Rapid City Chamber of Commerce

Awards & Scholarships

The Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes members for their commitment and services to both the Chamber and the community through the Chamber Awards listed below.


Ag Producer of the Year Award

The Ag Producer of the Year Award is given to an individual  producer with a history of excellence in their field of agriculture and natural resources, who have made signifcant contributions to their field through incorporating new ideas and technology into their operations, sharing their knowledge with others, being an advocate for their profession and service to our local community.  For more information about the Ag Producer of the Year Award, conact Rachel Day.  To nominate someone for this award, please fill out the Ag Producer of the Year Nomination Form.

Aggie of the Year Award

The Chamber's Ag & Natural Resources Committee established this award in 1981 to honor individuals who provided leadership that has benefited the local area agriculture and natural resources community over an extended period of time.  For more information about the Aggie of the Year Award, contact Rachel Day.  To nominate someone for this award, please fill out the Aggie of the Year Nomination Form.


Sponsored by Project Solutions Inc., the ATHENA Award Program promotes leadership and honors outstanding leaders. By recognizing exceptional individuals, the Award program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence. The ATHENA Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishments of those who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and who open paths so others may follow.

The ATHENA recipient must meet each of the following criteria:

Assist individuals in reaching their full leadership potential. Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community. For more information about the ATHENA Award, contact Jason Wittenberg at 718-8474.

Nomination Form (pdf)

Granite Award

The Granite Award is given by the Chamber's Diplomat Committee and was created to be given to a business that is an asset to the area and is a pillar of our community.   A business that is stable and solid as “granite”…thus the name. A Granite Award recipient must be: an area business, involved with the Chamber, a community supporter, and in business 10 years or more. For more information on the Granite Award, contact Linda Rabe.  (Recipients of the Granite Award)

George Award

This is the Chamber's most prestigious award presented every year at the Annual Meeting. This award is chosen by the Chamber's Executive Board and given to an individual who has, over a period of time, provided leadership to our community in a variety of ways. In other words, “They didn’t wait to let ‘George’ do it, they did it themselves.”

Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s George Award. If you are interested in nominating someone for the George Award, fill out the George Award Nomination Form and return it to Linda Rabe.  (Rcipients of the George Award)

Rushmore Honors Awards

The Rushmore Honors Awards are presented by the Creative Industries Committee of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce and are awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to arts and culture in our community, have championed innovative ideas or have had success in a creative industries field.

The term “creative industries” describes businesses and individual efforts whose work stems from creativity—for example, design, music, publishing, architecture, film & video, libraries, museums, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV, radio, culinary arts, advertising, literature, computer gaming and performing arts.

All nominees must have resided or done business in the Black Hills area for a minimum of five years and currently be a resident of the area (residency requirement waived only by unanimous ballot of the Selection Committee). The honorees for 2017 have already been selected. If you are interested in nominating someone for this award next year, please fill out the Rushmore Honors Nomination Form and return it to Bill Goodgion.

2016 Rushmore Honorees

  • Gabrielle Seeley
  • Deb Lux
  • Dwayne Wilcox
  • Don Lerdal

Volunteer of the Year

Young Professional of the Year Award

The Young Professional of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding young professional in the Rapid City area who demonstrates vision, professionalism, and involvement resulting in a positive impact on the community. The award is sponsored by the Young Professionals Group of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce.


Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee Scholarship

Every year, the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee gives away four (4) $1000 scholarships to provide formal instruction at any South Dakota accredited university, college, technical school, or other recognized program for youth preparing for careers in agricultural or natural resource related fields. Please fill out the scholarship application and return to Rachel Day.

Rapid City Foundation Scholarships

The Rapid City Foundation Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors graduating from Rapid City area High Schools or non traditional students who have lived in the Rapid City area for at least the past twelve months and are attending or planning on attending a Rapid City university, college or technical school. These scholarships are provided through the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. For more information on the Rapid City Foundation Scholarships  and to see if you qualify please review the directions and guidelines. Deadline for application is March 31, 2017. To apply, please download the scholarship application and recommendation form and return to Debbie Leber at the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce.

Junior Leadership Rapid City Scholarship

The Junior Leadership Rapid City Scholarship is a $500 award, presented annually to one alumnus of the Junior LRC program who demonstrates leadership qualities and potential as well as a commitment to community involvement.

This scholarship is sponsored by the LRC Board of the Chamber of Commerce and contributions from alumni of the adult LRC program.

Eligible applicants for the Jr. LRC Scholarship are:

  • Graduates of the Jr. LRC program
  • Accepted and committed to attend a college, university or technical program in the same year of application for the scholarship (but not limited to graduating high school seniors or first year post-secondary students.)
  • Not previous recipients of the Jr. LRC Scholarship

All application materials should be mailed together to the address below. Materials must be RECEIVED by the deadline, March 16 to be considered for the upcoming year. Application materials may also be hand-delivered to the Chamber office located at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Junior LRC Alumni Scholarship
Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 747
Rapid City, SD 57709

Application materials will be reviewed by the Jr. LRC Committee of the LRC Board. The winner will be selected in late March and will receive a formal award letter. All applicants will be informed by letter once the winner has been selected. The scholarship winner will be featured in the LRC Alumni Newsletter, and will be presented with the award at an appropriate venue, to be determined after selection.

Please complete all items on the APPLICATION and attach additional sheets as necessary.

Sarah Stevens Memorial Scholarship:

In 1988 an endowment fund was established by her family in the memory of Sarah Stevens.  In May, 2001 the Rapid City Community Foundation, now called Black Hills Area Community Foundation was chosen as the repository of the $10,000+ bequest.  Interest generated from the endowment funds are used to award a scholarship to the college or university of her choice in the amount of (at least) $500 annually to a cum laude Stevens High School female graduate.

The Chamber Workforce Development Committee awards a scholarship to a female high school senior graduating from Rapid City Stevens High School, with a Cum Laude grade point average and planning to study in a medical or counseling field. For more information on the Sarah Stevens Memorial Scholarship, contact Debbie Leber. You may also download the scholarship application here.