Brookings City Officials, SDSU Leadership announce campus/community
zoom forums to provide planning updates for fall
BROOKINGS, S.D. – May 21, 2020 – Brookings city officials and leadership from South Dakota State University announced today a series of campus/community Zoom forums. The forums are designed to update community members, students, families and key stakeholders about plans and processes being implemented as they pertain to operations at SDSU and throughout the city this summer and into the fall.
The forums will be hosted by the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce.
The first forum will be June 10 and includes SDSU President Barry Dunn and Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett. Topics include updates on the planning process and timeline for a fall return of students to the SDSU campus, SDSU’s phased plan for employees returning to campus, a community business update and the opening of other university and community
The second forum will be June 24 with SDSU Vice President for Student Affairs Michaela Willis and Brookings Assistant City Manager Jacob Meshke. The forum will include updates on campus residential life planning for the fall, an update on New Student Orientation and
preliminary discussions about move-in weekend planning.
On July 15, SDSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Hedge and Brookings School District Superintendent Klint Willert will update participants on academic structure and planning for the fall semester at SDSU and within the Brookings School District.
SDSU Vice President for Student Affairs Michaela Willis and Brookings City Manager Paul Briseno will provide updates Aug. 5 on student move-in day on campus activities prior to the start of the fall semester.
The last forum will be held Aug. 19 with SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell and Brookings High School Activities Director Randy Soma. The session will provide information and updates on the status of Jackrabbits and Bobcats Athletics.
Each forum will be held from 5-6 p.m. on the respective date and hosted by Andi Fouberg, president and CEO of the SDSU Alumni Association and chair of the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. Events will be created for each forum on the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and the SDSU Facebook page and will include the link to join the Zoom forum. Links will also be made available on the Chamber’s website
and the JacksRBack website, and emailed to Chamber membership and others.
For more information or questions about the forums, contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at (605) 692-6125.
About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from seven different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 36 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.
The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state. SDSU's research expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year were more than $60 million.
COVID-19 Emergency Ordinance 20-005 Explained:
Needless to say, we’re living in times of uncertainty. What “can” or “can’t” I do in regard to daily business interactions as a consumer? Your local Chamber of Commerce is here to help. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers to help guide you through these unprecedented times.
“Can I still visit my favorite coffee shop for my daily boost?”
Yes! Walk-ins are permitted, but you’ll have to enjoy your mocha elsewhere as shops cannot allow you to sit and stay, per emergency ordinance 20-005.
“I’m dying to grab J. Ella’s newest crewneck sweater; can I still shop at local clothing and retail stores?”
Yes! The ordinance does not limit retailers limit their hours. Double-check that operational hours have not changed, per website/call check, but all stores are working extra hard to assure shoppers are clean and safe by sanitizing regularly. Please continue to abide by CDC social distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet from the person nearest while sifting through racks.
“I’ve been making great gains at SNAP Fitness lately- are wellness centers, gyms, or recreational facilities/studios still open?”
No. Per city ordinance (mentioned above), gyms and recreational centers are to cease operations until Wednesday, April 8th, 2020. The City may decide to extend this timeline up to sixty days for public health. For the time being, check if your gym or studio website offers online classes or programs to stay active at home.
“I’m running out of toilet paper, I need groceries, gas, pharmaceutical necessities—now what?”
Thankfully, such entities are working around the clock to provide regular services to you! Grocers tirelessly work to keep shelves stocked, convenience store employees are ensuring extra sanitation precautions and are following group gathering guidelines (of less than 10 people at one time within the store), and pharmacists continue to assure prescription fills are available to you in a timely manner. Please practice patience as you go about your regular errands.
“It’s my buddy’s birthday and we had plans to grab a beer at Eponymous Brewing Company then head to the 9 Bar and Night Club dance floor after.”
Sorry friends, per the emergency ordinance, bars, breweries, and clubs are to close access to host the public at this time. Don’t fret—many businesses are providing off-site, on-sale carry-out growlers and more to take and enjoy from the comfort of your home.
“I’m running out of activities to provide the kids. I wonder what movies are showing at the Brookings 8 Cinema.”
