Home / SDCEO / About Us

Our Mission:

Empowering women and propelling economic development across South Dakota.

Our Vision:

To serve as a key partner in economic and workforce development in South Dakota providing comprehensive training and business assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs and forward thinking intrapreneurs.

Special areas of focus:

  • Training: developing, providing and/or recommending training, seminars and workshops to meet the needs of startup and existing businesses.
  • Counseling: facilitating how SBA might best serve client needs and encourage the best direction in pursuit of a successful business.
  • Technical Assistance: identifying resources for comprehensive training, mentoring and counseling to help entrepreneurs reach business goals.

While services are available to ANYONE interested in business, the center has a special emphasis on:

  • Women
  • Native Americans
  • Socially disadvantaged
  • Youth entrepreneurs
  • Women veterans

What our clients are saying about us:

"I like the hands-on approach with the program."

"I learned a great deal that I can put into practice in my business."

"The presenter was excellent; very knowledgeable and helpful."

"Fabulous class- I would sit through it again!"

Our Awards:

2013 SBA Region VIII Women's Business Center of Excellence Award

Contact Info

Mela Cosme
Marketing Specialist
Woodburn 216 Map
Hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-5:00 PM
Phone: 605-642-6948

SD CEO: Women's Business Center
Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9511
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9511

SD CEO Staff Members


Michelle Kane, Director

Phone Number: 605-642-6311

Email: Michelle.Kane@BHSU.edu

As director of SD CEO, Michelle provides business advising and resource guidance to aspiring and established entrepreneurs. She and the SD CEO team are privileged to bring outstanding workshops, networking opportunities and conferences to professional women across the state while promoting entrepreneurship and leadership – both in-person and virtually.

Prior to joining SD CEO, Michelle owned Black Hills PR, a public relations firm she launched in 2011. Headquartered in Spearfish, Black Hills PR designed marketing, social media and PR programs for local, regional and national clients including three years traveling with a professional rodeo association.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from San Jose State University and is a 4th generation Californian who says that she “found her spot” in Spearfish. 

You can find Michelle at the intersection of people and technology as she enjoys keeping up to date on new tools and the innovative ways people are using them. 



Julie Hinker, Program Coordinator

Phone: 605-642-6435

Email: Julie.Hinker@BHSU.edu

Julie grew up in Bellevue, NE (Go HUSKERS) and relocated to the Black Hills of South Dakota in September of 2019. While in college, she followed her dream of playing basketball and graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership at Black Hills State University. Before joining the SD CEO team, Julie worked as the Campus Visit and Events Coordinator for BHSU planning events and campus visits for prospective students and their families. She also gained experience working for a professional baseball team in Sioux City, IA where she was in charge of all on-field promotions, sponsorships, community engagement and events.

Outside of work, Julie enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, reading mystery books on her kindle and spending time with her husband, Tyler, and golden retriever, Buddy.


Mela Cosme, Marketing Specialist 

Phone: 605-642-6948

Email: Mela.Cosme@BHSU.edu

Mela graduated from Black Hills State University in December of 2013 with a Bachelor in Corporate Communications and a Bachelor in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Photography and Graphic Design. In her role as Marketing Specialist, Mela manages all of our marketing and office administrative duties and assist with the planning and coordination of all SD CEO events and trainings.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mela has claimed Spearfish as her basecamp for the last ten years and is fond of the local community and exploring the beautiful Black Hills with her black lab Loki. In the winter, you may find her at our local ski resort, Terry Peak, where she is an PSIA-AASI Level II Certified Snowboard Instructor with a Children Specialist and Senior Specialist certification. 

SD CEO Advisory Board Members