Name: Brienne Maner
Employer: Startup Sioux Falls
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hometown, family, hobbies, fun facts):
My husband and I both grew up in Sioux Falls, but met each other later in life. Together we are raising a sweet and curious girl while keeping our rambunctious dog in check. We are lucky to have both sets of grandparents living close by, which allows for plenty of downtown date nights and family outings! My hobbies include: spending time outside as much as possible, enjoying and supporting arts and culture, going to the movies, co-producing films and creative projects with my husband, and laughing every chance we get.
Why did you join Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls?
Since the first time I had the chance to speak to the Downtown Rotary Club as a young professional, I knew it was a room I wanted to connect with on a deeper level. I admire the bold leadership and have been inspired by the strategic changes that have occurred with the group over the years. This club strives to be inclusive, tackle tough issues, and is filled with servant hearts who want to give back to the community in a meaningful way. I’m proud to be a member!
How has joining Rotary helped you develop/grow in your career? (OR if you are a new member, what are you looking forward to most?)
Joining Rotary has helped shed some of the imposter syndrome inevitably felt by a new executive; consistently being exposed to top community leaders through sharing a meal and hearing their stories on an intimate stage diminishes your insecurities knowing that every leader came from humble beginnings. It is always my intention to pull myself up to a different table each time I attend a meeting to ensure I’m meeting as many leaders as possible.
Are you on any Rotary committees? If so, explain the value you have gotten from joining a committee.
I’m not currently on any committees, but would be interested; I’ve been impressed with the engagement and coordination of extracurricular activity within the club, that I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with as a guest and also a host. Make sure to join us at Startup Sioux Falls later this summer for an after hours Rotary Social!
What other clubs/boards/nonprofits are you involved with?
I have been a co-organizer of The Pad Party for 15 years, a grassroots group that collects feminine hygiene products for underserved women. I mentor through the EmBe Women’s Leadership Program. I sit on a couple of advisory boards supporting entrepreneurial education initiatives and I support several nonprofits with volunteer time and monetarily!
Do you currently mentor as part of the Sioux 52 Initiative? If so, what has your experience been like?
I’m mentoring several mentees currently; it’s a joy to connect with so many ambitious professionals in our community and also makes me proud that Startup Sioux Falls, the organization I lead, is part of the initiative.
What would you tell someone that is considering joining Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls?
Don’t let Matt Paulson sponsor you - I need to catch up to his impressive recruitment volume! In all seriousness, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and if it’s a good fit, I’ll bring you as my guest so you can get a feel for the group.