Jim Schmidt

Jim Schmidt

Jim Schmidt is the epitome of Humble Servant Leadership – just like Larry Ritz. He was a long-time friend of Larry. Together, they were in leadership positions on numerous community initiatives. Their leadership and friendship was most evident during their time on the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors where both served as Board Chairs.

Jim Schmidt was raised on a farm in Lennox, SD. He attended a one-room school house. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Augustana University and a master’s degree from USD. He began his career in education, counseling and school administration.

Career: Jim held early positions in teaching, coaching and education administration. He worked alongside Dr. Tom Killian to form Killian Community College and served as President of Killian Community College for many years.

  • Jim was the Executive Vice President of the ND and SD American Cancer Society.
  • He was the founding Executive Director of the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership and led that organization for it’s first 25 years until his retirement.

Farming continues to be his passion. He farms the ground in Lincoln County that has been in his family since 1891. For many years Larry Ritz had a large garden on the Schmidt homestead.

Community Involvement:

  • Jim has been a Lincoln County Commissioner for 24 years and is currently the longest serving County Commissioner in the State of SD.
  • He has served on the board of the National Association of Counties (NACo)….a prestigious assignment representing SD counties.
  • He served as chair of the Rural Action Caucus within NACo.
  • He is a past chair of the South Dakota County Commission Association.
  • Jim is a past chair of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, a 30 year Chamber Ambassador, a past chair of the Farm Show and has emceed the Mayors Round-Up event for over 20 years.
  • Jim is a past chair of many organizations including: Multi-Cultural Center Board, Sales and Marketing Executives of Sioux Falls, Glory House and the Carroll Institute.
  • He has served on the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Advisory Board, Southeastern Council of Governments, the Inter-lakes Community Action Partnership, Great Planes Zoo and Delbridge Museum and Downtown Rotary Board (twice).
  • Jim is a current board member the Childrens Home Society, the South Dakota Municipal League Workman’s Comp Board and the Economic Development Finance Authority Board.

Family: Jim is married to Teri Schmidt, CEO of Experience Sioux Falls. He has three children. Anthony lives and works in Sioux Falls and is married with 2 children and 1 grandchild; Brittany, lives and works in Sioux Falls with her son; and Brianna lives and works in Sioux Falls.

Today, Jim continues to mentor, counsel and advise individuals in all walks of life. He gives time and effort every day counseling individuals, families and organizations. It’s next to impossible to measure the positive impact Jim has had on so many. He is well known for his integrity, humility, encouragement and positive outlook in all situations.

Jim exemplifies the vary essence of the “Larry Ritz Rotarian of the Year” award and we are proud to call him a fellow rotarian.