Legislative Awards at Business Day

Special Events


February 27, 2017

Legislative Awards Honorees Recognized at Business Day

David Owen, President and Chief Lobbyist for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry recently announced the names of several individuals who received special recognition during the South Dakota Chamber’s 41st annual Business Day at the Legislature in Pierre.

The award categories were Legislative Business Advocate, Legislative Leadership and Lifetime Achievement.

Jim Wilcox, recently retired from Xcel Energy and Evan Nolte, recently retired from the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce were recognized for their career-long leadership in building relationships with issue leaders and elected officials; taking action affecting law and policy; representing the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry to business leaders, public administrators and the business administrators, and the business community’s grassroots relationships networks.

Barb Everist, Sioux Falls, was the first recipient of the Distinguished Legislative Service award in recognition of her dedication to public service; the pursuit of amenable solutions to challenges; to not letting problems be an excuse to retreat from a bold vision for South Dakota that calls for the best of its citizens.  Everist served as Majority Whip from 1997 to 1998 and was the first woman to be elected as Majority Leader, a position she held in the House from 1993-94 and in the Senate from 1995-2002.

Also new this year, was the Lifetime Achievement Award and two individuals were honored posthumously.  The honorees were William Dougherty, Sioux Falls, and Jeremiah D. Murphy, Rapid City, for their tireless work and universal respect as lobbyists in the South Dakota Legislature. This award has been designed to recognize the efforts of people who work within the legislative process as advocates and lobbyists.  The awards were presented to their sons Tim Dougherty and Jeremiah M. Murphy.

South Dakota Chamber President David Owen stated. “With these awards, the Chamber now has a comprehensive system of recognizing all elements of impact that make the legislative process work.  We salute legislators for service as an elected official, we honor our volunteers and advocates who are not connected to the process on a daily basis and now we have a tool to salute the lobbyists and governmental affairs people who are an ongoing and regular part of the process.”

The strength of an organization stems from the leadership of its members.  The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry has a strong voice in the governor’s office, within the legislature and throughout the many state departments.  This strength is the result of many individuals working toward a common goal.  The involvement and support of these individuals has long been appreciated and has now been publically recognized by the Board of Directors.

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