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'Hettinger is growing': New chamber director young, driven

Jasmin Fosheim has come up from South Dakota to take on the challenge of invigorating Hettinger's economic development as head of its chamber of commerce and economic development corporation. Photo courtesy of Jasmin Fosheim

HETTINGER—Jasmin Fosheim graduated college in 2017 and just months later, on Feb. 5, she became the executive director of Hettinger's Chamber of Commerce and the Adams County Development Corporation.

"People are looking at me as a millennial and asking 'can you really accomplish anything?'" Fosheim said in a phone interview. "Then you have the old timers ... who believe in tradition."

Despite her youth—or possibly because of it—Fosheim has immediately set to the task of developing Hettinger's economic landscape, starting first by attending the recent Main Street Summit in Bismarck on Feb. 12.

"I did a lot of networking ... got to meet a lot of people," she said. "I get revved up by those sorts of things."

Fosheim took away plenty of food for thought from the summit.

"(It) gave us some ideas for what Hettinger is lacking, what Hettinger is doing well right now," she said.

One area where she finds Hettinger lacking is good old fashioned manpower.

"We need manpower. I'm hoping to put together the first Helping Hettinger day this spring," she said. "We'll bring everyone out, from students to old timers to church congregation ... sending my people from the community out on the streets."

Fosheim, a native of Pierre, S.D., remarked that Hettinger's sense of community is incredibly strong.

"(The) sense of community in Hettinger seems to be stronger than a lot of places I've been in, and that's saying something 'cause I've been in some great communities," she said. "(That) sense of pride is wonderful ... people can tell you what they want and what they need."

The issue in the past has been, Fosheim said, the lack of strong action taken to meet those needs.

Fosheim didn't study economics or marketing in university, but she participated in a lot of extra-curricular activities that made her appealing for the position. Though she's just started, Fosheim is ever looking forward

"Within a few years I'm definitely hoping we can do some work to shine up the appearance of Hettinger," she said. "Next year we're going to move more towards the 21st century, making sure Hettinger is growing as technology is growing."

Fosheim has family in Hettinger, including her sister and brother-in-law, which helped draw her to the community.