Family of 9 relocates from Canada to Sioux Falls, finds all-around positive move

About six months after his sister moved her family to Sioux Falls, Bryan Grim and his family followed.

“We were looking to get out of Canada for a while and see what the States was all about, specifically the Midwest,” he said. “And with my sister here, when we were looking at places, it naturally came to Sioux Falls.”

She told her brother “it’s way sunnier” compared with where they were from in Vancouver, she enjoyed her job in health care, “and the church community she joined was very welcoming, and for her family, that made it a lot easier transition.”

A job search online led Grim to Raven Industries, which embraced his experience in software engineering.

“As a software engineer, I had options in Sioux Falls – from agriculture to financial services – and my mom grew up on a dairy farm, so I always had the attraction to agriculture, which steered me in Raven’s direction.”

He and his wife, Leanne, moved last year with their family of seven kids and found a 6-acre hobby farm southwest of Sioux Falls.

Grim Family

“That was the other thing that impressed me about Raven – they made it clear it’s a family-friendly company, which was a big draw for me,” Grim said. “Looking at a job switch and a country switch in my mid-40s, I wanted it to be as easy as possible.”

At work, he now gets to use his skills working on cutting-edge ag technology designed to support farmers.

“I get to work on field computers that do a lot of guidance and steering for these big machines, and it’s pretty fun to be part of that,” he said.

Bryan Grim working at Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, SD

And at home, he gets to try his own hand at small-scale farming.

“We moved from a 6,000-square-foot lot in the suburbs, so it’s been a fun move,” he said.

“My wife is really embracing the culture, the free space we have and is starting to plant big gardens. We bought 40 chickens, so we’re going to see what we can do with that acreage, and she’s loving it. But we’re still 10 minutes from town, so everything is accessible.”

He also gets to spend time with his sister and her family of five kids. His own kids have loved the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium. And with dedicated hockey and softball players, “we’re at the Sanford Sports Complex multiple times per week,” Grim said.

“They’re all getting along pretty good with classmates and fellow church members, and the community seems to be really friendly. It sounds cliche, but when you move here, you do feel the friendliness.”

Grim family at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD

He also has plenty of company at Raven, which regularly hires nationwide and beyond.

“Raven has grown exponentially,” Grim said. “You talk to most people and they seem to have joined in the last few years. Plus, I have team members in Seattle, Billings (Montana) and in Minnesota. But there are a lot of people moving into Sioux Falls for Raven.”

This summer, the family looks forward to camping and getting to further explore the Sioux Falls region.

“People who talk about traffic here I don’t think have driven in other cities,” Grim added. “Being downtown for work is really nice, and the fact it doesn’t take an hour to get out of it is even nicer. In Vancouver, you go downtown, and it’s a two-hour drive. Here, I’m home in half an hour tops.”

Grim family at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD

The family’s experience reflects much about what new residents love about the Sioux Falls area, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Raven is such an importer of talent, and we’re so happy that Bryan and his extended family have found welcoming careers and communities within a community here,” she said.

“The fact that he’s able to put his software engineering skills to work in such a meaningful way is a huge win, as is how the family is able to enjoy all the best of Sioux Falls along with a rural lifestyle. We couldn’t be happier to welcome them not just to our community but to the U.S.”

Grim family stands in front of an American flag on the day they became U.S. citizens

Bryan Grim and his four oldest children on the day they became U.S. citizens.

Are you ready to make your move to Sioux Falls? Connect with to learn more about career opportunities here.

Legacy of leaders lost honored on 30th Anniversary with Mayoral Proclamation

April 19th marked the 30th anniversary of that fateful day our state and community lost eight men. Sioux Falls Development Foundation representatives Roger Hainje, David Birkeland, and Angus Anson, along with Gov. George Mickelson and four state officials: Roland Dolly, Ron Reed, Ron Becker, and David Hansen perished as their plane went down returning from a mission to retain the John Morrell plant and the jobs it provided.

The Development Foundation honored former leaders and Governor Mickelson, with comments from Dave Link and Jim Wilcox, colleagues of the men, during a private event. Mayor TenHaken named April 19, 2023, Economic Development Leadership Day with a Mayoral Proclamation.

Hainje was president of both Forward Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in 1993. Birkeland, an FSF II campaign leader, was Chairman of the Foundation; and Anson served as Foundation Vice Chair at the time. All were extremely involved in the early years of the Forward Sioux Falls program and served on the Joint Venture Management Committee. Board volunteers and Development Foundation staff stepped up after the loss, continuing the economic development legacy these men exemplified.

Historical Perspective – Roger Hainje

Economic Development Leadership Day mayoral proclamation

From Texas to South Dakota, family who braced for winter now embraces it

The Berger family got a full-on introduction to what a South Dakota winter can be like – and raves about their recent move anyway.

It all started when Travis Berger moved from Texas to Sioux Falls in February. He works in private equity and is a food scientist and chef doing product development for a local company.

While traveling here leading up to the move, “he was stuck in his hotel and got snowed in, and everything shut down,” his wife, Paige, said. “So there are people stuck in the hotel, and he literally hopped in the kitchen and helped feed everyone.”

Neither of them knew anything about South Dakota, and after several moves, they weren’t inclined to leave central Texas.

But after Travis came to Sioux Falls to interview late last year, “he kept saying, ‘Paige, the people are so nice.’ And I’m like, you know what, let’s do it,” she said. “And it’s true. What sold us are the people. Texas prides itself on Southern hospitality, nice people, manners, all that jazz. But South Dakota people kick Southern hospitality’s butt.”

The whole family of five – including 1-month Willa at the time – moved March 1. After buying their house through a virtual call, they’ve now moved in and are getting to know their neighborhood.

“We had just seen the house through pictures, and I am obsessed. I love it,” Paige said. “We lived in a nice neighborhood in Texas too, but here there are kids everywhere running around. It’s so safe. When we pulled up, kids were in everyone’s backyards and sledding. It was crazy. The neighbors were so nice immediately.”

Not only is their neighborhood like that, “the entire town is,” she continued. “I go grocery shopping, and it’s funny because when we lived in Oregon, for instance, people wouldn’t talk to each other. Here, at the grocery store even though I know no one, I might be there talking to strangers for 20 minutes. It’s welcoming. It’s warm despite the cold weather, and it’s a really, really nice culture.”

And speaking of the weather, they’ve embraced that too. Their home is minutes from Great Bear Ski Valley, so the kids already have been tubing.

Her oldest, 5-year-old Milam, starts soccer soon and then baseball, while 2-year-old Nila is registered for gymnastics.

“Our family is big in sports, so we caught the end of winter, which was really fun, and my husband and I are really looking forward to hunting season,” Paige said. “We don’t have any pheasants at all in Texas, and we can’t wait.”

While being mom to three young kids — and a new puppy, appropriately named Dakota — is her full-time job for now, she said she’s excited to connect in the Brandon Valley School District and become involved.

“Before in Texas, I worked with the school a bunch and coached and substitute taught, and I thought about running for school board, so I intend on being involved in the schools here as well as the churches,” she said.

The Berger family’s early experience is a great indicator of what awaits in Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“So often, we see families choose to relocate for one spouse’s job, and the other spouse quickly discovers what a fantastic move it is for them too,” she said.

“Whether Paige chooses to work or volunteer or become civically involved, she’s going to find that same welcoming attitude she’s already experienced. And along the way, the whole family is going to see how family-friendly this community is, from our safe neighborhoods to our terrific schools to the attractions and amenities that add to the quality of life here.”

And in maybe the most promising sign so far: When Paige asked her son if he would miss the snow when it melted, “he was actually sad,” she said. “Because he thought it would be here 24/7.”

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Sioux Falls metro considered “resilient” in post-pandemic economic recovery

To measure how local economies were faring during one of the most volatile economic periods in recent memory, Brookings Metro launched the Metro Recovery Index in 2020. It included critical insights on certain elements of economic recovery, including jobs, home prices, rents, and commuting patterns. Their newly released Metro Monitor provides a comprehensive look at how the pandemic impacted inclusive growth across 192 U.S. metro areas with populations of at least 250,000, which together are home to 78% of the nation’s population and contribute 84% of the nation’s GDP.

The Metro Monitor examines economic performance across five broad categories: growth, prosperity, overall inclusion, racial inclusion and geographic inclusion. Each category is measured using three standardized indicators. To assess how the pandemic influenced inclusive growth, this analysis examines trends across those indicators over two time periods: 2011-2019 and 2019-2021 during the pandemic.

Sioux Falls metro was one of 50 areas considered “Resilient,” having an inclusive growth score that ranked in the top half of metro areas in both periods, meaning it was a strong performer prior to the pandemic (ranking 18th) and sustained strong performance through the pandemic (ranking 12th).

Sioux Falls metro area renters pay lower percentage of income on housing

While the cost of living is rising, renter households in the Sioux Falls area fare better than most peer communities in the region.

Newly released data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey provides the housing cost ratio (percentage of household income spent on housing costs) for every county in the nation.

Here’s how Sioux Falls compares:

Housing Cost Ratio

St. Paul, Ramsey County 29.8

Rochester, Olmsted County 28.6

Omaha, Douglas County 28.3

Minneapolis, Hennepin County 28.2

Des Moines, Polk County 26.9

Sioux City, Woodbury County 25.9

Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County 25.9

Sioux Falls, Lincoln County 25.5

Fargo, Cass County 25.3

Households are considered cost burdened when they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, mortgage, and other housing needs.

