Last May, 2014, Wagner Area Growth and Yankton Sioux Tribe Economic Development introduced a new program to the Wagner community called Southern Charles Mix Dakota Rising. Dakota Rising, Dakota Resources’ entrepreneur development program, cultivates rural entrepreneurs dedicated to growing themselves, their businesses and the greater community, providing a vital spark to strengthen South Dakota’s economic base.
The “carrot” of Dakota Rising is the Fellowship, which is a three year highly intensive program for business owners interested in growing their business. Each Dakota Rising Fellow becomes a member of an interactive Fellowship community of rural South Dakota entrepreneurs focused on growing their businesses, their communities and South Dakota. The greatest benefit to the 2015 Fellows is participation in the Cohort process, a peer advisory board that challenges, supports and holds each entrepreneur accountable. With generous support from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Fellows are also awarded a $10,000 grant after their first year in the Fellowship to be used for professional and business development.
This year, there were twelve applicants statewide with only eight being accepted into the Fellowship. We are very proud to announce that Southern Charles Mix Dakota Rising had two applicants, Barb Pechous, Taboma Publications, and Cheryl Swatek, The Cake Lady, who were both accepted into the 2015 Dakota Resources Dakota Rising Entrepreneur Fellowship program.
Cheryl and Barb went through an application process that led to their invitation to the Fellowship Selection Event, which took place on Monday, June 1, 2015 at the Clubhouse Suites in Pierre. The twelve Fellows finalists designed booths to represent their business and went through an interview process before being selected as a 2015 Fellow. Recognizing the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit to the growth of South Dakota’s economy, Governor Dennis Daugaard took time to meet with the applicants for the Dakota Rising Fellowship at the Selection Event June 1. Governor Daugaard met each of the Fellow Finalists and learned about the positive impacts Dakota Rising and its Entrepreneur Fellows are creating in rural South Dakota.
The other six 2015 Dakota Resources Dakota Rising Entrepreneur Fellows include Cam Schock, Climate Control, and David Malsam, CompQuest Technology, from Aberdeen Dakota Rising. Lawrence County’s Dakota Rising Fellows for 2015 are Leslie Bellet, Twin City Hardware, and Dr. Bob McIntosh, HealthSource of Spearfish. John Pfeifer, VoWac Publishing, is this year’s Fellow from Faulkton Area Dakota Rising. Chad Gollnick, Iron Outfitters, located in Piedmont, SD, was sponsored by a Dakota Rising Fellow alum.
Southern Charles Mix Dakota Rising’s local leadership and entrepreneurial development team, consisting of Samantha Dvorak, Katie Swatek-Hjelm, Jill Lindstrom, Germaine Tremmel, Becky Brunsing, Sarah Zephier, Lisa Peters, Greg Hubbard, Julie Thompson and Caleb Clements were a vital part of these two applicants being accepted into the program.
If you wish to help out with Dakota Risings please contact Kelsey Doom at 605-481-2493 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how Dakota Resources increases the capacity of South Dakota communities or how to become a Dakota Rising Fellow, go to www.dakotaresources.org/dakota-rising or contact Dakota Resources at 605-987-2804 or e-mail email@example.com.