APR. 6, 2015 - VOL. 50 No. 7

Chair's Column
New Members
Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
Other News
Faces & Places
Ribbon Cuttings
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Young professionals benefit the community
YPN grows to 1,000 members in six years

In 2009, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce created a Young Professionals Network to engage more young people in the Sioux Falls community, and help them develop their skills needed to succeed in their chosen professions. In six years, the YPN has grown to a solid network of 1,000 members who have opportunities to participate in a variety of events, ranging from developmental to social.

The YPN is managed by a Chamber staff member and a volunteer Steering Committee who set the programs and events schedule for the year. Members have access to unique events and contact with community leaders and elected officials. Events take place at a variety of times to meet nearly every schedule. Membership is open to individuals between the ages of 21-39 who come from different backgrounds and professions. YPN members are also invited and encouraged to attend Chamber events.

"The YPN is doing what it set out to do – bring in young people and give them a place to build relationships, develop the workforce and hopefully assist in the retention of young talent in the Sioux Falls area. Just seeing that young talent grow and continue to roll over is inspiring," said Dan Doyle, Cutler Law Firm, who also chairs the YPN Steering Committee.

What does a day in the life of a young professional in Sioux Falls look like? Take a look at three YPN members.

For more information about the Young Professionals Network, visit


Attending Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network (YPN) events are a great way to learn more about the community and build professional relationships. YPN members have access to inside information about community issues, networking opportunities with business leaders, unique learning experiences and a chance to help grow and improve the Sioux Falls area. The YPN offers a variety of events and programs to meet the needs of young professionals – at all stages of their personal and professional life.

YPN members can attend any event or program organized by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce or YPN. Registration is required. Visit for the latest events taking place in our community.

Learn more about the community where you live and work through programs that give details behind major infrastructure projects and issues impacting your quality of life.

Gain access to some of the prominent business and community leaders in the Sioux Falls area. Understand the path that leaders took to get to where they are today. Ask questions, listen and engage in an ongoing dialogue with leaders in our community. This event is open to YPN members only.

This biennial event for young professionals brings top-notch keynote speakers, valuable breakout sessions and plenty of networking opportunities for young professionals from across the region. The Summit will be held Aug. 20, 2015 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center; visit to learn more or register.

These events are organized by the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations. Open to the public, these forums offer an opportunity for citizens to gain a better understanding of the issues and the candidates in our community.

In conjunction with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce´s Inside Washington series, we ask our congressional representatives to make time to visit exclusively with young professionals outside of the Chamber event. This event is open to YPN members only.

Each month we offer the opportunity for young professionals to network with one another, off the clock! This event is open to all young professionals and offers individuals the chance to mix, mingle and exchange business cards.

Join other YPN members at the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce monthly Membership Mixer. Broaden your network, exchange business cards and meet other community and business leaders.

This 10-week league allows members to play with different individuals each week and rotates between Chamber-member golf courses each week. Space is limited and is open to YPN members only. Tee times vary and will always be between 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy conversations with other young professionals before heading into the office. This event is an opportunity for young professionals to exchange business cards, discuss what is going on in the community and network with one another.

Take a break midday to network with your peers. Join fellow YPN members for lunch and conversations. Locations rotate each month.

This is an annual event that allows young professionals and families to get together for dinner, play time and conversations. Food, games and fun are sure to be had.

Each year the Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network celebrates the formation of the YPN. Our anniversary celebration is an opportunity to network, exchange business cards and socialize with young professionals in our community.

The tournament is an 18-hole event with pin prizes, networking and plenty of fun! The tournament is open to YPN members and non-members of all skill levels.

Get in the holiday spirit with other young professionals at the evening cocktail party held in the height of the holiday season. The Kringle is held in December and offers the opportunity for young professionals to mix, mingle, celebrate the year and support a local charity in the community.

A Day in the Life
Reggie Kuipers

Reggie Kuipers
Reggie Kuipers

Age: 31

Occupation: Principal-Office/Land Specialist at Bender Commercial Real Estate Services

Hometown: Platte, S.D.

4:30 a.m.
My alarm is set for 4:30 a.m. during the week so I can get to the gym by 5 a.m. I´ve worked out at Farrell´s eXtreme Bodyshaping for the last four years. Starting my day with a workout gives me fuel and energy for the day. It has also instilled perseverance and consistency into my daily routine.

