Images by Jeff Sampson Photography.
Another year has flown by, and four new faces have been dubbed the Young Leaders of the Year. These inspiring professionals have demonstrated cultural development, entrepreneurship, volunteerism and a passion for their careers.
One common, and refreshing, theme in each of these individuals was bringing businesses and the community together to ensure a successful and prosperous future. And with such a laundry list of responsibilties it is admirable how they do it all.
Jolene Loetscher: “I’ve put purpose to something that is so ugly and dark.”
When hearing Jolene Loetscher, 32, go over her schedule in 2011, it’s mind-boggling how she even has time to sleep.
The serial entrepreneur owns businesses, Mud Mile and DooGooders, teaches two courses at the University of South Dakota, is on several committees, and is avidly working on creating a camp for sexual abuse victims with her group Selfspiration.
“I don’t like to be bored,” Loetscher laughed.
What she does like is that she can do the majority of all of her work from the comfort of her own home with her co-worker, and husband, Nate Burdine.
“People are like ‘I could never work with my husband,’ but I met him at work,” she said.
The pair met while working at Keloland. “I like to remind him that I technically was his boss,” Loetscher laughed. “He says that was not the case, but we’ll argue on that point for the rest of our lives.”
Their literal home office also is what Maggie and Mayhem call their stomping – or snorting – grounds. The pugs are the couple’s “furry children” and are the faces of DooGooders, a pet waste removal company that began as a way to make extra cash during graduate school.
Loetscher had also been working full-time at Sanford in media relations while earning her M.B.A. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, but decided to give self-employment a shot after DooGooders started to take off.
“I just decided to go and try things on my own, and it’s been really good,” she said. “I love being my own boss.”