May 30, 2023
This week’s Up-and-Comer is Brett Kollars, assistant director of parks and recreation for the city of Sioux Falls.
Name: Brett Kollars
Hometown: Sioux Falls
What brought you to Sioux Falls?
Sioux Falls is home; I grew up here. My wife and I started our careers in Kansas City, and while we enjoyed it, it wasn’t Sioux Falls – we moved home.
What keeps you in Sioux Falls?
Sioux Falls has Midwestern values with a progressive side, ensuring my family has opportunities in education, entertainment and career. My family and friends are very important to me, and most reside in the area, so we’re able to spend time together frequently. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Immediately, it is the people I work with. The passion our city staff has for their jobs is inspiring. With more reflection, my favorite thing is being able to contribute to a community that provided for me growing up.
How did you get connected to your industry?
I started my career in health care administration, first with Veterans Health Administration in Kansas City, then to Good Samaritan Society and more recently with Avera Health. My growth in health care administration paralleled with health care’s transition toward value-based care. Through my work in value-based health care, I gained a passion for public health – Parks & Recreation is very much part of the solution for public health.
Describe your workplace in three words.
Familiar. Reliable. Beautiful.
What is something someone might be surprised to learn about you?
Oh man! I shouldn’t have to struggle with this question as much as I am – I must be boring. Off the top of my head: I collect baseball cards, I love to cook, I love basketball. Combine the last two: I have a smoker with a custom Utah Jazz paint job.
What’s your favorite way to give back to your community?
Time. Coaching youth sports. Many of the coaches I played for through youth sports I consider role models to this day. One coach I look up to in particular is Larry Leveranz. These coaches taught me lessons at a pivotal time in my life – lessons far beyond what I realized in the moment, but I still carry them with me. I coach to pay it forward.
What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?
The Paper Source. More stationery stores. We all need to slow down – take a moment to write. Write to friends, write to strangers, write to yourself. Try it; I challenge you.
If you had $1 million to start a business, what kind of business would it be?
Buy land. Our communities are growing at an incredible pace. Purchasing land would position me to contribute to a multitude of opportunities as our future takes shape. My interest would be in recreational opportunities or conservation initiatives.