Name: Joni Ekstrum
Employer: South Dakota Biotech
Position/Title: Executive Director
Tell us a little bit about yourself (hometown, family, hobbies, fun facts)
I grew up in Iroquois, SD, a small town about 100 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, but I've lived in Sioux Falls for over 20 years, so I call it home. I have three children and two stepchildren. I enjoy listening to music and spending time with family and friends.
Why did you join the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls?
I joined to increase South Dakota Biotech's presence in the business community. However, I've learned that Rotary is much more than making connections, and it's truly a service organization I'm proud to be a part of.
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?)
I've met so many incredible people from all types of organizations. It's allowed me to connect with folks I wouldn't have otherwise. Plus, it allows me to share South Dakota Biotech's mission with the business community.
Are you on any Rotary committees? If so, explain the value you have gotten from joining a committee.
I am on the Program Committee and the Board of Directors. Not all organizations can attract so many influential people. I'm proud to be a part of the conversation that helps to grow Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary to find quality programming.
What other clubs/boards/nonprofits are you involved with?
Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors
SDSU College of Natural Sciences Advisory Board
South Dakota Development Corporation Board of Directors
Council of State Bioscience Association Board of Directors
Do you currently mentor as part of the Sioux 52 Initiative? If so, what has your experience been like?
Yes, I am a TeamMates Mentor. TeamMates does a wonderful job training their mentors and providing them with tools throughout the year. One of my favorite mornings is when I am mentoring my 5th grader. I highly recommend anyone find at least one hour a week to mentor; it changes people's lives.
What would you tell someone considering joining the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls?
Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary is genuinely the "who's who" of the business community. The programs are designed to include current topics and relevant speakers to keep the members in the loop of what's happening in the community. If you want to connect with business leaders and listen to interesting and exciting programs, this is the place for you.