Zeal’s new client specialist plans to welcome, disrupt
Thadeus Giedd has a passion for entrepreneurship, a knack for connecting with people and the drive to grow businesses.
He plans to use all of that in his new role as client specialist for Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship.
Giedd, a Crooks native, has a degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota and most recently started his own business, Amadeus Media Co. He previously was the operations coordinator for The Bakery.
We learned more about Giedd, his goals at Zeal and what’s already surprising him about his new organization.
What attracted you to Zeal?
A Zeal board member and Zeal vice president Ryan Oines recruited me. But I was, and am, highly attracted to Zeal because it gives me a purpose and a great place of belonging. To me, my new journey is not a job; it is a duty and one that will give my passions and pursuit for helping others a home. I love the world of business, especially the small-business people, ones with direct control who have built something of their own from the ground up and are now leading a staff. They are the rock stars of the world to me; they dedicate themselves to creating value for others or bringing solutions to the marketplace.
The position I am beginning at the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship allows me to be further involved in and pursue my passion for business. It allows me to be around great leadership and assist the striving programs and startup organizations in our region.
Tell us about your new job. What kinds of things will you be doing at Zeal?
At Zeal, I’ll be labeled as client specialist, which is an iteration of membership services. I’ll be the point of contact for all belonging to Zeal and the facility they use. I’m the lead on welcoming people that are at Zeal every day, making sure they are equipped with what they require for their office or conference rooms. I’m also the reference person for guests and those visiting for the first time looking for assistance, connections or inquiring about low-cost office space or co-working memberships.
Along with the facility, I’m delegated to building more community and culture, assisting with programming, assisting with accelerator activities, and I’m the lead for Zeal’s marketing. I also want to offer free consulting to anyone that comes into Zeal for general guest visiting and, of course, to our tenants and members. Zeal is a nonprofit, and I want to keep it very focused on helping anyone that needs general direction or a brainstorming session to keep them on track for success in their business endeavors.
The secondary part of my title is “disrupter.” Each of us on the Zeal staff selected an additional term to go along with our primary roles. I got a bit unique with mine, but it simply means as much as I will welcome and make people comfortable, I’ll also push those that may need it out of their comfort zones. I’ll ask difficult questions and cause some tension or disruption because I believe it is just as needed as outside motivation.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role?
I’m most looking forward to being a contributor to so many businesses and regional business activity. I enjoy being around great things and great people — we all do. As Dave Ramsey has said, “Eagles want to soar with other eagles.” I don’t consider myself an eagle but want to be around as many as I can and do as much as I can.
Are there any initial ideas for new approaches you’d like to bring?
I’d like to start with a handful of new approaches. The first is showcasing more of the activity, people and stories of the Sioux Falls business scene and Zeal members. I’d like to help orchestrate more activities for small and large group discussions and collaboration-style sessions that lead to others helping each other tackle business hurdles or growth challenges. Getting more of the younger demographics involved and active within the local business scene will be a desire of mine, even working with more colleges and the students within them. I want to help with the growing desire/need for mentorship. Bringing together those looking to mentor with those looking to connect to one, and making sure they stay accountable. I’d also like to encourage more community outreach and represent Zeal at community events.
What might entrepreneurs and the public not know about Zeal? Any surprises as you got to know more about it?
Yes, there were a handful of instant discoveries.
The facility is a whopping 45,000 square feet, and there is a wide diversity of members and business activities: software companies, book publishing, kids’ camps, innovative videoconferencing, medical research, biomedical research, robotics engineering, many more, and room for new tenants.
I was also surprised by the number of partners, sponsors and community affiliates that are all invested to make Zeal and the business region as great as it possibly can be.
The low cost of leasing an office space and belonging to Zeal also is crazy affordable. Cost per square foot is about $1.25 a month!
The definition of zealot is actually quite suiting for the organization and people that belong to it: “A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their beliefs.”
How can people contact with you?
Visit the home page: realzeal.com.
Follow the Facebook page as we release updates and free content: fb.com/zealsiouxfalls.
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