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Scott Sletten Receives Beacom School of Business Distinguished Service Award

Scott Sletten Scott Sletten, CEO and owner of JDS Industries, is the recipient of the USD Beacom School of Business Distinguished Service Award.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business announces Scott Sletten, CEO and owner of JDS Industries, as the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Service Award. Sletten, a 1987 graduate of the USD School of Business, is being recognized for his role as a business leader who has contributed to the economic development of the state of South Dakota and to the advancement of USD and the Beacom School of Business.

“Scott Sletten has been an incredibly dedicated member of the Beacom School of Business’ Dean’s Advisory Board. He provides great guidance and ideas for our school and is always committed to seeing our students succeed,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the USD Beacom School of Business. “He is very deserving of the Beacom Distinguished Service Award and a great representation of our alumni.”

Sletten is CEO and owner of JDS Industries, the largest wholesale supplier in the world of awards and recognition products as well as many other personalized items. JDS Industries was started by Sletten’s parents as a retail trophy store in the 1970s, and through hard work and investment, it has become a world leader with over 400 employees and warehouses across the country. He has been involved in many professional groups over the years and sits on several advisory panels and boards including the USD Beacom School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and US Bank advisory panel. He was recently inducted into the Award and Personalization Hall of Fame for his achievements in business.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Sletten has been very involved with non-profits and charity organizations. He is currently secretary on the board of Children’s Home Society and was previously president of their Foundation. He also served on the boards of the YMCA and Ronald McDonald House charities. He and his wife have been donors and sponsors of numerous non-profit building projects such as Ronald McDonald House, Ava’s House pediatric hospice, St. Francis House, Glory House, State Theatre, the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences, Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at USD as well as many United Way projects in the Sioux Empire.

“Scott took a small retail trophy store in Sioux Falls and created JDS Industries, a company that provides 25,000+ products and has over one million square feet of warehouse space in 14 warehouses throughout the nation,” said Miles Beacom, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board. “What differentiates Scott from others is his creativity, positive attitude, passion to do things right, his drive, hard work and his persistence to be the best.”

The Beacom Distinguished Service Award is given annually to a leader in the business community who represents the values and commitment to service that the Beacom School of Business upholds in its curriculum. This award will be formally recognized at the 72nd Annual Beacom Awards Dinner in the fall.


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