Our Team Members are your best resource.
Business Development || Finance || Marketing || Research & Community Development || Commercialization || Administrative Services
Scott Stern | Commissioner
Scott oversees the Governor's Office of Economic Development staff. He also serves on the six-person Governor's Executive Committee. Scott can be reached at Scott.Stern@sdreadytowork.com
Aaron is manages the day-to-day operations of the GOED and oversees all legislative issues that affect the department. Aaron can be reach at Aaron.Scheibe@sdreadytowork.com
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Steve Watson | Business Development Director
Steve is responsible for coordinating the sales team's efforts on local and statewide business development opportunities. Steve can be reached at Steve.Watson@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 367-4518.
Eric Fosheim | Business Development Representative
Eric is the Business Development Representative assigned to South Dakota's North Eastern Region. Eric's responsibilities include expanding job opportunities in both his region and the Value Added Agriculture industry. Eric can be reached at Eric.Fosheim@sdreadytowork.com and at (605)367-4302.
Jeff Haverly | Business Development Representative
Jeff is the Business Development Representative assigned to South Dakota's Western Region. Jeff's responsibilities include expanding job opportunities in both his region and the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Industry. Jeff can be reached at Jeffrey.Haverly@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 381-4225.
Kristen Honey | Business Development Representative
Kristen is the Business Development Representative assigned to Central South Dakota. Kristen's responsibilities include expanding job opportunities in both her region and the BioScience industry. Kristen can be reached at Kristen.Honey@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 367-4301.
Ira is the Business Development Representative assigned to southeast South Dakota. Ira's responsibilities include expanding job opportunities in both his region and the Financial Services industry. Ira can be reached at Ira.Frericks@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 782-3286.
Paige is the Business Development Representative assigned to South Dakota's Southeastern Region. Paige's responsibilities include expanding job opportunities in her region, as well as working closely with existing businesses on retention and expansion. Paige can be reached at Paige.Petersen@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 782-3287.
Cassie Stoeser | Finance Director
Cassie's responsibilities include managing the various loan portfolios, other finance programs and finance staff. Cassie can be reached at Cassie.Stoeser@sdreadytowork.com.
Cassidy Kulesa | Assistant Finance Director
Cassidy serves as the lead on the REDI (Revolving Economic Development & Initiative) Fund, as well as oversees the EDFA Bonds. In addition to her direct contact with borrowers, Cassidy also assists with management of the finance team. Cassidy can be reached at Cassidy.Kulesa@sdreadytowork.com.
LaJena Gruis | Loan Officer
La Jena works with businesses seeking funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 and the Agricultural Processing and Export (APEX) loan programs. La Jena can be reached at LaJena.Gruis@sdreadytowork.com.
Katelyn Hump | Grant Administrator
Katelyn is responsible for administering the Senate Bill 235/Building South Dakota Fund. She will be reviewing the grant applications which will be presented to the Board of Economic Development for approval. Katelyn can be reached at Katelyn.Hump@sdreadytowork.com
Ann Gesick Johnson | Workforce Training Coordinator
Ann works closely with business leaders on the Workforce Development Program to provide grants to companies to assist with training employees. Ann also administers the Dakota Seeds program, which helps businesses create internships and assistantships. Ann can be reached at Ann.Gesick-Johnson@sdreadytowork.com.
Dale Knapp | Loan/Finance Specialist
Dale performs internal accounting duties for the various loan portfolios, administers contracts for the Future Fund, and serves as a project manager on various projects within finance. Dale can be reached at Dale.Knapp@sdreadytowork.com.
Paul Melhaff | CDBG Program Manager
Paul administers the Energy grants for the State Energy Manager and the Ethanol Infrastructure Pump and Tank programs. He also helps with the administrative work on the Art's Grant with federal reporting requirements, data base maintenance, and fiscal grant management accounting. Paul prepares CDBG reports for GOED staff processes vouchers for Energy, CDBG, and Ethanol Infrastructure grants. Paul can be reached at Paul.Mehlhaff@sdreadytowork.com.
Ashley Moore | Loan Servicing Agent
Ashley is responsible for maintaining the finance division's loan portfolios, providing monthly and annual reports, and organizing and summarizing the monthly board meetings. Ashley can be reached at Ashley.Moore@sdreadytowork.com.
Charlie Van Gerpen | Loan Officer
Charlie works with individuals seeking funding from the MicroLOAN South Dakota and MicroLOAN Express programs. He also works with entities applying for loans from the Tourism Enhancement Program. Charlie can be reached at Charlie.VanGerpen@sdreadytowork.com.
