

    Iowa natives and alums of Catholic education, Karen and her husband Kyle, are active volunteers in the Catholic School System in Sioux Falls and their local parish. They have served on various committees including capital campaigns for both organizations. For nine years, she chaired the Yearbook Committee at her sons´ school and served on the high school Parent Advisory Board.

  • Diane Andresen, Manager of Administrative & Membership Services

    Open or Close  • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    Diane started as an Administrative Assistant for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in 1981 and is currently the Manager of Administrative & Membership Services. Diane is responsible for the Foundation´s finances along with various other administrative duties.

    Prior to joining the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Diane was a commercial underwriter´s assistant for several years. She also worked for the Augustana University´s "Center for Support of Excellence in Teaching". Her responsibilities included establishing a resource library to aid educators in the latest techniques. She also worked full-time in the Graduate Office of Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ while attending classes.

  • Mary Archer, Administrative Assistant

    Open or Close  • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    Most people will recognize Mary as the pleasant voice they hear when calling the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Mary, a Sioux Falls native and life-long resident, started with the Development Foundation in June of 1995. Prior to her position with the Foundation as the Administrative Assistant, Mary worked in the Customer Service/Bookkeeping Department of Western Bank for over 14 years.

  • Linda Rodman, ShadowED Coordinator

    Open or Close  • (605) 336-1620 • (605) 373-2019 (Direct)

    One of the best ways for a business to create a pool of future workers is to showcase available opportunities to students. ShadowED was launched in 1998 as part of Forward Sioux Falls´ workforce development efforts in the region. ShadowED Coordinator Linda Rodman facilitates the placement of 350-400 high school student shadows each school year. The program relies on strong business support from more than 200 businesses offering over 275 occupational choices.

    Linda has served as program coordinator since 2004. She has been recognized for her expertise in developing and maintaining ongoing, positive relationships with the business community and school administrators as she directly assists students explore their occupation options and strive to make the best possible college and career decisions for the future.


  • Nick Fosheim, Executive Director MCEDA LCEDA

    Open or Close • (605) 212-1320 (Cell) • (605) 339-0103 (Office)

    Nick Fosheim joined the staff at the Development Foundation in December of 2012 as executive director for the Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations.

    Nick brings a regional perspective to economic development in the Sioux Falls area, representing the communities of Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. He serves as an advocate for these communities and assists in facilitating the growth opportunities that exist in the region. A native of Webster, South Dakota, Nick understands the role economic development plays in small communities and believes in the value of teamwork. Nick also works closely with the volunteers in each community who are engaged in economic development and connects with the staff at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation on prospective, as well as, retention and expansion projects in the area.

    Fosheim studied advertising at South Dakota State University and previously served as the executive director for the Webster Area Development Corporation.

  • International Trade

  • Rock Nelson, South Dakota International Marketing Director

    Open or Close • (605) 338-3424 • (605) 941-6696 (Cell)

    #1 West Weather Lane #400, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

    Rock is a 4th generation Sioux Falls native and graduate of Augustana. After having worked for his family´s food service business for a number of years he created Northern Plains Recycling, Inc. in 1990. During this time he developed relationships with and shipped 6 - 7 semi loads per day and 1 railroad boxcar per day to 26 U.S. paper recycling mills. Some of his firm´s product was exported to Japan, Mexico, Korea, China, Taiwan and Canada. Since selling his firm in the late 1990´s, Rock has been employed by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and South Dakota´s Small Business Development Center during the past 15 1/2 years.

    He is responsible for helping local, regional and businesses statewide to develop their growth internationally by aiding them with their importing and exporting needs. He also helps them to clear their imported products through the U.S. Customs & Border Protection´s Port #3502 in Sioux Falls. His services consist of soliciting and negotiating competitive air and ocean freight and customs brokerage rates, finding lost freight and documents, assisting with insurance claims, sourcing overseas made products, researching duty rates, proper documentation, compliance, etc.

  • Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship

  • Rich Naser, Jr., President, Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship

    Open or Close • (605) 275-8000 • (605) 275-8010 (Direct)

    2329 North Career Avenue #1, Sioux Falls, SD 57107

    Rich Naser, Jr. serves as president of the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship (SDTBC) and the USD Discovery District as part of his role directing the Forward Sioux Falls Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiatives. These initiatives focus on developing the human capital, early-stage funding and research infrastructure necessary to support high-growth businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators.

    Rich´s career in economic development spans more than 20 years. He began with the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1994. Since that time, he has continued to work as a passionate advocate for Sioux Falls, South Dakota and entrepreneurs. His drive for innovation-led economic development has spear-headed important initiatives such as the creation of the SDTBC, GEAR Center, USD Discovery District, cGMP laboratory space and workforce study–all aimed at creating both an entrepreneurial environment and the most significant possible impact for stakeholders.

    With a spirit of collaboration, Rich has successfully brought together civic, government and private business to support entrepreneurial initiatives. He serves on several boards and committees to continue to foster these relationships.

    Rich was recognized for his commitment, dedication and achievement in entrepreneurship with the 2015 The Spirit of Enterprise–an award given annually by the Enterprise Institute to an individual directly responsible for helping shape the entrepreneurial culture of the state of South Dakota.

Environment/Climate: The Sioux Falls Advantage

Not only is our business climate better, so is our weather. Sioux Falls has a pleasant climate with four distinct seasons; perfect for outdoor recreation. Residents enjoy lots of sunshine for biking, camping, hunting, or just enjoying one of the 80+ parks the region has to offer. On top of the great weather, Sioux Falls also has one of the lowest natural disaster risks in the US; and we are rated an ISO 1 of only 130 communities in the nation...which means lower fire insurance rates for your bottom line.

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