2016 Annual Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet

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A packed room Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

October 21, 2016
By Herb Ryan

Custer, SD – 2016 Annual Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet opened with a welcome by Craig Pugsley and an Invocation by Reverend Van Arp. Pugsley in his introduction mentioned that when he first arrived on his job in Custer State Park in 1977 “I looked around and wondered, who are these old people who work here, well guess what, what goes round comes around and now I’m one of those old people  in that office”.
Through the years, Pugsley said he has seen much positive change in the tourist industry. ” Back in those early days, Tourism was seen as a Memorial to Labor Day business. My first involvement with the chamber was when then Director Lindy Manlove called the park to ask for a representative to join a newly formed Visitor Promotion Committee. Our Park  Director at the time was Warren Jackson and he thought I would fit the bill. Since that time I have had he pleasure of working with some of the most tenured directors in South Dakota including Cindy Mayes, Jackie Wentworth and of course Dave Ressler.  Now we see tourism beginning in April and extending through October and into November. The Custer Community has seen boosts in occupancy in during the peak season and efforts are focused on expanding the shoulder season”.

Craig Pugsley over the years has worked closely with the South Dakota Department of Tourism and has been involved with the Custer Chamber of Commerce for 32 years, and served on the Board of Directors for the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Black Hills Badlands and Lakes Tourism Association among others and is now the former Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors President.

Craig Pugsley was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Julie Brazell, Naturalist at Custer State Park.

Other Awards:

Community Service
Karen Schleining

Community Team
Mammo or Bust

Government Employee
Blaine Kortemeyer

Business of the Year
Custer True Value

Individual of the Year
Carrie Moore

Presidents Choice
Gene and Linda Fennell

Lifetime Achievement
Craig Pugsley

Pioneer
Dale Schaffer

Pioneer
Dan and Linda Custis

 

 

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Custer Mayor Jared Carson presents the Community Service Award to Karen Schleining Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Community Team Award “Mammo or Bust” L-R Dianne Peterson, Sue Swartz, Joni Hill, Veronica Schmidt, Patti Ressler Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Blaine Kortemeyer receives the Government Service Award from presenter Gene Fennell Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Lon and Carol Edwards owners of Custer True Value are presented the Business of the Year Award by chamber board member Steve Olson Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Carrie Moore is presented Individual of the Year Award by chamber staffer Dolcee Davenport Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Gene and Linda Fennell were awarded the Presidents Choice Award presented by Craig Pugsley Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet.Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Craig Pugsley outgoing chamber president was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Julie Brazell Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet. With Craig are Celine Pugsley and Judy Brazell. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Dale Schaffer was presented the Pioneer Award presented by Dave Ressler Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Dan and Linda Custis were presented the Pioneer Award Thursday evening October 20, 2016 at the 2016 Custer Chamber Annual Banquet. L-R Dan Custis, Linda Custis, Janet Boyer, John Stahl and Brian Boyer. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

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