• 2019-2020 Leadership Brookings Participants Announced
    Release Date: October 11, 2019
    Contact: Ali Teesdale, Administrative Assistant, 605-692-6125, ali@brookingschamber.org
    BROOKINGS - 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:
    • 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
    For more information on the Leadership Brookings program please contact Ali at the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at (605) 692-6125.


  • 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.
    Kelsey Doom, President & CEO
    Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce


  • Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces New Executive Director

    Brookings, SD (June 4, 2019) – The Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pleased to announce Laura Schoen Carbonneau as the new Executive Director, beginning July 1, 2019. Carbonneau joins the CVB team with a strong background in financial management, public relations, and team management. The CVB staff and board are thrilled to welcome Laura to the team and to the Brookings community. “Laura’s experience, professionalism, and creativity will connect well with our current CVB team and help us continue to move forward in ‘Making Tourism Happen’ in our community,” said Seth Koch, CVB Board Chair. 

    Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Dakota in 1991. After graduation, Carbonneau worked for several years as a news anchor and reporter for KEVN-TV in Rapid City and KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls. Between 1998 and 2006, she served as the Director of the Watertown Convention & Visitors Bureau, Executive Director of the South Dakota Republican Party in Pierre, and as the Communications Manager with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, just to name a few. In 2010, she graduated from the Institute for Organization Management in Madison, WI. Laura’s recent role as the CEO of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce brings a wealth of knowledge and value to the CVB and its relationship with the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce.

    “Laura’s familiarity and knowledge within tourism and the visitor industry sets her up for success and we’re really excited to have her join our team and hit the ground running to take us to the next level,” said Tom Richter, CVB Board Member.

    The process for hiring the new CVB Executive Director position began in March of 2019 with a total of 24 candidates applying for the job. The CVB Interview Committee narrowed the group to four candidates who interviewed over the phone. At which time, the committee invited their top two candidates to interview in person, while providing stakeholders, industry partners, and community members a chance to meet the two candidates. “The CVB Interview Committee would like to thank everyone for their valuable feedback. Your commitment to our organization and comments helped inform our team during the decision-making process,” said Koch.
    About the Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau: The Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) promotes the city and its diverse attractions to visitors and residents alike on all levels, while seeking out opportunities to attract and develop a strong base of conventions and tournaments. For more information contact the CVB office at (605) 692-6125, www.visitbrookingssd.com or at 415 8th Street South.


  • JLG Architects named Design Firm of the Year
    Amanda Kosior, (701) 738.2212 or akosior@jlgarchitects.com
    BROOKINGS, S.D. – May 28, 2019 ENR Mountain States, one of the top publications for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, has named JLG Architects Design Firm of the Year.  According to ENR, “Design Firms of the Year are chosen by a vote of the regional ENR editors across the country from a carefully selected group of finalists based on regional revenues, new initiatives, current projects, and several other factors.”  JLG was selected for the area encompassing South and North Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming.
    About JLG Architects
    JLG is a 100-percent employee-owned full-service architecture firm, founded in 1989 by Lonnie Laffen and Gary Johnson. Today, the firm has grown to thirteen offices in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota with over 120 employees, and has been named one of the 50 Most Admired Companies in America by MSN Money and Best Life, a 50 Best Places to Work in the U.S. by Inc. magazine, and the Design Firm of the Year by ENR Mountain States. For more information about JLG Architects, visit www.jlgarchitects.com.


  • Brookings Health website recognized as top 5% in the nation as a Gold winner in the 2019 Aster Awards competition
    Julia Yoder, Brookings Health System, 605-696-8028, jyoder@brookingshealth.org  
    Ashley Bott, Blend Interactive, 605-334-7077, ashley@blendinteractive.com
    Brookings, SD, May 20, 2019 –Brookings Health System, a non-profit, city-owned health system, has won a Gold Award in the national 2019 Aster Awards competition. The competition — one of the largest, most respected of its kind — is hosted by Marketing Healthcare Today Magazine and Creative Images, Inc.
    Brookings Health System was awarded a Gold award in the Website category, one of only 13 gold awards in the nation. The new brookingshealth.org was designed in partnership with Blend Interactive, a web development company based in Sioux Falls, SD.
    “Research indicates the majority of patients begin their healthcare journey online,” said Julia Yoder, marketing and PR director at Brookings Health System. “We chose to invest in our website with Blend Interactive to create a patient-centric site for our local patients when they start their healthcare journey. The Aster Award affirms our website is built to put patients first.”
    “The Brookings Health System website was kind of a perfect project,” says Corey Vilhauer, director of strategy. “Working with Julia and her team was wonderful, and together we were able to take a full web strategy from ideation to launch — with some pretty great results.” More detail on the work that was completed can be viewed in this case study from Blend Interactive.
    To receive a Gold Award, an entry must receive a score of 95-99 out of 100, which represents the top 5% of nearly 3,000 entries submitted to the competition from organizations in the United States, Canada, and South America. All entries are reviewed by a panel of industry experts and are scored on multiple criteria including creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal.
    “The quality and creativity of the entries submitted seems to increase each year. The 2019 Aster Awards program brought together some of the best and most creative advertising in the world,” said Melinda Lucas, Aster Awards Program Coordinator.
    All winners are currently posted on the Aster Awards website (www.AsterAwards.com), as well as published in Marketing Healthcare Today, a national healthcare marketing magazine.


