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Volume 1. Issue No. 6

SEPTEMBER 2020

BEEKEEPERS have the BLACK HILLS BUZZING New sales program offers CUTTING EDGE SKILLS

REDISCOVER

DOWNTOWN RAPID CITY

Domico Rodriguez puts his heart and soul into Main Street Square


Your health care needs shouldn’t wait. Delaying or avoiding routine care can have negative consequences on your health. Do not let fear of COVID-19 keep you away from important medical care. To ensure you can safely seek care at Monument Health hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms, we have taken extra precautions so you can get the care you need. We also offer telemedicine appointments. If you have been delaying care, we encourage you to reach out to your provider and discuss the best option for you.

www.monument.health


For whatever the classroom looks like for you.

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SEPT. 2020 Volume 1. Issue No. 6

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ELEVATING OUR COMMUNITY

20

BETTING ON HIMSELF

28

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE AND BUZZING

Business renovations make big impact on customer experience.

Domico Rodriguez puts his heart and soul into Main Street Square.

A Tilford couple is helping educate and serve beekeepers.

ROCKIN' THE ARENA

Jason Berner of the Sean Curtis Band lays down a bass line at the Central States Fair on August 23, 2020. The 75th edition of the fair featured dirt bikes, a demo derby, live music and plenty of rodeo action in the grandstand.

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


ELEVATE RAPID CITY A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 E C O N O M I C I N D I C AT O R S POPULATION 142,400

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 8.2%

AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES $ 851

EMPLOYMENT NONFARM 66,000

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY 9,100

EDUCATION HEALTH SERVICES 11,600

PRIMARY SECTOR 13,600

ECONOMY RAPID CITY GROSS SALES $ 687,911,522

AIRPORT PASSENGERS 40,369

HOTEL OCCUPANCY 54%

BUILDING PERMITS 561

REAL ESTATE ACTIVE LISTINGS 410

MEDIAN LISTING PRICE $ 364,950 Increase over last period Decrease over last period

Monthly comparisons, industry analysis and additional economic indicators available on exclusive investor report.

elevaterapidcity.com

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CEO NOTE Elevate is a monthly publication produced by Elevate Rapid City. It is the premier business magazine for the Black Hills region telling the stories that make our area unique and vibrant.

PO Box 747 Rapid City, SD 57709 605.343.1744 elevaterapidcity.com PRESIDENT & CEO Tom Johnson DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP Mitch Nachtigall DIRECTOR OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTOR RELATIONS Brandis Knudsen

Tom Johnson // Elevate Rapid City CEO If you’ve not yet read the book Contagious, by Wharton School of Business Professor Jonah Berger, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. The book describes why people care about ideas and products, why things go viral, and more importantly, how you can make your own ideas better catch on. Berger describes six ways to make something more viral (or contagious), but by far the three best ways are: • Add practical value • Convey emotion • Tell a compelling story When we choose topics for the Elevate magazine each month, we always look at it through those three lenses. If a piece doesn’t add value, create some emotional connection, or tell a story through a dramatic character arc, we generally don’t let it through. If I had to pick the most important of the three, I’d take storytelling every time. We’ve evolved as social creatures and storytelling is hard wired into our DNA. Facts may make people think, but stories make them act. Which brings us to this month’s issue of Elevate. Of all the issues we’ve done in the past, this issue may feature the most stories of them all. There are stories about downtown, stories about business, stories about entrepreneurship, stories about the military (our own Ryan Boyd’s story is as good as it gets), stories about education, and the cover story about Domico Rodriguez—well, that’s just a story about a guy who found his way and never looked back. Which reminds me of another story, of course. Once there was an organization that changed the way people talked about the Rapid City and Black Hills Region. The organization showed the region wasn’t just for tourists anymore, that this place had a quality of life for everyone. And, after awhile, people even said the organization started elevating the entire region. And when the organization looked at how they did it, they realized it didn’t just happen all at once. It happened one story at a time. And then they asked: what will your story be? Stay safe and God-speed,

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020

EVENTS & TRAINING MANAGER Rachel Day PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR Anna Hays ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt Brunner WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & TALENT ATTRACTION MANAGER Samantha McGrath COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Shiloh Francis CREATIVE SERVICES Andy Greenman FINANCE DIRECTOR Dana Borowski FINANCE MANAGER Debbie Leber HR COORDINATOR/ OFFICE MANAGER Liz Highland EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Becky Knox ADMIN & DATA SERVICES COORDINATOR Loni Reichert CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dustie M. Clements PUBLISHED BY THE RAPID CITY JOURNAL Matt Tranquill, Publisher PRINTED BY SIMPSON PRINTING Dan Simpson, Printer ADVERTISE mtranquill@gmail.com // 605-394-8301

ON THE COVER Domico Rodriguez is all smiles while setting up for Golden Hour Live on August 7, 2020. Photo by Shiloh Francis


COMMENTS CANDYLAND CHILD CARE CENTER Sandy is *excellent* with kiddos! Box Elder is so blessed to have someone as caring, experienced, and wonderful as her building a center to serve more families. She took care of my 2 girls and they absolutely adored her and her family! Lindsey Wheeler

REVOLVING LOAN FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESS What a great opportunity for local businesses! Hannah Sage

ELEVATE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS CONNECTION

CALENDAR SEPTEMBER 3

Elevate Government Affairs Connection feat. Mayor Steve Allender

Please join Elevate Rapid City in welcoming Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender to September’s Government Affairs Connection! The City of Rapid City has put forth their best leadership despite the extraordinary circumstances presented to our shared community this year. In recent months, the Mayor and City Council have worked tirelessly on solutions and strategies to support the safety, success, and quality of life for individuals and businesses alike. We look forward to hearing from Mayor Allender for a State of the City update, covering recent Human Relations Commission Task Force recommendations, the potential Home Rule charter, and the 2021 Budget for the City of Rapid City. Register at elevaterapidcity.com

SEPTEMBER 4

SD Made Mini Market Ft. Sean McConnell

The SD Made Mini Market features local produce, arts & crafts, food vendors and more. Sean McConnell is an American folk artist from Nashville who will be performing tracks from his recently released his 13th album. Learn more at mainstreetsquare.org.

SEPTEMBER 8-29

Leading With Confidence: 4-Part Series Great opportunity to stay informed West River Electric Association

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL GROUP SPOTLIGHT So glad to be part of a fun and active community and happy to help out where I can! Tyler Artz

CONNECT WITH US! Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/ElevateRapidCity), Instagram (@elevaterapidcity), LinkedIn (/company/elevate-rapid-city) Twitter (@Elevate_RC), and YouTube (https://bit.ly/2ABRByL). Share your thoughts and help us Elevate Rapid City together!

Just want to send a rant? Email: magazine@elevaterapidcity.com

Rose Group Int’l has been guiding powerful thought leaders, trusted advisors, influential consultants, and driven internal change makers to become iX™ Leaders. An iX™ Leader inspires accountability, creates trust, unlocks lines of communication, drives innovation and productivity, and grows profit. Join Dr. Rachel MK Headley and Meg Manke, the incredible women behind Rose Group Int’l, as they lead a four part series throughout the month of September. Register at elevaterapidcity.com

SEPTEMBER 26

12th Annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival

Visit Main Street Square, venture down Sixth St., and into Memorial Park for a day full of fall fun including two rounds of pumpkin catapults, giant pumpkin weigh-off, Downtown pub crawl, Monument Health Kidz Zone, vendors and more. Learn more at mainstreetsquare.org.

LEADING with CONFIDENCE

a four-part virtual training series…

Rose Group Int’l has been guiding powerful thought leaders, trusted advisors, influential consultants, and driven internal change makers to become iX™ Leaders. An iX™ Leader inspires accountability, creates trust, unlocks lines of communication, drives innovation and productivity, and grows profit. Join Dr. Rachel MK Headley and Meg Manke, the incredible women behind Rose Group Int’l, as they lead a four part series throughout the month of September.

Visit elevaterapidcity.com to register.

Each session has been approved for SHRM credits and other professional credits are pending.

elevaterapidcity.com

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SMALL BUSINESS

Elevating our

Community

Exterior updates make big impact on customer experience Story by Shiloh Francis l Photos by Andy Greenman and Brandis Knudsen

P

icture this: You are visiting a new town, looking for a place to shop and grab a bite to eat. As you come upon the first business, this is what you see: Handwritten signs on cardboard taped to the door. Cracked, dirty windows. Lights so dim you’re not even sure if the place is actually open. And as you look closer, the letters on the sign are so faded you can’t make out the words to even know the name of the business is what it offers. Did you choose the wrong vacation destination? You look across the street to see another business. A bright “Open” sign glows, drawing you in. Colorful photos show off that day’s special or sale. The large windows, lined with beautiful flower boxes, show off a bright, clean exterior. And there is even a bowl of water in case you brought your dog with you.

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


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Ready for the future. We want to inspire the next generation of excellent employees. That’s why we invest in the education of our youth. Learn more at blackhillsenergy.com/future. ©79601_20

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


Elevating Our Community

Businesses must take care of their customers. Creating a positive experience not only increases the likelihood of repeat business. But also opens the door of opportunity for customers to tell their friends and family. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertising available! But what does it mean to craft a positive customer experience? Offering the right product at a fair price. Clean and accessible. Great customer service. These are a few things that may first come to mind. But one thing that should not be overlooked: the exterior. As we learned in the opening story: You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Fortunately for Rapid City, we have a multitude of businesses that take pride in this very thing. The work businesses do to keep up appearances not only help with customers, but also elevates the community as a whole. It tells visitors, and reminds locals, that we take pride in our city and its success. A great example of how the exterior ties into the experience for customers is found in Golden Ticket Cinemas. News about an “upscale’ movie theater traveled quickly. They promised new and different but could not do that on the inside without also making changes on the outside. Fresh paint and new signage provide a more upscale feel, which is exactly what movie-goers can expect when they walk inside as well. Often new ownership is the catalyst for change to a building, but this does not have to be the case. Businesses should not only be maintaining their exteriors, but also taking the time to refresh the outside to stay fresh and current. Take, for example, the McDonald’s on Cleveland Street. It has been in Rapid City for years, but you’d never guess by looking at it. They have taken the time to remodel the inside to meet demands of today’s society, while also giving a fresh coat of paint for a clean, welcoming exterior.

Speaking of new ownership, the changes to the newly named Burns Building are hard to miss! Home to Project Solutions, Inc and Parkside Chiropractic Center, the 1960s building got a major facelift. The new name, paint, and fresh design makes it hard to miss on the corner of 5th and Kansas City streets. Paint isn’t everything. Taking the time to improve landscaping can also improve the exterior of a building. Take the Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons office, for example. They built a garden bed around their sign complete with flowers, painted rocks and a butterfly garden. These bright colors offer a welcoming, cheerful curb appeal for visitors. Canyon Lake Activity Center also made significant landscaping improvements over the past year. This beautiful work can be enjoyed by all as they make their way to crush a game on the pickleball court.

Canyon Lake Activity Center extended the landscaping to the pickleball courts.

Even the smallest change can have a big impact on curb appeal and first impressions. But even those come at a cost. Realizing the long-term value of these changes, Elevate Rapid City will soon be rolling out a program to help businesses overcome the cost barrier. Keep an eye out on Elevate’s social media and at elevaterapidcity.com to be the first to know when the program launches. elevaterapidcity.com

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YOUNG PROFESSIONAL GROUP

You get to sample the products, right?

Yes, of course it’s part of the job to sample the products! We have about 10-20 new products a year. This year some of our biggest are Bud Light seltzer, Bud Light Lemonade, and Bud Zero (a non-alcoholic beer). After hearing marketing pitches and seeing packaging renders for months I am always excited to try the liquids. I also frequently get asked if I have free samples to pass out, to which I usually reply

“Sorry, I drank them all!” What sets Rapid City apart from other places you've lived?

Rapid City has so much to offer its residents and visitors. My favorite thing has been joining local volleyball leagues and hiking. I have spent more time outside and exploring in Rapid then any other place I have lived. It has so many resources to get you involved and show you all the events, sights, and opportunities. It's so easy and convenient to get out of the house and spend time being adventurous.

Why did you choose to join the Young Professional Group?

ALISON ROY TERRITORY MANAGER // QUALITY BRANDS

Tell us about yourself. I love working in the beer industry. I have been working for Anheuser-Busch the past 4 years. Currently I work with Quality Brands as a Territory Manager. I am from Oklahoma and this is my fifth state I've lived in. I graduated from Oklahoma State with a double major in Marketing and Management. I met my husband in college and we now live together with our dog Chief. My favorite things to do are travel and spend time with family.

What is your role as Territory Manager? I work with Quality Brands of the Black Hills on all Anheuser-Busch initiatives. I work with all the AB brands from sales, marketing, logistics, pricing, etc. The beers I help to manage are Budweiser family, Bud Light family, Michelob Ultra Family, Stella, Busch Light, Natural light family, 7 craft breweries and more. The territory spans most of West River. Quality services every restaurant, bar, gas station, grocery store, and liquor store. If there is beer there it’s one of our accounts!

I chose to join YPG because after moving to Rapid I was excited to meet like minded professional people! I came in not knowing a soul and just kept an open mind. It was an excellent opportunity to network and meet people in the finance world who could help me with investments and realtors who could help me look for a house and gain some new friends. The people I have met at YPG make the monthly meetings like a big friend hangout, and I am always excited to celebrate people’s professional and personal accomplishments. Why would you suggest others to join the group?

There is no reason not to join YPG. I joined YPG initially to make friends and start immersing myself in Rapid City. If you are interested in learning more about the business, culture, and people of Rapid City you should join. Personally YPG has brought me a network of people who have awesome careers but also have turned into friends. Even if you are nervous come to a meeting, and just give it a try!

GET CONNECTED: rapidcityoungprofessionalsgroup

Stay up-to-date with upcoming events and connect with other young professionals from the area. elevaterapidcity.com

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020

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MAIN STREET

Find Timeless Style at

Michael’s Menswear

O

Story by Main Street Square l Photos by Andy Greenman

ver the past 36 years there have been many changes in men’s fashion. Michael Konvalin has been a staple in Downtown Rapid City, styling many of Rapid City’s best dressed. Konvalin has been on the same downtown block since 1984. Throughout his time there he has seen downtown retail evolve through the good, the bad, and now a pandemic. After returning from Vietnam and a career in accounting, Konvalin, a native of Winner, South Dakota, settled in Rapid City. He decided to pursue a career in men’s fashion, which is something he knew a lot about. “Back in those days everyone dressed up, wearing a suit and tie was the expectation if you wanted to be successful.” Since opening the doors to his namesake business, Konvalin has been creating personal connections and friendships which he credits to his longevity as a staple downtown. “We keep the sizes of every customer on file… but I take pride in knowing what each customer likes and they trust my opinions on style and sizing.” 36 years later, Konvalin still works six days a week. “I’m in the service industry, I need to make myself available to my customers,”

he explains. “Even if it means coming in on a Sunday to meet someone from out of town. I’ve got to be there for my customers, they expect that and it’s what sets me apart.” Like most businesses, his was affected by COVID-19. “With some of the suit manufacturers filing bankruptcy this year it may be more difficult to get in additional inventory in the future. Having inventory is a big deal in business, if someone comes in to buy a suit. I need to be able to have them try it on while they’re here.” When asked why his business has remained in the same location Konvalin replied, “I have always wanted to be I take pride in knowing downtown. what each customer likes Even when the and they trust my opinions mall opened on style and sizing.” I could only see myself - Michael Konvalin here. There is so much freedom with being downtown and its easy for my customers to get here. There is something special about being downtown.”

