May 20—The Mitchell Area Development Corporation and Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce has found its new leader in Geri Beck.
After going nine months without a director, the MADC and Chamber of Commerce Board tabbed Beck, a longtime Mitchell resident, to serve as the nonprofit organization's CEO. The decision was announced Thursday morning.
With her extensive background in leadership roles, including serving as the foundation director for Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and vice president of finance and administration at Dakota Wesleyan University, MADC Board President Jason Stoebner highlighted Beck's experience and "proficiency in finance, fundraising and organizational management."
"Geri (Beck) is an experienced leader in our community, and she brings proficiency in finance, fundraising and organizational management," Stoebner said in a press release. "We are so pleased that a native South Dakotan and current Mitchell resident rose to the top of our nationwide search."
Following the resignation of Mark Vaux in August 2020, the organization's executive board began a nationwide hiring search. (Vaux was hired in April to run the Watertown Development Company.) After interviewing around 30 candidates, Beck emerged as the new leader of the Mitchell organization.
"I have always enjoyed being an active community member in Mitchell," Beck said in a press release. "I am grateful to have the chance to lead the chamber and development team and to have the opportunity to have a positive influence on the future of our community."
Beck has experience in business banking, as she spent roughly four years as a banker at Wells Fargo in Mitchell. She previously served as the CEO for the Independent Community Bankers of South Dakota for a brief period of time. Beck was a former co-owner of Cornerstone Coffee and Deli in downtown Mitchell.
In her new role, Beck will oversee the MADC and Chamber of Commerce. Both organizations are tasked with marketing the city, recruiting businesses and new developments to bring more economic growth to the city. Beck is expected to work closely with the city of Mitchell's leaders and elected officials.
As a former Mitchell City Council member, Beck has some experience in that avenue as well.
"Our combined chamber and development corporation structure is somewhat unique," said Lori Baye, Mitchell Chamber of Commerce president. "Geri's career to this point provides great transferrable experiences and skills to make her a strong relationship-builder and deal-maker. This is a real win for the Mitchell community."
Beck holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota.