MAY 1, 2017 - VOL. 52 No. 8

Chair's Column
New Members
Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
Other News
Faces & Places
Ribbon Cuttings
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Chair´s Column

Message from the Chair

By Dave Kapaska, D.O.
2016-17 Chair of the Board

Dave Kapaska
Dave Kapaska, D.O.
2016-17 Chair of the Board

I'm always surprised when I hear someone say the Chamber mainly promotes business.

Certainly we do work very hard to boost the fortunes of our 2,200 member businesses and the 85,000 employees they represent. And what a privilege it is to devote ourselves to that goal!

But that doesn't even begin to cover the myriad of things your Chamber does - and does extremely well. In fact, I'd say the idea that guides virtually all Chamber functions is to help make Sioux Falls a richer, better place to live, work and grow. I'm reminded, in this issue of Chamber News, of all the ways we serve that vital mission. And I very much hope you will spend some time reading the articles that point to our vigorous leadership across multiple fronts.

When we talk about tourism, many of us tend to think about the way the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau has attracted countless visitors to this great city through conventions, tournaments and other organized events. Kudos to Teri Schmidt and her team for their world class performance in that arena.

But we are learning, too, that the natural beauty of this area is a huge draw - and it is very much our job to help deliver that message, whether it's the city's traditional role as a staging area to the world's finest pheasant hunting, or South Dakota's newest state park, Good Earth at Blood Run, southeast of the city.

For hundreds of years, this lush forest along the Big Sioux River was home to a wide array of indigenous tribes. Future generations of visitors, exploring the many miles of trails, will sense their presence - and tell 20 other people back home. Featuring a newly built visitor center, Good Earth has its grand opening is this month - and I'd encourage you read more about it in the article on page 26. The Chamber is proud to tell that story.

From a strategic standpoint alone, few Chamber activities are as important as our investment in the men and women who will lead this city and region for many decades to come. I suspect you and I would agree that Leadership Sioux Falls is one of our highest profile and most successful programs - an intensive, eight-month effort to introduce emerging leaders to the key issues and people of our city while building relationships that will last a lifetime. We're helping to shape the future through those who will guide businesses and other organizations tomorrow - and I believe the impressive 31st graduating class of Leadership Sioux Falls gives all of us great confidence in the future.

I'm proud to be a part of a Chamber that does so many things well. We advocate for you in Pierre, provide a broad range of resources for you and your business, promote Sioux Falls as a great place to prosper and, yes, point boldly to the future.

With all of us working together, that future is bright indeed.

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