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pharmaCline, a South Dakota start-up, was recently awarded an Edison Award!

South Dakota's Gross Domestic Product by State increased by 4.98%, which was the 9th fastest growth rate amongst states.


  BIO 2011 Group
  The South Dakota delegation at the 2011 BIO show, which was held in Washington, D.C. More than 15,000 people from 48 states and 65 countries attended.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, companies, organizations and local development corporations are taking a unified approach to representing South Dakota at the 2012 Biotechnology International Organization (BIO) International Conference this month in Boston. The group intends to recruit bioscience companies and highlight the growing industry in South Dakota.

As part of the BIO conference, Dr. Mel Ustad, Director of Commercialization at the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will be speaking in a session titled “Government Investment in the Biobased Economy,” alongside representatives from the U.S. departments of energy and commerce.

Ustad said the session will cover cooperative efforts between the state and the federal governments to support the bioscience industry, with a focus on biofuels.

The GOED and its partners - Avera Health; BioDak, LLC; Brookings Economic Development Corporation; Christiansen Land and Cattle; Chronix BioMedical; Rural Technologies, Inc.; Sanford Health; Sioux Falls Development Foundation; South Dakota BIO Association; South Dakota Department of Agriculture; South Dakota Innovation Campus; South Dakota State University; University of South Dakota; and the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce & Development Company – anticipate the effort will be a success.

“This is one of our largest trade shows of the year,” said Pat Costello, GOED Commissioner. “Governor Daugaard’s presence is absolutely invaluable when it comes to showing potential businesses the level of South Dakota’s commitment to the industry. Combined with Dr. Ustad’s presentation, we are going to be well-represented at this show.”

The South Dakota pavilion is booth #705 at the show, which runs June 18-21. For more on the bioscience industry in South Dakota, please visit

Spring has been the season for new staff members, as the GOED welcomes four new individuals to the economic development team.

  Nathan Lukkes Headshot
  Nathan Lukkes

Nathan Lukkes, Deputy Commissioner – Nathan Lukkes was hired as the Deputy Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and assumed the role in May. He began his professional career as an attorney in Sioux Falls, practicing primarily in the areas of business and transactional law, general litigation and estate planning. Prior to working for the GOED, he served as the Legal Services Director for the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. Lukkes also serves as a Judge Advocate with the South Dakota Army National Guard and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010-11 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Grace Kessler, Media Relations Coordinator – Grace Kessler joined the Marketing and Public Relations staff in late May as the Media Relations Coordinator. Grace will be coordinating the GOED’s in-state and industry media efforts. An Aberdeen native, Grace is a recent graduate of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.

Joe Kafka, Online Marketing Coordinator – Joe Kafka will be joining the GOED’s Marketing and Public Relations department mid-June as the Online Marketing Coordinator. Joe will be responsible for maintenance, design and analytical reporting of the GOED’s websites. He previously served as an Information Officer with the S.D. Department of Revenue.

Todd Tobin, Business Development Representative – Todd Tobin will be joining the GOED as a Business Development Representative. His territory will cover western South Dakota and he will be working specifically in the Advanced Manufacturing industry. He comes to the GOED with a manufacturing and process background, which will serve him well in this role.

This is a publication of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Commissioner-Pat Costello; Deputy Commissioner-Nathan Lukkes; Marketing and Public Relations Director-Mary Lehecka Nelson; Editor and Designer-Jennifer Lambley. © Copyright 2012