6 a.m.
I return home and see if my wife Chelsea or our baby daughter Tatum need anything before making coffee and breakfast. Chelsea is also an early riser, so we like to have coffee together and visit briefly about the day. I enjoy a quiet time with a devotional, scripture reading and prayer time in the morning for 10-15 minutes and then check the newspaper, email and Twitter feed before getting ready for the day.

7 a.m.
Arrive at the office. Priority No. 1 is turning the coffee pot on! The time between 7-8 a.m. is my most productive time of the day. I check my calendar, make a to-do list, check and return email and prepare for the day.

8 a.m.
Fortunately, no two days are ever really alike in the commercial real estate business. If I can, I prefer to schedule meetings in the morning. Most of my mornings are spent between meetings, conference calls and showings.

11:30 a.m.
I prefer an early lunch because it beats the crowd, and since I´ve been up since 4:30 a.m. I´m usually pretty hungry! Lunch meetings are awesome. When I got into this business in 2007, one of the guys I worked with in Omaha told me that I should never eat lunch alone. I try to schedule a lunch every day with a friend, client, prospect or business partner. I can almost guarantee that I pick up some type of useful information from any one of those individuals over lunch.

1 p.m.
I spend most afternoons in showings, prospecting, preparing, researching and crossing off my to-do list I made in the morning. My afternoons are never the same and I try to get out of the office and in front of existing and prospective clients as much as possible in the afternoon. Most nights I leave the office with unfinished business. As I drive home, I dictate anything and everything I can think of that I need to follow up on the following day and email the notes to myself when I get home. With a newborn daughter, I am excited to go home at the end of the day and hang out with her.

6 p.m.
I tend to eat a quick dinner and visit with Chelsea about the day. We often focus our conversation on personal stuff and avoid work altogether. It is important for us to spend quality time together, so we attempt to go on a date night one night per week.

7 p.m.
This is the time of the night where I try to relax and hang out with Tatum. Right now, she is getting a full dose of March Madness and the NCAA basketball tournament. I know that it will soon be cartoons so I´m enjoying this while I can! I tend to stay off Twitter and Facebook during the workday because it is just not productive. At night, I check both and catch up on the days´ events.

9 p.m.
It´s a goal of mine to read one book per month. I tend to cover a multitude of topics but stick mostly to non-fiction. Currently, I´m reading "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. After I can hardly stay awake, I bookmark the page, say a quick prayer and call it a night – usually between 9:30-10 p.m.

A Day in the Life
Addie Graham-Kramer

Addie Graham-Kramer
Addie Graham-Kramer

Age: 34

Ocupation: Founder + Event Designer, The Event Company

Hometown: Central City, Neb.

5:30 a.m.
Time to wake up! I spend a few minutes in the morning catching up on the latest news as well as taking a quick glance through all of my social media platforms. While I am getting ready for work, this is also the part of my day when I start developing my daily task list. With managing multiple events at the same time, we have deadlines that we need to meet and these tasks lists are vital to our success. My tasks lists are digital and also synced to my calendar as reminders and due dates.

6:45 a.m.
Breakfast with the boys! Some mornings I leave so early that I may not get a chance to see my two boys before I go to the office. But since I knew that I would have a late night with volunteer meetings, I was excited to have breakfast at home with William and Calvin. This was my favorite part of the day – starting off the morning with the best breakfast dates!

7:45 a.m.
our space and to awaken the senses even more. Music has always been a big part of my life and having it on in the background helps me to focus even more and relax. On this particular day, I had a board meeting in the evening, so I spent the first 30 minutes of my morning reading through expectations and agenda items for the meeting.
Next up for the day includes a few client meetings surrounding public relations for an upcoming event and graphic design needs as well as wedding plans in Okoboji for a very special bride and groom and then finally a two-day grand opening celebration of a new downtown business. A busy morning!
At The Event Company, we work with various non-profit organizations and corporate clients. We will spend time planning events with various committees, boards of directors, marketing directors and others. With such a wide range of individuals involved in the planning process, we must be efficient with our time in these meetings. Some days we may have six planning meetings with six different clients. Having agendas and materials planned ahead of time helps us to be more efficient with our time in these planning meetings. That´s where our task lists come into play.
Each Monday, I help lead our team through our weekly event tasks and project plans. Spending time to review these tasks and project plans with our lead event designer, interns and a call with our freelancers helps us keep on task. Then we assign tasks to each person on the team so that we can better understand who is responsible for what duty and the deadline for each.