  • Ton Promoted to Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Director

    Release Date: May 10, 2019

    Contact: info@brookingschamber.org

    Brookings, SD – Kimberly Ton of Brookings, SD was recently promoted from Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator to the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Director.

    “Anyone that knows Kimberly knows she is a go-getter. I think we are all excited to see what she will do with this position,” President and CEO Kelsey Doom stated.

    “I’m beyond ecstatic to further my career with the Chamber.  Our team is stronger than ever and ready to promote, connect, enrich, and advocate for our members.  I’m looking forward to meeting as many Brookings businesses as I can so please reach out if we haven’t met or if you just want to chat,” Ton said.

    Ton is starting her new position immediately. The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce is currently searching for a part time administrative assistant to fill Ton’s previous role. Those interested are invited to email your cover letter and resume to kelsey@brookingschamber.org.

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-6125.


  • President Trump Proclaims National Small Business Week May 5 – 11
    Release Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019
    WASHINGTON – Today, National Small Business Week celebrations commence in the nation’s capital with a two-day award ceremony at the U.S. Institute of Peace where more than 75 national award winners from across the country and U.S. territories are gathered to be recognized for their major accomplishments.  The two-day award ceremony will conclude Monday, May 6 with the announcement of the 2019 National Small Business Person of the Year and two runners-up. 
    Hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the annual event honors the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business advocates. National Small Business Week events will continue through May 11, with SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton hosting additional events taking place in Utah, as well as more than 200 events across the nation. Their courageous innovation makes our cities and towns vibrant places to live, work, and raise families.  Small businesses employ almost 59 million workers, more than one-third of our country’s labor force.” He added, “This week, we celebrate the pioneering spirit, creativity, and determination upon which America has always been built.  This undaunted conviction drives our entrepreneurs and small business owners, whose hard work and perseverance give our Nation economic strength.  Their initiative, combined with the greatest workforce in the world, is enabling us to convert the unlimited potential of America into great wealth and prosperity.”
    The President’s proclamation closes with “by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 5 through May 11, 2019, as National Small Business Week.  I call upon all Americans to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners as they grow our Nation’s economy.”
    The Washington, D.C. award ceremonies and workshops on digital commerce and social media will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/sbagov.  In addition, there will be a free Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week, May 7-8 between 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET daily. The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without traveling.  Registration is required, individuals interested in the conference can register here. Virtual Conference viewers will be able to watch educational webinars, get free business advice and network with fellow business owners.


  • Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Doom as President and CEO
    Release Date: April 8, 2019
    Contact: info@brookingschamber.org
    Brookings, SD –  After months of searching, interviewing, and deliberation amongst the board, the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce has announced their new President and Chief Executive Officer as Kelsey Doom from Wagner, South Dakota. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Wagner Area Growth, Inc. as well as the Wagner Chamber of Commerce.
    “I am very excited and honored by this opportunity to work with the Brookings community. The Brookings Chamber of Commerce already has some great systems in place, so I plan to do a lot of listening and learning from the business community in order to understand what other needs they have and how we can help. I’m looking forward to building new relationships and helping to make Brookings an even greater place to be,” Doom stated.
    Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors Staci Perry, said, "We had interest from nearly 60 candidates across the country. Kelsey Doom was the ideal choice for the Brookings Area Chamber. She brings chamber organization, development corporation, and community collaboration experience to the Chamber. With her exceptional background and experience, she is positioned to represent our Chamber members and stakeholders as a participative leader.”  Perry added, “We are pleased to welcome Kelsey to Brookings and feel that her leadership and high performance will complement the Chamber’s exceptional staff and keep the organization on its path of success and ever-increasing achievements.”
    Former President and CEO David Merhib announced his resignation in December 2018. During the transition, former Chair of the Board of Directors Jim Schade has served as Interim President and CEO.
    Doom will be present at the 2019 Annual Meeting hosted by the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, the Brookings Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Brookings Economic Development Corporation on April 2, 2018. She will officially begin her new position on April 8, 2019.
    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-6125.