Vision Brookings exceeds goal for five-year initiative

Campaign co-chairs Jay Bender, president of Falcon Plastics, and Reva Johnson, owner of The UPS Store, announced at the investor celebration on Nov. 14 that $2,586,788 has been raised for Vision Brookings III, exceeding the $2.5 million campaign goal.

“We are very excited to report that in addition to surpassing our goal, we have 46 new investors compared to the last campaign,” said Bender. “These private sector partners recognized the direct impact Vision Brookings has had on the tremendous success of the region over the last ten years and want to see that progress continue.”

Formed in 2005, Vision Brookings is a coalition of Brookings Economic Development Corporation, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Brookings Inc. whose purpose is to encourage positive economic growth and vitality for the region. Through two five-year campaigns, the organization raised $4.8 million. These contributions leveraged an additional $24.8 million from other sources for local economic development projects. Vision Brookings III (2017-2021) will continue to build on prior investments and successes while focusing on the region’s challenges and opportunities, according to Bender.

The initiative is designed to capture new and expanding business opportunities that will result in regional economic growth. Key components include:

  • Workforce Development – recruit, retain, and train workers
  • Support for Entrepreneurship – identify, engage and promote small business success
  • Business Expansion and Recruitment – grow businesses, generate jobs and increase community wealth
  • Research Park at South Dakota State University – develop and expand the Research Park

Vision Brookings is managed by Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). One major change with the third campaign is the decision to complete the fundraising process in-house through BEDC rather than hire an outside consultant saving approximately $130,000 that can be used for local projects.

The organization reports that a total of 124 businesses and individuals have invested in Vision Brookings III, an increase of 21% over the prior campaign, while total cash raised is 11% higher. For more information, contact BEDC at (605) 697-8103 or visit

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