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FIVE FAST FASHION INSIGHTS What is the worst fashion trend you have seen in your time? Leisure suits, without a doubt. What is the biggest mistake men make when wearing a suit? The shoes get missed a lot, shoes can make or break the look. What fashion trends will we be seeing in the near future? Fashion is on hold; things will remain conservative for the near future. Like everything, we are at a holding point. How does someone who owns a suit store pick out a suit to wear for the day? I have a rotation of suits and I lay out my suit, shirt and tie the night before to prepare for the next day of work. What advice would you give someone buying a new suit? Buy two ties with every suit, everyone says they have a tie to match the suit at home, but it never matches the way they thought. Question: What is mediation? Answer: Mediation is one of the most popular methods to settle disputes. It is different than arbitration which actually renders a decision. Why MEDIATION WORKS? 1. The mediator acts as a guide and the parties participate in their own settlement alternatives. 2. Any communication in mediation cannot be used as evidence in any proceeding and a court appointed mediator may not be a witness. Her notes are not subject to discovery. SDCLยง 25-4-60. 3. A mediator has no stake in the outcome and may not make a recommendation to the court concerning the matter. SDCL ยง 25-4-62. What can be mediated? Well, Anything!!!!.

Lorie D. Melone 1107 Mt. Rushmore Road, Suite #3A Rapid City, SD 57701 Phone: 605-791-4950 Lorie D. Melone โ€ข Family Law Attorney & Certified Mediator

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020

Michael Konvalin

Under NEW OWNERSHIP


MILITARY

Ryan Boyd

Passionate Husband, Airman, and Life-long Learner

By Dustie M. Clements

As a child, Ryan Boyd loved playing soccer and riding his bicycle around town. Boyd grew up inspired by his father and grandfather who were both Army veterans. Learning about the military through his family helped push Boyd in the direction of service. While he joined a different branch, the military was in Boyd’s blood. “No one talked me into it or had to convince me, I went to the recruiter on my own.” After talking to a recruiter next to a favored pizza place, Boyd quickly joined the Air Force. “The next thing I know I was on my way to beautiful San Antonio, TX!” Military Service Boyd is now a Master Sergeant, E-7 with a special and life-saving job. His specialty is Aerospace Ground Equipment or AGE. With the equipment Boyd uses, he and his fellow airmen test the aircrafts without having to leave the ground. “Some of it is used to help simulate conditions in flight or cool the aircraft the way it would if it were flying. That way the aircraft maintainers can check if it is working properly without having to fly the plane.” Fewer in-air malfunctions mean fewer accidents and safer flying conditions.

Around the World and Back Traveling is on most people’s bucket lists, and Boyd has been all around the world. Working for the Air Force, Boyd has enjoyed working in Portugal, Japan, and England. Boyd’s favorite place to live was Terceira Island in Portugal, where he savored the culture and food, not to mention the sights. From any point on the island, a beautiful view of the ocean is available. “I really enjoyed going to the bullfights in the summer months. They don’t hurt the bulls, they just let “I want people to them run know that I loved through the streets serving my country and the these last 20 years, villagers test their and I would do it all to try again in a heartbeat. luck not to get gored.” Along with traveling the world, Boyd has had the opportunity to visit all but five US states. “Now that I’ve called them out, I’ll have to visit sometime in the future.” The views, food, and fun are just bonuses for Boyd, though, who truly enjoys what he does. “I want people to know that I loved serving my country these last 20 years, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done.” Skillbridge Today, Boyd is an intern for Elevate Rapid City through the DoD Skillbridge program. “Every day at Elevate is a bit different. I have been spending time with each person who works here and trying to learn as much as possible.” The program helps active duty military members have a smooth transition from military to civilian life after they leave the service. “It is an opportunity that allows us to participate in an internship or job skills program during the last six months that we serve. The Airman shows up to the alternate duty location instead of reporting to the base every day.”

elevaterapidcity.com

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“It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Black Hills definitely has some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States."

Loving Family Boyd met his wife Melinda in Las Vegas in 2006 and the couple wed three years later in 2009. After moving to South Dakota from England in the summer of 2018, Melinda began working as a dietitian at Ellsworth. Boyd always speaks lovingly about his wife of 11 years, “She stays busy with teaching and volunteer work. She is my inspiration and an awesome cook!” Even with family spread from New Jersey to Florida, Boyd loves living in the Black Hills. “I really like the spring, when all the snow is melting but there are still mounds of snow in the shady parts of the hills. That’s when you know summer is just around the corner. You can’t beat a breezy, sunny day in the Black Hills during the summer.” When Boyd isn’t working, he

enjoys reading, exercising, tinkering, and of course, playing with his one-year-old puppy. The spaciousness of the Hills allows Boyd to take Harley, his Bouvier Des Flandres out for fetch and exercise. Boyd is a friendly, animal loving, family man who has served his country well and has a bright future ahead of him here in South Dakota. Although he has been around the world, Boyd sees the Black Hills as his home. “It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Black Hills definitely has some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States.” Boyd strives to help others and always remain humble, though he is a man who easily commands respect and admiration. “Every person is unique and if they are given the opportunity to express their talents, they are capable of great things.”

