(Photo by Caitlyn French) Tea was the chosen place last Thursday for a special guest to visit while getting to experience a snapshot of the economic growth that has been a hallmark of the area. Administrator of the US Small Business Administration and member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet Linda McMahon toured DeGeest Steel Works during her Ignite Tour on Thursday, November 29.
The Ignite Tour is dedicated to highlighting the Small Business Administration products and services that are available to help power small businesses in communities.
According to McMahon, she started her tour back when she made a commitment to do so when she started her role at the Small Business Administration. She stated, “I made a pledge when I became this administrator that I was going to visit each district office. There are 68 of them around the country.
I started May of 2017 and I will finish mid December this year. So this is number 63 coming to South Dakota. I’ll be in North Dakota tomorrow. And I have three left in parts of Texas, and Hawaii will be the last one.”
McMahon’s stop is actually the first time in 20 years that an Administrator has actually been to the state. This was Mc- Mahon’s first time in South Dakota also. She stated, “I’m very thankful for this opportunity to come to DeGeest and to listen to all the things that they’re doing and how their growth has been, how they started, you know third generation family business, I love to hear that. I sort of came from a family business too so it’s all good.”
As for DeGeest, McMahon was given a tour of the facility where she got to witness the different types of welding and manufacturing that were being done there. In fact, McMahon was given the opportunity to weld her very own metal name plate for her desk during the
Administrator Linda McMahon of the Small Business Administration visited DeGeest Steel Works as a part of her Ignite Tour. Above, McMahon goes on a tour with Derek DeGeest, far left, and Scott DeGeest, far right.
to DeGeest, which had only learned about her visit about a week from the actual date of her arrival. President Scott DeGeest stated, “It surprised us so much, we heard she was coming about a week ago and that we were going to be one of the possible places she might stop. It was an honor.” Accord- ing to Scott Degeest, he stated that the most likely reason for her choice to visit Tea is the fact that DeGeest Steel Works was one of the more recent Small Business Administration loan recipients in the region for their expansion that is currently under construction.
Vice President Derek De- Geest added, “It’s a great honor, it was very exciting to be able to help showcase the different things that we’re doing as a company and the things that we and our community are doing together.”
After her visit, McMahon ex- pressed how she was pleased with her visit and with seeing
tour. McMahon enjoyed the chance to make her customized piece and stated, “I’ve done
virtual welding, but I’ve not ac- tually physically done welding, so I was very pleased to have
an opportunity to do this. It was great!”
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