Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship names new director

The board of directors for the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship announced today that Brienne Maner has been named as the organization’s executive director.

Karla Santi, chair of the Zeal Center board of directors and CEO of Blend Interactive, said that Maner’s experience with nonprofits and track record of promoting businesses and fostering connections make her a great fit for the organization.

"We are excited to have Brienne share her passion for small business and the entrepreneurial community as we lead Zeal into our next phase of growth," said Santi. "Her strong sense of community lends itself well to supporting our vision to create a thriving hub of entrepreneurship."

Maner is a well-known presence in the local business community. She most recently served as vice president for Downtown Sioux Falls, and is active in promoting small businesses and fostering connections.

As executive director, Maner will lead Zeal staff in promoting and driving entrepreneurship throughout the Sioux Falls area. Her responsibilities will include operational leadership, strategic planning and execution, entrepreneurial programming, and community and partner relations.

Maner will assume her new role on May 24.

Zeal was established in 2004 through a partnership initiative between the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation through Forward Sioux Falls. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship by providing a dynamic environment to grow emerging businesses.