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Member Voices

Meet a member: Stacy Kooistra

Colonel Stacy Kooistra wears many hats: lawyer, U.S. serviceman, basketball player and family man. One year ago, he took on his latest role as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Dakota State University Applied Research Corporation (DARC). A 26-year member of the military, Stacy also serves as State Staff Judge Advocate for Air–South Dakota Air National Guard and is the Chair of the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance. Stacy and his wife, Anna, have four children: Isabel, Oscar, Owen and Emmett.

1. How did you choose your profession?

Honestly, I’ve had a few, and I’ve just chased my heart for each – and tried to blend them as my career unfolded. Basketball was my first passion and I was blessed with an opportunity to play in Sweden, which led me to my wife, Anna. I then felt a calling to serve our country and to become an attorney, which led to opportunities in Army Military Intelligence, the private practice of law, the Air Force JAG Corps and becoming the Sioux Falls City Attorney.

2. What is your favorite tech tool or app?

I rely heavily on the basics: email, the Microsoft suite of products and, of course, the supercomputer each of us carries around every day.

3. What is the best piece of advice you have received?

When, at age 25, I was concerned about being too old to join the Army, my dad simply pointed out that I was going to get older either way, so I might as well pursue what I felt called to do. Simple but great advice that I am glad I followed!

4. What is a skill that you’d like to learn and why?

I would like to learn to fly a fighter jet because who wouldn’t?

5. What is your favorite way to spend a day in Sioux Falls?

Falls Park in the morning, an afternoon of fun and games with the family at the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance, then dinner downtown and one of the amazing Washington Pavilion shows with Anna that evening.

6. If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be and why?

Either General Washington’s winter at Valley Forge, Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, or Eisenhower’s preparation for D-Day. All-time historic leadership events!

7. What might someone be surprised to learn about you?

My wife is from Sweden and thus our four children are dual U.S./Swedish citizens.

8. What attracted you to the position with DSU’s Applied Research Corporation?

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While it was hard to leave Mayor TenHaken, the City Council and all the amazing leaders and employees within the City of Sioux Falls, the chance to play a small role in helping to bring the cyber industry to the State of South Dakota was something I could not refuse.