Local, regional and national leaders come to Rapid City for a 24-hour blitz of conversations and collaborations through Morning Fill Up, a series of public gatherings intended to inspire and engage members of The Garage coworking space, as well as residents around western South Dakota, to put their creative energies into action for the betterment of the entire community. The series was founded by The Numad Group after a brainstorm the three founding principals had one morning over coffee while on retreat in Como, Italy. Morning Fill Up is sponsored by The Numad Group and The Bush Foundation.

Next Morning Fill Up: Nick Tilsen

Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

Thursday, April 6 at 7am at the garage

We are honored to welcome Nick Tilsen, founding Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation to Morning Fill Up. Nick is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and has over 15 years of experience in working with non-profits and tribal nations on projects that have a social mission. As Thunder Valley celebrates 10 years of transformation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Nick will sit down for a conversation with Matt Ehlman of The Numad Group to discuss how systemic social change happens. He'll also share insights on his vision for Thunder Valley's next 10 years in continuing to develop a regenerative community that is bothsustainable and equitable.

Nick founded the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to cultivate a new generation of American Indian leaders. He has played a vital role in creating a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community, that creates jobs, builds homes and creates new opportunity on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

In 2012, Nick was recognized by President Barack Obama at the White House Tribal Nations Conference saying that “day by day, family by family, community by community, Nick and his non-profit have helped inspire a new beginning for Pine Ridge.” Since 2013 Nick has served as a local point of contact for President Obama’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, working to make targeted investments into America’s poorest communities. This community based grassroots work has led Tilsen to become a National leader in the Equity Movement. In 2014 Nick was selected as an ASHOKA Fellow joining a global network of the worlds leading social innovators.

Previous Morning Fill Up Guests

Click on the images below to read bios and news stories and see photos of our past Morning Fill Up conversations.


We've got an awesome partner in our work to bring Morning Fill Up to the Black Hills region. Shout out and big thanks to The Bush Foundation for sponsoring Morning Fill Up with us. They rock.