Matt Varilek is a
fourth-generation South Dakotan. He was born in Yankton, and has deep roots in
the Czech-American farming communities of rural Yankton and Bon Homme Counties.
Matt attended his first "Czech Days" celebration in Tabor, South Dakota when he
was just one month old, and he hasn't missed many Czech Days since.
For nearly seven years, Matt served as the Economic Development Director for U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, assisting the Senator's efforts to boost job creation by partnering with small businesses and community leaders across South Dakota. Working together with members of both major political parties, Matt contributed to the creation and retention of jobs in every corner of our state. He helped with successful efforts to expand industrial parks, build business incubators and scientific research facilities, and upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure, among other things. Matt also worked for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle in a similar capacity.
Prior to his public service, Matt added to his private sector experience by spending four years as a market analyst at an energy commodities brokerage. Matt has also served as a teaching assistant, and he worked his way through high school and college, earning money as a hired hand for local farmers, and as a security guard, dish washer, paper boy, and burger flipper, just to name a few.
Matt graduated from Yankton High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Carleton College in Minnesota. He also earned two master's degrees related to economics — the first from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the second from the University of Cambridge in England.
Matt and his wife, Maggie, reside in Sioux Falls with their two adorable daughters, Willa and Mae.
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