WDC Staff

YOUR LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS

Chris Clifton

Executive Director

Clifton brings over 35 years of economic development experience to the Watertown Development Company. Throughout his tenure, he as has facilitated numerous economic development projects such as site selection and development of new industrial land, facilitation of tenant/landlord real estate transactions in over 41 states, and the management of several non-profit fundraising campaigns – each of which raised over $22MM.

 

In this position, he leads the economic development organization and implements programs that facilitate the creation of jobs, quality housing, and economic growth throughout Watertown in accordance with the Watertown Development Company’s mission and strategic plan.

 

Chris is a Certified Economic Developer (CED), graduate of the US Chamber Institute of Organizational Management (IOM), and is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho National Fraternity (AGR), Society of Industrial Office Realtors (SIOR), Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC).

 

Contact Chris Clifton

Phone: 605-884-0340
Cell:605-880-6784
Email: cclifton@wdcsd.com

Traci Stein

Business Development Manager

Traci brings more than 25 years combined experience in business management and marketing to the Watertown Development Company. Traci is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council and is responsible for marketing Watertown and finding opportunities for retail and industrial growth, housing, workforce, and the development and creation of Tax Increment Financing Districts and Plans.

 

Traci joined the Watertown Development Company in 2008 as Director of Business Development and became Director of Marketing and Public Relations in 2015. She has been active on community boards and committees throughout her career at the WDC and actively continues her education on economic development through International Economic Development Council courses. Traci is a current member of the International Economic Development Council and the Mid-America Economic Development Council, and previously served on the board of directors with the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) and the Northeast South Dakota Society for Human Resources Management (NESDSHRM). She holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Mount Marty College and M.S. in Information Systems with an emphasis in E-Commerce and Database Administration from Dakota State University.

 

Contact Traci Stein

Phone: 605-884-0340
Cell: 605-520-8020
Email: tstein@wdcsd.com

Molly Heaton

Business Development Manager

Molly joined the Watertown Development Company in November 2022 to assist new and expanding companies with their development in Watertown. In this position, she assists with business recruitment and expansion and establishes and directs initiatives that promote the growth, diversity, and quality of the area workforce to meet the business community’s present and future needs. She conducts research and provides analysis on economic health and commercial development of property including business recruitment, job development and business retention strategies. Molly also serves as Administrator of the Watertown Workforce Advisory Council where she develops relationships with company decision-makers and provides them with the resources they need to expand or relocate to Watertown.

   

An advocate for Watertown’s workforce, Molly has also been an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 2014, and the Watertown Workforce Advisory Council (WWAC) since its inception in 2015, serving as its Vice Chair since January 2022.

Contact Molly Heaton

Phone: 605-884-0340
Cell: 605-880-4819
Email: mheaton@wdcsd.com

Angela Yahne

Executive Assistant

Angie attended South Dakota State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2013. She moved to Watertown in 2017 to start a family with her spouse. She worked as the General Manager for SkyWest airlines until January of 2022 when they ended up exiting Watertown. She then took a position as an Administrative Assistant for the Watertown Airport for about a year. She ended up leaving the airport to open Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Watertown in June of 2023. After successfully opening the cafe, Angie felt it was time to explore more career options and look for a way to help support Watertown and its growth. Angie was hired as an Executive Assistant for Watertown Development Company on January 2nd. Angie has a passion for business and growth within the Watertown Community and hopes to become an asset for the Watertown Development Company.