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GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Preparing Local Businesses for Doing

Work with the Government by Shiloh Francis

Once upon a time, there was a local business looking to contract with a company to do some painting. There were several companies in Rapid City that could do the job. But the local business could not find a single one. Why? Because none of the companies were that local business’ magic list. And if the local companies had only known they needed to register, they could have been in line for dozens of more jobs. And everyone would have lived happily ever after. Is this some fairy tale? Not at all. The local business is Ellsworth Air Force Base, one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the area. Ellsworth, the US Forest Service, Department of Energy, and other Federal agencies are often soliciting bids for business in South Dakota. But in the end, find themselves having to partner with out of state entities because “These webinars will there a few to no be crucial not only in local companies supporting the B21 even to consider. Revenue for a local mission but in helping company is lost. our businesses grow and The Federal agency prosper." must pay the cost - Steve Westra, of a team coming Commissioner of GOED from out of state, all the while knowing there are capable businesses right here. The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), South Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (SDEDA), and Elevate Rapid City have come together with a solution. We know that if given a chance, South Dakota businesses are more than able to answer the call for service. But they need a little help.

Businesses are invited to attend free, weekly webinars to learn about what is needed to sell to federal, state, and local government agencies. These workshops will provide insight and the opportunity to ask questions from the experts. Businesses can expect presentations from Manufacturing & Technology Solutions (MTS), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), and Ellsworth Corps of Engineers. There will even be a special session with Northrop Grumman in anticipation of the B21 Mission and expansion at Ellsworth. “These webinars will be crucial not only in supporting the B21 mission but in helping our businesses grow and prosper,” says Steve Westra GOED Commissioner. “We know there are so many contracting opportunities available, and we want to make sure we get our companies connected to the entities that can help them through the procurement process.” Tom Johnson, President and CEO of Elevate Rapid City, added: “Our goal is to elevate the region for everyone, and that means giving our businesses the tools they need to grow and expand. As local businesses can take advantage of prime opportunities such as government contracts, they can create more jobs and grow the economy.” More information and registration for these free sessions can be found at elevaterapidcity. com/govcontracts.

elevaterapidcity.com

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Domico Rodriguez

BETS ON HIMSELF Story and photos by Shiloh Francis

Working nights and weekends as a Blackjack dealer in

Deadwood, Domico Rodriguez would watch people place bets night after night. He had taken a chance, moving away from his family in Denver to join the football and track teams at Black

Hills State University. He didn’t know what his future would hold, but he wanted to pave his own way.

After graduation he found himself working three jobs in

downtown Rapid City, hoping to save enough money to move to Las Vegas. One night, on a break from driving the shuttle for the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza, he was asked a question that

would change everything: “Why would you go be a small fish in a big pond in Vegas, when you could stay and have a real impact here in Rapid City?”

The answer to that question changed everything for Rodriguez.

It was time he bet on himself.

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020

2019


GOING ALL IN ON R APID CITY

Once he’s committed to something, Domico is all in. If he had to choose three things that best describe him, they would be: integrity, hard work, and real. Those three qualities have led to his bet paying off, and making a difference for Rapid City. He first realized how truly unique and special Rapid City was when he traded three jobs for one: the Sports & Events Manager for the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau (now Visit Rapid City). “People had no idea where Rapid City was,” he recalled. “I always had to lead with: Have you heard of Mt. Rushmore?” But every time he would get a win and bring a group or tournament here, his passion for the area would reignite. “I would hear all the time from visitors how great Rapid City was. And I realized just how much I would take it for granted as a local.” At the same time Rodriguez was transforming his career, downtown Rapid City was entering its transformation. Discussions had begun around creating a central gathering place for families and the community; an outdoor space for events, art, and music surrounded by shopping and dining. Domico found himself knocking on doors and meeting with the community to help promote what is now known as Main Street Square.

“I would hear all the time from visitors how great Rapid City was. And I realized just how much I would take it for granted as a local.” - Domico Rodriguez

elevaterapidcity.com

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“10 years ago, I was knocking on doors, just trying to get people to buy into the idea of Main Street Square. I never dreamed I would be here.” - Domico Rodriguez

FINDING DOWNTOWN

AGAIN Ten years later, Rodriguez is doubling down on his bet – that he could make a difference in Rapid City. Looking back on his career, Downtown Rapid City has always been at the center. From the Holiday Inn and Sanford to the CVB and later the Hotel Alex Johnson. He has gotten to know business owners and welcome visitors. His passion, integrity, and desire to make an impact have led him to the very heart of Rapid City as he steps into the role of Executive Director for Main Street Square. “It’s crazy,” Rodriguez reflects as he looks out at the crew setting up for a concert. “Ten years ago, I was knocking on doors, just trying to get people to buy into the idea of Main Street Square. I never dreamed I would be here.” Elevate President and CEO Tom Johnson describes the downtown area as the heart and soul of Rapid City. "The heartbeat keeps you alive, pumping the blood with commerce," Johnson said. "Soul is about culture and the arts and why you really want to live in a place.” And now, as Domico says, it’s time to give downtown a jolt. One of his biggest goals in his role as Executive Director is to help people “find downtown again.” Main Street Square was built for locals. To be a family-centric gathering space for events, festivals, music and more. But over the years work has been done to tell visitors how great Rapid City is, while perhaps missing the mark on