Mary Lehecka Nelson | Marketing and Public Relations Director
Mary coordinates and implements the office marketing efforts. She works closely with development directors, advertising agencies and staff to ensure effective internal and external communications. Mary can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jen Lambley | Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
Jen writes, designs and manages many of the GOED's printed pieces and electronic communications. She also coordinates the office's trade show efforts, works on prospect development, and maintains photo and testimonial databases. Jen can be reached at Jennifer.Lambley@sdreadytowork.com
Natalie Likness | Media Relations Coordinator
Natalie works closely with expanding companies on groundbreaking and ribbon cuttings and is responsible for all press releases. She also serves as our media contact for both in-state and industry specific media. Natalie can be reached at Natalie.Likness@sdreadytowork.com.
Ashley McCloud | Graphic Designer
Ashley is responsible for creating and designing various GOED collateral print projects including brochures, newsletters, reports, conference materials and other promotional materials. Ashley can be reached at Ashley.McCloud@sdreadytowork.com
Amy Gabriel | Outreach Specialist
Amy is responsible for assisting with lead generation through our marketing outreach program. In addition to researching and generating lists, Amy is also the one who reaches out to potential prospects through direct mail, phone calls and Linked In. Amy can be reached at Amy.Gabriel@sdreadytowork.com
Taylor Cole | Digital Marketing Specialist
Taylor is responsible for maintaining and designing all office websites. She is also the lead on our social media efforts, including Facebook and Twitter. She assists with prospect development through videos, PowerPoints and other digital promotional materials. Taylor can be reached at Taylor.Cole@sdreadytowork.com
Joe Fiala | Research and Community Development Director
Joe's duties include overseeing the data content and data use on the agency's website, monitoring company proposals, database management, industry studies and supplying statistics and research for agency publications.. Joe can be reached at Joe.Fiala@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 853-9298.
Scott Amundson | Community Development Representative
Scott's duties include being directly involved in implementing a statewide community development strategy to assist and strengthen local and regional economic development organizations. Scott can be reached at Scott.Amundson@sdreadytowork.com and at (605) 280-6299.
Mark Boehm | Tax and Industry Analyst
Mark's area of expertise includes income taxes, excise taxes, economic analysis, and finance. He provides tax savings analysis to out-of-state companies that are considering locating in South Dakota. Mark researches tax and regulatory issues for internal and external customers. Mark can be reached at Mark.Boehm@sdreadytowork.com
Jenny Ondell | Data Coordinator
Jenny manages the GOED blog and incorporates GIS technology into publications and presentations. She is the lead person in researching, developing, and assembling key industry packets of information for companies looking to expand into South Dakota, along with the information packets used at key industry trade shows attended by GOED staff. Jenny can be reached at Jennifer.Ondell@sdreadytowork.com.
Dr. Melvin Ustad | Office of Commercialization Director
Mel is responsible for working with the S.D. Board of Regents and universities to oversee the Research Center and South Dakota EPSCoR activities and serves as a liaison between economic development and higher education. Mel can be reached at Mel.Ustad@sdreadytowork.com
Marcy Olson | Adminstrative Assistant
Marcy is the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Office of Commercialization.
Travis Dovre | Director of the Administrative Division
Travis provides direction, coordination and supervision to meet the fiscal, human resources and office management needs of the Departments of Economic Development and Tourism.
Brenda Badger | Support Coordinator/Accounting Assistant
Brenda is responsible for accounts payable, contracts and purchase order file maintenance. She also coordinates office efforts with Central Services agencies.
Karen Hirsch | Office Travel Coordinator/Fiscal Assistant
Karen manages office vehicles (scheduling, maintenance, etc). She reimburses employees' travel, processes and prepares non cash vouchers and vendor payments, and prepares cash receipt transmittals for the various divisions within the department.
Makayla Poole | Project Specialist
Makayla assists all divisions in the office with special projects, procurement needs, and database maintenance.
Lorie Jirschele | Receptionist
Lorie answers incoming phone calls and directs them to appropriate staff. She receives and distributes mail and faxes, assists staff with special projects, provides updates for the State Phone Directory, processes non-cash voucher payments, and assists with data entry.
Shalina McClelland | Receptionist
Shalina answers incoming phone calls and directs them to appropriate staff. She receives and distributes mail and faxes, assists staff with special projects, provides updates for the State Phone Directory, processes non-cash voucher payments, and assists with data entry.