The 2022 Learning Network Mentor Award was presented to Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker at the Dakota Resources Learning Network awards banquet in Sturgis on November 3. Atyeo-Gortmaker, who serves as the Executive Director of Grant County Development Corporation, was recognized for the support and encouragement she offers to economic development professionals across South Dakota.
The annual awards gathering celebrates innovative work that is happening in rural areas of the state. Atyeo-Gortmaker was among three honorees who received distinguished awards in appreciation for their service to their communities.
Dakota Resources refers to Atyeo-Gortmaker and the other award winners — past and present– as “rural shapers”. The organization stated, “This year’s recipients demonstrate the best of the work that rural shapers do, and the finest of what Dakota Resources seeks to recognize through these awards.
While the Learning Network exists to empower leaders to build connections, gain confidence, support each other, and develop professional skills, there are members within the network that go above and beyond to mentor others,” Ashley Geigle, who nominated Atyeo-Gortmaker, said.
“Krista fits that description. Krista has so much to offer as an economic development professional, including her sparky personality, knowledge, and experience,” Geigle also noted in her nomination. “She hasn’t let resistance hold her back as she continues to move forward in her community and to make her home a better place for all. To sweeten the deal, even more, I know whenever I need a boost or someone to call on, Krista is there.”
In accepting her award, Atyeo-Gortmaker shared how the work of Dakota Resources has helped her to cultivate a thriving rural community and a sustainable future, both in Grant County and in her collaboration with other economic development professionals.