Stop right there! We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but all theaters, music and entertainment venues are also directed to close through Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 (subject to change). Good news! Many streaming services are offering early releases to movies like Frozen II. In addition, many Zoos and museums are offering virtual tours, as well as private concerts by celebrities, on their websites. Check them out!
“My roots are showing, nails need filled, and my husband’s hair is getting too long- I’d like to set an appointment.”
Hold the phone. Barbers, salons, and spa entities do NOT fall into the “health care” service area and therefore are not allowed to be open to the public. Though chiropractors, massage therapists, and dental offices can continue offering their services, check for walk-in and office procedures to follow. Some offices may ask that you wait in your car after checking into your appointment until professionals are ready.
“The spring cleaning/update bug has bit me—can I stop by Lowe’s to pick up some DIY project materials?
Of course! Make a list and head in, but again please abide by CDC social distancing guidelines and watch what you touch. Continue to practice overly cautious handwashing/sanitation procedures. It’s best to wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Scrub a dub!
“I want to help, but I’m not sure how.”
- Check in with friends, families, and neighbors. Give them a call or maintain distance when stopping by.
- Lend an ear or hand when and where you can.
- Offer to grab essentials while you’re out and about for the elderly or immunocompromised.
- Support local businesses in these times. Buy if you can and have the means.
- SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!! Spread the word of changed business hours or services provided, such as delivery or take-out options. Follow the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.
- Be an educated consumer of media and information regarding COVID-19.
- Keep your distance- stay home if you can.
- Practice kindness and patience. Your shoe doesn’t fit everyone’s foot.
Please use caution as you move about your daily doings. Stay safe and healthy out there, Brookings.
For full-text option on the emergency ordinance 20-0 emergency ordinance 20-005 05, read here: http://cityofbrookings.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2851
- Check in with friends, families, and neighbors. Give them a call or maintain distance when stopping by.
Brookings Counts in the 2020 Census
March 12, 2020
Brookings, SD - This week and over the next month, residents may notice a letter or postcard in their mailbox from the U.S. Census Bureau or the U.S. Department of Commerce. Community members should be aware, it isn’t junk mail, and it shouldn’t be thrown away. The envelope contains an invitation to complete the 2020 Census by mail, online, or by phone. All community members who live in Brookings for most of the year must count themselves as a resident of Brookings in the 2020 Census. This includes individuals who have vacation homes elsewhere and also SDSU students. The most undercounted individuals within the City of Brookings are students who live off-campus.
The U.S. Census is more than just a population count; it will help to shape the future of our community for the next ten years. A full count of all individuals in our area is essential to determine how billions of federal dollars will be dispersed so our community will receive its fair share of funding for critical resources. Census data is not only used for federal purposes, it is also used by local government, businesses, and organizations in their planning and decision-making processes. “I am asked frequently about how we can get new businesses and restaurants into town,” says Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett. “That’s why the Census is so important; population size matters when companies are considering whether or not they will come to our community. A complete count could potentially help to bring new businesses, eating establishments, and more shopping to town.”
In May of 2019, Brookings City Council approved a resolution establishing the Brookings Complete Count Committee. It was established to promote the 2020 Census and to help to ensure that all residents within the community are counted. Since then the committee has developed a Brookings Counts 2020 Census campaign to spread awareness and to encourage residents and organizations to take action. They recently created a website, BrookingsCounts.com, where citizens can educate themselves about the importance of the Census and find information that is relevant to them. The site also includes resources that give community groups and individuals tools that make it easy to be involved and help ramp up Brooking’s efforts to get a complete and accurate count.
All Brookings City and County residents and students are encouraged to pledge to complete the 2020 census and to challenge their friends, families, neighbors, and other community members to do the same. A pledge and challenge graphic that can be shared on social media can be downloaded from the resources page on www.BrookingsCounts.com.
Census letters start reaching homes starting Thursday, March 12th continuing through the month of April.
By April 1st, which is National Census Day, all households will have received a 2020 census questionnaire invitation via mail.
By May, households who have not completed the 2020 Census survey will begin to receive reminder phone calls or an in-person visit by a US Census worker.
Please visit www.brookingscounts.com for resources and information related to the 2020 Census.
