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South Dakota's Small Business Development Center Announces New State Director

Mark Slade Headshot Mark Slade is the new state director for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a USD Beacom School of Business outreach program.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business outreach program that serves small businesses in the state of South Dakota, welcomes Mark Slade as its state director.

“Over the past 20+ years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with South Dakota entrepreneurs to start, purchase or grow businesses. It is amazing to look back and see that my clients have been able to obtain over $425 million in financing for their ventures,” said Slade. “The SBDC Network is a fantastic group of outreach programs that helps bring together entrepreneurs, economic developers and the lending community. I look forward to leading this tremendous team of skilled consultants as we continue to build the South Dakota economy.”

Slade has worked for SBDC for the past 22 years, having worked in different roles at the organization throughout his tenure. Beginning as a regional director, Slade worked directly with clients on budgeting, business planning, market research and marketing. More recently, Mark assumed the role of associate state director, developing budgets, coordinating resources, training staff, analyzing data and preparing reports for the organization. He has also served as interim state director at various occasions during his employment at SBDC, where he was tasked with supervising the entire center, as well as managing internal and external SBDC partners.

“Mark’s experience at SBDC makes him an invaluable asset to the organization,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the USD Beacom School of Business. “He has made contributions at every level within the Small Business Development Center, which makes him very qualified for the state director position.”

Jamie Wood, South Dakota district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, has witnessed Slade’s commitment to small business first-hand. “Mark Slade has inspired and guided thousands of South Dakota small businesses over the years,” said Wood. “It is wonderful to have Mark’s dedication and experience leading the SD SBDC network in serving the business needs of our clients.”

The South Dakota Small Business Development Center is part of a national network of 63 host sites with over 900 service centers across the country and in the U.S. territories. They are sponsored by USD and provide business advising on a statewide basis with offices in Aberdeen, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. The SBDC network also provides assistance with government contracting, international trade, early stage funding and operational improvement and innovation for manufacturers.

For more information contact the Small Business Development Center at (605) 677-5103 or


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