New Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce named Dan Polk, president of Silicon Plains IT company, New Entrepreneur of the Year at its annual awards ceremony.

Polk was one of many business people honored Thursday at the Chamber’s Celebrate Bismarck-Mandan Event at the Ramkota Hotel.

“I think it’s more about what it means for the community than for me,” Polk said of the award. “The coolest part was seeing the support there is. It says a lot about a community like this when you can pack the Ramkota to congratulate people for the hard work they’ve done.”

Polk started Silicon Plains in 2009 after several failed attempts at starting an IT business. With the support of organizations such as the newly formed IDEA Center during his first year, he finally had the right environment to succeed.

The New Entrepreneur of the Year award goes to new business owners who have increased their workforce, show innovative business methods, demonstrate entrepreneurial potential for long-term success, overcome obstacles and show social responsibility.

Polk now has eight full time employees and two contractors.

“Business is always something I’ve always been fascinated by,” said Pol, whose career before Silicon Plains had always been about IT, not running a company.

Polk said he thinks his success as a businessman came from a passion to do a better job.

“I saw what companies were getting for service, and I knew I could do better,” he said.

Polk’s goal now is to create a model for his business that will keep it operating long-term in Bismarck, bringing in more sales and marketing aspects as it grows.

Other award winners Thursday included Sanford Health, which received the Granite Award, given to companies that are dependable employers and community stewards for 50 years or more.

Golden Eagle Award for service to the military went to Kupper Chevrolet.

The Mike Fink Award for Steady Growth and Profitability went to Advanced Mechanical.

Bismarck Aero Center was named Small Business of the Year, an award judged by sustainability and stability, innovation, social responsibility, overcoming adversity, increases in sales and an increased number of employees.

Jon Simmers of Bismarck Aero Center will go on to compete for the title of North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year in the U.S. Small Business Administration-run competition.

  • Date February 18, 2016
  • Tags Bismarck - Mandan, Press & Awards
  • URL View Project