PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Office of Tourism’s top awards were presented to visitor industry leaders by Governor 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 Leonard and Mildred Cimpl of Tabor, who have played an integral role in the development and success of Czech Days, the town’s annual heritage celebration.
"Never tiring in their enthusiasm for their community, the Cimpls have been involved in Czech Days for nearly all of its 60 years," said Governor Mike Rounds. "That kind of dedication shows a remarkable level of commitment."
Mr. Jeff Anderson of KSDR Radio in Watertown received the A. H. Pankow Award, which honors a media outlet or individual member of the media whose coverage and promotion of the state’s visitor industry is unparalleled.
"Mr. Anderson’s dedication to promoting the visitor industry in the city of Watertown and the state of South Dakota exceeds our expectations," said Governor Rounds.
Governor Rounds presented the George S. Mickelson Great Service Award to the Redlin Art Center in Watertown and Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort and AmericInn Hotel and Suites in Deadwood.
"Both of these businesses display exemplary customer service and place hospitality high on their list of priorities," said Governor Rounds. "These businesses understand that customer satisfaction and positive customer experiences are the keys to success in the visitor industry."
The awards were given during the closing banquet of the 2008 Governor’s Conference on Tourism and are a part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota. The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.
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