reminding locals what there is to offer. “We’re starting to see a resurgence of downtown,” said Domico. New breweries like Pour 54 have opened. The Black Hills Barbershop has added a fresh new service to accompany anchor businesses like Michael’s Menswear, the Firehouse, Prairie Edge, and the Hotel Alex Johnson. Combine the businesses with the new arena at the Civic Center, Ascent Innovation and South Dakota Mines, there’s a lot of growth happening in the downtown corridor. And at the center of it all? Main Street Square. “I think it’s most important to create a sense of unity,” says Domico. People often say they have to leave town for things like shopping and events. But in order to bring those businesses to Rapid City and keep the ones that are already here, it’s “Soul is about culture important for locals to show up and the arts and why and support the you really want to businesses and live in a place." events. “From - Tom Johnson, the School of CEO of Elevate Rapid City Mines to West Boulevard, there is something here for everyone.” A person could grab dinner and drinks downtown before walking to the arena for a show and then spending the night in the hotel. There’s something here for everyone. Main Street Square was an investment first and foremost for the people who call Rapid City home. And Domico Rodriguez is going all in to make sure it continues to thrive. elevaterapidcity.com

25


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AGRICULTURE

The hills

are alive with the sound of

g i n u z z g b i g i … n u z u z z n g i b z bbuzz n Story by Dustie M. Clements Photos by Andy Greenman

...the Black Hills that is 28

E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


“The Bee Guy”

Bill Clements

Jerry Owens retired and moved to South Dakota in 2003. He purchased his first beehive and delved into the world of beekeeping. By 2009, he made it his goal to help others start beekeeping as well. Owens set up a booth at the county fair in Rapid City to gather interest. Nearly 90 people signed up to start a bee club, including Bill and Joan Clements. With such strong interest, Owens formed the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers Association to preserve and keep bees. He became known as “The Bee Guy,” supplying bees and equipment to firsttime beekeepers with his business, ADR Bees. Knowing it was time to hang it up once again, Owens sold ADR Bees to Bill and Joan Clements who rebranded the business into Dakota Honey and Bee Supplies.

Dakota Honey and Bee Supplies

LOCAL, LoCAL, LOCAL

Bill and Joan established their first hive in 2009 to enjoy honey and help the bee population. What they thought was a hobby quickly grew into much more. One hive multiplied into nearly ten at their apiary in Tilford, SD. “With our four colonies there are easily 150,000 to 200,000 bees,” explains Bill. Eleven years later, in January of 2020, Bill and Joan began Dakota Honey and Bee Supplies in the back of D&M Ag Supply in Rapid City. A mutual friend introduced the Clements to the owners, Paul and Jana Shankle. They had purchased D&M Ag Supply in 2018 and were looking to expand their inventory to include bee supplies. The store is located off East Highway 44, near Jolly Lane Nursery. Shoppers can purchase anything from lip balm made from beeswax to a full beekeeping kit. The Clements want to make beekeeping accessible by keeping prices reasonable and having everything needed to “The store carries start a hive available in everything a beekeeper their store. “The store will need to start keeping carries everything a beekeeper will need bees from scratch" to start keeping bees - Joan Clements from scratch,” Joan said. “In fact, we can special order supplies if it isn’t found in the store.” Included in the starter kit, which is around $400 with bees, are hive boxes, tools for hive maintenance, and protection equipment. No classes or extensive research is needed to start beekeeping; however, Bill suggests purchasing the book Beekeeping for Dummies which is also found at the store. “It’s a great resource for new and seasoned beekeepers alike,” he says.

Both Dakota Honey and Bee Supplies and D&M Ag Supply encourage supporting local businesses. They offer unique products such as: books by regional authors, hives painted by local artists, and most importantly, local raw honey. The Clements enjoy beekeeping not just for bees worldwide, but because it helps the Black Hills overall. “Beekeeping is helpful specifically to the Black Hills for crops and gardens because the bees pollinate the different plants,” Joan explains. “Without the bees there would be very little pollination going on. They’re the major pollinators in this area.” Not only do bees help pollinate a third of the world’s food supply, honey from the area can help people with seasonal allergies and health maintenance. Bill’s daughters have been around bees for a long time and they eat raw honey from their area to help with their seasonal allergies, both noticing the honey helps tremendously. Bill’s daughter Lacy shared, “If I don’t eat it for a few days then I do feel a difference [allergy wise]. I also like to make sure I get some daily in the fall and winter to help fight colds off.” elevaterapidcity.com

29


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There is no age limit to beekeeping. In general, honeybees are extremely docile creatures who do not want to sting. A bee dies shortly after it stings, so it's in the bees best interest to keep their stingers to themselves. Honeybees are so passive, that beekeeping is allowed inside city limits. In February 2020, Rapid City became the first Bee City USA affiliate in South Dakota, committing the city to the protection of honeybees. Joan smiled proudly as she advised, “Become a beekeeper if you can because it is a very interesting hobby. You’ll never not want to have bees again.”

