Investing in the future pays off
By Paul Bruflat
2015-16 Chair of the Board
2015-16 Chair of the Board
The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has never shied away from investing in a better tomorrow. Our 109-year track record has a number of examples where our community leaders spearheaded the charge for progress: advocating for public facilities, our six successful Forward Sioux Falls programs and hosting events like the annual Sioux Empire Farm Show, to name just a few.
More recent examples, highlighted in this issue of the Chamber News magazine, also qualify. Each April we celebrate our Young Professionals Network (YPN), which the Chamber started in 2009.
With the growth of the YPN, I believe we have created a more informed population of young adults who are showing the broader business community their potential as well as their willingness and ability to be the future leaders of our state and region. That will only continue.
This month we help LSS kick-off their Campus on the East Bank Campaign. Our Community Appeals process has successfully guided capital campaigns in our community since the 1950s. We encourage our members to make their own decisions about supporting various campaigns, however members should know that the Chamber vets proposals to ensure their organizational and fiscal solvency. Read more about this campaign on pages 32-33.
For several programs now, Forward Sioux Falls has worked extensively to grow businesses and provide support for emerging businesses. In 2002 we opened the South Dakota Technology Business Center, which has helped more than 25 companies grow and create high-skill, high-wage jobs. This month we celebrate the rebrand of the SDTBC as the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, which better reflects the evolution of the center and the need to help diversify and grow our community and our economy. A remodel at the center also helps entrepreneurs with the resources they need to be successful, as well fostering collaboration. The evolution of the Center reflects our changing community – and emphasizes Forward Sioux Falls´ ability to adapt programs over time. I´m excited for the new opportunities available for entrepreneurs in our community.
Our volunteer Ambassadors and their associates are conducting their annual spring membership drive through April 22. I encourage you to look at your clients and vendors you do business with - are they Chamber members? Do they believe in supporting a progressive community that will help their business succeed and their client base grow? They should be Chamber members! And if they´re not, please share your leads with us – contact the Chamber office or an Ambassador.
We should be proud of what we´ve accomplished so far – and continue to encourage ways to grow and enhance our Sioux Falls area for the future.