For more information contact: Chelsie Bakken, Brookings Public Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Annual Let it Glow Holiday Light Competition Winners Announced(BROOKINGS, SD) – The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce helped the community of Brookings get into the holiday spirit this season with the 2nd Annual Let it Glow Holiday Light Competition. There were over 30 houses in the competition this year, a significant increase from the 25 participants last year. There was a total of 638 individual voters this year, which was also an increase to the 549 votes received last year.Residents decked their homes with lights, lawn ornaments, wreaths, and more to help bring holiday cheer to residents in Brookings. Each participant had the chance to win one of the three $100 cash prizes for three different categories: Best in Show, Clark Griswold, and People’s Choice.The 2019 winners are:
This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors! Thank you to our title sponsor Emilie Portz of Century 21, as well as our event sponsors Outdoor Design & Landscape, The Brookings Register, and Starbucks Café®.Thank you to all who participated in this fun holiday competition! We are already looking forward to next year!
Best in Show ||Voted on by Mayor Corbett, Chamber President & CEO Kelsey Doom, and our event sponsors
WINNER: Linda & Allen Whitaker home (#22)
Clark Griswold (most lights) || Voted on by sponsors
WINNER: Ryan and Anna Beasley home (#23)
People’s Choice || Voted on by the public via text
WINNER: Breann Julius home (#3)
Elkton Gets a New Mayor - Christina Wiemer
Release Date: December 10, 2019Tell us about yourself: My husband, Justin, and I have two kids Elijah, 6 years, and Phoenix, 3 years. I'm passionate about community service and am involved in many local groups including Elkton Hero Days, The Elkton Community Child Care and Education Center, and our local Community Club. In my spare time, I enjoy attending my kids' sporting events, cooking, and baking.What excites you about Elkton? Elkton is such an amazing community. When we were deciding where to start our family we looked for a community that really gave back to the kids and took care of each other. I've now been a part of the community for ten years. The growth in those ten years has really been mind-blowing. When residents see a challenge or problem, they make it a chance for growth. We recently had a resident who saw the need for a food pantry. We now have a functional food pantry stocked by donations from community members. I get so excited by the leaders and volunteers in our community. If we can tap into and develop all the leaders in our community we will keep Elkton improving and growing. The potential is unlimited!What are your favorite things about Elkton? One of my favorite things about Elkton is it's old school values. The value placed on community, family, faith, and our youth is endless. Another favorite thing I commend the community for is its ability to change. We have to continue to change and improve as a city, Elkton has been doing this without hesitation. Another favorite is it support for each other, neighbors helping neighborsWhat made you want to become involved in city leadership? The main driving force for my involvement in city leadership comes from my children and the community's youth. I had some influential people during my youth that showed me how to do better, how to give back, and taught me why it is important to invest in the community. I hope to model to my children that if you see a challenge or suffrage it's up to you to change it. It also works in the sense of seeing someone else doing good, help them, or take that idea and implement it for your self or your group or community.What leaders do you look up to? Oh man, that's a hard question. Martin Luther King Jr., Phyllis Schlafly, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, George Washington Carver, Theodore Roosevelt, JFK, Wendy Kopp, Marc Edwards, Nelson Mandela, and Rand Paul, my parents, just to name a few. The list really could go on and on. I have profound gratitude to the leaders that really went into a situation, built others up and changes the world.What advice can you give about leadership? My position on leadership is to give your all. Do everything you can to build up the leaders around you. One of my favorite proverbs is "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" I believe in really finding out your leader's attributes and strengths, and using them where they can have the most effect. Lastly, my three-year-old daughter's philosophy is my favorite that I repeat to myself often: "teamwork makes the dream work!"
And the Winners are…Release Date: December 6, 2019(Brookings, SD) The 24th Annual Parade of Lights traveled through downtown Brookings on Saturday, November 30th at 7 p.m. and delighted the crowd with bright, colorful, and musical floats. This year’s theme, Santa’s Ho Ho Hoedown, was a huge hit with Brookings residents. Our judges had their work cut out for them when choosing winners for each category, which included Best Use of Music, Best Use of Lighting, Mayor’s Choice, and Best Use of Theme. Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill’s rooftop hosted our judges with and special emcees Brad DeBeer and Kari Westlund.The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business District Committee would like to thank all the parade entries who went above and beyond with their float creations to help kick off the holiday season. The following businesses and organizations were awarded the honors in the 24th Annual Parade of Lights:
This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors! Thank you to our award sponsors First Bank & Trust and 3M Company. A big thank you Papa John’s Pizza for donating pizza to all parade entries. Lastly, thank you to everyone who came out despite the snowy, cold weather!
Best Use of Music - 3M Company
Best Use of Theme - Brookings Police Department
Best Use of Lighting - Eidness Funeral Home
Mayor’s Choice - Farmer’s Implement & Irrigation
22nd Avenue Open to Traffic Today
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Contact: Jackie Lanning, City Engineer, 605-692-6629, email@example.com
The City is excited to announce that 22nd Avenue between 6th Street and Eastbrook Drive will be open to traffic at approximately 3:00 PM today, Friday, November 1, 2019. The contractors will be removing traffic control devices throughout the project and the public should proceed cautiously through the construction area.
The public should be aware that the contractors will continue to work on the project after it is open to traffic. Olwien Street will have a temporary stop sign at 22nd Avenue and the traffic signal is tentatively scheduled to be installed in early December. The traffic signal equipment shipment has been delayed and the signal will be installed as soon as the equipment arrives. Contractors will also be working on seeding and clean-up items and they will set up traffic control devices as needed.
The City of Brookings would like to thank the public for their patience during the project. There were many people involved in making this project a success and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s cooperation throughout the project.
Falcon Plastics Announces Acquisition of Poly-Cast, Inc.Release Date: November 1, 2019Contact: Karissa Kopecky, Marketing Manager, 605-696-2500Falcon Plastics has announced that it has acquired Poly-Cast, Inc., headquartered in Tigard, Oregon. This acquisition will immediately align under the company’s business structure.
The acquisition enhances the Falcon Plastics custom injection molding business through extended service and product offerings with the addition of wax molding components and further-reaching market share in the industrial, medical, automotive, and recreational markets. This acquisition will enhance Falcon Plastics business model as a full-service solutions provider in the custom molding sector. Following the acquisition, Falcon Plastics will operate facilities in three states — South Dakota, Tennessee, and Oregon, in addition to the Poly-Cast facility in Suzhou, China — allowing Falcon Plastics to further optimize and expand customer services and logistics.
“While considering the sale of Poly-Cast, Inc. it was important that our decision included three critical criteria,” stated Dan Leedom, Owner, and CEO of Poly-Cast, Inc.
“I am proud to say that we were able to achieve all of this—I could not be more excited about the future of our clients, our team members, and the new direction of our organization”.
A similar family business environment and culture
It had to be beneficial to the growth of the organization, the employees, and the clients
The third generation in the business, Jeff Leedom, continue participating in building the business
With the close of the acquisition, Dan Leedom will join Falcon Plastics as Sales Account Manager in the Northwest. Current Poly-Cast Suzhou General Manager, Jeff Leedom, will take reign as General Manager of both the Tigard, Oregon and Suzhou, China facilities. Falcon Plastics also plans to integrate the Poly-Cast team of over 60 employees directly into its core structure. Key suppliers of both companies will continue to play a vital role in the success of our business strategy.
“I am truly excited about the opportunity this acquisition will bring to everyone we work with” stated Jay Bender, President of Falcon Plastics. “The culture and mutual values of Poly-Cast and Falcon Plastics are closely aligned. This addition will open up a whole new territory for us in the Northwestern US and bring additional capabilities and resources to our entire team.”About Falcon Plastics:
Falcon Plastics is a family-owned and operated business, headquartered in Brookings, SD. Founded in 1975, Falcon Plastics has been molding customer ideas into a wide variety of products in use every day by people all over the world. Falcon Plastics currently operates three manufacturing facilities with over 250,000 sq. ft. of facilities in Brookings and Madison, SD, and Lexington, TN, as well as a partnership in Suzhou, China.About Poly-Cast:
Founded in 1972 in Portland, Oregon, Poly-Cast’s mission is to serve innovation-driven markets with high-quality plastic molded parts. Since its formation, Poly-Cast has repeatedly been recognized by clients as a high quality, responsive supplier for transportation, medical, instrumentation, industrial, and consumer plastic products.
