30 YEARS OF HIGHLIGHTS & HISTORY Supporting YBA - a Thirty Year Tradition

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Supporting YBA - a Thirty Year Tradition

It all began in 1979 with HB1245, a law which stated a free enterprise course be taught in either elementary or secondary schools in South Dakota.  The leadership of the SD Chamber of Commerce realized the lack of economic education in the high schools might not be addressed with the new law.  In response to that concern the “Economic Education Task Force”, chaired by Jerry Simmons of Sioux Falls, was established.   At the Board of Directors meeting on October 25, 1979, the Task Force recommended and the Board approved the institution of a week long summer program for high school seniors and educators.

The program, named “Youth Business Academy” (YBA), established a mission to teach the benefits and principles of the free enterprise system.   The first planning meeting led by YBA Chair Jerry Simmons was held in March, 1980.  The group visited the USD and Augustana College campuses and met with officials interested in hosting YBA.  The Augustana campus was chosen as the site for YBA 1980.

With seed money from thirteen South Dakota Businesses, Youth Business Adventure began it’s first annual session thirty years ago this summer.  Those fourteen businesses were:  3M Company, Brookings & Aberdeen; Aberdeen Federal Savings & Loan (now Home Federal Savings Bank); Jerry Simmons & Associates, Sioux Falls; Lynn’s Inc., Lemmon (main office now in Rapid City); Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU), Mobridge; Mountain Company, Keystone; National Bank of South Dakota, Sioux Falls (now US Bank); Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy), Sioux Falls; Northwestern Bell Telephone Co., Sioux Falls (now Qwest Foundation); Northwestern National Bank (now Wells Fargo Foundation), Sioux Falls; Northwestern Public Service (now NorthWestern Corp.), Huron; Rapid City Journal; and Whetstone Realty (now Earl D. Bohlen & Assoc.), Milbank.

Three months later in June, the first YBA program was held on a budget of $30,000.  Simmons, a professional motivational speaker, emceed the week-long program and presented a meaningful discussion centered on a “Free Enterprise Wall.”  He continued in that role with standing ovations from the students until he retired in 1991.  Charlotte Conway and Joan Likness from the State Chamber staff implemented the program, recruited students and educators and conducted fundraising. YBA 1980 hosted 136 seniors and 12 educators representing 54 high schools, along with 12 volunteer Company Advisors; among those brave volunteers was Tom Everist from Sioux Falls.

Company Advisor Pat Wingen, President of Aaladin Industries, Inc., Elk Point was named YBA Chair in 1992.  Under his leadership YBA was renamed “Youth Business Adventure.”  New activities, such as the Emerging Entrepreneur Project,were implemented and more emphasis was placed on developing the students’ entrepreneurial traits.  Wingen continues to chair the YBA Advisory Board established in 1996.

In 1995 the YBA program moved to South Dakota State University and in 1996 the campus at Black Hills State University was added due to a large contribution from Citibank through the SD Community Foundation.  YBA Executive Director Charlotte Conway took a part time position with YBA in 1998 and Sylvia Moisan became the executive director.  YBA was moved in 2000 from SDSU to the University of South Dakota with Wingen as campus chair and David Gross, Sioux Falls, campus chair at BHSU.  In 2003 Company Advisor Dennis Wagner, Rapid City, was named BHSU campus chair.  Wagner continues to Chair the BHSU campus.  YBA remained on the campus of USD through 2005.   Mount Marty College in Yankton hosted YBA with Bill Shorma as Campus Chair in 2006 and 2007.  In 2008 Jay Bender was Campus Chair at the first Dakota State University YBA session while during the 2009 DSU session Paul Downey will serve as Campus Chair.

State Chamber Presidents who have played a leading role in the continuation of YBA are David McNeil, 1980-1985; Julie Johnson, 1986-1994; Ray Trankle, 1995-1998 and David Owen 1999 to the present.

To date, YBA has educated 5,600 students by giving them a better understanding of the South Dakota business community, and 364 YBA educators are sharing that information with multitudes of students who did not attend the Youth Business Adventure program.   Large accolades go to the business community of South Dakota; without that support none of these results would have happened.  YBA has been fortunate to have loyal sponsors who have maintained a tradition of supporting the program for 30 years.  Those 30 year sponsors include:  3M Foundation, Brookings and Aberdeen; BankWest, Inc., Pierre; Black Hills Corporation, Rapid City; Dakota Granite Company, Inc., Milbank; DeSmet Farm Mutual; Downtown Rotary Club, Sioux Falls; Falcon Plastics, Inc., Brookings; First National Bank, Philip; Home Federal Bank, Sioux Falls; MDU Resources Foundation, Bismarck; Otter Tail Power Company, Milbank; Qwest Foundation, Sioux Falls; State Publishing Company, Pierre; Student Loan Finance Corp., Aberdeen; L. G. Everist, Inc. (now Tom & Barbara Everist Family Fund), Sioux Falls; US Bank, Sioux Falls; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Sioux Falls; Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith, P.C., Sioux Falls; and Xcel Energy Foundation, Sioux Falls.

Because of today’s economic climate, Youth Business Adventure needs your help to reach its financial goal for this summer’s two sessions being held at Black Hills State University June 7-12 and Dakota State University June 21-26.  If you aren’t already a 2009 YBA sponsor, now is the time to fill out the pledge form below and return it to:  YBA, PO BOX 190, PIERRE, SD  57501-0190.


Name  ___________________________________________________________
Title _____________________________________________________________

          Business Organization  _____________________________________________    

Phone ___________________________________________________________

Mailing Address ______________________________________________________

City ___________________________________,  State__________  Zip _________

Contribution  _____ $300  _____ $600 _____ $900 _____ $1200 _____ Other $ _____

_________ My tax deductable donation is enclosed.


_________ I pledge $ _____________       Please bill me on (date) ______________

Please return your pledge or check to YBA, PO Box 190, Pierre, SD  57501-0190. Checks may be made to Youth Business Adventure, or the Greater South Dakota Education and Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. Receipts will be issued for all contributions. Thank you for your generosity. Questions: 1-800-742-8112 or 605-224-6161 (Fax:  605-224-7198) for Sylvia Moisan, Executive Director, or e-mail sylviam@sdchamber.biz.

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