Hot Springs Business Leader is Empowered!

Posted on December 22, 2016

Paula Jensen
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Becoming a Community Leader

They call him “The Instigator.”

It’s a title Brian Spitzer never imagined for himself, but after four years as a Resource Team member with Dakota Rising, he is proud to be a positive influence on his hometown of Hot Springs.

“I’ll admit I was skeptical at first,” he says. “It was hard to fathom how it would all work. As time went on it became apparent that Dakota Resources DOES work. It isn’t just a bunch of people talking, it is a bunch of people connecting and making things happen.”

Brian grew up in Hot Springs and has been the owner of Spitzer Construction for twenty-two years. As a local businessman, he figured “people knew me and that was good enough.” It wasn’t until he was invited to a Dakota Rising meeting in 2012 that he began to realize his ability to be more for his business and his community.

“Dakota Resources changed everything. Before, I didn’t know the right people or how to approach them to get things done,” he says. “Now, I have the proper tools in my tool belt. I have the confidence to speak up and be a leader. Dakota Resources showed me how to use data and facts to influence decisions. I have personally spoken to the Lieutenant Governor about the needs of Hot Springs. I’ve seen myself make things happen, and I want to nurture that in the people around me. It’s just been amazing.”

As far as being an instigator, Brian was instrumental in bringing Empower! Dakota to Hot Springs last year.  Approximately 150 residents are now involved with Empower! Dakota, which has outlined five key community initiatives, including recreation, health and wellness, business and economic development, housing and tourism. He also helped bring the annual Dakota Rising meeting to Hot Springs in 2015 and spoke at the event several times. Finally, Brian has used his experience to help bring other Hot Springs residents out of their shells to “ruralize their potential,” just like he did.

“I have come from being a skeptic to being a huge advocate and voice for Dakota Resources. This organization is about helping people help themselves. I am 100% an example of that.”

Empower! Dakota Sites Annual Impacts:

  • 946 Citizens engaged in town hall conversations
  • 349 Citizens engaged in community initiatives
  • 40 Citizen-led initiatives started or completed

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