Michael’s Story

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Dakota Roots was great and got me a lot of interviews.

For Michael moving to South Dakota wasn’t about reconnecting with old family and friends. Instead, it was an act of nature that brought him here.“I actually came to the Great Plains on a professional storm chasing tour in 2013 and fell in love with the Black Hills.”

Born in New Jersey and growing up in California, Michael spent most of his life and career on the U.S. coasts. But after chasing storms, he decided it was time to chase new opportunities in South Dakota. He started searching online and found Dakota Roots.

“Dakota Roots was great and got me a lot of interviews,” he says. Before long, Michael accepted a job in accounting and finance at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City.

One of the Best States for Business

Michael was ready to commit but he knew it would take some convincing to get his wife Marie to agree to move to South Dakota.

“She had a very east coast upbringing, and initially she was totally against the idea of moving here due to weather. Then we came out for a week in June 2014, and she loved the Black Hills and the people.”

South Dakota’s strong economy and continued growth also reassured both of them that South Dakota was the right move. “In Rapid City you find robust companies, medical jobs, construction jobs, Ellsworth Air Force Base and a huge tourism industry. Everywhere you look there are out-of-state license plates and new construction.”

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man swinging golf club

Less Means More

For Michael and Marie, adjusting to life in South Dakota has meant dealing with less – that is, less crime, fewer crowds and no state income tax.

“We love the lower density of people here,” he says. “We don’t have to fight crowds or deal with traffic. There’s less crime, less waiting and it’s easier to do basic things like playing golf when you want or even just seeing a doctor. And with no state income tax, the cost of living is much lower.”

All that “less” has led to a lot more when it comes to quality of life.

“We have a simpler lifestyle here, yet there’s so much to see and do in the Black Hills. The quality of restaurants is great, we enjoy hiking and outdoor activities and having four seasons to experience has been a treat.”

As someone who grew up in New Jersey and California for most of his life, what advice would Michael give people considering South Dakota?

“This area is in growth mode and will continue to thrive,” he says. “In my opinion, some bigger states have really peaked. South Dakota’s opportunities are only growing.”