South Dakota is Among Top-3 Freest States in America

Over the last few years, South Dakota has seen an uptick in new residents. We hear many stories from these newcomers who chose South Dakota because of our way of life that’s different from other states.

Now, the CATO Institute has recognized South Dakota as one of the top-three freest states in America.

“This study ranks the American states according to how their public policies affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres,” the release sharing the findings says. “The 2023 edition updates and expands on the six previous editions of Freedom in the 50 States. It examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories—from taxation to debt, from eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and from drug policy to educational choice.”

To learn more about the ranking and to see how other states compared, click the link below.

Crowd shares workforce strategies at sold-out annual summit

From talent development to attraction and retention, a crowd came together recently for the sold-out annual WIN in Workforce Summit produced by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Panel at WIN in Workforce Summit 2023

“For this year, I wanted people to take away that we all have a seat at the table,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We need to grow together. We need to be very inclusive. We need to be very collaborative. Let’s keep the employees that we have. Let’s work to train them and skill them and upskill them but also let’s look at our youth and say what do they want? What do they need? And really bring them to the table and have this conversation.”

Nancy Kerrigan speaks at WIN in Workforce Summit 2023

Headlined by Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, who reminded the crowd about the power of persevering through challenge, the WIN in Workforce Summit brought together executives, human resources leaders and high school students from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Career Connections program to look at the changing needs of the workplace.

Click below for a recap of the day:

WIN in Workforce Summit 2023

2023 Spirit of Sioux Falls Honoree: Jim Soukup

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation honored Jim Soukup, President and CEO of Soukup Construction, with its ‘Spirit of Sioux Falls’ Award at their 2023 Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 16.

The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the economic growth and development of Sioux Falls, and honors the memory of former Development Foundation staff and board members David Birkeland, Angus Anson, and Roger Hainje, who perished along with Gov. George Mickelson and other state officials and staff in 1993 as they returned from an economic development mission.

“There is no one more deserving of this award than Jim,” Foundation board chairman Steve Kolbeck said. “There are countless examples of the ways that he’s used his knowledge and business acumen to improve our city. Whether that’s through his service to the Development Foundation or other facets of city government, he’s been a steady leader, and we are proud to honor him in this way.”

Soukup served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors from 2010-2015, and has remained a member of the Foundation’s Real Estate committee because of his institutional knowledge and sage advice. Additionally, Soukup worked with the City of Sioux Falls to secure the necessary land for its new state of the art Public Safety Campus and has been a resource to various aspects of city government.

“There’s no one at this point in time who truly embodies the Spirit of Sioux Falls like Jim Soukup,” said Dean Dziedzic, Vice President of Economic Development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “He’s been a dedicated volunteer within the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, and has guided us in making strategic moves in terms of developing our industrial parks. We’ve been blessed to have him as part of our organization long after his board term has ended.”

2023 Spirit of Sioux Falls Honoree: Jim Soukup

From high school class to job site, Career Connections program leads students to employers

If Kayla Galindo-Lemus had never been exposed to various workplaces while still in high school, there’s a good chance she might not be working at Muth Electric today.

Instead, the Southeast Technical College student is learning on the job and in the classroom as the recipient of a full-ride Build Dakota Scholarship and a future full-time job at Muth.

“A lot of people are craving to have opportunity like that,” she said. “You go to places, you see the management, you see the people working, you see things getting built. I feel like you need to visualize things for you to like it.”

In her case, an interest in electrical work led to the scholarship and the job. That’s the goal of Career Connections, a program administered by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and supported through Forward Sioux Falls. It exposes students — often the first in their family to go to college and first-generation Americans — to different workplaces and opportunities for job shadows, internships and ultimately supportive scholarships.

Muth Electric Build Dakota Scholarship Recipients

With Galindo-Lemus, “this is such a bright kid with such a great attitude, such a great worth ethic, and it’s so rewarding to see this is her choice and she is in a company that has been with us since day one,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

To watch her career journey from high school through employment, click below.

