Jenni White, Tea’s economic development director for the past nine years, will miss working closely with the community when she moves to her new job April 28.
“I will most miss being involved in the day-to-day business of the city and closely working with the community. I like being involved in the latest land development, projects and welcoming new businesses and residents to Tea,” White said. “I will miss the people I work with on a day-to-day basis for they are not just co-workers but good friends.”
White, whose family moved to Tea in 1992, attended school in Tea through middle school and graduated from Lennox High School. Following graduation she went to Dakota State University to play volleyball and major in business management and marketing.
In June 2006, she started working for the city and moved into the economic development position in 2008. She and her husband, Dan, wanted to raise their kids in Tea. Today they have three children, Caden, 6, Nora, 3 next month, and Landon, 9 months.
As economic development director, White is proud of the efforts with Carl Soukup to classify his property along Main and 271st Street as certified ready through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Less than three years later, three-fourths of the land within the development was sold.
“I have also made an impact on our business community by providing a contact for communication. Many new business owners will call and I am able to help them with everything they need,” she said. “Managing and planning Teapot Days has been a large task that I am proud to be involved in. Over the years I have been able to make the event run more efficiently and more enjoyable for the community.”
In her eleven years with the city, White says there is always unfinished business. She notes that the city has a lot going for itself, but road and infrastructure expansions are key for growth going into the next five years.
“It is inevitable that the city will grow out to the interstate, incorporating the industrial areas within its city limits. That transition, although a long and complicated process, will be a benefit for those businesses and the community. I wish I could be involved within this transition and also seeing the outcome of the 85th Street interchange,” she said.
White is thankful to the city council and the Tea community for allowing her to work for the city and represent the community. She is not going far and will begin work at Reliabank in Tea as a commercial lender and branch manager.
“I will still continue to live and work in Tea and be Tea’s biggest supporter. I truly love the Tea community, the atmosphere, the amenities, the school and most of all, the people,” White said. “So you may not see me at City Hall, you will have to come to Reliabank for that. … Tea is where my life and heart are.”