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Get up


EDUCATION

Experts teach sales seminar at

Black Hills State University Five-week course to equip sale people with cutting edge skills Story and photos by Andy Greenman

A five-week sales seminar course at Black Hills State University - Rapid City begins October 1. The course is designed to support and develop sales workforce in the Black Hills. Long-term interest from local companies is helping shape the program. In 2017, Hans Nelson served as Director of Corporate Relations at the BHSU Foundation. During an internship and fundraising meeting with Coca-Cola High Country they expressed the need for a sales training class. The company was able to teach an employee how to sell their products, but often those employees lacked basic sales skills. During that time BHSU was not able to fulfill this request, but the seed was planted. A few years later, Nelson in his new role as Director of the Center for Hospitality & Business, was approached by Tom Johnson, CEO of Elevate Rapid City. Johnson reported that Sales and Customer Service were two of the top 10 jobs postings over the last three years in the region. Nelson knew it was time to move forward. A task force including cutting edge companies and BHSU faculty was “We aren’t following assembled to develop anything. This is a unique completely being program and facilitate the developed by our group classes. Online experts" sales degrees - Hans Nelson, are easy to Director of the Center for find, but a Hospitality & Business class led by local leaders is rare. “We aren’t following anything. This is completely being developed by our group experts,” Nelson said. The ten member task force includes Ray Hespen, CEO of Property Meld; Lynzie Montague, Director of Sales & Marketing at Liv Hospitality; Cody Welch, Sales Manager at Caliber; Shon Anderson, CEO of B9 Creations; Todd Gagne, President of DakotaShine Consulting; Tom Johnson, Executive Director at Elevate Rapid City; Julie Olson, CEO of Turner Lee Consulting; Priscilla Romkema, Vice President of

Academic Affairs, BHSU; Jeff Wehrung, Chair of the School of Business and Greg Farley, Dean of the School of Business & Natural Sciences at BHSU. The five-week sales seminar course begins October 1 and will cover the core competencies of sales: interpersonal skills, sales strategies, and closing/ sustainability. Students enrolled at BHSU will receive one credit, while professionals looking to take the next step will receive a certificate of completion. Although the course is still being developed, the first class is creating a buzz. Faculty are informing students and task members are sharing with other businesses in South Dakota. An innovative East River company plans to bring employees to the initial class. “We have a group from Brookings that are going to come for five weeks and live out of an Airbnb to do this course,” Nelson said. BHSU is planning for 30 students at the first class on October 1. They hope to build a reputation for the program that will stand out on a resume. Nelson states the hands-on training will “equip local sales people with whatever company they are a part of with cutting edge skills, ideas, philosophies and methods that will make them successful, ultimately driving that industry in the Black Hills." Contact Hans Nelson today to reserve your spot, the sales seminar is filling up. 605-718-4088, hans.nelson@ bhsu.edu.

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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


South Dakota

Ballot Initiatives WHAT IS A BALLOT INITIATIVE?

INITIATIVES YOU’LL SEE ON YOUR NOVEMBER 3 BALLOT

Ballot initiatives are a way for citizens of South Dakota to initiate legislation without being an elected legislator. The South Dakota State Legislature may also place measures on the ballot with a majority vote of each chamber. For 2020, a total of 33,921 signatures were required for initiated constitutional amendments and 16,961 signatures were required for initiated statutes and veto referendums. Proponents of these measures could circulate petitions for up to one year and the necessary signatures had to be filed at least one year prior to the election. The signature deadline for initiatives targeting the 2020 ballot was November 3, 2019.

Initiated Measure 26 (IM-26) provides for a medical marijuana program in South Dakota. If this measure is APPROVED, the State would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and allow those that have been authorized by a physician to have access to limited products designed to help with selected medical conditions. What else you should know: This measure legalizes medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients, including minors. "Medical use" includes the use, delivery, manufacture and cultivation (State residents only) of marijuana and marijuana-based products to treat or alleviate debilitating medical conditions certified by the patients' practitioners. South Dakota patients must obtain a registration card from the State Department of Health.

33,921

Signatures required for initiated constitutional amendments in 2020

The measure legalizes marijuana testing, manufacturing, and cultivation facilities, as well as marijuana dispensaries.

Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law.

Constitutional Amendment A legalizes recreational use of marijuana and requires the legislature to pass laws providing for the use of medical marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. If this amendment is APPROVED, the South Dakota Constitution will be amended to legalize recreational marijuana for use by anyone 21 years of age or older. What else you should know: • Legalizes the possession, use, transport, and distribution of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia by people age 21 and older. • The State Department of Revenue will issue marijuana-related licenses for commercial cultivators and manufacturers, testing facilities, wholesalers, and retailers. • Local governments may regulate or ban the establishment of licensees within their jurisdictions. • Does not legalize hemp; it requires the Legislature to pass laws regulating the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp. • Imposes a 15% tax on marijuana sales. • The tax revenue will be used for costs incurred in implementing this amendment, with remaining revenue equally divided between the support of public schools and the State general fund. • Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law. For more information on the General Election Ballot initiatives, visit the Secretary of State’s office website at www.sdsos.gov.

Constitutional Amendment B legalizes sports betting in Deadwood and requires that net local revenue from such activity be dedicated to the Historic Restoration and Preservation of Deadwood. If this amendment is APPROVED, the South Dakota Constitution will be amended to authorize the South Dakota State Legislature to legalize sports betting within the city limits of Deadwood. What else you should know: • Under Federal law, any gaming authorized by the Legislature to be offered in Deadwood would also be allowed at on-reservation tribal casinos upon amendments to current tribal gaming compacts.

