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.

Forward Sioux Falls: a look back and a look ahead

By Mike Lynch, Director of Investor Relations – Forward Sioux Falls

Those of us who have lived in Sioux Falls all our lives, or perhaps a long period of time, recognize that this community is special.

During the 1980s, business leaders saw the potential of how it could become an even greater city. There were opportunities to diversify the economy and take Sioux Falls from what was then a regional hub to a city of national prominence. To do this, however, there would need to be an ambitious marketing effort as well as recruiting both businesses and people to take us to that next level.

It was not always an easy road. Some community members felt issuing bonds to fund new projects was too risky and not fiscally responsible. Many with this perspective did not want Sioux Falls to grow. Local leaders recognized that in order to overcome this sentiment and advance our community, an organized and dedicated effort would be needed.

To have a significant impact, it was decided that a centralized focus with dedicated planning and resources would be required. As the business community had great respect for both the Chamber and Development Foundation, forming a partnership between the two and creating Forward Sioux Falls was the most appropriate way to meet these lofty goals.

The Chamber’s Evan Nolte and Development Foundation’s Roger Hainje began conversations with National Community Development Services (NCDS) Founder Howard Benson. NCDS was based in Atlanta and had facilitated successful economic development programs in both Atlanta and Denver. Creating a five-year program would allow adequate time to do the important work within each of the program initiatives.

From there, the first Forward Sioux Falls program was established and has to the present day, adhered to the following structure:

  • A new program is freshly imagined to ensure the business community’s most acute economic development and workforce needs are addressed.
  • Program initiatives are formulated.
  • The campaign is conducted, and funds are raised to fund the program.

Over the past three decades, there has been exceptional trust in the process. Serving as the Forward Sioux Falls governing body, the Joint Venture Management Committee (JVMC) oversees both programmatic and fiduciary elements.

Forward Sioux Falls is midway through our five-year program. We are well on our way to meeting our five-year goals, which include:

  • 4,500 new, direct jobs at above median wage added
  • $500 million in new capital investments
  • $250 million in new property tax revenues
  • Over 300 acres of land sold and developed
  • 300 existing companies assisted

The success of Forward Sioux Falls is made possible by the commitment from our investors who understand the program’s positive, collective impact and also how putting competitive differences aside results in a community-wide return on investment.

President’s Report: Focus on the Future

The mission of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is:

To collaboratively create quality economic growth and workforce development to improve our quality of life.

We will accomplish this through our core values:

  1. Demonstrate integrity and accountability in everything we do.
  2. Provide relevant and creative solutions.
  3. Pursue the “win/win” in everything we do.
  4. Trust and respect our partners and ourselves.

This is the mission and the core values of the Foundation and the basis for our current strategic planning process. Since the inception of Foundation Park in 2015 and the subsequent success of the past years, Sioux Falls and Foundation Park have changed dramatically. With the addition of national brands including Amazon, Federal Express, Lineage Logistics and CJ Foods as well as regional brands including Nordica, Muth, Tessiers, Scherer and Dakota Carriers, Foundation Park and Sioux Falls is becoming a location of choice. Literally hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax base and thousands of good paying jobs.

All this was planned and envisioned eight years ago as the Development Foundation and community leaders discussed and implemented plans to make the vision a reality. Controlled and common-sense growth takes planning so as to create an organized process for growth.

Now in 2023, the Development Foundation is again beginning to plan for the future. We have begun the process of evaluating our strengths and weaknesses and determining a direction for our future. Our planning process includes evaluating the resources we have available to chart a course for the success of Sioux Falls and the Foundation well into the future. We’ll be reviewing our land strategy, sales strategy, prospect lists, workforce strategy, incentives and the next generation of business recruitment in the Sioux Falls region.

We know that Foundation Park was just the beginning. Sioux Falls will continue to grow and the Development Foundation will continue its focus on the future. We’ll work with all of our partners to coordinate and implement positive growth and address the challenges of the future. It’s the Sioux Falls way.

Foundation Park North welcomes Avera Health and Owens & Minor, infrastructure development underway

We’re closing out the 3rd quarter on a high note with the announcement of Avera Health and Owens & Minor as the newest tenants in Foundation Park!

