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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ” For their achievements and contributions to economic development in South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has recognized Bill Hansen of Centerville, Eric McDonald of Sioux Falls, and the communities of De Smet and Sturgis.

Hansen was honored with the Excellence in Economic Development Award, which is given out annually at the Governor’s Economic Development Conference. “Bill Hansen helped lead the charge to save Centerville’s nursing home and the jobs it provides,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Citizens who have worked with Bill say he has energized the local business community, service clubs and city leaders, as well as the Development Corporation and its board members with his ‘spark’ for economic development in Centerville and the surrounding area”

Eric McDonald, CEO of DocuTAP, was named the South Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year. The award is a new one. “It is fitting that Eric McDonald is the first recipient of this award as he also competed in the initial Governor’s Giant Vision Plan competition,” said Gov. Daugaard.  “Throughout the past few years, Eric’s business has experienced explosive growth, and it is clear that he exemplifies the entrepreneurial traits and skills that we want to encourage and nurture here in South Dakota.”

The Governor recognized the communities of De Smet and Sturgis as the small and large Community of the Year. “De Smet is looking to the future and working to recruit and encourage the next generation of economic development and city leaders,” Gov. Daugaard said. “In 2012, De Smet brought in three new companies, helped six other companies expand, launched its own marketing campaign and started the Young Guns organization, which brings together 20- to 40-year-olds living in the community to help with economic development.”

“Sturgis did a thorough evaluation to determine what it needed to become a year-round destination. They plan to create a downtown plaza and offer building setbacks to encourage year-round retail,” the Governor said. “In addition, Sturgis successfully applied to have its industrial park became one of South Dakota’s first Certified Ready Sites, and the community implemented a Career Tour Day to expose students to local industry employment.”