Dr. Pam Lange


Hear From Our Leaders

Leadership South Dakota takes the best and brightest individuals in the state and molds them into leaders for the next generation. After they complete our program, these individuals go on to do great things for themselves, their employers, and their state.

Everyone benefits from our program, from the participants to the CEOs who hire them. Hear what these people have to say about Leadership South Dakota.



"Leadership South Dakota promises to provide its participants with the opportunity to see places that few people have seen, meet people that most people want to meet and learn skills that will help them lead in the future. First Premier Bank is a proud sponsor of this program."

Dana Dykhouse


First PREMIER Bank


"The Bush Foundation is delighted to support Leadership South Dakota. The future of the state rests in the hands of its people. We believe that getting more people better equipped and better networked to lead change is one of the most critical strategies for ensuring our region’s strength and prosperity."

Jen Ford Reedy


Bush Foundation


“Leadership South Dakota will be an opportunity for emerging leaders to learn how South Dakotans have overcome challenges in the past and see first hand the hurdles we face today... We also hope they will emerge from the seven sessions with a deeper desire to use their talents and resources to find innovative solutions to challenges within our borders.”

Stephanie Judson


South Dakota Community Foundation


"Sanford Health is excited to support the Leadership South Dakota Program. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to invest in our communities and state than to assist in building the “bench” of future leadership. Leadership South Dakota will provide that opportunity to individuals across our state who aspire to make a difference and I look forward to being part of this important effort. "

Mike Begemen

Executive Chief of Staff & V.P. Public Affairs

Sanford Health


“Leadership often gets misinterpreted as bold and loud. When in fact, leadership must start with listening and learning. It’s those elements that we, at SDN, most appreciate about Leadership South Dakota. The program takes a comprehensive approach to South Dakota’s history, culture and economy to develop true leaders for our future.”

Mark Shlanta


SDN Communications



“Leadership SD has provided me with the opportunity to not only develop a cohort of friends of up-and-coming leaders throughout the state, but also has opened my eyes to the wealth of opportunity available in all industries in our state.”

Dr. Pam Lange

Director of Development and Grant Management



“I came into the program looking forward to the professional development aspects, and while those have been excellent, the opportunities made available to me as a leader to network, diagnose real SD problems and create solutions with my peers is what I carry back to my office, and team, after each and every session.”

Suzanne Stluka

Food & Families Program Director

SDSU Extension


“From the foothills of Crazy Horse Monument to the factory floors of Brookings’ premier manufacturers, and everywhere in between, Leadership SD provides unprecedented access to some of our state’s greatest resources: past, present, and future.”

Brian Sandvig

Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc


As a life-long South Dakotan, Leadership SD opened my eyes to so many wonderful people and places across the state. The program encouraged me to take professional and personal risks, run for public office, and broaden my network with other people who care about the future of SD and its history.

Nick Wendell

Executive Director

Technical Institute Board of Education


The year spent with Leadership SD offered me the opportunity to meet people and see places I would not have been able to with any other program. The connections made have been beneficial both personally and also in the communities where I live and work.

Scott Vanden Berge

First Dakota National Bank


Leadership SD gave me the opportunity to learn from a wide range of experienced leaders, helping build my capacity as a leader both in front of and behind the scenes. Leadership SD gave me the confidence to make an impact in my community and public health, regardless of which side of the "camera" I am on. Leadership SD is a unique experience that provides learning long after it is completed.

Sandra Melstad


SLM Consulting


The learning, the speakers, and the experiences that Leadership South Dakota offered were second-to-none. I’m so glad I invested my time and energy with this program! Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Oh My Cupcakes!