PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Office of Tourism’s top awards were presented to industry leaders by Gov. Mike Rounds Thursday evening.
The Ben Black Elk Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to South Dakota’s visitor industry. This year’s award went to Sylvia Henkin of Sioux Falls, who has played an integral role in the progress and development of Sioux Falls. Her pioneering efforts with KSOO, KSFY and KPAT were recognized, as well as the integral role she plays in area tourism events and in welcoming conventions to the city.
Big Thunder Gold Mine in Keystone received the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. The award recognizes a business or organization dedicated to promoting exceptional hospitality and customer service. Nine seasonal employees of Big Thunder Gold Mine received a letter of recognition from Gov. Rounds for their hospitality efforts in 2006 and the entire staff participated in an in-house training seminar on hospitality. The mine was also named the 2006 Keystone Business of the Year.
The awards were given during the closing banquet of the 2007 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and are a part of the 2010 Initiative goal of doubling visitor spending.
NOTE: Downloadable high resolution digital images will be available at http://www.mediasd.com/press/photosJan1907.htm.