Earlier this month, Menken was also elected Chairman of the Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance. Rushmore Region is an economic development initiative of Black Hills Community Economic Development and was created to stimulate and increase business investment in the Black Hills. The organization is comprised of a variety of communities and organizations from Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade, and Pennington counties.
One of the action items of the 2020-2023 SEDC Strategic Plan is to continue to increase SEDC’s presence in the economic development community and identify synergies with organizations that have similar missions. “In addition to being actively involved in numerous Spearfish organizations, the SEDC Board and staff are engaged at regional, state, and national levels as well,” said Menken. “Collaboration and partnerships are key to the continued success of both SEDC and Spearfish.
SEDC recently partnered with Visit Spearfish in St. Paul, MN to host a booth at Grillfest. The partnership was a continuation of ongoing efforts by both organizations to attract new workers, businesses and visitors to Spearfish.
SEDC Marketing Coordinator Cayley Schmitt and Visit Spearfish Marketing Assistant Jackie Robles interacted with hundreds of guests at the event, promoting Spearfish’s outstanding craft brewing and food scenes, outdoor recreation environment, favorable business climate, education and employment opportunities, and quality of life.
The upcoming 605 Black Hills Classic Beer Festival, to be held in Spearfish’s Lions Park on September 11, was also promoted during the event. The upcoming beer festival, hosted by 605 Magazine and sponsored by Visit Spearfish, SEDC and others, will feature unlimited beer tastings from breweries across South Dakota as well as live music and food trucks by local artists and entrepreneurs.
“We found the event [Grillfest] fit for collaboration with Spearfish Economic Development to further promote the outdoor adventure, beer and food culture that Spearfish is home to,” said Visit Spearfish Executive Director, Mistie Caldwell. “Everyone starts as a visitor and Visit Spearfish understands the importance of introducing visitors to the business side of our community, and Grillfest gave both organizations the opportunity to fulfill our missions and are excited to see the impact it will have on the economic development of Spearfish in the future!”
Karley LaFountain, Director of Prairie Hills Child Care Center in Spearfish, has been selected as the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) 2021 Women in Leadership Scholarship recipient. The annual scholarship will provide LaFountain with the opportunity to attend the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) 2021 Women in Leadership series to be held July 27-29 at The Barn at Aspen Acres near Spearfish.
The Women in Leadership series is in its eighth year, thus far graduating over 150 local business leaders with specialized training in communication, decision making, project management and other vital aspects to successful leadership in both professional and personal contexts. This year’s program is themed “Focusing on the Future” and will feature over a dozen guest speakers to engage and connect with LaFountain and the other program participants.
“I am very honored and excited to have earned this scholarship and to be able to spend two and a half days with incredible female leaders from our area,” said LaFountain. “Getting to grow and learn alongside them is going to be an amazing experience that I get to use right away with all my staff in hopes to empower them and help them grow.” LaFountain is specifically looking forward to gaining more knowledge in the areas of conflict management and mentorship.
“Supporting and investing in the professional development and personal growth of our local business leaders is very important to our organization,” noted SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “SEDC is pleased to partner with SD CEO in helping to build strong leaders for our community and region.”