Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Forward Sioux Falls exceeds fundraising goal

Pledges surpass $16.7 million

Forward Sioux Falls leadership announced the results of a successful campaign for the next five-year program work. More than $16.79 million has been pledged for community economic development initiatives in the 2026 campaign.

Forward Sioux Falls is a joint venture economic development program between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. The 2026 campaign has raised $16,129,267 in cash pledges, surpassing the cash goal of $15 million that was announced in February. In-kind investments of $667,368 bring the total amount raised for the next five-year program to $16,796,635.

Investments will be used to fund both longstanding and new initiatives within the program pillars of talent and business attraction/retention/development; innovation and entrepreneurship; business advocacy; airport marketing; and quality of place.

Co-chairs for the campaign included Dave Rozenboom (First PREMIER Bank), Dave Flicek (Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center) and Paul Hanson (Sanford Health). City of Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken served as honorary co-chair. Over 120 individuals volunteered as campaigners, including forty-three leaders from both the private and public sectors who served as cabinet members.

“We experienced significant and broad-based support from our investors from both the public and private sectors despite the challenges of the pandemic,” Rozenboom said. “This is a testament to our outstanding community and the high level of confidence in Forward Sioux Falls to continue to lift up our area’s economy.”

Flicek emphasized that Forward Sioux Falls has a direct impact as a centralized economic engine to capitalize on opportunities and assist with problem solving at the community level. “It is truly amazing to see how investors come together as one to support prosperity for all,” he said.

The notion of putting competitive differences aside for the overall good of the community has resonated since inception of the Forward Sioux Falls program in 1987. With leaders from Avera and Sanford serving as co-chairs of the 2026 campaign, that spirit of collaboration was front and center.

“This journey has been special for Dave Flicek and me to join forces and become campaign leaders,” Hanson said. “We both understand that in order for our individual health care systems to prosper, the entirety of the Sioux Falls region needs to do so. This aligns perfectly with the Forward Sioux Falls mantra, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Projected program goals and outcomes through 2026 include:

  • 4,500 new direct jobs at or above median wage
  • 1,000 new housing units
  • 25,000 new residents
  • $500 million new capital investments
  • $250 million new property tax revenues

Mayor TenHaken acknowledged that the collaborative effort between the City of Sioux Falls and Forward Sioux Falls is pervasive. “Working together, we have positively impacted virtually every resident and business in our community. That’s powerful.”