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Energize! Conference: Save the Date! May 5-6, 2020

Originally released February 21, 2020.

Keynote speaker is Amanda Brinkman, co-host of TV series Small Business Revolution

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of Milbank are teaming up to host the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference May 5-6, 2020 in Milbank, South Dakota.

Designed to invigorate South Dakota’s rural communities, Energize invites 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. The conference will offer several sessions including: Funding for Community Projects, Supporting Local Business, Uptown Revitalization and Engaging Community Members.

“This event will have information for communities, resources and ways to become involved, as well as information for current and potential entrepreneurs.”

— Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist
a smiling woman with a black shirt
Amanda Brinkman, creator, producer, host of the hit series “Small Business Revolution – Main Street”

Keynote speaker for the conference is Amanda Brinkman, co-host of the acclaimed TV series Small Business Revolution. 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. With attendees at the Energize! Conference, Brinkman will share her mantra “Do Well By Doing Good.”

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 the opportunities and share what could be replicated in other places,” Bohlen said.

Bohlen will be presenting conference sharing details about how to define success within your own community. “Each community is different, so you have to figure out what works in your community,” she explains.

Other presentation highlights will include Volga’s focus on reviving their Main Street; funding for the Roberts County 4-H Building; fostering community engagement with Sisseton-Wahpeton College as well as with immigrants through the Glacial Lakes Multi-Cultural Center at Watertown, and much more. The conference will also include opportunities to connect with staff from entities across the state with available community resources and grant funds.

This marks the third year for the Energize Conference in South Dakota, with previous programs hosted in DeSmet and Lemmon. At previous conferences, Thares notes that bringing community leaders and business owners together to share their experiences and knowledge on a variety of topics proved to be powerful with all groups learning from each other. “We anticipate a similar experience in Milbank May 5 and 6,” he concludes.

Register online for Energize.

For more information, contact Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist, by email or at 605.374.4177.