New Industrial Park Named for Notable Watertown Businessman
The Watertown Development Company (WDC) has selected a name for their new industrial park that honors an individual who has made a lasting impression on the industrial culture of Watertown.
The park will be called Calvin Industrial Park, named for John Calvin, notable Watertown businessman, philanthropist and entrepreneur.
Chris Schilken, Executive Director of the WDC, said, “John is a very successful, well-respected businessman and entrepreneur who has brought a wealth of experience and opportunity to our community,” said Schilken. “His name evokes economic vitality and signifies the promise of a brilliant future for the park.”
Calvin is known for bringing his company, Angus Industries, to Watertown over 40 years ago, and for being the second Watertown businessman to oversee the state of South Dakota’s economic development efforts.
He first came to South Dakota to hunt pheasants, but after many more visits to the state, the late Gov. George S. Mickelson convinced him to expand his manufacturing business to Watertown. He put only part of the company in Watertown to start.
By 1992, Calvin moved all of the operations to Watertown, and many other employees from the plant in Minnesota. The company grew quickly; from $2.7 million to $20 million in annual sales, and in 1996, sold it to the employees and watched it continue to grow while he formed a new venture, J. Scott Industries of Watertown, investing in other new businesses.
Calvin said of his success and naming of the park, “Watertown was a good move. It has a remarkable workforce with good work ethic and attitude. I am deeply appreciative for the recognition.”
Acquisition of the industrial park land by the WDC was completed last fall. Hoping to continue the legacy of successes such as recruiting Calvin’s business to Watertown, new development within the park will follow one of the long-held missions of the WDC: focusing on new business attraction and existing business retention and expansion.
The WDC is already working with a company looking to locate to the new park.
“We are working on recruiting a company from out of state who is ready to locate on the north end of the park and employ up to 50 people. Construction is expected to start this fall,” said Schilken.
A park dedication ceremony is planned for May 28th at 2:00 p.m. at the southwest corner of the park, with a reception to follow at 4:00 p.m. at Joy Ranch. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is expected to be in attendance at the dedication ceremony. The public is welcome to attend.