Former Daschle aide builds new career ‘foundation’ at SDSU

Jesse Hamer

Jesse Hamer

High expectations and stress keep Steve Erpenbach busy.

Erpenbach served as former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle’s state director for eight years before spending three years in Washington as his political director. He now works as vice president of development at the SDSU Foundation.

Although there are many differences between his past and present positions, the adrenaline is still there. During the campaign, he worked with a win/lose drive and at the foundation he raises funds for the Jackrabbit Guarantee. Both jobs have a different kind of stress, but Erpenbach said he loves them both.

“I’ve loved each one of them,” said Erpenbach.

Although Daschle’s loss of one of South Dakota’s senate seats pushed Erpenbach towards SDSU, it was something he had been looking to do for a while.

Erpenbach was a student at SDSU from 1980-1983. He graduated with a journalism degree and went on to work in Sheldon, Iowa and in Sioux Falls at the Argus Leader. He worked for the Collegian while attending SDSU, as sports editor and editor. His future wife was his managing editor at the Collegian.

He got into politics in 1990 when a friend campaigned for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Erpenbach eventually teamed up with Daschle and worked on his team for eight years. When Daschle lost last year, Erpenbach said he was glad for the career change and happy to return to SDSU.

“Win or lose I would have ended up here,” said Erpenbach.

He’s always tried to maintain ties with SDSU, but found it difficult to make it back for a game or a recital while working in politics. Now he has time to reflect on his great SDSU memories, as well as create new ones.

He is glad to be able to help the school.

“SDSU is my life now

#1.885445:4085128183.jpg:stevefoundationguy.jpg:Steve Erpenbach, vice president of development at the SDSU Foundation, spent 11 years working for former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle.: