Advocate

I am committed to improving the lives of children and families in Sioux Falls and across South Dakota.

  • Jolene’s Law Task Force to end child abuse
  • Eliminate statute of limitations for criminal rape cases
  • Selfspiration Day Camps for children who’ve been victims of child sexual abuse
  • Make Some Happy Toy Drive collecting supplies for Sioux Falls organizations assisting families in need

Entrepreneur

Business, no matter its size, becomes the financial backbone of Sioux Falls. I’m proud of the companies I’ve built, the people we hire and partner with and the possibility for growing a stronger Sioux Falls this creates.

  • DooGooders, dog DNA and waste pick up service
  • Mud Mile Communications
  • Business start-up mentor for young entrepreneurs

Community Builder

When we connect our community to the causes that matter, I know we lay out a road map for Sioux Falls to be even better tomorrow.

  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation volunteer
  • Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation advisory board co-chair
  • Pug Partners volunteer
  • American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life founding committee
  • City of Sioux Falls Municipal Band emcee

MORE ABOUT JO

Sioux Falls gave me the opportunity to start my career, build my businesses and raise my family.

I started my career as a television reporter in Sioux Falls, sharing the stories of the people that make this community strong and dynamic. But my own story shared with me the power of government to do good. In 2011, I first talked publicly about being sexually abused growing up. That experience lead to working to repeal the statute of limitations for criminal rape cases. Then in 2014, South Dakota established Jolene’s Law Task Force. The work of Jolene’s Law Task Force led to the creation of a ten year action plan to eradicate child sexual abuse in South Dakota. Now under the guidance of the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment, in just 12 months, it has trained almost 7,000 mandatory reporters in South Dakota, centralized a database of mental health resources and developed a pediatric rape kit for hospitals and health care systems statewide.

I also know the opportunity Sioux Falls can provide to take a dream, determination and dedication to become a business owner. My husband, Nate Burdine, and I started our first business with the last $300 in our savings account, a bucket and a willingness to get our hands dirty. That’s when DooGooders, a dog doo pickup and dog DNA testing company, started. Today, it’s part of the world’s leading pet innovation companies while giving hundreds of people each year the opportunity to spend time with their family, and not worry about picking up after their furry family member.

I next founded Mud Mile Communications, a Sioux Falls-based marketing, public relations, social media, content strategy, digital media and video production firm.

But before our businesses can flourish, our families must. To focus on the strength and safety Sioux Falls families, I created Selfspiration. Selfspiration hosted day camps for children who were victims of child sexual abuse.

I’ve also worked to start the Make Some Happy Toy Drive, collecting items for non-profits in Sioux Falls including The Compass Center, Children’s Inn and Family Visitation Center.

I also serve as the national alumni co-chair for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation advisory board and volunteered with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Pug Partners, Sioux Empire Red Cross, American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life and was as the City of Sioux Falls Municipal Band emcee.

Through it all, I am most proud and humbled by raising our daughter, Liberty, and giving her a home and a hometown where she will find her own opportunities.