Sioux Falls is the 6th hardest working city in America

We work smarter, and harder

Welcome to Sioux Falls, SD, where our residents are among the hardest working people anywhere in the United States!

Recently, WalletHub ranked Sioux Falls as the 6th hardest-working city in America. Using factors like employment rate, work week hours, commute time, and community activism, the study confirmed that Sioux Falls a great place to work.

“In order to determine which cities outwork the rest of America, WalletHub compared the 116 largest cities across 11 key metrics,” the article publishing the findings says. “Our data set ranges from the employment rate to average weekly work hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs.”

To see the full methodology and how other cities compared, click ‘learn more’ below.

Virginia couple finds career growth, better lifestyle with move to Sioux Falls

Nick Kolb and Sidney Stone agreed: It was time to leave Virginia.

“The cost of living, congestion, traffic, it’s all outrageous,” said Kolb, 29, who was working as an assistant to a dispatcher at UPS balancing delivery routes at the time.

“The weather’s gross too,” added Stone, 27, who began her career as a patient access technician in a hospital and then became a supervisor at UPS. “I cannot put enough emphasis on how terrible it is to step out at 6 a.m. and not breathe because the air is so thick with humidity.”

While they both worked at UPS, they didn’t meet there. That happened thanks to some matchmaking on the part of Stone’s mother, who met Kolb through the fitness center where she worked.

“We both thought something needed to change,” Kolb said. “We hadn’t taken a trip together, and we like to be outdoors kayaking and hiking, so we wanted to go somewhere outdoorsy but not a hot attraction, so I said you’ve got the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore.”

Sidney Stone and Nick Kolb

He was familiar with this part of the country because his dad grew up in Minnesota. And even though the couple was traveling to western South Dakota, the best option was to fly into Sioux Falls and rent a car.

“So I started getting all these ads about Sioux Falls,” Kolb said.

He began reading about the city, its rankings for quality of life and career opportunities, “and I started throwing hints about South Dakota,” he said. “The cost of living is way cheaper. I figured she probably wouldn’t consider it, but since we were going out there anyway, I thought we should see what it has to offer.”

Stone was on board.

“So we decided to take one day of our vacation and drive around Sioux Falls and get a feel for the town and go downtown,” he said. “I had reservations about her liking it, but she really enjoyed it.”

Stone especially liked downtown Sioux Falls.

“And I was very skeptical at first from living on the East Coast,” she said. “But it just felt like home immediately. I can’t really put my finger on it, but there was so much to do and so much that interested us.”

While they headed to the Black Hills for their vacation, Kolb did some online searching and decided to send his resume in for an opening at Howe Inc.

“Within a week, they’d reached out and said they liked my resume and they knew I was in Virginia but would I ever come to Sioux Falls?” he said. “And I said it’s funny you’d ask that because I’m in South Dakota right now.”

Sidney Stone and Nick Kolb

They woke up at 3 a.m. and drove east across the state so he could make the job interview.

“And I woke up the following day with a job offer,” Kolb said. “I looked at Sidney said, ‘We can’t turn this down.’ And she said, ‘Let’s do it.’ So I accepted the offer, and a month later we moved out here in August of 2021.”

He’s now a commercial HVAC installer for Howe, which has helped him with on-the-job training and saw how his process skills from UPS translated to his new role.

“I love it,” he said. “The big change for me was I was used to a very repetitive workday, and now in commercial HVAC, every day is something different, and I look forward to it. I’m going into different businesses all around town and even out of state.”

Stone immediately began finding jobs too, first working in inside sales and then in human resources. She’s now a senior HR manager at Fleet Farm.

Sidney Stone and Nick Kolb

“I love Fleet Farm,” she said. “They gave me a really big opportunity, and they haven’t made me feel like it’s too much on my plate. I have my director’s ear whenever I need it, and when I have important questions, she’s always there for me. Having your boss actually be there, even if it’s virtual, to talk you through things is something I value so much. I love what I do and love the people I work with.”

The couple’s experience is a great example of the career opportunities and lifestyle early-career professionals find in Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“This couple came to Sioux Falls with skills and early work experience, and Sioux Falls has delivered fantastic professional growth and mentoring,” she said. “They’re both going to be able to build their careers and professional networks here for years to come.”

Outside of work, “we’re big foodies, and we’ve discovered Sioux Falls has a great food scene,” Stone said. “And we’ve done The District, which was cool and reminded us of one of the venues in Washington, D.C.”

They’ve also done downtown First Fridays, concerts at Levitt at the Falls and explored Palisades State Park and Valley of the Giants hiking trail at Big Sioux Recreation Area in Brandon.

