Monthly Regional Newsletter

The Miller Civic and Commerce Association and On Hand Development Corporation will be collaborating with organizations in east central South Dakota (ECSD) to produce a monthly newsletter. The newsletter will be a full color, “glossy magazine style” publication that will keep area residents informed of local activities, visitor events, city and county news, and economic development information.

The Huron Chamber of Commerce and Greater Huron Development Corporation have been publishing a monthly newsletter in a 2-color tabloid-size format for several years. You may have seen this newspaper insert titled “Team Huron”. They decided to upgrade their newsletter to the full color, glossy format and to invite the surrounding communities to be part of the publication.  Counties that will be included are Beadle, Hand, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Sanborn, and Spink.

The new magazine represents the first “regional retail and economic development magazine” launched in South Dakota. It will be the primary tool to develop a regional approach to enhancing visitor spending, retail awareness, and economic development.

Through the new publication, ECSD communities can celebrate local business accomplishments on a regional basis. This will increase the business’s profile and draw attention to job opportunities and economic development success stories that often go unnoticed. Working together, the region will become more visible as a desirable location for expansion and/or business relocation further establishing our area’s reputation as a business friendly environment.

The magazine will be distributed the fourth Sunday of each month in the Huron Daily Plainsman and in weekly papers in the six-county area. It addition, it will now be placed in motel rooms and be available at doctor, dentist, and other professional offices. The Miller C&C is looking at the possibility of having a copy mailed directly to each C&C member.

Area businesses will have the opportunity to advertise and reach a broad audience in ECSD using this publication. Brad McGirr of Creative Printing, the magazine’s printer, will be in the Hand County area over the next couple of weeks to meet with business owners regarding this advertising opportunity. You may also contact him directly at (605) 352-6565.

The Miller Civic & Commerce and On Hand Development Corporation are looking forward to participating in this new magazine. If you have any questions or need additional information please feel free to contact us.


OHDC Board of Directors

Occasionally, someone will ask a question about the On Hand Development board of directors. They may be curious about who is currently on the board, how someone gets on the board, or when the next election is. I’ll try to provide a good summary of our board of directors and answer some of those questions.

We can have from seven to eleven directors on the board in a number of different categories. Three positions are governmental directors and include one City of Miller council member, one Hand County commissioner, and one Miller School District board member, or their representative. The governmental directors are selected by those respective organizations’ governing bodies and appointed to the OHDC board each year.

Three at large directors are elected by the members of the Miller Civic and Commerce. One at large director is elected each year at the annual OHDC and C&C meeting held at the end of January. These directors serve a three-year term.

The OHDC board of directors appoints the remaining directors, from one to five positions, for three-year terms. Two of these positions are designated as finance directors and must have a background in banking, financial products, accounting, or similar areas.

We currently have eleven members on the board and they include:

  •  Joe Zeller, City of Miller council member
  • Jim Iverson, Hand County commissioner
  • Kevin Watts, Miller School District board member
  • Becky Nelson, President and at large director
  • JoAnn Morford, at large director
  • Travis Anderberg, at large director
  • Tim Prince, Vice-president and finance director
  • Laine Warkenthien, Secretary/Treasurer and finance director
  • Greg Rediger, appointed director
  • Bryan Breitling, appointed director
  • Tiffany Hofer, appointed director

It is important to have a diverse and committed board of directors. As outlined above, there are several mechanisms for joining the board. We would welcome any interest people may have in joining. Simply give me a call at 853-3098 or stop by the office to let me know.

Are We Ready for Retirees?

We all know that South Dakota is a wonderful place to retire. The people at know that too (via Reimagine Rural). They recently published a list of the 10 best retirement states and SD ranked third best in the nation (Richard Barrington, “10 Best States to Retire,” SD ranks below New Hampshire and Hawaii and just above North Dakota.

Why did SD rank so high on the list? ranked the states on the following criteria: economics, climate, crime rate, and life expectancy. Our state did very well in economics and crime rate due to our low cost of living and lack of crime. Climate was our weak point but we still fared better than states like ND.

How does this information relate to economic development? Attracting retirees to our area would certainly impact our population, our housing market, our business community, and our city’s sales tax income. The members of the baby boom generation are nearing retirement age and that presents an exciting opportunity for those communities that are ready.

This is interesting information but the real question is, “Would people really retire to SD?” A study from the USDA Department of Agriculture provides some insights into answering that question. The study describes that baby boomers increasingly want to retire in rural and small-town destinations (Cromartie and Nelson, “Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America”, 2009). That is good news because we fit the bill perfectly.

Many of the pieces are already in place to make Hand County an attractive area for retirees. However, it will require a community-wide focus to successfully draw retirees here. On Hand Development, our city councils, and county commissioners will need to actively work toward this goal. Our business community, service organizations, faith institutions, and health care facilities all have part to play too. By working together, we can take hold of this opportunity and ensure the long-term vitality of our communities and county.