The 23-acre site will be home to a shared facility for the two healthcare organizations. It will allow for greater efficiencies for Avera and closer service for other regional health care clients of Owens & Minor.

The Foundation’s long-term vision, strategy, and planning for infrastructure and improvements in Foundation Park has proved successful as this is the first tenant north of the rail line.

According to Joe McSweeney, a partner in the project’s developer, Brookwood Capital, the land is “really served with utilities, and it’s ready to go, and I would credit the Foundation with that because they anticipated the demand and had the vision to design roads and start roads and bring utilities, so when a tenant comes along, they’re ready to close on the land and have everything you need there.”

Hear more from the project’s partners here.

Below are more updates on Foundation Park’s infrastructure.

Foundation Park North – Street Construction

All the sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer and drop inlets are installed along Sechser Avenue and Memory Lane. Soukup Construction has also begun placing cement stabilization along Sechser Avenue and Memory Lane.

Next, Soukup Construction will finish placing cement stabilization west on Memory Lane towards Marion Road. When the cement treatment is finished, they will begin placing the aggregate base course.

Foundation Park North – Trunk Sanitary Sewer

Lidel Construction has placed all trunk sanitary sewer along the railroad alignment to 259th Street. Now, they are installing 15” trunk sanitary sewer north along the Interstate alignment. Currently, Lidel Construction is about 1,500’ south of 259th Street.

Xcel Power Pole Relocation

Xcel Energy has relocated all power poles along 259th Street except for the far east pole. In addition, all but three (3) of the existing power poles have been removed. Xcel plans to wrap up their work by the end of September. John Riley Construction plans to finish the remaining grading work along 259th Street by late September or early October.

Upsize Existing Trunk Sewer (south of the RR)

The design is in progress and will be completed by the end of September for submittal to the City for review/approval.

SFDF welcomes summer intern, Maddie Schwebach!

Summer is here! School is out, the weather is warm, and it’s time for new beginnings. Summer also means internship season, and the Foundation is excited to introduce our intern for the summer, Maddie Schwebach!

Maddie grew up in Dell Rapids, S.D., and attended Dell Rapids St. Mary High School. After graduating, she continued her education at the University of South Dakota, where she graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with a minor in Sustainability.

This summer, she’s assisting staff with identifying potential opportunities for development through conducting market research and will help coordinate and organize events and outreach activities to increase community awareness of Foundation initiatives.

When it comes to working at the Foundation, Maddie is most excited to network and form connections.

“I am a people person!” Maddie said. “I enjoy learning about new ideas and concepts, so I am looking forward to learning how to apply what I learned during my four years at USD to my projects at the Foundation.”

If you stop by the office this summer, be sure to say hello to Maddie and welcome her!

Career Connections increases skilled and qualified pipeline for employers

The Career Connections program has achieved impressive results in just its second year. More than 20 talented and motivated scholars have received highly competitive scholarships from renowned programs like Build Dakota, Freedom, and Dakota Corps, enabling them to pursue higher education in various fields such as engineering, healthcare, nursing, computer science, business, and skilled trades.

Kayla Galindo-Lemus, a Lincoln High School graduate and Build Dakota scholar who chose Muth Electric, will join the Muth Electric family this Fall. Shannon Globke, District Manager for Muth Electric, says, “we are honored to be part of the program and excited to have Kayla join our team.”

Kayla Galindo-Lemus

In addition, nine graduates have been accepted into the Sioux Falls PD Cadet program, a new and highly selective initiative set to launch in August 2023. This program aims to support the area’s law enforcement personnel pipeline.

The success of Career Connections is a testament to its unwavering focus on providing students with immersive career learning opportunities, such as job shadows and project-based internships. The program addresses common barriers to post-secondary education, including financial obstacles and a lack of employer support for flexible schedules.

Since its inception in 2021, Career Connections has helped 426 graduating seniors become first-generation college students. This approach sets them on the path to fulfilling and in-demand careers that will meet the workforce needs of local employers.