Sidney Stone and Nick Kolb

“We’ve already gotten a group of friends,” Stone said. “You don’t create friend groups that quickly on the East Coast. It’s just not a cultural norm.”

The same has been true professionally, she added.

“There’s such a great HR community here. In Virginia, the groups felt very exclusive, and here I’ve already joined two HR groups, and I didn’t think I would be able to get a foothold that quickly,” she said. “It’s only been a year, and it’s been a whirlwind. It’s amazing we were able to get this chance just by moving here.”

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California family’s first impression prompts fast move to S.D., new business venture

A short stay in South Dakota was all it took to convince Jared and Katrina Smith to move east.

“We visited at the end of February and on the ride back home to California we decided to move,” Katrina Smith said. “From there, we just started packing and three months later we were headed here with our truck and trailer.”

Smith Family in front of Mt. Rushmore

They had come to South Dakota – Hartford, more specifically – to help settle the estate of Jared’s stepbrother.

“And we decided it would be in everyone’s best interest for us to buy the house and keep it in the family,” Katrina said. “He lived in Hartford, so we just decided to pick up where he left off.”

Talking with the neighbors, Jared said he quickly realized this community was different.

“I said to them that I didn’t know places like this still existed and that there were people like these – people who are still willing to get out of the car and help change a tire or help a neighbor cut a tree or just wave and say hi and smile instead of waking up in a bad mood hating the world,” Jared said.

“It was a short stay, but just that little time we were here was enough to say we did not want to go back to California.”

Smith Family in Mountains

They moved to Hartford in May and their first impression hasn’t wavered, Katrina said.

“I remember thinking this feels like a place I want to raise my kids,” she said. “Everyone is so, so friendly and that is something that doesn’t happen back home. There everyone looks at you sideways and wonders what you want, and here everyone I met was so humble. They’re just really welcoming. They talk to you. Everybody waves. It’s almost like a movie.”

As they were moving – he was in Hartford and she was flying in from California – the May derecho hit, and the sense of new community hit home.

“Jared called me and said you wouldn’t believe what just happened – all the neighbors are outside checking on each other,” Katrina said. “That’s when it really hit that we’re in a small town and everybody is open arms and willing to help.”

Then came the job search. Jared, who has a background in manufacturing, construction and maintenance, easily found a job at Central States Manufacturing.

“It was extremely easy to find a job – I have four offers before I even got here,” he said. “It was crazy. But I like my job. It has really good benefits.”

For Katrina, the move prompted her to take on small business ownership. She previously worked for a large health insurance company but was looking for a more flexible schedule that allowed her to use her skills in electrolysis.

She opened Zap That Electrolysis last month in a storefront in downtown Hartford next to City Hall.

Zap That Electrolysis Hartford SD

“It’s permanent hair removal,” she explained. “You literally go follicle by follicle, which is tedious, but it’s the only permanent method. It’s FDA-approved and recommended by a lot of physicians who are going to be doing surgery or grafting of some area where they need hair removed.”

She’s been surprised to see few offering or familiar with the service in the Sioux Falls area, she said.

“Back home it was so busy with wait lists,” she said. “I’m finding out people don’t know what it is here or know the benefits, so I’m trying to bring in the education portion of it.”

To connect with her business, click here.

The lifestyle also has been a huge benefit for their three kids, ages 11, 3 and nine months.

Smith Family in Sioux Falls

“The main thing is the kids can go outside and play,” Jared said. “You don’t see that much in California.”

In fact, concerns over drug use even in elementary school had prompted Katrina to consider home schooling.

“It’s so available at their fingertips and it’s so scary but here it’s just so different,” she said. “Our daughter has made friends, she’s gone to her first sleepover and she’s adapting very well. And our three-year-old loves it. She loves to be outside and back home we really didn’t have much grass.”

For fun, the family has enjoyed discovering all that nearby Sioux Falls offers, including Falls Park and Wild Water West.

“We really like it here,” Katrina said. “Hartford is a very small town, but Sioux Falls has about the same number as our town back in California. I like all the open land in Hartford but how we have everything conveniently close.”

The Smith family’s experience is increasingly common, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We see so many people from the coasts, especially California, who are discovering they love the lifestyle here,” she said. “I’m not surprised at all that this family found so many career options, a welcoming place for business ownership and the quality of life they want for their children. We’re so happy they’re part of our growing Sioux Falls region.”

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Couple from Detroit settles into Sioux Falls as son also chooses city for college

A job search and a college search collided in one place this year for a Detroit family: Sioux Falls.

Dr. Bart Miles and his wife, Jennifer Knightstep, have lived all over the country. She was born in California and spent much of her life in Michigan; he has been in the Detroit area since 2003.

