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Monte Amende

Alumni, Graduating Fellows on October 30th. Comments Off on Monte Amende

TDG Communications
Dakota Rising Lawrence County

Born and raised in the Northern Black Hills, Monte Amende received a degree in mass communications from the University of South Dakota in 1993. He has been designing and administering web sites since the mid 1990’s. In 2002, Monte joined TDG as Creative Director. He is responsible for much of the agency’s success in the digital arena, and oversees and directs the agency’s growing team of creatives.


Dustin Floyd

Alumni, Graduating Fellows on October 29th. Comments Off on Dustin Floyd

TDG Communications
Dakota Rising Lawrence County

He penned travel books for some of the nation’s biggest publishers by his 25th birthday. He helped launch an online multiplayer video game. And then there’s that whole Oxford University-educated thing. But being part of the first generation to start kindergarten with computers (starting somewhere in ancient antiquity with the Apple IIe), Dustin has unique insight into the way online trends are shaping the buying habits and attitudes of today’s consumers. As TDG Communications’ Benevolent Overlord, that kind of experience comes in handy as he advises clients marketing to a new generation of consumers. In between blogging and social networking, he’s addicted to episodes of Futurama – and, in a true testament to his geekiness, he understands most of the jokes.


Jamie Gilcrease-Heupel

Alumni, Graduating Fellows on October 28th. Comments Off on Jamie Gilcrease-Heupel

Lotus Up Espresso
Dakota Rising Lawrence County

Jamie was born and raised in Washington state. After overcoming childhood downfalls she was adopted at age 10. A natural born leader, Jamie moved her family to Lead to follow her dream of owning her own coffee shop.  Jamie began Lotus Up Espresso and Deli in 2010. Under her leadership, the coffee house has experience 200% increase in gross income, lowered the cost of goods by 3% and now employs between 4 and 7 people. Since purchasing the coffee shop, she has added a drive thru, banquet room and large outside deck. Her next large leap of faith will be moving the coffee shop to a new location, which she will not only be a business owner, but also the building owner.


SD ranks #1 for business climate in US

Blog, News & Events on October 23rd. Comments Off on SD ranks #1 for business climate in US

According to “”Enterprising States: States Innovate,” a report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, South Dakota ranks #1 in the United States for business climate and #4 for talent pipeline. The study analyzed the 50 states through six lenses: economic performance, transportation and trade, innovation and entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline and high-tech performance.

The Foundation attributed South Dakota’s high rankings to the innovative programs South Dakota boasts, which included Dakota Rising, a program of Dakota Resources:

Dakota Rising is a South Dakota–based rural entrepreneurship support program operating in communities throughout the state. Created by Dakota Resources, an economic and community development agency backed by private and public investment, Dakota Rising offers fellowships to promising rural entrepreneurs, with a three-year program of support and mentorship tailored to help them move their new, profitable business to the “next level of growth.

In addition to Dakota … Read More »


Joe Bartmann Guest on South Dakota Focus

Blog on October 16th. Comments Off on Joe Bartmann Guest on South Dakota Focus

Joe Bartmann, Vice President of Program Development at Dakota Resources, welcomed the opportunity to be a guest on South Dakota Focus, a program of South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Bartmann, along with Lori Finnesand of Grow South Dakota; Cecily Engelhart and Star Mean of Thunder Valley; and Jeff Eckhoff of the Small Business Development Center, provided insight and expertise on “Growing Small Town South Dakota.” The episode aired Thursday, October 15th on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and is now available online at: “Growing Small Town South Dakota


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