Steve Kolbeck, 2023 Chair
This past year has been a whirlwind for me with my first year as a State Senator, Chair of the Development Foundation and addressing all the changes taking place in the corporate world given inflation, interest rates and the focus on energy and how we produce it. I do need to thank the Foundation Board of Directors and the staff for making tough decisions and for implementing policy and programs that continue to address our challenges and move the organization forward. Aside from the fact that there’s never a dull moment, 2023 has been great and the future continues to look bright with proper planning and strategic thinking.
We were able to share our successes at the Annual Meeting held on Thursday, November 16, with many of you. Our annual report highlighted the activities and successes of the Foundation. Special kudos to Jim Soukup, our 2023 Spirit of Sioux Falls award recipient, for his outstanding contributions to the community and the Foundation.
As we reach the end of 2023, the Development Foundation has touted the success of Foundation Park to dispel the myth of “Flopdation Park” when Foundation, State and City leadership announced the Park in 2015. With over 500 acres sold to date creating over 2,300 jobs and millions in new tax base, the activity for land development and companies wanting to expand or relocate to Sioux Falls is still consistent. We have leveraged our partnerships and our relationships with the City to continue to accomplish our mission and expand our thinking. More successes will come.
Our workforce development efforts have revolutionized how we help business and the community recruit talent utilizing our relationships with educational institutions, human resource professionals and marketing to promote the Sioux falls region as “THE” place to have a career. As a community growing by 5,000+ people per year, we know our efforts are paying off. While we still have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we continue to do everything we can to make the Sioux Falls region their first choice.
I want to thank the Board, committee members and staff of the Development Foundation for their work in guiding the organization. Special thanks to the retiring Board members, Kurt Loudenback and Jeff Fiegen for their time on the Board and their contributions over the past six years. I also want to welcome our two new Board members, Kurt Brost and AJ Saigh, and encourage them to further engage and be active members of this Board.
I have truly enjoyed my time leading the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and thank all of our investors. We have a strong organization and I am confident we will continue to grow, problem solve and make a positive difference in our region.
Thanks for your support.