PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the South Dakota Department of Tourism presented awards to top visitor industry leaders Thursday evening at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Pierre.
The Ben Black Elk Award was awarded to Phil Lampert of Custer. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to South Dakota’s visitor industry.
Mr. Lampert has devoted the majority of his adult life to serving the traveling public. He has been part of the hospitality industry for nearly 40 years, including 28 years as concessionaire in Custer State Park. In January, 2013, Lampert was named Citizen of the Year by the Custer County Chronicle.
“Phil has certainly made a tremendous contribution to the visitor industry over the years,” said Gov. Daugaard. “South Dakota’s visitor industry has benefited greatly because of Phil’s commitment and dedication, and I thank him for his excellent service.
The A. H. Pankow Award, which honors a media outlet or individual member of the media for unparalleled coverage and promotion of the state’s visitor industry, was awarded to Shawn Cable of KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls. Cable is an Emmy award winning meteorologist, anchor and reporter for KSFY News and co-host of the KSFY Morning News.
“Shawn Cable has been a great friend to the South Dakota visitor industry, not only locally but throughout the state,” the Governor said. “From reporting live at the Christmas at the Capitol celebration to inviting the Rushmore Mascots on KSFY’s morning show at the conclusion of their 2013 bus tour, Shawn understands the importance of the visitor industry’s impact on the state, and has done a tremendous job in helping to tell the South Dakota story.”
Gov. Daugaard presented George S. Mickelson Great Service Awards to Black Hills Central Reservations in Deadwood and the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza in Rapid City.
“Both of these businesses have proved that superior service is a top priority in their day-to-day operations,” the Governor said. “They have provided thousands of visitors with memorable travel experiences, and we are grateful for their continued commitment to customer satisfaction.”
The Excellence in Tourism Innovation Award honors an industry member for thinking “outside the box” when it comes to promoting their business, organization or destination. The 2014 award was given to the South Dakota Missouri River Tourism Association in recognition for developing creative partnerships in promoting South Dakota’s visitor industry.
“Thanks to the Association’s collaborative thinking, they were able to partner with the Corps of Engineers when they moved their office to the Corps’ Oahe Dam Visitor Center on Lake Oahe,” the Governor said. “Not only does their new location provide more visibility, but they are able to provide a better service to visitors while promoting the Missouri River Tourism region and the entire state.”