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Seventy-five rural economic development leaders, entrepreneurs and change makers convened in Watertown on October 5-7 to learn, connect and to celebrate the vitality of South Dakota’s small communities. The “Empower Sessions” event was hosted by Dakota Resources, an organization dedicated to empowering people and enriching communities across rural South Dakota.
In addition to breakout sessions, a panel discussion and motivating keynote speakers, the Empower Sessions included a gathering for Dakota Rising fellows, alumni and finalists competing for the next class of Dakota Rising fellowships. Dakota Rising is a two-year entrepreneur development program that helps rural business owners discover new ways to grow their businesses, themselves and their communities.
The Dakota Rising finalists were one of the highlights on Saturday night during the Dakota Resources Gala. The finalists came from a field of 104 entries.
“We had a flood of applicants for this year’s Dakota … Read More »
With a passion for construction and a deep love of their rural roots, Jay Yohner and Brad Hahn teamed up in 2015 to launch a post-frame manufacturing business in their hometown of Martin, South Dakota. Jay and Brad had already been working together through Jay’s construction company, Yohner Construction, and the partnership was a natural progression for a couple of guys with a big idea.
“I actually left Martin and moved to Oregon to enroll in a structural engineering and architectural design program,” says Jay. “I moved back to Martin and started my own construction business. I hired Brad and we really clicked. We both love construction. We both have big dreams. And we both believe we can make those dreams happen right here.”
Four Dakota Rising Sites will each have a new Entrepreneur Fellow this year, following the June 27 selection of a new Dakota Rising Cohort. Dakota Resources Dakota Rising cultivates rural entrepreneurs dedicated to growing themselves, their businesses and the greater community, providing a vital spark to strengthen South Dakota’s economic base.
Cristin Stewart, the Hot Springs Vault, is the Entrepreneur Fellow from Southern Hills On The Rise, serving Fall River and Custer Counties. Lawrence County’s Dakota Rising Fellow for 2014 is Sarina Jensen, Black Hills Equestrian Center. Jordan Breeding, JB’s Country Store, LLC, is this year’s Fellow from Faulkton Area Economic Development Initiative, serving Faulk County. Mark Bower, Aberdeen Parts Store, LLC, is the newest Entrepreneur Fellow from Aberdeen Dakota Rising, covering all of Brown County.
Each Dakota Rising Fellow becomes a member of an interactive Fellowship community of rural South Dakota entrepreneurs … Read More »