Career Connections Spotlight: Kayla Galindo Lemus

From South Dakota Indian reservations to leading at Amazon, area leader returns home and makes big impact

From now until at least the end of the year, Alyssa Holiday’s workdays will have little downtime.

Holiday, an area manager for Amazon, oversees one of the busiest sections of the online retailer’s fulfillment center at Foundation Park. It’s known as the “pick to pack” area, where items are picked and packed into boxes without ever touching a conveyor until they’re packaged.

Alyssa Holiday working at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

“She will be at full capacity the entire time,” assistant Sioux Falls site lead Vincent Gardner said.

Learn even a little about Holiday, though, and it’s clear she’s up to this – or seemingly any – task.

Born on the Pine Ridge Reservation and raised on the Yankton Reservation, she became high school valedictorian at Marty Indian School. An enrolled of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, she left South Dakota in 2007 “to pursue better opportunities,” she said.

After beginning her adult life as a stay-at-home mom, she became a single mother in 2014 and began working retail jobs in Florida. She joined Amazon in 2015 in a suburb of Tampa to gain more hours and be employed somewhere she could work at night while friends watched her young daughter.

Alyssa Holiday working at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

After two years as an entry-level associate packing boxes, she wanted to learn more. It took her to a different Amazon location in Florida, where ultimately “I learned to problem-solve and was an ambassador and trained all the new hires they were bringing in and did something other than constantly scanning,” Holiday said. “I was able to use my mind a little more.”

Her manager showed her an option to gain career skills on-site, and she took classes to learn computer skills as she began applying for her next promotion. She moved to another location in Florida as a logistics specialist, learning to plan routes for drivers and then learned of the chance to relocate to Des Moines, where ultimately she applied as area manager.

“I just wanted to keep moving up. I wanted to keep going,” she said. “My previous managers coached me in how to interview, and I was given the position, so I went from hourly pay to a salary and got to learn a lot.”

Alyssa Holiday working at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

Not only that, she led the No. 1 problem-solve launch team for Amazon in 2020.

“I learned so much about configuring things and following standards and making network changes,” she said. “Some of the standards I set in my building are now in every fulfillment center. For me, it was a big thing. I didn’t get to graduate college, and being able to do things at this caliber is very exciting and exhilarating to me. I consistently learn something new every day.”

Now 37, she moved to Sioux Falls early this year, a city she used to visit from Wagner to shop and see family in the area.

Alyssa Holiday working at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

“I like it because it’s a city but not really a big city,” Holiday said. “I grew up here, but I lived in Tampa and Orlando, and Des Moines is bigger, but Sioux Falls still gives you everything a city has, but it has small-town vibes, and the traffic is amazing.”

Inside Amazon, Holiday now is doing her own amazing things. She formed an affinity group for Native American team members that has grown to 45 people.

Native American employees at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

“I had tried doing it in Des Moines, and I was dead-set on starting this Indigenous affinity group when I got here. One of the first things I did was get senior approval,” she said.

“We had a land blessing, brought some medicine men here, and they prayed for the building and said some prayers and blessed the site, and we gave a land acknowledgement speech. It was amazing. People were crying. It was very fulfilling for me to see that.”

Now, all of South Dakota’s tribal flags hang in the Amazon employee locker room.

South Dakota's tribal flags in a locker room at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

“I never thought I’d see that as a Native American,” Holiday said. “We’re represented at Amazon. To me, that’s unheard of.”

The group already has volunteered for efforts like supporting Feeding South Dakota and wants to enhance its skills in science, technology, engineering and math and has offered help with resume-building. Holiday is working with a similar Amazon group in Seattle for help with workshops.

“We’re all still learning how to run this group, but we have huge plans,” she said. “I want to invest in them and give them the opportunities I didn’t have.”

Alyssa Holiday working at Amazon Warehouse in Sioux Falls SD

From leadership’s perspective, “she’s awesome,” Gardner said. “She does a lot for our site. She’s done some amazing things helping with the building launch and has lots of initiative and drive.”