SOUTH DAKOTA'S 2020 GENERAL ELECTION: November 3 Voter registration deadline: October 19 Absentee voting begins: September 18 elevaterapidcity.com

35


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E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020


In-Facility Employee Wellness Screens Prevention is the key!

Our highly trained physical therapy staff will come to your facility and screen your employees to minimize workers compensation, musculoskeletal dysfunction, and repetitive stress injuries. This in-house clinic is designed to reduce employee injury and conversely improve employee health and productivity.

WHO:

Any company who values their employees and wants to help them maintain their overall physical health and employee engagement. Over 31% of workers injury claims are from muscle strains and sprains due to overuse. Manual labor employees who do frequent bending, lifting and twisting have a high frequency of chronic low back pain and shoulder impingement injuries. They can be managed and minimized by screening the employee for proper technique and setting up a home exercise program suitable for their individualized needs.

WHY:

A healthy employee allows for better productivity and increased employee engagement. A program that their employer provides to maximize their health also promotes a feeling of loyalty and trust. If your labor is suffering because staff is missing due to musculoskeletal injuries then your company will suffer from their loss. For instance, if a call center is low on staff then the que lines are longer causing decreased customer satisfaction. If a labor company doesn’t have the staff to complete the job within the bid time then there is money left on the floor with each day the job isn’t completed.

HOW:

Sundog Rehab will send a skilled Physical Therapist on-site to your facility to provide screens to your employees. This program can be specialized and custom fit for your company and job requirements. A therapist can be available for a monthly package rate that will be negotiable upon volume of staff and the time commitment. It can be tailored to your specific needs with a frequency of once a week or once a month to ensure employee follow through and employee turnover. Call today to come up with a plan that will help your company begin the steps necessary to improve employee health and productivity.

Sundog Rehabilitation, llC Serving Rapid Valley, Custer and West Rapid locations. 605-787-2719 www.sundogrehab.com - Most Insurance Accepted

2020

Black Hills Workss Gala

Save the Date

Saturday, Nov. 7th th

Unmasking Potential otential

“The Shinin Shining g Star Stars at Black k Hills Works” W

Mor unveiling of the More evenin ening g to to come. come. com e. We We have have ideas hav ideas “dan dancin cing” g” aroun around d to to share share soon at www.bla .blac ckhills khillsw wor ork ks. s.or org. g. elevaterapidcity.com

37


ASCENT INNOVATION

Applied Research Associate intern challenges himself on school's Baja team By Andy Greenman

Casey Strong

THIS OR THAT Aluminum Steel 2-Wheel1 4-Wheel Captain America Thor2 Design Manufacturing3 Maneuverability Speed4 North Dakota5 South Dakota Gatorade Powerade Inert Material Live Material6 Summer Winter Devil’s Bathtub7 Little Devil’s Tower Baja Team8 Formula Team

38

E L E VAT E R A P I D C IT Y SEPTEMBER 2020

1) The Baja SAE competition changed to 4-wheel this year to further challenge the teams. 2) Thor has a big hammer and controls lightning 3) You get to see your product come to life and you get to be hands on. 4) Speed builds more adrenaline 5) It's where I grew up 6) There's always a chance it may blow up. 7) Hike up and across a river to find a natural waterslide. 8) We're cooler because we drive off-road and get muddy.

Casey Strong couldn't wait to arrive in Rapid City to begin classes at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. He was leaving his hometown in Ellendale, North Dakota for a chance to adventure in the Black Hills. But it wasn't the hills where he would spend his time. Instead, Strong found himself on campus getting his hands dirty designing and building off-road cars. He joined two dozen other students on the South Dakota Mines Baja SAE team. The team designs and builds a Baja car each school year for a chance to race against 100+ international teams. During his freshman and sophomore years he and his teammates packed in a 12 passenger van to compete in Oregon and California. Traveling with the team allowed him to experience things he hadn't before, like his first In-N-Out Burger. "Not only is it a cool competition but also it gives you a chance to explore and do something that you won't ever do except in a college setting," Strong said.

“It gives you a chance to explore and do something that you won't ever do except in a college setting."

His design knowledge and dedication on the team helped him earn a ninemonth internship with Applied Research Associates located in the Ascent Innovation Center. The Rapid City branch of ARA is currently designing material characterization tests to support the Air Force. Strong says it's rewarding to see the final product after all the design work, "Getting to complete the test with the hardware that I’ve been designing and building will be more rewarding than just doing the hardware." When asked if he hopes to remain with the ARA team following his internship, Strong stated "It would be cool to work here... forever. Or at least the foreseeable future.”


elevaterapidcity.com

39


ELEVATE RAPID CITY BOX 747 RAPID CITY, SD 57709

Standard US Postage

PAID

Rapid City SD Permit No. 618

PPP Loan Forgiveness Questions? The KTLLP PPP Assistance Team has answers. KTLLP can assist you… • Perform calculations to connrm eligibility for loan forgiveness • Gather data and perform calculations to ensure forgiveness calculation accuracy • Understand the impact wages and headcount will have on loan forgiveness • Help with planning to maximize your loan forgiveness

Email Team Leader Austin Eichacker, CPA at Austin@ktllp.com for more information.

s d n e i Fr rLife fo

Profile for Elevate Rapid City

Elevate - September 2020  

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