GOED Commissioner Steve Westra announced on Wednesday, June 26, that a familiar face accepted the Interim Deputy Commissioner position: Mary Lehecka Nelson.
"The decision to ask Mary to step into the Deputy Commissioner role was an easy and natural one," Westra said. "Since I joined the office in January, Mary has played an integral role in helping me and Gov. Noem's team get up to speed on everything related to economic development. She has years--decades--of critical experience, and it's my privilege to welcome her as Interim Deputy Commissioner."
In February, Mary was recognized by Gov. Noem for serving South Dakota through state government for more than 30 years. All 30 years, Mary served in the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
"It's an honor to continue serving South Dakota and the people who live, work and do business here," Lehecka Nelson said. "I have such a passion for what this office does. I've always maintained that everyone has a story to tell, and over the years, I've had the distinct privilege of listening to and helping tell those stories, all of which make up the fabric of what it means to be a South Dakotan. I look forward to continuing that journey."
Mary will continue serving as the director of marketing and press relations in the interim.