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Energize! Conference Rescheduled to October 7-8, 2020 in Milbank, SD

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is rescheduling the third annual Energize Conference to October 7-8, 2020 in order to comply with CDC guidelines and to protect the population from COVID-19. The conference, originally scheduled for early May, will be held in Milbank, South Dakota.

“We are deeply disappointed, but the health and safety of everyone involved is our number one priority.”

— Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist

The Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference is a collaboration between SDSU Extension’s Community Vitality team and the community of Milbank. The event provides an opportunity for rural communities to network with other community leaders from across the state, share success stories, get ideas and to take action to improve their own communities. 

Keynote speaker of the conference, Amanda Brinkman, is co-host of the acclaimed TV series Small Business Revolution. She is a former corporate marketing executive working with icons including General Mills, Allianz and UnitedHealth Group, Brinkman has earned a reputation as a revolutionary brand marketer. 

The conference will offer several breakout sessions with themes including funding for community projects, supporting local business, uptown revitalization, and engaging community members. Participants will also have an opportunity to connect with resource providers from across the state.

Bobbie Bohlen, executive director of the Grant County Development Corporation, is excited to bring this conference to her region. “We are fortunate to have several unique businesses in Milbank. Breakout sessions will be held in storefronts on Main Street to bring focus to opportunities and share what could be replicated in other places,” Bohlen said.

Thares notes that bringing community leaders and business owners together to share their experiences and knowledge on a variety of topics is powerful when all groups learn from each other. 

For more information or to register go to the Events page, or contact Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist, at 605.374.4177 or by email