Meet Kevin Maxwell

Business Performance Specialist, Sanford Health

During soccer season, Kevin Maxwell spends many of his evenings and weekends on soccer field sidelines, coaching teams from elementary to middle school. From this vantage point, he sees firsthand the important role city parks play in creating a thriving community.

So when a seat on his community’s park board opened up in Harrisburg, South Dakota, a few years ago, he decided to submit a letter of interest.

“They responded and said, ‘We’d love to have you,’” says Kevin.

After serving on the park board for just over a year, he was appointed to fill a vacant spot on the city council. Then in April 2019, he ran unopposed before being voted city council president in June of 2020.

Harrisburg is one of South Dakota’s fastest-growing communities. The population was around 900 in 1990 and today over 7,000 people call Harrisburg home.

This presents the City Council with both unique challenges and opportunities, from the need for a new wastewater treatment plant to the creation and maintenance of new roads.

These are issues Kevin hadn’t considering yet when he moved to Harrisburg from Sioux Falls with his wife, Jana, and two sons Adam and Isaac six years ago.

“It’s been interesting to have a seat at the table and help make decisions, especially with the growth we’re having out here,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed learning about all the things that come with seeing how a city really runs.”

Kevin also serves as the city liaison to the park board along with the community’s library board and disability awareness board. As a leader, he strives to bring strong communication and collaboration to each discussion.

“What should we be doing? What could we do to make this better? And what are the things that we shouldn’t be doing anymore?” he says. “Those are the things I want to know when trying to strategically plan how to move forward.”

Kevin has never been one to shy away from a challenge. Instead, he’s always had the mentality that if he sees an opportunity to give back, he’ll try to do just that.

He started coaching soccer for the Brookings High School boys’ junior varsity team while attending South Dakota State University. He continued staying involved in soccer and after his son Adam started playing, he’s coached every year since. Then when his son Isaac was old enough to play, he became a coach for his team too.

“Those years go by quickly, so I want to embrace every opportunity I can to spend time with them and all the kids on their teams are just awesome,” he says.

Kevin aims to be a source of encouragement to help his players believe in themselves and their abilities. He hopes that by building self-confidence on the soccer field, they’ll have confidence as they become adults too.

“I always tell them that I don’t get paid to coach them, so I hope someday they will pay it forward by coaching their own boys, or something like that,” he says.

Whether it’s on the soccer field or leading a Harrisburg City Council meeting, Kevin wants to be a role model for others by giving back.

“It’s just one of those things – I really enjoy being part of the community,” he says.