In recognition of local, state, and national COVID-19 guidelines, Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) held its Annual Meeting virtually this year on January 28. The organization -dedicated to improving and diversifying economic opportunities within the Spearfish community- has been in operation since 1980.
Despite the change in format, the program nevertheless included economic and community development updates from SEDC and the City of Spearfish, a keynote address from Black Hills State University President, Dr. Laurie Stenberg Nichols, and the presentation of the 2021 Spirit of Enterprise Award and 2021 Award of Excellence. “In spite of the challenges we have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a year of opportunity and growth for both SEDC and Spearfish,” said SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “While it was a difficult decision to not hold an in-person Annual Meeting this year, we were excited to celebrate the community’s many accomplishments and to share SEDC’s goals for the future.”
The Spirit of Enterprise Award was created in 2002 to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit of those who take risks and make the investment of time and money to grow a small business. The 2021 award was presented to City Brew Coffee of Spearfish. “Winning this award solidifies what we have hoped to create, and it tells us that other business leaders in the community recognize what we have been trying to accomplish,” stated City Brew Coffee co-owner Joe Conklin. “This is an honor,” added Conklin’s daughter and business partner, Traci Conklin-Barkey. “We appreciate this and everything SEDC has done for the community.”
The Award of Excellence was established in 1999 to recognize a business which best exemplifies dedication and commitment within the areas of business development, capital investment and job creation. The 2021 award was presented to Pioneer Bank & Trust of Spearfish. “I look at the list of previous winners and it is pretty impressive,” said Tom Deis, President of Pioneer Bank & Trust in Spearfish. “It’s really an honor and we are so proud to be a part of SEDC and to support the organization.”
It was also announced that Thomas Worsley from Monument Health and James Mortenson from Black Hills Community Bank had been elected by the SEDC membership to serve on the Board of Directors beginning in February 2021. Current SEDC Board member Dr. Priscilla Romkema from Black Hills State University was also elected to serve a second 3-year term. Outgoing Board members Wayne Klein from Landmark Realty & Development and Cody Byrum from Black Hills Community Bank were recognized for their six years of service to SEDC.
The following slate of Executive Officers for 2021 was also shared:
- Past President: Barb Cline, Prairie Hills Transit
- President: Kevin Rhoades, White’s Canyon Motors
- President-Elect: Joe Conklin, City Brew Coffee/Qdoba
- Vice President: Whitney Driscoll, Two Points Ranch
- Secretary/Treasurer: Ryan Wordeman, The Real Estate Center
The entire 2021 SEDC Annual Meeting can be viewed by visiting the SEDC website at www.spearfishdevelopment.com.