SEDC Holds 41st Annual Meeting Virtually

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


SEDC Awards Inaugural Emerging Business Achievement Award

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has awarded Antunez Cuisine with the organization’s inaugural Emerging Business Achievement Award. Members of the SEDC Board of Directors and staff were on hand to present owners Jared DeGraaf and Sabrina Heredia with the special recognition. Today’s presentation was held in conjunction with National Entrepreneur’s Day.

The Emerging Business Achievement Award was created by SEDC in 2020 to honor start-up businesses that demonstrate successful business practices, practice civic engagement, and partner with other businesses in the Spearfish community. “We are pleased to celebrate Antunez’s many accomplishments and to recognize their dedication to innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” stated SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken.

Located at 117 E Illinois Street in downtown Spearfish since opening their doors in 2018, Antunez serves fresh, hand-crafted dishes that are inspired by Latin, Hispanic, and Mexican cuisines along with wine and beer selections from around the world. DeGraaf and Heredia are also active within the Spearfish community and are expanding their operations to include a new wine shop complete with tastings.

“To be selected out of so many great businesses for this inaugural award is truly an honor and quite unexpected,” said DeGraaf. “We started this restaurant because we saw an opportunity to do what we are passionate about while at the same time provide for our family. What we have received in return, though, has far surpassed anything we imagined. The friends, relationships, kindness, love, and camaraderie we continue to experience make every day at the restaurant more worth it than words can express. Our sincere thanks to all family, friends, employees, and amazingly loyal customers who have made this venture not only possible, but a reality. A very big thank you also to the Board of SEDC for the honor bestowed and for making us feel so special.”


To be eligible for the annual SEDC Emerging Business Achievement Award, businesses must be located in Spearfish and have been in operation for no more than three years. The new award joins the Award of Excellence and the Spirit of Enterprise Award (formerly known as the Rising Star Award) which are presented each year at the SEDC Annual Meeting.

SEDC Awards Rainbow Trois to Local Businesses

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) recently sent a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey to its entire membership with the incentive of being entered into a drawing for a case of Rainbow Trois, the new collaboration IPA created by Crow Peak Brewing, Sawyer Brewing, and Spearfish Brewing. Proceeds from the sale of Rainbow Trois go toward supporting the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives.

One of the main missions of SEDC is to help local businesses thrive. Through the BRE survey, SEDC was able to gain a better understanding of individual businesses along with their perception of the Spearfish economic climate.

After completing the survey, Jeremy Hoven of Black Hills Community Bank and Kelsie Darling of Quik Signs were chosen as the lucky prize winners. The cases of beer were hand-delivered by SEDC staff earlier this week.

On behalf of SEDC, thank you to all who participated in the survey.