While her work at Amazon keeps her busy, Holiday is enjoying family events she used to miss by living out of state and is enjoying calling herself a South Dakotan again.

“What Alyssa has done in her career is nothing short of remarkable, and the fact that she’s now offering a path forward for other Native American professionals is so exciting to us,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Indigenous at Amazon display boards

“Amazon has shown itself to be a model employer as far as offering opportunities for employee growth and skill development, ongoing promotional opportunities and unique ways to engage its employees. There’s so much to take away from this story on so many levels.”

For Holiday, a career at Amazon has been “a great opportunity,” she said. “I don’t have a degree, and now I’m leading and developing the people that I used to be. For me, that’s a huge thing, and I tell that to my associates all the time: I used to be in your shoes.”

Are you ready to continue your career journey in Sioux Falls? Email to get connected, or visit to learn more.

Annual Reports

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation Annual Meeting Progress Report is a statistical and narrative summary of developments that have taken place within the community year-to-date. The report highlights activity within the Sioux Empire Development Parks and the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as major industrial, office, commercial, healthcare and quality of life developments. The report is published every year in November in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation Annual Meeting.

Hiring: Accounting Manager

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation has a rare opportunity: we’re hiring for a full-time accounting manager.

This employee will be responsible for performing various accounting and human resources functions for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation (Foundation). The Foundation currently provides accounting and/or payroll services for the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Forward Sioux Falls, Sioux Empire Housing Partnership, Startup Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority. This position will report to the CFO.

TO APPLY: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume with references by November 15th, 2023, to: Cory Buck, CFO, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, 200 N. Phillips Ave., Suite 101, Sioux Falls SD, 57104, or email to

Click below to see the full job description!

South Dakota ranks No. 9 for best health care

Health care affordability and accessibility are two of the top considerations for quality of life. Luckily, South Dakota ranks near the top when it comes to health care. Recently, WalletHub ranked South Dakota as the ninth best state for health care in the United States.

“To determine where Americans receive the best and worst health care, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 44 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome,” the article releasing the findings states.

To see how rest of the nation compares, click the link below!

From California to Sioux Falls, nurse who doubles as DJ calls move a dream come true

Ny Bradley will tell you her Sioux Falls move has been nothing short of a love story – on multiple levels.

“My now fiance, Donny, and I met seven years ago and were madly in love in Texas,” she began. “He decided he was going to go to trucking school and do well, and he went off and did that, and I was working as a nurse.”

Ny and Donny

Donny’s job led him to settle in Sioux Falls, but when he asked Ny if she’d be willing to move too, she said no.

“Sioux Falls is an excellent hub for truckers. The roads are very truck-friendly, and he’s right in the middle of the country, so he’s home every five or six days, which is unheard of for truckers,” she said.

Volvo Semi Truck

“It’s best for his balance, and I understood that, but I was only 25 or 26 years old and wanted to travel and learn music.”

Bradley’s path led her from her native Texas to Los Angeles, where she continued to work as a nurse and went to school for music production with training in audio engineering.

But the two stayed in touch and after reconnecting last year realized “we were each other’s person,” she said. “For both of us, it was something where there was no question.”

After visiting Sioux Falls twice, “it was enough for me to realize I loved it, to my surprise,” Bradley said. “I don’t feel a need anymore to experience the fast life and these big parties, not that Sioux Falls doesn’t have places for that, but I realized what I wanted was to be in a community where I felt connected. That’s why I love being here. I’ve been here like a month, but every time I visited, people were amazing and so friendly.”

Ny and Donny

It didn’t take her long to connect to a like-minded community. After posting a message on Reddit asking about the electronic dance music, or EDM, scene in Sioux Falls, a response immediately suggested she check out an event being held at Full Circle Book Co-op downtown.

