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October, 2021 Newsletter
Promoting prosperity, growth, and our way of life in the lower Oahe region.

Hello [First Name],


This is the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Pierre Economic Development Corporation's October 2021 E-Newsletter.


Take a few moments to enjoy an update from the Chamber as we promote prosperity, growth, and our way of life in the lower Oahe region.


-Your Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Staff

CEO's Report
Sara Rankin, Chamber Chief Executive Officer

Fall is officially here. The leaves are beginning to change, and the temperatures are starting to drop. With these changes, we begin to turn our thoughts to the quickly approaching holiday season. This time of year is a favorite around the Chamber, and we are excited to continue with the tradition of hosting many of the areas favorite holiday events!


It may not be a universally recognized holiday, but it sure is in South Dakota – pheasant hunting season opener is Saturday, October 16, and boy, are we excited! Show off your enthusiasm for the upcoming hunting season by participating in Rooster Rush week, October 11-17. Join us as we roll out the orange carpet and welcome hunters and their families to our area!


November brings our 21st Annual Parade of Lights, a kickoff to the holiday season. Monday, November 22, the Parade of Lights will be marching down our streets spreading holiday cheer! Pierre’s most famous holiday tradition, Christmas at the Capitol, will hold its Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 23. The annual tree display will be showcased until December 26 and is open to the public every day from 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM. November 27 is Small Business Saturday and, as always, the Chamber would like to remind the Pierre and Fort Pierre communities to shop small and support our local retail stores as we head into the holiday season.


The Chamber’s Annual Celebration and Community Christmas Party is on Thursday, December 9, featuring hypnotist Kellan Marson. Sure to be a hit, we invite you to join us and bring your friends. We’ve booked the room, planned the meal, and arranged for the entertainment and we welcome you to sit back and enjoy the evening! Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office or on our website at or contact Mallory. Back by popular demand, the Chamber will be hosting a meet and greet with Santa and his reindeer on Sunday, December 12 at East Pierre Landscape and Garden Center. Bring the kids, grab a cup of cocoa, and get up close and personal with Dasher, Dancer, and the rest of the gang.


As you begin thinking about your holiday shopping, or start to add to your own wish list, we urge you to keep our local retailers in mind. We are truly blessed to have so many great options. I also encourage you to support our local non-profits as they roll out their holiday campaigns. There are countless non-profits whose work becomes increasingly important during the holiday season, and it is up to us as community members to help them make a difference! This holiday season we encourage you to stay Loyal2Local!


The Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce will be closed on Monday, October 11 in observance of

Native American Day. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, October 12 at 8:00 AM.

Improve Your Networking Results with a Four-Point Plan
Chrstina R. Metcalf, Contributor, Chamber Blog Post
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding's Report

For more than a decade, I’ve worked on local government budgets. They aren’t always fun; at times, they could even be painful. But I’m pleased to say the 2022 budget planning season was a good one!


At last week’s commission meeting, we approved a $57 million budget. With those funds we are able to improve infrastructure in the community (we included an extra $1 million for street projects), get staff the equipment it needs to operate efficiently, and continue to provide quality service to our community members.  


That’s all happening without raising wastewater or electrical rates! You might remember, we are raising water rates as part of the drinking water treatment facility project. You might also remember, that increase was approved by voters and required by the state funding used for the project.


But more importantly, this means our revenues are covering our expenses! It doesn’t mean we’re sitting on a pot of gold, but it does mean we’re not sacrificing new equipment for operational expenses. It means our current needs are being met.


Since becoming Mayor, I have asked the team to take a conservative approach to the budget process and to focus on infrastructure, equipment, and buildings. It has worked out really well. With that goal we are modernizing all of utilities –drinking water, wastewater, and electric. We are making significant headway on street upgrades. We’re giving a boost to community assets that have fallen into disrepair. You’ll notice much of that work in our park systems where facilities, including the outdoor pool, are being replaced or repaired. And we have returned our reserves to a healthy state.


Aiding in those improvements and positive outlook has been our local spending and sales tax receipts. We saw those jump considerably this year. I think a significant piece of that can be attributed to the shop local commitment we realized during the pandemic. By allowing businesses to stay open, we allowed our community to keep progressing. We also received some one-time pandemic related funding from the federal government that provided us with additional confidence to keep projects pushing forward.