12:30 p.m.
Lunch was on-the-go this day, in the form of a protein shake and banana. While driving to my next meeting, I made a quick call to my husband to say hello and to see how his day was going and then chatted with a dear friend who made me laugh so hard that I was almost in tears! Everyone who is a part of my life understands how much I love to laugh, and moments like that in the middle of the day make me so very happy and blessed to have such an amazing group of friends and family.

3 p.m.
I spent the next hour following up on client planning needs and responding to emails and phone calls. I love what I do! It´s hard to believe that I get to call this my "job!" I build dreams through events!

4:30 p.m.
Being involved in the community and giving back has been a passion of mine from the time that I was a young child. Tonight was my second board meeting for Dress For Success Sioux Falls. Surrounding myself with an incredible group of women helping to make a difference in the lives of other women means so much to me.

8:15 p.m.
Home just in time to give the boys baths and tuck them in to bed! After William and Calvin are in bed, my husband, Drew, and I have time to talk about each other´s days and what we have planned for the week.
I usually spend about 90 minutes each night after our boys go to bed responding to the last few emails, getting prepared for the next day and then catching up on leadership development and female entrepreneurship blogs that I follow. One of my favorites is from the Female Entrepreneur Association and I read it daily. On this night, it was #MotivationalMonday and it was all about "Why Not You?" which gives that extra boost of inspiration for all that is to come in the week ahead.
10:30 p.m.
Lights out! Until tomorrow.

A Day in the Life
Dan menke

Dan menke
Dan menke

Age: 30

Occupation: Controller, Pride Neon

Hometown: Sioux Falls

4:45 a.m.
I wake up and get my first cup of coffee of the day. I´m not sure how my wife doesn´t drink caffeine. I´d be lost without it. A few years ago I stole a routine from my dad – I sit in the living room, coffee in hand, for 10 minutes and relax. I generally think about the day ahead and what I want to accomplish. Visualizing success has done wonders to my productivity.
After that I head to FAF Crossfit to get my workout in. I try and workout four to five times a week and working out in the morning has changed my life. I feel better throughout the day and my energy level remains consistently high.

7 a.m.
I get to the office and grab cup of coffee No. 2. The first thing I do is fill out my Eight for the Day notebook. John Meyer from Lemonly created a to-do list notebook that has you focus on eight items for the day. Six of them are for business and two are personal. His theory is that if you can´t get eight things done in a day, you´re not focusing on the right things. I´ve been doing this for a few years and it´s really helped me stay on top of everything.

8 a.m.
After filling out my to-do list and attempting to say hello to every employee, it´s time to get some stuff accomplished. Probably my biggest job function at Pride is sending out invoices and job costing projects. I´ve found I´m generally more productive in the morning (could be the coffee) so I try and focus my whole morning on those tasks.

I run home for a quick lunch with my wife, Ashley. We have an 18-month old daughter, Grace, and another baby due in August. The 45 minutes that I get to chat with Ashley during lunch is a huge priority.

1 p.m.
I´m sitting pretty well at this point productivity-wise, so I try and focus my afternoon on ongoing projects, both for here at Pride and for the various boards of directors that I sit on. Pride Neon and our family are so blessed to be a part of this community that we try and give back as much as possible.

2:30 p.m.
My dad and I meet every day at 2:30 to discuss the day´s happenings. We talk throughout the day, but this is a designated time to exchange thoughts on everything in our business. The topics often drift to life outside of work. I´m very lucky to work with my dad every day. I probably don´t tell him that enough.

4 p.m.
I´ve got about an hour left before I head home and I´m going to focus on some projects that my mentor and professional development coach have laid out for me. These two people, along with another close group of friends, have been crucial to my professional development. One of my favorite quotes is, "if you´re the smartest person in the room, you´re in the wrong room." I try and surround myself with people on a different level of intelligence and pray to God that I can keep up and they don´t figure it out.

5 p.m.
I pick up my daughter on the way home from work, and now it´s playtime. Ashley and I have a no TV rule on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We´ve found this helps create an opportunity for our family to have some serious quality time together without distraction. Tonight it´s 70 degrees, so we´re going to take advantage of the great March weather and take a long walk to the park.

8 p.m.
Besides email and the 45 minutes during lunch, my wife and I rarely get time to interact one on one. Tonight we grab a couple books, lie in bed and read. Sometimes I feel like we´re 30 going on 60, but we don´t care. We love our routines. Tonight we chat about our monthly date night coming up tomorrow night and what we want to do. Each month we make sure to get a babysitter and hit the town (aka – grab a bite to eat and have adult conversations). It´s incredibly important to us and we make it a priority.

9 p.m.
Lights are out. Alarm is set.

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