Paige Pearson Meyer is a well-known storyteller in Sioux Falls. After anchoring for KSFY, she began digital communication work for DocuTap, an innovative leader in the electronic medical records industry. She celebrates her one-year anniversary there this month. Aside from her work downtown, she’s incredibly involved in her community and invested in its growth.
Name: Paige Pearson Meyer
How can people connect with you? (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Website):
Facebook (business): Paige Pearson
Where do you live now? Where do you call home?
Central Sioux Falls is where we lay our heads, but DTSF is where we work and play.
Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.
Rise and shine. After working the mid-shift on TV for ten years, I’m not a morning person. Thus, I tend to run five minutes late. I hustle into DocuTAP’s HQ in DTSF. Recently renovated, the building was smartly designed to spur collaboration. As the Communications Manager, I get to work with many of our departments. I love learning about the urgent care industry and picking our CEO’s (Eric McDonald) brain about the history of this unique tech startup. My husband (John Meyer) and I are pretty involved in the community, so after work we often have non-profit board meetings. If we’re free, we love to bike or hit up Jacky’s for the Christmas-style burrito. If it’s a Saturday morning, you’ll find us at Queen City Bakery (our home away from home).
What projects are you currently working on, both in your career as well as hobbies or passions?
Once a month, I travel to one of our urgent care clients (we serve 45 states) to either do a video shoot or continue to grow DocuTAP’s relationship. I’m wrapping up a capital campaign at our church, I’m getting my feet wet at Pollen as a new board member, and I’m editing a book for a dear friend. Personally, I’d like to plan trips to New York and Portland in the next six months. My husband and I love to travel, eating our way through new cities and digging into the history and culture.
What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?
Gender equality and work/life integration are constantly top of mind. From equal pay to maternity leave, women’s voices are consistently silenced. I’m proud to work in a healthy, unbiased environment today, but the TV industry is notorious for overlooking women’s opinions and mistreatment. I look forward to the day when there are far more female CEOs in Sioux Falls and when four months paid maternity leave is the norm.
If you could do any job, what would you do and why?
I’ve had the great fortune of living out one professional dream, working the sideline at Lambeau Field and covering the Packers at the Super Bowl. Today, many jobs fascinate me. Hosting a cooking or travel show would be pretty incredible. People’s upbringing and social tendencies also intrigue me, so I think leading classes on confidence, financial responsibility, and poise would be super rewarding.
What’s your desert island album/book/TV show/movie (answer one or all)?:
Oh Lord, this is going to age me. Counting Crows – “August and Everything After,” Fanny Flagg’s “Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man” (you’ll laugh so hard you’ll either cry or pee), “Parenthood” and “Hoosiers.”
Since you live in one of the OTA states:
• Why do you choose to live here?
Sioux Falls is my hometown, but I moved away in college and was gone for a decade. I’m thankful I exposed myself to different states and countries during that time. It’s important to stretch yourself. But, I’m also grateful to have made the decision to come home. Sioux Falls did a lot of growing up while I was gone. It’s far more diverse and sophisticated. That’s not to say we don’t have plenty of room to grow. But, I’m really proud of my hometown. It’s an easy place to invest in.
• What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the region when it comes to your career?
Our region has a familial feel. Perhaps it’s due to the population, but it’s fairly easy to connect with others. There’s a good chance your mom, uncle, best friend’s brother knows someone who might be a good professional contact for you. It’s just a matter of asking.
• What’s one thing you would change about the OTA region?
I think collectively we go to the same “well” time and time again. What I mean is we ask the same people for financial support, we ask the same people for their political opinions, we ask the same people to step up and get involved. I’d love to see more diversity in the people who represent Sioux Falls. I’d love to see more women being asked to take part in the discussions that shape our region.
• What’s one thing that most people don’t know about the OTA region?
I think our startup game is ready to takeoff. South Dakota has a terrific economic climate for startups. I look forward to the day when the tech world knows SF as Sioux Falls not San Francisco.
Where do you think good ideas come from? Good ideas come from nature, experiences, conversations. Good ideas come from everywhere and everyone. The key is the execution. I often think we aren’t reinventing the wheel. Figuring out how to invest in it, grow it, and see it to the end is what makes a good idea great.
What’s one current trend that you think will change the world? For better or worse, technology is changing the world.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self? Be confident. Be relentless. Be well read. Travel the world.
Who is the most creative person in your life and why? My husband. He’s constantly coming up with ideas to better serve society. He’s a creative leader, empowering his Lemonly team members to grow their careers. He loves to learn, and to me that means looking at the world in a creative way with fresh perspective.
Who is the most connected person in your life and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?
Some of my old sports pals are super connected. Their contacts lists are long and include some of the most well-known athletes in the world. Being successful on a beat means you must form relationships. Agents, trainers, coaches, parents: you need to make friends with them all.
Who is the most community-focused person in your life and how do they impact their communities?
This is a tough question as I know lots of terrific people that are community-focused. Mitch Jackson at Queen City Bakery has built one of the most organic and sustainable communities in the area. Everything Becky Blue touches becomes a welcoming community. From Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to the local United States Tennis Association chapter, Becky is a community-building natural. And, Bobby and June George have built beautifully inspired youth communities at Baan Dek Montessori and online at Montessorium.
At what intersection do you live your life? (ex: creativity and community, humor and humanity, art and athletics)
My true north has always been storytelling. I’ve always been curious and by honing my listening skills, I’ve had the great privilege of hearing and then retelling thousands of stories. Stories often include a plethora of emotions and subjects, so the range and depth take you on the most awe-inspiring journey.
Who are the three people you need to have coffee with when you visit Sioux Falls?
Vance Thompson – world-renowned vision specialist and one of the most genuine South Dakotans you’ll meet.
Dr. Tom Lorang – former Sioux Falls Catholic Schools superintendent and one of my most favorite humans.
My husband and I – we love meeting new people.
What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?
Get committed. The idea or inspiration is the easy part, the grind or execution is the tough part. Surround yourself with others equally committed to your idea, and dig in.
Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?
I get a little ruffled when thinking about a legacy. Perhaps it’s from doing too many Brett Favre stories. From one standpoint, it’s a very self-absorbed topic. From a deeply personal standpoint, it’s frightening. Am I doing enough? I’ve always been extremely proud to be part of my family. What’s most important to me is carrying on their commitment to the land, to South Dakota, to civic engagement, and to our family.
Who’s one regional writer/artist/leader/ entrepreneur we should pay attention to?
Ashley Ballou-Bonnema – Ashley’s Breathe Bravely blog has had a resounding impact locally and on the Cystic Fibrosis community. Ashley is the most selfless person I know, and her beautiful journey brings tears to my eyes. She finds joy in everything she does, and that’s a remarkable characteristic.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
I suppose leaving South Dakota. It taught me great independence. It exposed me to people and places. It broadened my mind and capacity for learning. It also helped define me.
What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
I’m not sure if I’ve experienced my biggest failure yet. Obviously, that’s terrifying to think about. But, I’m hoping my inner strength and support network are strong enough to face whatever that may be.