Prudent financial planning paired with healthy sales tax returns and one-time funding gave us the financial resources we needed. But that’s just one piece necessary to complete the budget. For the last couple of years, we have taken a different approach with our budget process as well.  Rather than a top-down approach, we have our departments prioritize their needs. This helps ensure the full commission understands what our team needs to efficiently and effectively do their jobs.


We are ending 2021 on solid financial footing, and 2022 looks to bring more of the same!

Fort Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson's Report
Jim Protexter, COO
Capital City Economy
CVB Report
Tia Kafka, Convention & Visitors Bureau Director
Membership Report
Katie Johnson, Membership Director
New Members

Dakota News Now

455 S. Pierre Street

Pierre, SD 57501


Follow us on Facebook

Television Stations; KSFY, KDLT, FOX, CW & MeTV

Dakota Wesleyan University - Learn & Earn Program Pierre

925 E. Sioux Ave.

Pierre, SD 57501



Affordable and efficient 16-month path to career and degree for students with industry-recognized certifications in areas such as insurance and banking, data analytics, human resources, project management, social media marketing and business administration.  This program is developed in partnership with businesses and industries in the Pierre region designed to meet the specific needs of Pierre area employers.

Member Highlights
Chamber Events & Reminders

Ribbon Cuttings & Open Houses

Leonard Managment McDonald's


Leonard Management McDonald's in Pierre kicked off their three-day Grand Opening event with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, September 8. As part of the Grand Opening, McDonald's donated a percentage of sales to the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area.

Dakota News Now


Dakota News Now was finally able to cut the ceremonial ribbon on Thursday, Sept. 23 after having to put the event on hold due to COVID-19. The news organization moved into 455 S Pierre Street in February of 2020, and is a shared partnership with KOTA Territory News and Black Hills Fox in Rapid City.

South Dakota Discovery Center


The South Dakota Discovery Center celebrated its new Soil is Life exhibit with an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, September 24.  From the soil beneath your feet to the farthest reaches of the universe, find out how everything is connected in the new exhibit!

Fall Business After Hours


The Chamber held Fall Business After Hours on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at The Silver Spur Restaurant. Co-hosts included the Capital Area Pickleball Association, Pierre Educational Foundation, First National Bank, Quality Quick Print and the South Dakota Historical Society. Event participants and attendees enjoyed food, beverages and getting back to building relationships in person.


The next Business After Hours will be on Thursday, November 18 at The Longbranch. If you would like to participate in a future Business After Hours, contact Katie via email or call 605.224.7361.

Leadership Pierre 2021-2022


The 2021-2022 class of Leadership Pierre got to know each other at their Kickoff event at the Missouri Avenue Event Center on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The following Thursday, Leadership Pierre enjoyed their first session with the objective to learn more about business, financial and professional development in the Pierre area.


Get Involved

October 2021 Calendar of Events

2021 Chamber Board of Directors


Executive Board

Thomas Allerdings - President, ClubHouse Hotel & Suites

Aaron Fabel - Vice President, Oahe Family YMCA

Jodie Anderson - Secretary, Strategic Association Services

Melissa Puepke - Treasurer, First Dakota National Bank

Meredith Lee - Past President, Lee Real Estate

Board Members

Kellie Yackley
Avera St. Mary's

Keil Wendelshafer

Jessica Mefferd
Mefferd Agency - Farmers Union Insurance

Steve Bass
Delta Dental of South Dakota

Scott Neu

Reinke Gray Wealth Management

Chris McConnell
Black Hills Federal Credit Union

Jaymason Bramblee
Oahe Federal Credit Union

Stephen Webb
Gateway Ford, Lincoln & Toyota

Uriah Steber
Drifters Bar & Grille

Ex-Officio Members

Andy Hubbart, PEDCO Chairman

Pierre Mayor Steve Harding

Ft. Pierre Mayor Gloria Hanson




Pierre Area

Chamber Staff


Sara Rankin

Chief Executive Officer


Katie Johnson

Membership Director


Tia Kafka

CVB Director


Mallory Benbow

Events & Communications Director

Pierre Economic Development Corporation

2021 Investor List


Thank you to the following businesses, organizations and individuals who are supporting economic development in Central South Dakota through their PEDCO membership investment.
Platinum Investors - $1000

Avera St. Mary's/Avera Medical Group


First National Bank

Montana-Dakota Utilities


Gold Investors - $600

A-G-E Corporation

American Bank & Trust

Beck Motor Company

Brosz Engineering Inc.

First Dakota National Bank

Midwest Development Inc.