She met the host, himself a transplant from New York, “and he said there isn’t much of a scene here, so we decided to partner in some way to bring forward more EDM here,” she said. “Me being a DJ and producer and him being in management event coordination, we just meshed, and we’re going to make it happen. I think a lot of people in Sioux Falls, especially the younger generation, will be interested in hearing electronic music and not having to go to Coachella or New York to hear something, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

Ny Bradley

Bradley also is far from leaving her nursing career behind. While music became her outlet working as a COVID nurse during the pandemic, she held onto a dream of being a pediatric nurse in labor and delivery or the neonatal intensive care unit.

“I’ve been in critical care and worked as a COVID nurse and did a lot of medical surgical pediatric, but in LA, every time I would apply, they would tell me I needed two years of NICU experience. Well, without getting hired, how would I get it?” she said.

While she moved to Sioux Falls without a job, she applied for two at Avera Health on the drive east.

“I applied to the mother-baby unit and the NICU, and I was offered both positions,” she said. “I’m now a NICU nurse, and I start in a few weeks. I’m over the moon. I can’t tell you how much I’m falling in love with Sioux Falls. I’ve had dreams where I’ve been a baby nurse, and now that dream is coming true. My family dreams are coming true as is finding that community where it feels like this is a great place to have kids or have a startup, depending on what I do with my music.”

In the meantime, look for her at the next House Dance Music Show at Full Circle Book Co-op on Nov. 18 when she’ll be DJing, beginning at 10 p.m.

Ny Bradley

In her free time, she enjoys meditating at Falls Park, where she’s inspired with ideas for songs, as well as discovering unique experiences like corn mazes. She lives just south of Sioux Falls in Harrisburg and is loving her shorter commutes.

“I’m used to it taking 45 minutes to go to work, and this is the best. It takes me no time,” she said.

Bradley’s experience in Sioux Falls might sound too good to be true, but it’s not outside the norm, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Everything you’ve heard from Ny about her experience can be replicated and is reflective of what this community offers,” she said. “It is an outstanding place for health care, for trucking, for the arts and for those interested in starting a business and starting a family. It is as easy to get connected as Ny has found. We’re thrilled she and Donny will be starting their life together here and can’t wait to see how they continue to contribute to building our community for others.”

Ny and Donny

How does Bradley know the community is ready for her to put her unique spin on it? She thinks back to that first house show downtown, where she saw everyone from teenagers to people in their 70s dancing away.

“A man put his cane down and got on the dance floor. I didn’t even see this in Los Angeles,” she said. “It filled my heart with so much joy and confirmation that this is what I want. Sioux Falls ended up being literally everything I wanted, and I feel like one of the best things I can do is contribute something back.”

Are you ready to continue your career journey in Sioux Falls? Email to get connected, or visit to learn more.

Sioux Falls is the most affordable city in America

“After crunching the numbers, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the No. 1 most affordable U.S. city for working adults. The cost of living here is below the national average, which means your dollar will go further in Sioux Falls than, say, San Francisco,” the Reader’s Digest study says.

“And if that’s not enough to lure you to South Dakota’s largest city, know that the Empower study also looked at the best places to retire and named Sioux Falls the third most affordable city for retirees.”

DSU’s Griffiths: AI-driven workforce disruption is coming fast

In a matter of weeks, Dakota State University President José-Marie Griffiths will speak to U.S. senators about workforce and economic disruption.

But you can hear her thoughts on the topic sooner than that in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Jose Marie Griffiths

Griffiths will help lead off the WIN in Workforce Summit on Nov. 1 as part of the panel Talent Talk: Get To Know the People Changing Our Workforce Landscape. The annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center and will bring together thought leaders such as Griffiths for a look at what the future holds for talent development, attraction and retention.

“Clearly, we’ve got to talk about the role of technology, both the positive and negative, what you should and should not do with it,” said Griffiths, a leading authority on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

“It’s important to educate everyone about how these technologies work, and it’s becoming more important as AI is playing a role in so many people’s lives. The whole conversation around it has completely changed in the last six months. Many businesses are using AI without necessarily even realizing they’re using AI, and some are still thinking AI just began when actually it’s been around since the 1950s.”

