2009 Governor's Giant Vision Winners Honored

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2009 Governor's Giant Vision Winners Honored

As host of the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards Program, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry President David Owen announced the five winners of the 2009 business competition and three winners of the student competition.


After a preliminary competition that reduced the field of applicants to 12 qualifying entries, the competition concluded with day-long judging activities Thursday, April 16 at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls with Governor Mike Rounds presenting the top prizes in both competitions.  The following were selected as the 2009 Governor’s Giant Vision winners.


The $20,000 winner was Kari Black, BLACK EVENTS & ADVERTISING INC. – GonnaGetWed.com, Sioux Falls. 
Gonnagetwed.com is an online bridal directory that serves both local brides and bridal companies.  Bridal companies can utilize the site to post everything about their business, photos, contact information and coupons.  For many, it is a replacement so they don’t have to have their own costly website.  They also receive a specific leads list monthly to be able to market to those brides in need of their services.  Brides are able to gather valuable company information so they can make informed decisions in planning their weddings.  They are also able to access articles and resources and create a bridge’s page to share their wedding details with family and friends.  Gonnagetwed.com has a huge ability to create revenue and be easily duplicated in other markets across the country, with two markets already in place.

Two second place prizes of $10,000 each were awarded to the following.

PLE Inc. (Marc Bogue, Beresford)

As a division of Bogue Inc., PLE (Portable Lift Equipment) Inc. is a research and development company that is an innovator in surveillance and man-life solutions. The company manufactures and distributes “towable” and “truck-mounted” scissor lift platforms that carry sophisticated cameras, radar, men and communication equipment.  PLE Inc. holds patents on its DC linear actuated “auto-level” system technology which is used to level recreational, construction, and military vehicles.  “Leveling equipment on slopes is important for safety and stability and we have been recognized worldwide as an innovator in this field.”  “This is home-gown technology that was developed by our team of engineers” Bogue says.

The surveillance systems consist of a hydraulically operated scissor lift, a top opening “truck box cab,” an electric truck leveling system and a sophisticated camera. These components are positioned in the bed of a standard 3/4 pick-up truck utilizing a “quick attach” mounting system. The agent operates the entire system from the comfort of the truck cab where he or she can set the truck stabilization system, manipulate the camera, record all activity and view camera “targets” with a touch of a button and through the use of a “joystick” controller.

QUARQ TECHNOLOGY (James & Mieke Meyer, Spearfish)

Quarq is a company with one focus:  bike data.  Quarq’s mission is to develop innovative, technologically advanced bicycle data acquisition products that improve bike and rider performance and set new standards in simplicity and accessibility.  The Quarq team is headquartered in Spearfish and builds the CinQo powermeter locally in a world class manufacturing facility.  Experts in their fields, they work to bring the best in data acquisition technology to the bicycle.  Quarq products begin as ideas.  They come from our employees, most of whom are passionate cyclists.  They come from the riders and coaches on mountain tracks, parks and streets. They come from the wider cycling community, contributors on the web and co-developers of our open-source software.  Everyone who rides bikes, including the folks at Quarq, wants to go faster.  

There were also two third place prizes of $2,500 each awarded to the following businesses.


The initial business plan is to use the geothermal energy that is available through the Town of Midland, to be the primary source of energy for heating the greenhouses.  We will be producing vegetables and flower crops to suit the local markets.  Further, I want to address the ancillary electrical needs of the greenhouse(s) operation throughout a wind power/hydrogen production system.  This ancillary power system has the added value of allowing us to produce our own fertilizer and assist in the efficiency of agriculture projects that we want to consider in later phases of our company’s development.  For marketing purposes, we want to be able to offer commercial and individual clients stable contracts of supplying produce at a certain price.  As part of our marketing division of the company, we will be sponsoring educational courses to engage the local farmers and ranchers and others throughout the state and nation to build and/or operate greenhouses of which we would market their produce.  The idea of locally produced, basically organic food supply available year around at stable prices which would be at or less than standard grocery store prices is now possible with a green energy footprint.

SKYVIEW CONSTRUCTION (Gerry Adolph,), Waubay

Skyview Construction Company will produce and sell the Drop Inlet Protection (DIP) baskets to companies and government agencies who need sediment control for construction projects.

Founders and sponsors of the Giant Vision program are Governor Mike Rounds and the State of South Dakota; Black Hills Corp., Rapid City; Christiansen Land & Cattle Ltd., Kimball; Dacotah Banks, Aberdeen; Daktronics, Inc., Brookings; EPSCoR of South Dakota, Brookings; Home Federal Bank, Sioux Falls; Toshiba America, Mitchell; US Bank, Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Rapid City; and Wheeler Manufacturing, Lemmon. 

“The goal of this program is to encourage people to explore being a business owner and to create an exciting future while also expanding South Dakota’s economy.  We have worked hard to produce an event that will benefit all of the businesses participating.  While the prize money will help the finalists, the contacts and rigor required to be a qualifier will prepare each entrepreneur to advance their business idea” said David Owen, President, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  To qualify for this competition, businesses must have been in operation for no more than two years.

2009 marked the third year of a college student competition. Entries were received from across South Dakota.  From the original applications, the top eight were selected to compete April 16 and the judges then chose three that received cash prizes.  The winners of the student competition were:


$3,500 – LITTLE BROWN BEAR (Matt Lagerstrom, White)

Little Brown Bear is a sole proprietorship founded by Matthew A. Lagerstrom in May 2008.  LBB focuses on a newly defined, environmentally conscious, niche market of shelterbelt management in east central South Dakota and surrounding areas.  LBB’s mission is to provide timely and satisfying service to our customers, while operating as a professional and constantly improving forestry organization.  Its goal is to be the regional expert in shelterbelt management and domestic tree care by 2019.

$2,500 – BIDYOURHUNT.COM (Kyle Mulder, Vermillion)

BidYourHunt.com will be an online auction site that allows hunters to bid on private land for specific dates.  The website is a convenient and inexpensive service that makes hunting affordable for resident and non-resident hunters.  Hunters are finding it more difficult to obtain permission to hunt on private land so BidYourHunt.com will act as the medium that links the two parties together.  The site benefits landowners by providing the opportunity for substantial income.  BidYourHunt.com will stimulate the South Dakota economy by promoting its vast hunting resources to non-resident hunters. 

$1,000 – DETAIL EXPRESS (Jesika Garrett, Dupree)

Detail Express is an interior vehicle cleaning business.  It offers very competitive and affordable prices when compared to larger detail shops.  Detail Express’ services include dusting, vacuumed mats and floors, shampooed mats and floors, and cleaning of the windows inside and out.  You get it dirty, Detail Express will clean it up.

Governor Mike Rounds and the State of South Dakota have supported this program financially, along with Citibank of Sioux Falls, Ken Stork, President and CEO as the corporate sponsor.

The Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards and Governor’s Giant Vision Student Awards were established to help citizens realize that South Dakota is the very best place to start a successful business.   The program was designed as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete for seed money and a chance to achieve their dream. 

This South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry program is chaired by Brad Wheeler, President of Wheeler Manufacturing in Lemmon.  Wheeler commented “We are fortunate to have successful entrepreneurs take time to be judges and really work hard to examine all of these new ideas.  This is an exciting day with high energy people working hard to share in the American dream.”

The Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition is an annual event held in April.

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