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Billie H. Sutton

Founder/HR Manager & Investment Services Officer

Sutton Leadership Institute/First Fidelity Bank

Burke, SD


A fifth-generation South Dakotan, Billie H. Sutton is the founder of the Billie Sutton Leadership Institute, a local, non-partisan institute dedicated to building and preparing stronger leaders for the betterment of South Dakota communities and workplaces. Placing an emphasis on servant and rural leadership, Billie and his team have seated a total of six cohorts since their 2019 founding. Billie is also a human resources manager and investment services officer at First Fidelity Bank, where he has worked for over a decade. At the University of Wyoming, he received a full-ride rodeo scholarship and became one of the top 30 professional riders in the world. At the height of his career, Billie was involved in a tragic rodeo accident that paralyzed him at age 23. He still rides horses and has a cattle operation with his family today. Billie ran for Governor of South Dakota in 2018, losing by a narrow margin. Prior to that, he served for four years as the State Senate Minority Leader. At just 26 years old, Billie ran and was elected to the State Senate in 2010 and served for a total of eight years, reaching his term limit. Billie is a member of the board of directors for First Fidelity Bank and board president for the Sutton Leadership Institute. He participated in the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows Program in 2020 and 2021. Billie is a Fellow of the Civil Society Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

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