The landscape is rapidly changing, however, and workforce will be disrupted because of it.

“Certainly within five years, maybe in three. It’s going to move quickly,” Griffiths said. “Everyone is concerned about it replacing jobs and how we’re going to retrain people who lose their jobs to something else. Some of these jobs will be doing very different things, and we’ll be learning how to work with technology rather than away from technology.”

While there will be the need to upskill in areas, Griffiths said the “power skills” – or what you might think of as soft skills – are going to be just as critical in facing the future.

“Your ability to communicate and adapt and work well and learn while doing, ask questions and be curious will be key,” she said. “It’s not about looking at your job as something with finality but looking at it as something with context and being open to working with different technology and systems and approaches. We’re all doing it right now. We’re just going to have to become a little more comfortable with change.”

For her own workforce needs at Dakota State, Griffiths said she has found success by casting out her recruitment efforts beyond her traditional geography.

“We’re targeting areas with people who have the qualifications we need and going beyond our normal range of locations,” she said. “Most recently, five of six people we brought in for interviews are from areas we wouldn’t have touched before. And additionally, we’re working closely with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and sending people to trade shows related to cybersecurity, so we have a presence together and can both talk about the benefits of locating in South Dakota.”

She also has a message for business leaders looking to hire DSU graduates: Get engaged early and often.

“We have career fairs, but we also have employers regularly visiting campus. They might visit a couple classes and talk about the interesting things they do or host a pizza reception for students to meet them and chat,” she said. “It’s not enough to pitch them a job. We have to pitch them a career. We have to talk about the opportunities available to advance and the pathways that exist to do interesting things.”

It’s the kind of insight attendees can expect all day at the WIN Summit, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Dr. Griffiths is the perfect example of the thought leadership and actionable advice you’ll take with you at this event,” she said. “Even in the last year, the conversation around AI has completely evolved, and it’s critical to tap into what forward-thinking leaders are doing today to get ready for tomorrow.”

About the WIN in Workforce Summit

Sessions at the WIN in Workforce Summit are eligible for nine SHRM and HRCI recertification credits. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is recognized by SHRM to offer professional development credits for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

Space is limited for this transformative event, so register soon here to reserve your seat.

Nancy Kerrigan previews keynote address at WIN in Workforce Summit

Olympic figure skater and author Nancy Kerrigan knows what it takes to achieve big goals and career growth.

She’ll bring that message to Sioux Falls for the WIN in Workforce Summit, produced by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Kerrigan’s keynote address, “Stronger Than You Think You Are,” will inspire and challenge the crowd to tackle talent attraction, retention and development with a fresh perspective.

We caught up with her for a preview of what you can expect.

What’s the core message you plan to deliver at the WIN in Workforce Summit?

Preparation and perseverance allow you to keep pressure in perspective and deliver maximum performance.

As you travel the country speaking, what are some of the needs you see businesses facing in terms of talent attraction, development and retention? What are some things leaders can do to address that?

The most important thing in creating an environment that allows for preparation and performance is a strong support system. Putting people in place to provide the tools necessary for success and showing how that works in reality is critical. Have a good team around you and trust them.

Many in the workforce today and tomorrow will find they must continually upskill to evolve their career. You also have evolved your career multiple times and likely continue to look at new avenues. What are some strategies you’ve found to be successful in positioning your own career for the future that might be helpful to others?

Letting go of the past and having curiosity. While I will always be “the skater” to the rest of the world, for me, I have to evolve to keep growing. So putting the past in perspective and being curious about new things is very helpful.

In addition to your professional life, you’re a mother of three children navigating their middle school, high school and post-college lives. What are some generational characteristics you’re noticing in them related to education and career, and how have you been guiding them?

All the technology that they have access to means they interact with people in a different way than past generations. But face-to-face communication is still critical in my opinion. So I try to counsel them in the area of interpersonal skills, which I still think is the most important thing we can learn because we still have to live with each other.

Your career will be remembered for many reasons but certainly for your resilience – a critical element for success in the workplace today. What advice would you give to those looking to address their own resilience or lead others toward stronger resiliency?

