Member Voices

Message from the Chair

When I first moved to Sioux Falls from California over a decade ago, one of the first jokes our new neighbors told me was: “There are only two seasons here – winter and road construction.” That line still makes me smile!

In all seriousness, as the community grows, your city government works hard to keep our infrastructure up-to-date and to be responsive to the needs of citizens. We added approximately 7,000 residents to Sioux Falls last year, and with that growth comes more cars on the road. More cars on the road means more wear and tear on our streets and therefore more construction.

Our elections are a reminder of the privileges and rights we enjoy in this country.

There is a lot of planning and expertise that goes into the road construction projects around the city. The staff at the City of Sioux Falls is great about seeking input from residents and businesses and communicating upcoming projects. The Chamber often has representation in the conversations about where development and improvement needs to happen. Every year, we plan a bus tour of the city and spend the day with a member of the City planning department looking at future projects. It is one more way we are the voice of business for our members.

The month of April brings local elections. This year, we will be selecting our mayor for the next four years, plus four members of the City Council. Please don’t forget to vote and vote like our democracy depends on it (which it does). Our elections are a poignant reminder of the privileges and rights we enjoy in this country, especially when contrasted with the invasion of a democratic Ukraine by a leader who denies his own country the ability to vote in fair and free elections and choose their own leaders, of the people, by the people and for the people.

Finally, this month we will recognize 27 individuals who have completed the DE&I Activator Series. Chamber members and Forward Sioux Falls investors told us that there was a need for training on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. This series was developed in response to that demand, and I am pleased to tell you that hundreds of people have participated in this program to varying degrees over the last year. The long-term growth and success of our community depends on welcoming all people to our city and workforce.

As you continue to go about your daily life, I humbly remind you to take a moment to be grateful for the blessings that we enjoy here in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. Be well and let’s all look forward to the warm breeze picking up as spring is right around the corner.

Board Member Alex Ramirez
2021-22 Chair of the Board

Alex Ramirez

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