The closest he came to South Dakota was as a student at Dordt Univeristy in Sioux Center, Iowa, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“I had friends in Sioux Falls, and at the time I was at Dordt, I’d come over once in awhile to go to a movie. Sioux Falls was significantly smaller, and I hadn’t been back since,” said Miles, whose family still lives in the Omaha area, where he grew up.

When he saw Augustana University was launching its social work program, he applied and interviewed to become an associate professor.

Dr. Bart Miles

“So for the first time in 30 years, I came back to Sioux Falls and saw it and really had a great experience,” he said.

When he returned to Michigan, he said: “Oh my gosh, Sioux Falls is so cool. You’re going to love it there,” Knightstep said. “We had traveled through Sioux Falls, but I hadn’t been to stay and visit. I really love South Dakota though, the Badlands, and whole state is just beautiful to me.”

The social work program is part of Augustana’s broader Viking Bold 2030 strategic plan. The Harriet Emily Scott Social Work Program at Augustana will include Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees.

Miles is helping develop the curriculum, with a plan to go through accreditation and fully launch the bachelor’s program in 2024, followed by the master’s program in 2027.

“The U.S. Labor Department says social work is one of the fastest-growing occupations and is projected to stay that way for another at least 10 years,” he said. “As Sioux Falls expands, there will be higher and higher demand.”

And while this Augustana program proved the right fit for Miles, the school also rose to the top of his son, Nic’s, college search.

Miles Family

“He knew he wanted a smaller school, maybe a private institution that was more personalized,” Knightstep said. “When he applied to Augustana, he didn’t tell them he was related to a faculty member. He wanted to see what happened on his own, and he did it. He loved it. He went on his first campus tour and said it was exactly what he was looking for in a university.”

Nic will be a freshman this fall studying biochemistry and botany.

And he won’t have far to go for a trip home. The family decided to begin life in Sioux Falls by renting a house not far from campus.

“We looked downtown, we could be downtown urban-living folks, but our dog decided she wanted a yard, so we found a nice little house near the university,” Knightstep said. “Everyone we’ve met has been so nice. The day we unloaded the U-Haul the neighbor across the street came over with a dolly and offered to help us move.”

She also has found a warm reception for her own business: Jen Knightstep Photographer.

She specializes in newborn photography and already has found clients through word of mouth in Sioux Falls.

newborn photography

“I had my first session here a week after we moved,” she said. “I had posted in a Facebook group that I was new in town and offering to photograph babies, and someone reached out and ended up being an ideal first client.”

She runs her business through

“It’s a niche area of photography,” she said. “You can’t just pick up a camera and start shooting newborns. You need safety training, to know how to pose them and to know how to get them to sleep.”

newborn photography

The photographer in her also appreciates the landscape of Sioux Falls.

“We were just at Falls Park, and it was amazing. We don’t have anything like that in Detroit. Right here in downtown, 2 miles from my house, there’s a literal waterfall. It’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to start shooting here.”

Dr. Bart Miles and his wife, Jennifer Knightstep

In their free time, the family loves spending time outdoors.

Knightstep likes to go for morning jogs and recently joined a local running group. They’re both training for the Detroit marathon this fall.

“And I love biking and think I’m really going to enjoy that here,” Miles said. “I’m contemplating getting a road bike because there’s so much space for road biking.”

Dr. Bart Miles and his wife, Jennifer Knightstep

Their son loves it too, Knightstep added.

“He loves wandering around downtown and loves Falls Park, and I can imagine families with small children would love everything there is to do too,” she said. “You’re usually no longer than 10 or 15 minutes from anything in town. In Detroit, it could take an hour. Everything is close together, and yet there’s still good diversity whether it’s a Mexican mercado or great barbecue.”

The family is a wonderful example of how people from many stages of life find a fit in Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We could not be happier that this family has connected to our community in so many ways,” she said. “But that’s exactly what Sioux Falls offers – opportunities to grow something from the ground up, like this incredibly valuable social work program, build your own business, including as a solo-preneur and find an amazing place to go to college.”

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Twin Cities business owner moves family to Sioux Falls with immediate positives

A spring break trip to South Dakota?

When Joe Brummel’s wife and two teenagers didn’t turn him down immediately, he knew the idea that had been brewing in his mind might have the chance to become reality.

“When COVID hit, we couldn’t help but notice that in the Twin Cities it was lockdown central and a lot of unreasonable considerations, and in South Dakota right next door, we kept hearing about a different approach,” said Brummel, who has lived in the Twin Cities most of his adult life.

“And so we just paid more and more attention to it.”

He’s the owner of two businesses – Strategic Retirement Partners, an SEC-registered investment adviser that helps employers set up group retirement plans and guides employees through using them – and Plan Sponsor Roundtable, an interactive education forum for employers that oversee and run retirement plans.

“I had built a team in the Twin Cities, and we were adding clients in the Upper Midwest, including South Dakota, and I realized South Dakota was growing, and there was an opportunity to do more here,” Brummel said. “I felt South Dakota was going to be best served by someone from my team being on the ground here, and it turned out that was me.”

But first, the spring break trip.

Instead of heading to Florida, he and his wife, RoAnna, and their high schoolers headed west.

Brummel family

“I started talking to clients and got great recommendations for places to go, and the family jumped on board,” he said. “So in March, we made a trip to the Black Hills and checked out the sights and had a ton of fun. Little did the kids know, but my wife and I were contemplating a move out here.”

Meanwhile, “the whole time we were on vacation, our son kept saying we should move to South Dakota, and we just looked at each other,” Brummel said.

Brummel family

They weren’t sure their daughter, who was heading into her senior year of high school, would feel the same, but that changed too.

“After we got home, we began having conversations with her, and she was telling us how at school things were difficult and she couldn’t wait to be done with high school and go on to college,” he said. “That gave us the confidence she’d be OK with a move, and when we told the kids what we were thinking, they said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”

Brummel family

They officially made the move in mid-August, enrolling their kids at Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools and connecting with the Catholic Men’s Business Fraternity, which helped Brummel meet others early on.

“I got connected with helpful, awesome people,” he said. “Including a real estate agent and an attorney to help move my business. The school has been an excellent experience and made a huge difference for our kids, helping them integrate and making sure they got settled with the right classes.”

That’s not to say there weren’t some transitional challenges. Their house in Minnesota took longer to sell than expected, and they caught COVID-19 in the middle of the move. But now, even his daughter said “she has made better friends here than she had in high school in Minnesota,” Brummel said.

“It’s just great. Quite honestly the hidden secret about South Dakota is the quality of the people. They’re just authentic.”

His daughter just found a part-time retail job and plans to stay in South Dakota for college, attending SDSU. His son is looking for a summer job and also has made good friends already, he said. After renting while house-hunting, the family just moved into a home in Harrisburg.

Brummel family

“It took us some time to get a feel for the housing market, but we found a place with almost 2 acres and a private backyard, and we’re super excited,” Brummel said.

The next steps include getting more connected to the community, especially for RoAnna as a stay-at-home mom.

“She’s still meeting people, and that can be challenging,” Brummel said. “But we recently got connected with the Newcomers Club in Sioux Falls, and we met really great people through a couple different churches, so we’re grateful for that, and meeting new people really doesn’t seem very hard to do.”

Brummel also plans to hold an education session through his business in the coming months in Sioux Falls.

“This is considered a smaller market for something like that, and to my knowledge there’s never been any kind of fiduciary training program here like it in South Dakota, so it should be a completely new service,” he said.

“I have talked to a variety of local business leaders about this, and everyone seems to be excited that we are bringing it here.”

He’s also learned he’s the only Certified 401(k) Professional in the state, according to the Retirement Advisor University, which provides the training and certification for the designation.

“Specialists in just about every field tend to offer and do more than generalists, with better results to show for it,” he said. “This is a big reason I am excited to be in South Dakota now, to help companies here better manage their retirement plans and to improve results for their companies, leadership and employees.”

The family’s experience is indicative of many newcomers in Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We especially continue to see a Minnesota migration as families from the Twin Cities and beyond discover there’s a different life just a short drive away,” she said.

“They’re moving businesses, settling their kids in great schools, connecting with civic organizations and loving their new neighborhoods. We’re thrilled the Brummel family is finding the same experience.”

The culture of Sioux Falls and South Dakota immediately stood out and continue to, Brummel added.

“There are awesome people in Minnesota, but here the people are just different. I quickly felt at home having grown up on a farm in Wisconsin where there’s the same mentality in South Dakota that you help each other out, you do what you can and be a real person and do the right thing,” he said.

“I’m happy to say it wasn’t just a honeymoon feeling – the people here are great, and I think they are the best and most underrated part of South Dakota.”

Are you looking to make a move to Sioux Falls? Visit to learn more about the community, or email to get connected to career opportunities.

Sioux Falls metro building homes at 5th fastest rate in the nation

Lately, headlines of housing shortages, inflation, and interest rates have homebuyers wondering if a slowdown will happen any time soon. If you find yourself in that boat, Sioux Falls might be the place for you! According to a recent report from Inspection Support Network, the Sioux Falls Metro is building houses at the 5th fastest rate in America among small metros!

“To determine the metros building the most homes, researchers at Inspection Support Network analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow,” the release said. “The researchers ranked metro areas according to the number of new housing units authorized per 1,000 existing homes in 2021. In the event of a tie, the metro with higher total new housing units authorized in 2021 was ranked higher.”

Learn more and view the full results below!

From Atlanta to Sioux Falls, couple with global history chooses S.D. after lots of research

Brian and Katherine Robinson began their move from Atlanta with this question: “Where do we not want to live?”

The couple, who’d spent 12 years overseas before moving back to the U.S., had found “Atlanta had gotten so big and had changed so much,” Brian said. “We thought about living overseas, but with COVID and the uncertainty, the U.S. is probably best for us. So we first blacked out all the areas we didn’t want to live.”

That left a large open space in the middle of the country, from Idaho to South Dakota. The Robinsons began their research from there.

Brian and Katherine Robinson

“Sioux Falls has a lot of good information about it online, there’s a lot of good vibe online about Sioux Falls, so we did a drive,” Brian said. “We came to Sioux Falls in August of last year and then went to Wyoming and Colorado to do a comparison.”

The more they thought about it, the move became clear.

“Sioux Falls is great because it’s big enough but not too big,” he said. “It’s a regional hub, so it has a lot of things a larger city would normally have but a city of 200,000 wouldn’t have. It has changing diversity, it’s growing, the economy is good, and people you talk to are really excited to be in Sioux Falls, so there’s a community aspect.”

They liked that it wasn’t a part of the country where they’d spent much time, “so for us it was another adventure,” Katherine said. “It came down to the in-person visits. We spent time downtown. It’s a very vibrant, exciting, warm, welcoming place, and I think that really did it for us. Being downtown, sitting at the Carpenter Bar, having a drink outside, it just felt really nice and hit a chord.”

Brian and Katherine Robinson

The Robinsons are able to do their work from largely anywhere. Katherine has spent a career in public health and works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brian’s retired from a diplomatic career in 2019 that took him to multiple continents. He now does health coaching and runs an online business sourcing and selling vintage clothing and decor.

“COVID allowed us a good solid number of months to soul search and figure out what’s important,” Katherine said. “We’re both in our early 50s, and as we enter this new phase, what is important and what do we really want? We don’t want the hustle and bustle of a big city and traffic. It was really about community and getting back to just living and being happy.”

They moved to Sioux Falls in January.

“We grew up in the South and did all our service overseas in the tropics or subtropics, so we never lived anywhere cold,” he said. “I don’t prefer the heat anyway, so to come here and have it chilly and cold, I kind of like it. It makes you think about weather in a different way. We check the weather every day and never did before, and it puts you more in touch with the natural environment because it has a larger impact on you day to day.”

They found a home in the McKennan Park neighborhood, which appealed to Brian’s affinity for historic preservation, and enjoy walking their neighborhood, visiting the park and frequenting nearby downtown restaurants.

Brian and Katherine Robinson

“We arrived during the Downtown Burger Battle, and we’re health coaches, so it’s probably not wise to have a burger every day, but we did have a chance to try a few of them,” Katherine said. “I realize it was a light winter, but we were prepared. If you’ve got the right equipment and clothing and attitude, you can live anywhere.”

Brian has joined the Founders Club of Startup Sioux Falls to connect with other entrepreneurs, and they’re both finding it easy to travel for work.

“The airport is great,” he said. “It’s a fantasy to leave your house and be at the gate in 20 minutes.”

The Robinsons are a perfect example of the many demographics of people being drawn to Sioux Falls, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We are just thrilled to have them here and that they’re already becoming connected to the community,” she said. “We are seeing more remote workers at all career stages realize how convenient and enjoyable it is to work from their new home in Sioux Falls.”

Brian and Katherine Robinson

For the Robinsons, Sioux Falls has provided a warm welcome and multiple reasons to look forward to their future here.

“People are super friendly and very welcoming, and the amount of arts in the city is really refreshing and nice,” Katherine said. “I love the sculptures and the murals, the Washington Pavilion always has a million things going on, and I love that there’s a lot of outreach to the community and the youth.”

They also enjoy discovering “all the shops and small businesses being opened by recent immigrants,” Brian added. “That’s really exciting. When you think about it, few people in South Dakota have been here that long, so many of us are coming from the same background and moving in.”

Are you looking to make a move to Sioux Falls? Visit to learn more about the community, or email to get connected to career opportunities.

Groundbreaking Season is Here

Our favorite time of the year: Groundbreaking Season

If your business is planning a construction expansion or a new facility in Sioux Falls, contact the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Over the past six decades, the Development Foundation has hosted hundreds of groundbreakings.

We make it easy for you by providing you with a commemorative mini-shovel for display, bringing the gold shovels for the digging ceremony, inviting media and the business community, and helping you to prepare an agenda for the event.

