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Alumnus is New Economic Development Commissioner

Image Scott G. Stern Scott Stern, a USD graduate who will lead the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard will appoint University of South Dakota alumnus Scott G. Stern as commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“Scott Stern will be a great leader of our state’s economic development efforts,” Daugaard said. “From his work building a small town family business, to his time working with major corporate clients, Scott understands why South Dakota is a great place to do business.”

Stern, who begins on Sept. 1, is a Freeman native and a 1983 business management graduate of USD. For 29 years, he worked with Stern Oil Co., of Freeman, including 14 years as vice president and general manager. For the past four years, Stern has worked a district sales manager for Petro-Canada America, a division of Suncor Energy.

“I look forward to supporting and assisting South Dakota businesses grow and achieve their objectives. I’m also excited to share the South Dakota advantage with outside businesses that want to make this great state their home,” Stern said.

During his years in Freeman, Stern served two stints on the city council and took leadership roles in the Freeman Chamber of Commerce and the Freeman Economic Development Corp. He also served as a Dakota Rising small business mentor.

Stern and his wife, Staci, have three grown children. He will replace Pat Costello, who stepped aside as GOED Commissioner at the end of June.


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News