David Emery, Great-Great-Grandson of 2014 Inductee James Emery, Reflects on Growing up in North Rapid

David Emery

David Emery, the chairman, and CEO of Black Hills Corporation, and great-great-grandson of 2014 inductee James Emery, was recently the featured guest of the Morning Fill Up speaker series, hosted by the Numad Group and sponsored by the Bush Foundation, at The Garage, a co-working space in downtown Rapid City.

The Rapid City Journal’s Seth Tupper captured the conversation in a recent newspaper article.

Below is an excerpt from the article. To read the full article, visit here.

“…Emery referenced lessons he learned from his grandparents and parents while fielding questions about the best advice he has received, what characteristics he sees in good leaders, and how he rose from a junior employee to the leader of a large company.

While attributing his outlook on life and his personal success partially to his grandparents who lived in North Rapid, Emery acknowledged the racially influenced problems that existed there during his childhood and continue to exist today. Their area has the city’s highest concentration of Native American residents, along with a higher poverty rate and lower school achievement.

Emery, himself a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said there is greater awareness of the racial divide in Rapid City today and a broader willingness to discuss it, and he views those as encouraging signs.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress in small steps,” he said, “but a lot of the same issues that you saw back in the ’60s and ’70s when I grew up, you still see a lot of those today.””

Read more of 2014 Inductee James Emery’s Legacy of Achievement here.


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