Chris Schilken is the Deputy Commissioner and the Director of Business Development in the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development. South Dakota has a growing Biotech community and Chris is key to helping businesses connect to state resources to help both startups and larger companies.
He joins us on this intermission as we learn more about him and how he can help.
Learn more or contact the Governor's Office of Economic Development here:
Welcome to Inside Out quality intermissions, where we give you a closer look at the people who make this podcast possible, and short features of local professionals in the biotech industry.Chris Schilken:
Welcome to Inside Out quality intermissions. For this intermission, we are joined by Chris Schilken, deputy commissioner at South Dakota's Governor's Office of Economic Development. Welcome to Inside Out quality, Chris. Thanks for having me. So inside out quality is all about helping entrepreneurs and quality professionals. And you are able to do that in your role as well. That's correct. First, can you tell us about what your team does? And how we can help those starting out in the business? Or Hello, do you own a business? You bet. So our organization works with local NGOs and entrepreneurs within those communities. So we provide loan programs, low interest loan programs, we provide some grant dollars. And we also provide some planning services and different tools that can help startup businesses or even businesses that have been in place already expand and add more jobs or more capital to to their organization already. So it's a kind of a wide ranging programs that we offer it, but our our main goal is to increase economic development throughout the state of South Dakota. So if somebody wants money, I should give me your phone number. Um, yeah, don't don't get mine. But give Him our Finance Directors number. Yeah. So but all good programs, and a lot of good history with God. Nice. If you could change the year you were born in? What would you pick? I don't know if I would change. Okay, I'm born in 1982. I think from a standpoint, got to experience pre technology growing up, and now, all the technology now. So if I had to pick a I kind of like that, that range. So it's pretty remarkable what we have seen in our lifetime. Yeah, I mean, from from all the different changes. And, you know, remember growing up where the bikes were, where everybody was at didn't text anybody. So I like living through that. But I also don't think I could have made it in a different generation prior to that, you know, look at your grandparents, how they lived on the farms and stuff, I probably wouldn't be here to talk about it. So I remember thinking that I would never need text messaging on a phone. That just seems strange to me. And now I'm probably one of the worst. How would you define quality? Oh, great question. This is what happens when you get roped into a call. Yeah, sure. So podcasts. To me, I think quality would be something that you're willing to pay extra for. Okay, and buy at one time, we always have cheaper versions of the product that are always a little bit cheaper. But thinking of buying those more than once and spending more than you would have feared or spotted first time. So to me quality is willing to pay more. One time for the best product, ice. There are a ton of reasons to base a business out of South Dakota, can you tell me one reason that would make a company want to move out here? Move to South Dakota or our setup? Yeah. And so I think the best is our our freedom. I mean, you can do run your business how you want, history has proven that. And so, you know, your business is your business, right? So you can run it however you want, with nobody really telling you what to do or how to run your business. It's your decision, your option. And I think, of course, that's come to light more now in the last two years, and it probably has before I mean, everybody knows about the low tax environment or no tax environment. So I think that stacked on top of the freedom is, is a the two best scenarios you could have.Aaron Harmon:
Definitely one thing that I will kind of brag about with this region is I can get you on this episode pretty easily. That's true. It didn't take too many connections for me to find you. I think that's a great strength ofChris Schilken:
weakness because you can find Yeah, this is a very frightening Yeah, so well connected. And, you know, I don't think as we visit with people from not South Dakota, you know, other regions, it's, we take it for granted. But it's it's pretty remarkable when you can say, hey, we'll get you to this person, here's their cell phone, and you call them and they answer they call you right back and people are just, we have a rule in our office that if we get a lead, it's follow up within 24 hours and you would not imagine the feedback, we get that. Oh, that was fast. Well, that's how we work. You know, we want to make sure we're providing that that quality and customer service. So definitely. Do you have a good joke? I don't I so he probably picked one of the worst people podcast because I have boring straightforward as you know, but I should have jokes with four kids. You think I'd have all like the dad jokes, but Laffy Taffy, right. So we actually have some really good jokesters in our office, so we should get some of them on to go through all their jokes for you. So we we kind of delegate that to the people that are really good at telling jokes and I am not one of them, unfortunately. SoAaron Harmon:
there is an art and I get told that whenever I try to tell mine, what is your favorite place to eat?Chris Schilken:
Um, I like to. I do like to eat at home. So I like home cooked meals, I like simple quick meals being on the road a lot, which, which is job and it just the restaurants and fast food just kind of kind of get old after a while. So I like going home and making my own meal. Totally understand that. And I've been there two hobbies. What do you do for fun when you aren't working? I'm big into sports. And of course, the kids are in a sport. So I coach a lot of their activities and like to play golf, like to go play basketball and, and do things with the kids. So I'd say kids activities, if that could be considered a hobby, which has to be or then I wouldn't have any hobbies. So I consider that a hobby. So it definitely works. If you could pick the soundtrack for today, what song would it be for today? Today? Oh, my, um, I think I've always liked the ACDC song, long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. Because it takes a long, you know, long steps if you're going to be successful in business, entrepreneurship, leadership, whatever in it's like, you just wake up and your business is successful. Right? So I've always liked that song is that it just reminds you that it is a long way to get from where you started to where you're at. Maybe we can get Johnny to come in here and sing, right? Well, yeah, she probably seen it up out there. If you could pick anyone to be on this podcast, who would it be? Well, I tried to divert this to three other the other team members. So I'm gonna pick those three. But I think from just an overall standpoint of business, it would might be good to get some of our businesses that have relocated here to talk about their success that they've seen from either always being in South Dakota, or maybe moving to South Dakota, and then setting up their business. So that might be some good stories. For any follow up episodes you might have. Definitely, I don't know if you know this about me, but the company that I worked for, was actually based on the East Coast and set up operation in Sioux Falls. And we've been building the team here since Oh, that's great news. And, you know, a lot of that happens, where they say, What do you do, right? Like, what's economic development? It's a lot of different things. But I've tried to break it down to, you know, some simple things like well, do you know of XYZ company? Oh, yeah. Well, we help recruit them or help them expand and, and it kind of gets interesting to the amount of businesses that we actually are able to impact and touch through different programs, or maybe they're a supplier of a company we help. So it's very interesting to hear all the stories, and our company has definitely gotten help from great one. Great. If you can make any new biotech product, what would it do? Well, that's reallyAaron Harmon:
only limited to your imagination,Chris Schilken:
well see, above my paygrade, because I mean, I have no idea. I maybe something that would help. Yeah, I mean, kids are always soft spot. So it has to be kid related somewhere, or child related. And that's about my extent of, of bio science biome products. So I would go with one that would help kids listen, when you talk to him. Oh, I don't have that problem. Oh, so I've been already. Greg, man, this is like, I would be great to capture learning your ways. Lastly, what is the best part of your job? I've always liked helping people like helping businesses like helping communities grow. But I think the best part that I always try to say is it's, it's never the same every day is different. When the phone rings or you get an email or text message. You don't know what's on the other line, you don't know what's gonna come of it. So to me, that's the, that's the best part is being able to help. Then also it changes every day, sometimes every hour. So kind of keeps you involved, excited. And the possibilities are endless.Aaron Harmon:
Yeah, that makes it fun. Yeah, absolutely. So we will put contact information in the show notes. So that way, if someone is listening, and they're like, Hey, I've got an idea for a business or you know, South Dakota might be a good place to move by company. You bet they know exactly where to go.Chris Schilken:
Sounds good.Aaron Harmon:
Hey, thank you for being on the show.Chris Schilken:
Thanks for having me.Aaron Harmon:
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