SD Intrastate Pipeline Co.


Silver Investors - $300

Allied Plumbing and Heating Inc.

American Medical Response

Anderson Nill & Associates Inc.

Bartlett & Weaver Eye Clinic

Dairy Queen

Dakota Prairie Bank

Delta Dental

Fischer Rounds & Associates Inc.

Nystrom Electrical Contracting Inc.

Robins Water Conditioning Inc.

Stulken Petersen Lingle Walti & Jones LLP


Bronze Investors - $150

Acorn Trust Company, AmericInn Hotel & Suites, Anderson Contractors Inc., Anderson Dentistry, Angel’s Salon, BPRO Inc., Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Branding Iron Bistro, Butler Machinery Co., Central Dakota Eyecare LLP, Chandlers Inc., Chase Auto & RV, Clausen & Rice Inc, Clubhouse Hotel & Suites,  CommTech, Cone Ag Inc., Country Carpet & Flooring, Cowboy Country Stores, DJ’s Convenience Store, Dakota Radio Group KGFX – KPLO – River 92.7 – 1001.1 The Eagle, Dakota Storm Roofing, Rick Dockter/Ameriprise Financial, Drifters Bar & Grille, East Pierre Landscape & Garden Center, Envirotech, Feigum Funeral Home, Ferding Electric Inc., Floss Dentistry, Fort Pierre Development Corporation, Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, Foster Rentals, Friman Oil & Gas Inc., Governor’s Inn, Halverson Hunts LLC, Hughes County Abstract, Ingram Pest Service, Isburg Funeral Chapels, Jake’s Goodtimes Place, Jerome Beverage Inc., Korner Grocery, Krueger Contracting Inc., La Minestra, Lee Real Estate, Leingang Home Center, Mad Mary’s Steakhouse & Saloon, May Adam Gerdes & Thompson LLP, McDonald’s, MicroFix Inc., Midcontinent Communications, Midwest Cooperative, Missouri River Dentistry, Moreno Bachand Hruska & Scheibe PC, Morris Inc., Mustang Aviation, Nagel Agency Inc., Northridge Plaza, Northwest Pipe Fittings Inc., Oahe Electric Cooperative, Oahe Federal Credit Union, Oahe Home Builders Association, Oahe Veterinary Clinic, Olinger Law Firm, Olson Plumbing Inc., Palmer Currier & Hoffert LLP, Peitz Heating & Cooling, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, Pergroup, Perkins Restaurant, Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Sports Center, Pizza Ranch, Puetz Corporation, Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Reinke Gray Wealth Management, Richie Z’s Brickhouse BBQ, Riter Rogers Wattier & Northrup LLP, Runnings, South Dakota Community Foundation, SDN Communications, Servall Uniform & Linen Supply, Slumberland Furniture, Smith Plumbing, S.D. Electric Utility Companies, State 123 Theatre, State Farm Insurance – Becki Potrzeba, Sunnyside Daycare LLC, Thielen Surveying & Mapping, Titan Machinery Inc., TMA of Pierre, US Bank, Wheelhouse Plumbing, Willard & Associates Inc., Willow Creek Wildlife, WW Tire Service, Zach Clark Insurance Inc.


Individual & Non-Profit Investors $60

Capital City Campus, Charles P. Schroyer, S.D. Bankers Association, S.D. Chamber of Commerce & Industry, S.D. Discovery Center, Rev. Jon B. Urbach

2021 PEDCO Board of Directors


Executive Board


Andy Hubbart - Chairman,


Mark Anderson - Secretary,
Self Employed

Kim Easland - Treasurer,
American Bank & Trust

Trustee - Doug Abraham
May, Adam, Gerdes, Thompson Law Firm

Trustee - Rick Dockter
Ameriprise Financial

Trustee - Ron Wagner
First National Bank


Trustee - Gordon Woods
SD Intrastate Pipeline

Karl Richards
Avera Medical Associates Clinic

Prakash Saripalli
My3Tech, 1 Stop Travel

Dawn Morris
Morris Inc.

Zach Clark
Clark Insurance

Damon Wheelhouse
Allied Plumbing & Heating

Liaisons - Annual Appointment

Thomas Allerdings
Chamber of Commerce

Jamie Huizenga
Pierre City Commission

Kim Olson
Area Director of Sen. Mike Rounds

Kristi Honeywell
Pierre City Administrator

Tom Rounds

Hughes County Commission


Jim Protexter
Chief Operating Officer

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