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Rich Naser, Jr.

Rich Naser serves as president of the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and the USD Discovery District as part of his role directing Entrepreneurship and Innovation initiatives for the economic development organization Forward Sioux Falls. These initiatives focus on developing the human capital, early-stage funding and research infrastructure necessary to support high-growth businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Rich has led Zeal (formerly the South Dakota Technology Business Center) since it was formed as a nonprofit in 2002. He continues to lead the organization while also helping to spearhead the development of the nearby GEAR Center and USD Discovery District – all aimed at creating both an entrepreneurial environment and the most significant possible impact for stakeholders.

The GEAR Center is home to USD’s biomedical engineering program and serves as an incubator for the Discovery District, an 80-acre innovation community combining learning, working and living that will include 26 buildings totaling 1.1 million square feet.

Rich’s career in economic development started with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce in 1994. With a passion for collaboration, he successfully brings together civic, government and private business to support entrepreneurial initiatives.

Rich serves on several boards and committees to foster these relationships, including Southeast Technical Institute’s Computer Information Systems Advisory Council, the University Center Advisory Council and the Kirby Science Discovery Center Advisory board.

Rich was recognized for his commitment, dedication and achievement in entrepreneurship with the 2015 The Spirit of Enterprise–an award given annually by the Enterprise Institute to an individual directly responsible for helping shape the entrepreneurial culture of the state of South Dakota.

Rich is a graduate of South Dakota State University. In his free time, he enjoys following the MotoGP racing series and spending time with his wife, Rebecca, and children Dillon, Anna and Rebecca.

 
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Ryan Oines

Ryan Oines is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced investor specialized in operations, finance, and business administration. He has been a key player in several start-ups ranging from the technology sector to wind energy. As an early, infusion and later stage investor, he attributes his entrepreneurial success to a focus on profitability, growth, and timely exits.

As vice president, Ryan oversees operations and finance while serving in a strategic advisory role as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, providing insight to the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and its growth-company clients. His expertise is in analyzing processes, risk management, and strategic planning to accommodate growth. Ryan also operates as a private contractor implementing best practices in bookkeeping, financial processes, and human resources.

Ryan knows first-hand what Zeal can mean for an entrepreneur. One of his previous ventures, Logical Energy Solutions, was a client in 2011. Under his leadership and with Zeal’s support, the self-funded spin-off company of a previous investment reached $1 million in sales in its third year in business – a 200 percent increase in revenue.

Regardless of opportunities, Ryan has maintained his South Dakota roots. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership from the University of Sioux Falls. His entrepreneurial drive is fueled by the goal of giving back. He and his wife, Renae, remain committed to giving by supporting educational, faith-based, and human welfare charities.

 
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Thadeus Giedd

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”  –Steve Jobs

Thadeus Giedd serves as client specialist for Zeal, overseeing membership services and making sure clients have all Zeal’s resources at their disposal. He’s the first to welcome you, a reference for those considering Zeal’s services and a liaison between Zeal and the community. Thadeus also guides Zeal’s marketing efforts and enjoys sharing the stories of Sioux Falls’ growing entrepreneurial community.

His role at Zeal also includes being the occasional “disrupter.” He’s passionate about pushing entrepreneurs outside their comfort zone and thrives on being part of their success.

Prior to Zeal, Thadeus founded his own business, Amadeus Media Co., providing small businesses assistance with marketing, operations and project management.

He previously was operations coordinator for The Bakery, a Sioux Falls co-working businesses focused on supporting entrepreneurs. He helped manage the facility, oversee member services and coordinate events.

Prior to that, Thadeus spent nine years at The Country Club of Sioux Falls, working his way up from front-line positions into management.

Thadeus received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota.

A native of Crooks, S.D., he enjoys living in downtown Sioux Falls, the Big Sioux River recreation trail, summer men’s league softball games, local arts, music and culture, creating marketing videos, writing blog articles, and walking/sipping along downtown Sioux Falls’ Craft Brewer’s Row.

 
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Stacey Long

“No road is easy, but always follow your zeal and set no limit for your ambitions.”

Stacey Long is the finance and operations specialist for Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship.

An experienced accountant and bookkeeper who also has spent time in the healthcare field, she plays a key support role at Zeal.

Stacey earned her bachelor of science in accounting, exercise science and business administration from the University of Sioux Falls. She previously worked for The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in Accounts Receivable and as a bookkeeper prior to coming to Zeal.

Stacey is a Sioux Falls native who also enjoys spending time with her husband, Adam and their two kids, Gunnar and Macie. She enjoys volunteering around the community and traveling with her husband and kids in her free time.