If you would like more information, please contact Karissa Kopecky, Marketing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019-2020 Leadership Brookings Participants AnnouncedBROOKINGS - Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the participants selected for the 2019-2020 Leadership Brookings class. This year’s participants will partake in six full-day sessions from October through March. The sessions’ curriculums are comprised of personal and professional development, exposure to Brookings industries, education on issues facing the Brookings community, and call to action for community leadership involvement.Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Kelsey Doom, says “We’re really excited to launch this re-vamped curriculum. Personally, I’m looking forward to the feedback we receive to help us improve with every session we put on for this group. We did a lot of research into what other programs are doing – what’s working well, what’s not working so great. It’s going to be fun to learn alongside this class.”Participants from the Brookings area will engage with community leaders while refining their leadership skills and increasing their understanding of the Brookings area. The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce is also excited to partner with Dr. Shelly Bayer of South Dakota State University to coach the participants through several hours of Clifton Strengths training.“Dr. Bayer will add a huge amount of depth to the education these participants are going to receive,” Doom says. “I have heard nothing but great things about Dr. Bayer’s knowledge and techniques; we are beyond grateful that she is able to partake in this year’s program.”Leadership Brookings accepted 27 participants for the 2019-2020 year, including:
For more information on the Leadership Brookings program please contact Ali at the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at (605) 692-6125.
- Allie Simons, Banner Associates, Inc.
- Andrea Wheelhouse, Avera Medical Group
- Brianna Doran, United Way
- Brittany Olson, Discovery Benefits
- Casey Bell, City of Brookings
- Celso Valencia, Wells Fargo
- Darcy Peterson, Larson Manufacturing
- Deidre Beck, Banner Associates, Inc.
- Elizabeth Lovro, First Bank and Trust
- Emily Thiex, Dakotaland Federal Credit Union
- Glendy Thompson, 3M Company
- Greg Olson, Great Western Bank
- Heather Kepner, Larson Manufacturing
- Heidi Anshutz, Mills Property Management
- Jenn Bender, Falcon Plastics
- Jesse Davis, Craft Italian-American Fusion
- Jon Christenson, South Dakota State University
- Karissa Kopecky, Falcon Plastics
- Kelsey Beckstrom, DeBoer Construction
- Kelsie Kroetch, Boys and Girls Club
- Louise Snodgrass, Brookings Farmers Market
- Luke Dudley, Malone Engineering
- Marcus Heemstra, Millborn Seeds
- Mike Frederiksen, Discovery Benefits
- Mindy Davis, First Bank and Trust
- Natalie Page, Swiftel Center
- Ryannne Davis, Brookings County Salvation Army
An Open Letter to Members of the Brookings City Council:
Brookings, SD (June 21, 2019) - On behalf of our 515 members and their employees, the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors urges the City Council to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for funds to invest in the I-29/20th Street South interchange via the “Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development” (BUILD) grant.Some of Brookings largest employers are located east of I-29 and these businesses are growing – fast. Falcon Plastics alone has increased sales over 80% in the past ten years. It is our hope that as these businesses invest and grow they see the City of Brookings doing the same to provide the infrastructure necessary to thrive and, in turn, continue to call Brookings home. An additional interchange would provide accessibility to hundreds of other small businesses and amenities, as well as spur economic development along 20th Street South/22nd Avenue South.Brookings boasts wonderful family-friendly amenities, all available in a large community with a small-town feel, but when driving down 6th Street at the wrong time of day that sense of small-town charm vanishes. By building the proposed interchange, traffic will be dispersed, reducing travel times and improving safety.In 2000, the City of Brookings’ comprehensive plan specifically cited the need for an interchange at I-29/20th Street South. Since then, the population of Brookings has increased over 24% and is estimated to continue that trajectory. Brookings is growing and needs the proper infrastructure to support that growth.The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce appreciates all the City of Brookings does to make our home a safe, inclusive, family-friendly place to live and the Chamber is excited for what the future will bring to our amazing community. We support the City Council in a decision to apply to the BUILD grant for an interchange at I-29 and 20th Street South.Sincerely,Kelsey Doom, President & CEO
Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce