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Gov. Daugaard Announces Economic Development Awards

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard recognized individuals and communities alike for their achievements and contributions to economic development in South Dakota at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) annual conference tonight. Gov. Daugaard recognized Ron Kraft of Yankton, Jim Meyer of Spearfish and the communities of Belle Fourche and Vermillion.

Kraft was honored with the Excellence in Economic Development Award, which is presented annually at the GOED conference.

“Ron is described as a tireless leader and a life-long student of economic development,” said Gov. Daugaard. “He is willing to do whatever is asked, from book keeping to meeting with prospects to high-level strategic input and planning for the community of Yankton. It is my honor to present him with the 2014 Excellence in Economic Development Award.”

Meyer, owner of Quarq Technologies, which develops and sells innovative high tech devices for the bicycle industry, was named the 2014 South Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year.

“After growing his company to 30 employees, Jim Meyer sold it in 2012 to a leading bike innovator, SRAM,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Even though he no longer owns the company, Jim still manages the R&D and manufacturing operations in Spearfish. Meyer is a great example of a South Dakotan who ventured out and then decided to come back to pursue his dream in our business-friendly state.”

The Governor also recognized Belle Fourche and Vermillion as the small and large Communities of the Year.

“Belle Fourche is transforming its economic development landscape. The community has been busy the last few years reorganizing its economic development corporation, hiring a full-time executive director and assisting in the construction of an industrial park,” said Gov. Daugaard. “In 2013, Texas-based Permian Tank announced it was expanding to the community. The expansion will bring up to 65 new jobs and $6.2 million in capital investment. There’s no doubt that Belle Fourche is deserving of the Small Community of the Year Award.”

“Vermillion is taking a multi-faceted approach to achieving economic development,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Vermillion is focusing on further developing its workforce, business park and economic development corporation.  In addition, the Vermillion Development Corporation is actively engaged in the community’s second capital campaign, which is working to raise money to fund economic development and quality of life initiatives. Congratulations to the Community of Vermillion.”

Media Contact

Members of the media requesting more information should contact Natalie Likness at Natalie.Likness@state.sd.us or (605) 773-3301.