Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that Steve Westra, Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), will be stepping down from that position, effective May 22.
“South Dakotans are building the strongest economy in America with the lowest unemployment rate of all time. Steve helped provide the level playing field to make that possible,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I want to thank him for his leadership on behalf of the people of South Dakota.”
Westra has served as GOED Commissioner since 2019. He previously served as the chief operating officer of Hegg Companies in Sioux Falls. He was a member of the State House of Representatives from 2013-2016 and also served on the State Tourism Advisory Board.
“When I took on this role, I never expected that it would be defined by a global pandemic. Governor Noem trusted the people of South Dakota and our business community to make the right decisions, and we have emerged with record-breaking business investment,” said Steve Westra. “We had more business development in the last four years than in the previous ten combined. I am grateful to the Governor for her trust in me and her leadership of our state, and it has been an honor to serve on her team. There are more opportunities for our future than ever before!”
South Dakota’s 1.9% unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation and tied for the lowest of any state in American history. In the last year, South Dakota has at various points been the national leader in new business applications per-capita, new housing growth, and personal income growth.
Travis Dovre will serve as interim commissioner of GOED.