Published on : Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Jim Hagen, South Dakota Secretary of Tourism was announced as the winner of the for this year’s National Tourism Award. Hagen has been chosen as State Tourism Director of the Year (STDOTY).
The STDOTY award is given to the professional whose leadership has led to the measurable improvement of his or her state’s travel and tourism profile. Such success is measured each year, in relationship to the budgetary and staff resources that the director has at their disposal.
Candidates are nominated by state/territory tourism directors, and a slate of three finalists is presented for selection by ballot.
Hagen was announced as the winner before more than 600 of his peers Monday at the ESTO annual conference of travel professionals, held this year in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The award comes from the U.S. Travel Association and is voted on by ts National Council of State Tourism Directors. Hagen is the first South Dakotan to receive the
award since Susan Edwards in 1994.
Hagen has served as the secretary of tourism for Gov. Dennis Daugaard since 2011. He was recently appointed to the 32-member US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board by US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. He is also an active board member of the US Travel Association.
Before joining the Daugaard Administration, Hagen served four and a half years as the national campaign director and public relations director for the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. From 2004 to 2006, he served as secretary of tourism and state development in the administration of Governor Mike Rounds. In this role, he oversaw the Offices of Tourism, Economic Development, Arts, History and State-Tribal Relations.
Hagen served as chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and special advisor to the governor during Gov. Bill Janklow’s Administration from 1995 to 2002. In these roles, Hagen served as the governor’s day-to-day contact with the Departments of Tourism, Transportation,
Revenue and Economic Development.
“Jim is a tremendous ambassador for the tourism and travel industry,” said US Sen. John Thune. “As a tireless advocate for the state of South Dakota, Jim has engaged thousands of tourists from across the country and around the world in sharing South Dakota’s world-class national parks, history, memorials, and more. I congratulate Jim on this well-deserved honor and look forward to continuing to partner with him on important travel promotion legislation, such as the extension and improvement of Brand USA.”