Year Three

 – By

It’s hard to believe that I have been at On Hand for three years already. May 6, 2022 marks my official 3-year anniversary date here at On Hand Development. (It’s also my husband’s birthday so it’s a big day at the Beranek home.) This last year has been a wild ride, but I am truly blessed to be sitting in this chair and doing the good work I get to do every day. 

I find it funny that my anniversary date at On Hand Development happens to fall on Economic Development week! Economic Development week is when Economic developers from across the country promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base.

Accomplishments throughout this year haven’t all been homeruns from On Hand but we do have a lot to be proud of. Our Revolving Loan Fund has over $600,000 out to our community and has provided over 80 jobs in our county this last year, our sales tax is up, we visited over 150 businesses in Hand County, we welcomed Governor Kristi Noem and Senator John Thune in Miller to visit about issues affecting our community, we had our busiest year for paid events at the Miller Community Center, promoting all of the job openings in Hand County, and we awarded over $2700 in recruitment funds.

Some of my very own personal accomplishments in this last year include; being a guest speaker at the Heartland Power summer conference, guest speaker at the Energize Conference in Milbank, sitting on a panel with Senator Mike Rounds about how beef prices are affecting rural SD, being accepted to the Indiana University School of Philanthropy with a full scholarship thanks to Dakota Resources, and writing an article for the Miller Press every week and hearing how many folks enjoy reading it.

One of my biggest lessons I am learning is Economic Development is not all rainbows and Kumbaya by the campfire. There are times when community members will not like the work that we are doing. However, this is not a reflection of me or On Hand Development. It is a reflection of their fear of change. Support is here, but those who support change often do not come forward. I know in my heart that what we are doing is right and good for our community.

Economic development is a marathon, not a sprint. Ideas come in real fast but implementation takes time. There are systems, approval processes, financing hoops, and lots of other obstacles to overcome. Good work takes time. I am excited to be doing this good work for my community and I can’t wait for the years to come! Year three with On Hand went really fast and lots of obstacles were overcome. As a community, we have so much to be proud of. Let’s keep working together to make sure Hand County continues to THRIVE!  

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