Emily Koo, EL Department Chair at Lincoln High School, shared her excitement about the program: “Career Connections is an incredible program, and we are thrilled with the opportunities to help our students.”

Denise Guzzetta, the Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, expressed her pride and optimism about the program’s future. She attributed the program’s progress and tremendous results to the collaboration and engagement of teachers, counselors, and employers involved in the program. She also acknowledged the instrumental role played by the program’s partners in helping students make viable and financially rewarding career choices.

It’s ALL about workforce development

Our organization is proud to offer 14 talent and workforce programs for our partners to utilize as a valuable community resource to enhance their workforce efforts, both now and in the future. This year alone, we have had over 12,000 direct participants in our talent and workforce programs, with almost 60% participating in Forward Sioux Falls programming, which is specifically designed for companies with immediate hiring needs.

Our virtual and in-person programming includes Talent Thursday, INTERN Sioux Falls, Talent Now offered at the Summit League have been tremendously successful in connecting employers with talent seeking employment. Mike West, executive associate director for external affairs at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, has praised the use of the tournament as a recruiting opportunity for Sioux Falls employers with urgent hiring needs.

We are also dedicated to increasing the talent development STEM pipeline in the professional and skilled trades to meet the growing needs of our expanding economy. Our Career Connections has assisted 426 graduating seniors in becoming first-generation college students since 2021 by addressing common barriers to higher education. Students are involved and set on a path to fulfilling and highly sought-after careers that will meet the workforce demands of local employers. Learn more about the impact of the Career Connections program through this spotlight involving Muth Electric.

Career Connections works by providing immersive career learning opportunities, such as job shadows and project-based internships, and addresses common barriers to post-secondary education. Learn more about the projects and impact from two Career Connections graduates and the impact its having on their career choices.

In April, we collaborated and coordinated Talent Talks with Young Professionals employed within our community to helped nearly 4,000 high schoolers envision themselves and a life in Sioux Falls in the next couple of years. Learn more about the strategy involved.

We are also proud to support the thriving healthcare and manufacturing industries by raising awareness of STEM-related occupations and careers while developing the next generation of the workforce for Sioux Falls through our popular Your Future STEM program. Earlier this month, over 200 incoming sixth through tenth graders from the Sioux Falls area had the opportunity to immerse themselves in STEM-related experiential learning as part of the Your Future STEM Summer Mini Camp at Augustana University. Read more about this program here.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the latest article in our Newcomer Series, which features a family of nine who relocated from Canada and their experiences in Sioux Falls.

And preparations are underway for the WIN in Workforce Summit 2023! Two-time Olympic champion and renowned author Nancy Kerrigan will be the keynote speaker. The WIN Summit will take place November 1, 2023. Tickets are available here.

Membership renewal underway and new members join our efforts

The Development Foundation’s membership renewal efforts are underway, so be on the lookout for your 2023 membership invoice via inbox or mailbox with the option to pay online!

Strong support from our members continues to be the “foundation” of our organization in creating one of the most vibrant, growing economies in the nation. Your contributions have made and will continue to make an impact on the growth and development of our community; and on each person that calls our community home.

Development Foundation members – past and present – are part of a legendary organization that’s played a major role in our region’s growth: from the attraction of the EROS Data Center and Citibank’s arrival to the Sioux Empire and Foundation Park developments; and the Forward Sioux Falls program. Our emphasis on talent attraction/retention/workforce development, as detailed in this newsletter, is resonating with our members, and enhancing the pipeline.

Thanks for your financial support and investment in the economic future of our area.

Not a member? We invite you to contact us. We’ll answer questions and provide the information you need to join our efforts. We’ve welcomed 15 new members since the beginning of our fiscal year! Their investment, along with yours, allows us to create quality economic growth and workforce development in the region.

Karen Ruhland

Karen Ruhland

Director of Research, Membership, & Communications, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Students connect with STEM subjects, careers at Your Future STEM camp

Sioux Falls-area students packed a lot of hands-on learning into three days this month as part of a new STEM mini-camp organized by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

The event, hosted in partnership with Augustana University, brought incoming sixth through 10th graders onto the campus and into area businesses for a hands-on look at opportunities their future could hold.

“This new program builds on others where we’ve seen considerable success, including Your Future STEM activities during the school year and Career Connections where we’re immersing students into workplaces and educating about career opportunities,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Thanks to the engagement of Augustana leaders, students and professors as well as a huge range of area businesses, we’re providing a summer experience for students that will make a lasting impression. Based on the huge early response we’ve seen, this is a program that’s only going to grow.”

For a closer look inside the Summer STEM Camp, click below.

Your Future STEM Summer Mini Camps 2023

Spirit of Sioux Falls Scholars Selected

The Spirit of Sioux Falls Scholarship endowment was established by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and more than 100 businesses and individuals to honor the memory of Roger Hainje, Angus Anson, and David Birkeland, each of whom were Sioux Falls business and economic development leaders who lost their lives along with Governor Mickelson and four state officials April 19, 1993. They were on an economic development mission to retain one of the state’s largest employers.

Annually, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation awards scholarships to Sioux Falls residents or students who have completed at least one year of post-secondary work in business-related areas of study.

Two students from the area have been selected for the 2023 Spirit of Sioux Falls Scholarship. They are:

Kim Ueng, a graduate of Washington High School attending Augustana University. Ueng is majoring in Accounting, Finance, and Business Finance.

Joshua Jackson, a Lincoln High School graduate. Jackson is attending Purdue University majoring in Aerospace Financial Analysis.

The Foundation congratulates these two young men on their achievements as they continue to pursue their academic and career goals.

Joshua Jackson

  • High school: Lincoln High School
  • College: Purdue University
  • Major: Aerospace Financial Analysis

Kim Ueng

  • High school: Washington High School
  • College: Augustana University
  • Major: Accounting, Finance, and Business Finance

Consultants Forum Workshop – Best practices for economic developers

By Dean Dziedzic, Vice President of Economic Development

Earlier this spring I had the opportunity to attend Area Development’s Consultants Forum Workshop in Greenville, S.C. This exclusive event was limited to 125 attendees with the sole purpose of hearing from and engaging face-to-face with 18 leading site consultants and corporate real estate advisors. The format was split between multiple boardroom presentations and roundtable discussions. Better yet, I was able to pre-select preferred sessions with site consultants prior to the event.

The Development Foundation’s strategic plan over many years has emphasized the importance of marketing to a broad array of site consultants. These are professionals who assist businesses in the process of selecting and acquiring suitable locations for their operations. They provide expertise in site selection, real estate analysis, and market research to help their business clients make informed decisions about where to establish new facilities.

The role of site consultants involves understanding the specific requirements and objectives of a business, such as its industry, target market, operational needs, and growth plans. They conduct a comprehensive analysis of potential sites and present recommendations based on factors such as infrastructure availability, workforce demographics, transportation access, proximity to suppliers and customers, cost of real estate, and regulatory considerations.

The value in attending this workshop was direct access to a variety of consultants that matched our target market in Sioux Falls. There was ample opportunity in the roundtables and social settings to promote our community and all the positive characteristics. In addition, the workshop offered great opportunities to network with other economic developers and peer communities, while comparing and contrasting what works in Sioux Falls versus other communities.

This Consultants Workshop Forum is just one example of the investment in time and money to promote Sioux Falls. It takes a consistent approach over a long period of time to develop relationships with a wide array of site consultants. Overall, site consultants and business attraction efforts aim to attract new businesses, stimulate economic growth, create quality job opportunities, and enhance the overall prosperity of a region or community.

A look back at spring 2023 groundbreakings

And just like that, it’s summer! With the turn of the season comes yet another season… groundbreaking season!

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation hosted three groundbreakings during spring 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!

Great Plains Zoo African Lions Exhibit

The Great Plains Zoo broke ground on its new African Lions Exhibit, which will bring lions back to the zoo for the first time in over 30 years.

L to R: Margaret Carmody, Ryan Howlett, Alissa Bretsch, Ryan Tysdal, Molly Daniel, Jeannie Iannello, Andrea Smith, Jeanelle Lust, George Mollner, De Knudson, Steve Kolbeck, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Kim Burma, Becky Dewitz – President and CEO, Great Plains Zoo, and Dave Knudson.

McCrossan Boys Ranch School Addition and Renovation

McCrossan Boys Ranch celebrated a groundbreaking for the renovation and addition to their school.

L to R: Front L to R: Jeff Griffin, Pam Hanneman, Alyssa Nix, Jim Wiederrich, Brian Roegiers, Jason Hubers, Bryan Ingalls, Dr. Michael Elliott, Elizabeth Lewis, Christy Vastenhout, Dan Newell, Jon Bour, and Paul Heinert.

Back row L to R: Jeff Pray, Brent Olthoff, Brent Reilly, Randy Fink, and Mayor Paul TenHaken.

Electronic Systems Inc.

Electronic Systems Inc. broke ground on an expansion at their facility that will join two existing buildings together.

L to R: Kurt Loudenback, Jeff Tornow, Jeff Eckhoff, Gary Larson – President, and Scott Lawrence.

Leah Blom Headshot
Want a groundbreaking? Contact

Leah Blom

Director of Marketing and Digital Media, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Chairman’s report: Coordinated community = coordinated growth

By: Steve Kolbeck, Board Chair

As we look at the growth of the Sioux Falls region over the past 10 years, we can’t help but ask the question, “How did this happen?” Most of the population is content to believe that this progress “just happens” as a natural course of growth. The truth is, this progress is the result of the coordinated efforts of many organizations and the private sector working together to build a firm foundation for the region, painting a vision of what Sioux Falls can be now and in the future.

Several not-for-profit development organizations exist in the region that work with private sector businesses, utilities, educational partners, and governments to maximize healthy growth in business development, tourism development, downtown development, business startups and social services coordination.

Economic development organizations like the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce use the Forward Sioux Falls initiatives to lead and leverage public/private sector resources to address priority projects and initiatives in the community.

Promotional organizations like Experience Sioux Falls, Downtown Sioux Falls and a host of other activity-specific entities work together to bring visitors to the region and utilize our vibrant community for sporting events, conventions, business meetings, weekend events, locally organized events, and activities for our citizens.

Government and educational institutions, including our area schools, universities and tech schools coordinate with business and industry as well as not-for-profit development organizations to maximize resources and eliminate duplication of efforts. Providing the public resources needed, the City and County invest in the infrastructure and social assistance necessary to enhance the livability and superior quality of life amenities available. Our educational institutions provide the quality education our citizens need, and the workforce needed to continually grow our economy. All coordinated with the business, community, and social needs of a growing city.

None of this “just happens.” It is through the coordinated efforts of community leadership in these organizations that produce the greatest results. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is proud to be a key player in this coordinated effort to grow our region. We appreciate the support of all our partners and the vision and foresight of these organizations’ leaders. Our success is being noticed nationwide and it’s because we have a plan, a vision, and the leadership to make it happen. Thanks for all you do.

Forward Sioux Falls’ leadership briefs investors

By Mike Lynch, Executive Director of Forward Sioux Falls

It took vision, strategy and collaboration to launch Forward Sioux Falls over three decades ago. We’re indebted to those who took the risks, made the difficult decisions and set aside competitive differences—all in the name of a desire for Sioux Falls to be among the best places in the country to live, work and play.

Forward Sioux Falls’ leadership showcased 2026 program outcomes to date, as well as five-year objectives during an Investor Briefing, held June 13, 2023.

The briefing focused on initiatives within program pillars including talent attraction, retention and development; business retention, expansion and attraction; innovation and entrepreneurship; and business advocacy, airport and quality of place.

The collective impact of Forward Sioux Falls throughout the years has been extremely profound. For the current program, five-year goals include:

  • 4,500 new, direct jobs at above median wage added
  • $500 million in new capital investments
  • $250 million in new property tax revenues
  • Over 300 acres of land sold and developed
  • 300 existing companies assisted

We appreciate the 325 investors who provide the crucial resources to make these objectives realized.

Click here to view the presentation from the Briefing.

Look to the future with Forward Sioux Falls