First PREMIER Bank employee brings RuralX inspiration home

Posted on February 21, 2018

Paula Jensen
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Last year First PREMIER Bank was a financial sponsor of RuralX17 in Aberdeen. As a sponsor, the bank invited Castlewood bank employees Breanna Beebe and Heidi Severson to attend the event as rural representatives. The two women didn’t know much about RuralX or what to expect, but after attending both came home inspired and full of ideas.

In fact, Breanna is such a believer in the value of RuralX that she is now a member of the Dakota Resources RuralX Design Team, which is a group of invested rural change makers who provide guidance and planning for the RuralX event.

“I took so much away from RuralX! The speakers and breakout sessions gave me so much inspiration. When I got back to Castlewood I couldn’t help but start brainstorming things we could do,” says Breanna.

Since her time at RuralX, Breanna has used what she learned to help Castlewood. Here are just a few of the things that have happened or are in the process of happening as a result:

  • Painting a beautiful “Shop Local Grow Castlewood” mural on the side of the grocery store to help beautify the city as well as promote a “shop local” message.
  • Establishing an Economic Development Board (of which Breanna is a member) that helped kick-off a Shop Local Santa Day involving 19 local businesses.
  • Revamping the City website and city information booklet in order to attract new families and businesses to the community.
  • Exploring housing options and ways to better support local businesses.
  • Ensuring the annual Castlewood Days event is successful, fun and memorable family weekend.
  • Supporting active community organizations like the Historical Society, which promotes Castlewood in a variety of ways including offering up to $50,000 in grants each year to help preserve and restore buildings on Main Street and providing scholarships to two graduating seniors each year.

“There are so many good things to offer in Castlewood. I am happy to be a part of groups like our Castlewood Days Committee and the new Economic Development board. Both groups have great ideas, ambition and overall a passion for our community,” say Breanna.  “As we learned at RuralX, it really just starts with ideas and then people willing to make those ideas happen. Who knows where the future of Castlewood will be, but I’m very excited to raise my children here!”

Pictured from the left are Castlewood Economic Development Board Members: Breanna Beebe, Ruth Fodness, Adam Rudebusch, Landon Vetter and Alisha Neilsen.

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