When you fall down, which we all do, get back up. I have been told that an elite skater falls 40,000 times in their career, which means they also get up 40,000 times! We are all stronger than we think we are, so if you prepare well, you can handle just about anything.

About the WIN in Workforce Summit

Sessions at the WIN in Workforce Summit are eligible for nine SHRM and HRCI recertification credits. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is recognized by SHRM to offer professional development credits for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

Space is limited for this transformative event, so register soon here to reserve your seat.

Internship Info: MarketBeat

Learn about MarketBeat in this Q&A with Bekah Van Maanen, Web Developer & Laycee Kluin, Digital Marketing Strategist.

Tell us about MarketBeat.

MarketBeat is an Inc. 5000 financial media company with the mission of creating high-quality stock research tools and making them available to investors at all levels. The site uses the latest technology to provide proprietary, comprehensive, accurate and up-to-the-minute financial data, including information about analyst recommendations, dividend declarations and earnings announcements.

With a global reach, we publish stock market news to over 3 million investors daily, and our website attracts more than 10 million visitors each month. We are growing quickly, and our work is always changing.

We are excited to offer our first development internship opportunity to a student interested in pursuing a career in software development.

What is it like to work at MarketBeat?

At MarketBeat, we’ve got a knack for finding that sweet spot between hard work and fun. Our office buzzes with energy because we’ve built an environment where employees look forward to each day. What really makes us stand out is how we treat each other – we’re not just co-workers; we’re individuals who celebrate what makes each of us unique. We take the time to get to know each other’s special talents, interests, and goals so everyone feels valued and supported. Employee experience at MarketBeat is a priority, and individuals are rewarded with a variety of cool perks like catered lunches, unique company activities, and more!

But that’s not where it ends. We are deeply committed to community involvement, and this is evident through our various philanthropic initiatives. We believe by positively impacting the broader community, we strengthen the bonds within our own team.

What will being an intern at MarketBeat entail?

A development internship at MarketBeat will be an experience that goes beyond the ordinary – where aspiring professionals create, learn, and grow with MarketBeat. The intern will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities, including intern lunches, social and community events, and fully immerse themself in day-to-day development work.

As a MarketBeat intern, you’ll actively participate in projects and tasks under the guidance of our experienced development team. Our ultimate goal is to equip you with hands-on experience and insights into the world of development, ensuring you leave with the skills necessary for a successful career in this field. We are committed to offering a variety of learning opportunities to help you become a well-rounded professional.

What are some things that will allow an intern to succeed in an internship role at MarketBeat?

By approaching the internship with enthusiasm and the willingness to learn, you’re sure to succeed in this role. Showing your positive attitude and adaptability will be the best way to get the most out of this internship! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we take our core value, ‘One Team’, seriously, and everyone is willing to help out where we can. So, don’t hold back – seek guidance, share ideas, and engage fully.

What do you love about working/living in Sioux Falls?

Located in the heart of downtown Sioux Falls, it’s a special feeling to witness as our city quickly evolves and flourishes.

Plus, there’s a real sense of balance here – you’ve got plenty of opportunities to get involved and explore interests outside of your career. And speaking of careers, there are tons of supportive companies that genuinely care about your growth, and MarketBeat is a prime example of that.

And let’s not forget the little pleasures, like grabbing a cup of coffee and some mouthwatering s’mores cookies at Queen City Bakery or taking a walk on our city’s amazing trails. It’s those everyday delights that make you feel at home regardless of where you’re from.

Careers at MarketBeat

Claire Herbst
Want to be a part of INTERN Sioux Falls? Contact:

Claire Herbst

Talent Recruitment Coordinator

3rd quarter groundbreakings

With the change of the color of the leaves comes the change of season… Fall! Here at the Development Foundation, we associate fall with groundbreakings, and that’s been true over the past few months!

We hosted three groundbreakings during the third quarter of 2023, and we’re excited to help usher in new chapters of growth and success for each of the businesses and organizations who’ve held groundbreakings this year. Take a look below to find a recap of each one!

