Longtime Area Resident and Sturgis Buffalo Chip Employee Receives State Customer Service Award

Shirley Wetz chosen as the 2020 Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality & Customer Service Award winner

Sturgis, SD (January 25, 2020) – Governor Kristi Noem honored Sturgis Buffalo Chip employee Shirley Wetz with the Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality & Customer Service Award this week at the South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Pierre. The annual award recognizes a member of the South Dakota tourism industry who provides remarkable service to every visitor and demonstrates an outstanding spirit of hospitality, warmth and genuine kindness. The South Dakota Department of Tourism presents this prestigious award to four individuals, one from each of the state’s four tourism regions. Wetz was the recipient chosen in 2020 from the Black Hills & Badlands region.

Left to right: South Dakota Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen, Crazy Horse Memorial CEO Jadwiga Ziolkowski, Shirley Wetz, Governor Kristi Noem

The presentation made by Governor Noem celebrated Wetz’s efforts serving for over a decade as the voice or face most Buffalo Chip guests first encounter when planning a Black Hills motorcycle vacation.

“As the customer service representative taking calls and greeting guests at the Buffalo Chip’s front desk, she answers thousands of questions each year ranging from the basic ‘What should I pack?’ to the bizarre ‘Where can I kennel my pet raccoon?’,” Governor Noem stated during the presentation. “In addition to being a remarkable link between the Buffalo Chip and its guests leading up to the rally, she is often the frontline for those in need of help during the hectic heat of the rally. This means tracking down package deliveries, giving directions, returning lost objects and sometimes even locating lost people. Her small gestures make a big impact.”

Other recipients of the Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality & Customer Service Award include:

  • Dan Miller – Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown
  • Kasi Haberman – Yankton Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Kathi Anderson – Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center at Cedar Shore

High-resolution photos from the award presentation are available here:

About the Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® is the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling®. It is the world’s first and leading entertainment destination for the motorcycle enthusiast, awarded AMA Track of the Year in 2016, American Flat Track Event of the Year and South Dakota Excellence in Tourism Innovation award winner in 2017. Since 1981, the venue’s high-profile, nine-day festival, known as The Best Party Anywhere®, remains one of the world’s most televised and longest running independent music festivals. Located three miles east of Sturgis, SD on 600 creek-fed acres, it offers six stages of entertainment, a swimming hole, bars, mouth-watering food, showers, cabins, RVs, camping and more to visitors traveling from all corners of the world. The Chip’s concerts and races are free with camping. The Motorcycles as Art exhibit curated by Michael Lichter showcases the works of the world’s best bike builders. Numerous bike and stunt shows and all shopping, live music and events at the CrossRoads are free and open to the public. More details are available at www.buffalochip.com.



Further Inquiries:
Cody Ertman
[email protected]
Sturgis Buffalo Chip

2024 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Pre-Rally Party Jul. 29–Aug. 1
Concerts Aug. 2–Aug. 11

2025 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Pre-Rally Party Jul. 28–Jul. 31
Concerts Aug. 1–Aug. 10

Contact Us

Cody Ertman
[email protected]
Office: 605-347-9000