Casey Mills – 10 Under 40 Winner

Mills-Shellhammer-Puetz & Associates, Principal

Volunteer organizations:

  • Sioux City Public Schools Foundation- Past Chair
  • United Way of Siouxland- Past Chair
  • Boys and Girls Club of Siouxland
  • Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

What are you working on now? 

Two things come to mind: Broadly, the focus of our family and our business is to help equalize opportunities for our community’s youth through both volunteer and financial support.

The second was helping refresh the United Way of Siouxland’s funding model. The new model, which so many board members and volunteers helped shape, will help the United Way become more agile in meeting our community’s needs.

What would you like to see happen in Siouxland? 

My biggest hope is to continue to grow our community. After graduating high school, I left Sioux City for 15 years for those perceived greener pastures. We moved back to Sioux City 6 years ago and haven’t looked back. Our community has so much to offer, and my hope is to play a small role in helping to continue to help it grow.  

What are you doing to make that happen?

My most direct work in helping is serving as the Government Relations Chair for the Siouxland Chamber. Our Chamber team works to advocate to legislative leaders for our community and highlight the unique challenges our border community faces.

How can people help you make that happen? 

In terms of big picture support, I would ask community and business leaders to continue to think differently and pursue differentiated experiences to attract business and workforce. Our community is uniquely positioned, not only on the border of three states but in the middle of two larger metros. We should avoid becoming Omaha or Sioux Falls “Lite” but instead think of how we can be different and specialized. This includes pursuing unique placemaking or quality of life amenities that very few have (The Chesterman mountain biking facility is a prime example of this). In terms of economic development, we should think of becoming a hub for specialized industry by leveraging our colleges and community college. For instance, Jefferson Iowa has the Forge, which is a training facility that partners with the school district, the community college, and Accenture to help train rural Iowans for in-demand software engineering jobs. The Chamber has advocated for Sioux City to have a Robotics and Automation Center of Excellence, given our community’s food manufacturing strength. These are the novel concepts that will help our community stand out and grow.

What quote or saying inspires you? 

“Northing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

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