Empower Sessions Community Registration

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Dakota Event Center

720 Lamont Street South

Aberdeen, SD 57401

United States

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description


Join us for our annual fall conference full of learning and fun. We will start on Thursday evening for Beer School and social time. Friday will include the opening circle, Aberdeen Fellows/Alumni business tours, learning sessions and wrapping up with the gala.

Summary Schedule (See detailed schedule below)


  • 7:00pm Social and Beer School


  • 8:30am Opening Circle

  • 9:30am Learning Session

  • 10:45am Fellows' Business Tours and Lunch

  • 1:30pm Learning Sessions

  • 6:30pm Gala

Hotel Details

The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express are both connected to the Dakota Event Center. Please mention Dakota Resources to receive our discounted rate of $124/night.

Aberdeen Hampton Inn 605-262-2600

Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express 605-725-4000

Schedule Details

Thursday, September 27

7:00pm Beer School Social (for all participants)

Enjoy networking time and a short demonstration about beer‐making. Plus, taste local South Dakota beers like a pro!

Beerstorming Sessions (for all participants)

Choose one of 8 different big ideas, brought by rural entrepreneurs and community teams, to join in the brainstorming fun! It’s your chance to ask tough questions and share unfiltered ideas with peers from across rural South Dakota.

Friday, September 28

8:30am Opening Circle (for all participants)

Meet your peers from around the state and gather inspiration from each other to kick off The Empower Sessions.


Simple Habit Tools to Help You Do the Best Work of Your Life (for all participants)

Changing your habits is tough. And it means everything when you are changing the world by running a business or community organization. Join Dakota Resources’ President Joe Bartmann in learning and sharing proven tools that will help you create the habit changes you want.

How to Network with Introverts (for all participants)

It’s hard enough trying to network with an introvert. Imagine being one. Everybody needs to network—you can’t be successful growing a business or shaping a community if you skip networking or avoid connecting with introverts at the social. This is a session for everybody—the extroverts and introverts—to learn skills and tools for understanding the networking game from an introvert’s point of view. Bring your tricks and experiences to share.


Bus Tour of Dakota Rising Fellows Businesses and Lunch at Brass Kettle (for all participants)

 McQuillen Creative Group, Troy McQuillen (Class of 2015)

 ReadiTech, David Malsam (Class of 2018)

 Mainstream Boutique, Julie Fischbach (Class of 2019)

1:30‐4:00pm The Power of Brand Storytelling (for econ dev leaders)

Join Jess Noteboom, Executive Director of Lead Chamber of Commerce to learn how Economic Developers can change the trajectory of a community through shifting the narrative.

Peer to Peer Learning: Communications Strategies

Join Dakota Resources’ Learning Network Orchestrator Mike Knutson to learn from each other. What’s working? What’s not? And how can we help each other?

4:30‐6:30pm Fellowship Alumni and Graduates Reception

Celebrate the 2018 Graduates! Mavericks Party Room

6:30pm Empower Sessions Awards Gala (for all participants and additional registered guests)

Separate Tickets for your friends available at http://empowergala.com. (Your Empower Sessions ticket includes the Gala.)

 Welcome: Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen

 Keynote: “Think Bigger!” With Rebekah Scott, Rebekah Scott Designs (RSB)

RSB is a nationally recognized brand employing South Dakota women eager to work and sew good seeds, all based on Rebekah’s family farm near Valley Springs, SD. Rebekah is an author, host of “The Encourager” podcast, and facilitates Mompreneur retreats.

 2018 Graduating Class of Dakota Rising Entrepreneur Fellows

 Cash Awards to Second‐year Dakota Rising Entrepreneur Fellows

 2018 Innovative Community Award

Date and Time


Dakota Event Center

720 Lamont Street South

Aberdeen, SD 57401

United States

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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