Meet Hartford’s new chamber, area development foundation director

June 10, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by the Minnehaha County Economic Development Association.

The growing community of Hartford has a new leader in its economic development efforts.

Gabriel Steinmeyer is the new director of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce and Hartford Area Development Foundation.

A South Dakota native and thought leader in the area of workforce development, community branding and community development, Steinmeyer has served as director of workforce development, director of economic development and regional coordinator for development with the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce in Nebraska.

He also represented the community in the National League of Cities on the development of early-childhood care and education systems as an aspect for economic development.

We caught up with him to learn more about his vision for building on Hartford’s momentum.

Congratulations on your new role. What appealed to you about this position?

I was first and foremost excited to return to my home state. Additionally, I was looking for an opportunity to work with city and community leadership that was open to exploring innovative approaches to economic development and redefining how rural communities are perceived by those outside of our communities.

What are some of your initial impressions of the Hartford community?

I was extremely surprised by the great projects the city leadership has been able to accomplish. The momentum they’ve established makes one excited to join the team. Finding so many people passionate about growing the community is just a blessing!

What are some of your first goals in your new role?

Starting out, I really want to take time to meet with our business owners and managers to discuss what they are dealing with in their operations and how we can help their operations grow or become more efficient. Then, I really want to dig into the five- and 10-year plans of the community and explore ways we can add innovation to our goals and future projects.

What were you surprised to learn about Hartford that others might be too?

I think the thing that jumped out to me the most was the high quality that our food and entertainment businesses are operating at! For such a small town, we have three quality coffee shops and one of the best steakhouses I have ever seen! Great gyms, a perfect golf course and so many more things I could keep going for a while!

How do you hope to work with other communities within Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to advance the region?

I see a lot of synergy for the communities within Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to work together to chase some major development projects that any of us alone wouldn’t be able to pursue. Additionally, we are all dealing with the needs of infrastructure development and building more workforce housing. If we looked at planning our projects together, we could potentially see some great returns from economies of scale by working together as opposed to pursuing our projects individually.

If anyone would like to reach out and connect with you, how can they do that?

I can be reached at my office by calling 605-528-3338, on LinkedIn, Facebook and regular social media channels and by email at

I would just encourage anyone who has a dream or aspiration of starting their own business to reach out to my office, and we would love to help make that happen. Even if we can’t make it happen here in Hartford, we would be happy to connect you to a colleague in a place that would better fit your vision and goals.

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Meet Hartford’s new chamber, area development foundation director

Hartford has a new leader in its economic development efforts. We caught up with him to learn more about his vision for the growing community.

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