Northwest Elementary School

The Sioux Falls School District broke ground on the new Northwest Elementary School, being built near George McGovern Middle School. It will be completed in August 2025 and will hold 680 elementary students. The name for the school will be selected by a committee in early 2024.

L to R: Scott Lawrence, Steve Kolbeck, Dr. Jane Stavem – Superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District, Jeff Kreiter, Marc Murren, Kate Serenbetz, Carly Reiter, Dawn Marie Johnson, and Mayor Paul TenHaken.

River Greenway Phase III

The City of Sioux Falls celebrated the start of construction of Phase III of the Downtown River Greenway. The completion of the project will bring two acres of pedestrian access and recreation opportunities along the west side of the Big Sioux River along the upper reach of the Falls and many other quality of life amenities.

L to R: Don Kearney, Kayla Eitreim, Craig Lloyd, Steve Kolbeck, and Mayor Paul TenHaken.

State of South Dakota One Stop

Dream Design International hosted a groundbreaking to mark the start of construction on the new One Stop building for the State of South Dakota. The new building will house 12 state agencies that were previously located across Sioux Falls and will be completed by 2025.

L to R: Kumar Veluswamy, Mike Stanley, Andrea Smith, Scott Lawrence, Commissioner Chris Schilken, Commissioner Darrin Seeley, Steve Kolbeck, Hani Shafai, Secretary Matt Althoff, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Brad Wood, Deputy Commissioner Andy Gerlach, Deputy Commissioner Heather Perry, Secretary Melissa Magstadt, Cassie Pospishil, Cory Bleyenburg, Tom Hurlbert.

Leah Blom Headshot
Want a groundbreaking? Contact

Leah Friese

Director of Marketing and Digital Media, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Chairman’s Report: Going Beyond

By Steve Kolbeck, Sioux Falls Development Foundation Board Chair

We’ve all heard the expression “going above and beyond.” It’s always been the tradition through Forward Sioux Falls, city projects, our educational systems, and our organization’s many programs and projects to be the best and take it one step further. To go beyond.

As the Sioux Falls Development Foundation nears eight years of developments in Foundation Park; and the half-way point of the eighth Forward Sioux Falls program, our organization is embarking on a strategic planning process to evaluate what we have done over the past five years and chart a course for the next five years. Borrowing from the recent celebration of the EROS Data Centers 50th anniversary, and their partnership with the Development Foundation for three decades, we have developed our theme for next year…GOING BEYOND.

Since those early years, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, with the help from our partners and the Forward Sioux Falls campaigns, our region has the reputation of not just getting things done but doing them well. This has only been possible because of the willingness of municipal, business, and community leaders to go above and beyond what is expected. Donating literally millions of private dollars to partner with public funds to make things “just a little bit better” and to stand above what other communities are doing.

Two recent examples include announcements of the new skate park at 10th and Cliff and the Phase III of the River Greenway downtown. Both these projects could have been accomplished with just public dollars; but limited funds accounts for limited features. Without the addition of private dollars, these projects, and many others would be nice, but average. With the addition of private sector dollars, these attractions are now world-class and rank as some of the best in the country.

This same logic applies to the Development Foundation and Foundation Park. Without the help from the City, the State, the private sector and a general vision of what was needed to go beyond traditional parks, Sioux Falls was able to create South Dakota’s largest industrial park and only megasite. Without this, we would not have been able to create thousands of new jobs to date and nearly $600 million in new tax base for the City, the County and the school districts. Without this going beyond attitude, we would not be seeing the tremendous growth we now see downtown, the housing development, the population growth or the consistent retail and commercial growth we have experienced.

The Development Foundation is looking toward the next five years — to make sure that controlled, organized and smart growth continues. We will continue to go above and beyond, just like our EROS partners have done over the past 50 years. Just as EROS has their mission, we have ours and we will continue to look for new ways to grow our tax base, create quality jobs, and improve the quality of life for all.