2024 Governor's Conference on Economic Development

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Governor’s Conference on Economic Development

Governor's Conference on Economic Development

Join us Wednesday and Thursday, April 10-11 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center as we kick off the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development. We will be sharing all the best kept secrets all economic developers should know. Communities and businesses from across the state will hear from experts in workforce, housing, and more as we feature this year’s keynote speaker and panelists. We’ll also be celebrating this year’s recipients of the Community of the Year and the Excellence in Economic Development Award. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with fellow economic developers and learn all of the updates on what’s going on at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development! 

Book your group rate at the Sheraton here.

Secure your spot by registering here.

Our Sponsors

Social Hour Performer

Social Hour Performer Matt Gauger

Matt Gauger is a South Dakota based acoustic guitarist and singer who will be sharing his talents throughout our social hour on April 10 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center from 4 – 6 PM. Come to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, networking, and music.

Speaker Lineup

Michael Faulkender - Keynote Speaker

Michael FaulkenderMichael Faulkender is the Dean’s Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland. After joining UMD in 2008, he became Associate Dean of Masters Programs at the Smith School in 2017.  Dr. Faulkender stepped down from that role at the beginning of 2019 to join the US Department of the Treasury, serving as the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy. In that role, he advised the Secretary on domestic and international issues that impacted the economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he assisted in negotiating the CARES Act and was the senior Treasury official who led the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In January 2021, he was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for Distinguished Leadership, the highest service award granted at the Department of the Treasury. 


His research lies at the intersection of financial economics and public policy. Examples include the job impacts of the PPP, corporate capital structure, risk management, corporate liquidity, and executive compensation. His work has been published in top academic finance journals, received numerous “best paper” awards, and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times, among others. In the two years, he has testified to Congress six times on topics such as inflation, small business employment, the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and the costs of the rising national debt.  He has written numerous OpEds in the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, and Washington Times as well as regularly appearing on Fox Business. 


Professor Faulkender has a PhD in Finance from Northwestern and a Bachelor’s Degree in Managerial Economics from UC Davis. He has also served as a faculty member at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and the Olin School at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Devin Henderson - Keynote Speaker

Devin Henderson A multi-talented powerhouse: an experienced presenter and seasoned performer, Devin Henderson has logged thousands of performances as an award-winning comedian and magician and in-demand keynote speaker over his two-decade professional career. He is the host of The Possibility Mindset Podcast. Devin’s passion is using his unique talents and experiences to inspire individuals and organizations to discover their greatest potential and resilience to keep going no matter what.

What was the pinnacle moment of Devin’s career as an entertainer? In 2014, Devin was honored when the producers of America’s Got Talent invited him to Hollywood to audition for Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel, and an audience of 5,000. It was an amazing and pivotal moment in Devin’s career and life, even though it went very differently than expected. After being the first person in the history of America’s Got Talent to facilitate live on-stage audience participation and delivering what he considered one of his best performances to date, he did not pass the audition and the segment never aired. Learning how to rise through such an intense and unexpected disappointment was a result of his lifelong pursuit to always strive toward “Something Greater.”

Now, Devin’s greatest challenges, accomplishments and lessons are interwoven into an unforgettable experience that inspires audiences to stay mentally strong and never give up. He does this through a unique combination of mind-blowing magic, heartfelt storytelling, humor, and audience interaction that audiences have called “unreal,” “unexpected,” and “unforgettable.”

Devin is a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), a designation conferred by the National Speakers Association on those who have earned it by meeting strict criteria (think of CSP like the black belt of public speaking). Devin began his entertainment career in 2004 as a comedy magician and soon after began using his comedy and magic to inspire audiences of professionals across the United States.

Devin’s early days as a performer began with piano recitals at age six, magic in talent shows at age twelve and drumline competitions in high school. As Devin continued acquiring new skills over time, it eventually became obvious he was not only born to perform – he was meant to inspire audiences by using his skills as demonstrations of pursuing greater possibilities and defying limits in business and in life.

Devin hails from Kansas City and is married to the world’s most amazing woman. He has seven daughters. Yes, seven. Daughters. So obviously, he’s a man of prayer.

South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development

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