Leah Blom Headshot
Want a groundbreaking? Contact

Leah Blom

Social and Digital Media Specialist, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Affordable Housing Solutions breaks ground with strong public-private partnership

Building and construction season has begun, which means the Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s groundbreaking season has started as well.

Groundbreakings are special to the hosting businesses and organizations as they mark new chapters for growth and prosperity, but they also hold a special significance through the lens of Forward Sioux Falls.

Growth like Sioux Falls has experienced has been the vision of Forward Sioux Falls since its beginning. As our city grows, community leaders have managed growth with careful planning and consideration of many factors, including workforce and housing.

One recent groundbreaking celebrated the beginning of an exciting accessible housing project.

Affordable Housing Solutions (AHS) will be building six townhome/twin home units on South Sycamore Avenue. Each unit will be sold to an income-eligible buyer that meets the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income guidelines of being at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. The entire project is expected to cost $1.6 million, and will be complete by November 2022.

Affordable Housing Solutions Project Rendering

“There is such a need for affordable housing in Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities that adding home ownership opportunities for families who meet the required income guidelines can feel a sense of pride in achieving the American dream of home ownership,” Brent Tucker, Director of housing Development for AHS, said. “Building affordable housing developments in existing neighborhoods brings a positive impact on the surrounding neighbors.”

The project was supported by the City of Sioux Falls Accessible Housing Advisory Board (AHAB), a cooperative effort between the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County. One function of the AHAB is to oversee the distribution of HUD grants, such as the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program.

The HOME program allocates funds to expand the supply of safe, sanitary, and affordable housing for very low-income and low-income families (source: City of Sioux Falls). As AHS brought forth this qualifying project, the AHAB partnered with AHS to provide $240,000 in HOME funds.

“Addressing our housing challenges will continue to happen through a steady drumbeat of innovative programs, partnerships, and ideas,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said. “Collaborating with our non-profit housing partners is an integral aspect of our 2026 Housing Action Plan, and we are so appreciative of Affordable Housing Solutions and their local lending partners for making these homes available to families in our community.”

HOME grants also require a 25% non-federal match from local resources. AHS received $53,000 from Wells Fargo and $90,000 from First PREMIER Bank, demonstrating the ways our community continues to invest in the future of Sioux Falls.

“We are blessed with a strong and growing economy in Sioux Falls, but it is also important for us to acknowledge some of the challenges that come with that,” Dave Rozenboom, Forward Sioux Falls Cabinet Co-Chair and President of First PREMIER Bank, said. “Workforce development, childcare and affordable housing are some of the pressing issues we are currently facing as a community. In each case, there is no single answer or magic bullet, but rather the solutions are found by people and organizations working together to do their part – one project or initiative at a time. In this case, a couple of businesses in the private sector (First PREMIER and Wells Fargo) were able to partner with the non-profit sector (Affordable Housing Solutions) and the public sector (City of Sioux Falls and HUD) to turn this project into reality. No one of us could have done it on our own, it took each of us doing our part.”

Thanks to strong public-private partnerships like this, Sioux Falls continues to benefit from the growth we are experiencing. Coupled with the initiatives of Forward Sioux Falls, we will keep working to add jobs, grow businesses and enhance our region’s quality of life.

SFDF launches workforce marketing campaign

In September 2021, the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) awarded the Sioux Falls Development Foundation a $50,000 grant for workforce recruitment marketing.

The grant comes on the heels of the SFDF’s first workforce marketing campaign, WORK Sioux Falls. Using insights from that campaign, this campaign will be purely digital and video ads. The ads will be targeted geographically to Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and California to labor forces in healthcare, cyber/tech, and building and skilled trades.


The goal of the marketing campaign is to inform out-of-state job seekers that South Dakota businesses are hiring with competitive pay and great benefits. The SFDF has been working with a South Dakota advertising agency to develop a media strategy, along with digital and video ads to showcase Sioux Falls as a great place to live and have a career. Below is a sampling of the ads that started running April 10, and will be running through the rest of the year.


In addition to the static display and banner ads above, a video ad was also created and will run in the same target markets. You can view it below:

“It’s no secret that workforce is one of the biggest challenges for businesses right now,” said Bob Mundt, President and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “As the leading organization dedicated to improving the economy of Sioux Falls, we’ve been proud to offer innovative workforce programs, but this grant funding gives us the opportunity to do even more, and that’s something we’re really excited about.”

This program was made possible by funding from Forward Sioux Falls, and we look forward to sharing the success after the campaign is complete.

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Forward Sioux Falls is a unique, innovative program designed to grow and improve the Sioux Falls region. Created through a joint venture between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, we work to outline strategic initiatives to grow jobs, businesses and quality of life.