BH&B Board of Directors | Ann Thompson | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

BH&B Board of Directors | Ann Thompson

The BH&B Board of Directors plays an important role in the success of the organization by providing strategic oversight, guidance and influence to support the organization’s mission. The board represents diverse members throughout the industry and community and we’d like to introduce them to you!

Name
Ann Thompson

Business
Keystone Chamber of Commerce and Affordable Adventure Tours

Position
Secretary of the Keystone Chamber of Commerce and Owner of Affordable Adventures Tours

What inspired you to choose a career in tourism and hospitality?
I have a business management degree from the U. of Wyoming so I have done a lot of jobs in that area.  I also love history especially the Black Hills History having grown up in Lead and I really enjoy people and sharing the Black Hills.  In 2001, I became a tour guide at the SD Air and Space Museum doing tours of the Air Base. I found that I really loved that as well as doing Black Hills tours which my husband Lin and I did for retirees that stayed at the Ellsworth Camp Ground. We helped Carol Cameron with her tour company a few times and eventually bought it when she wanted to retire in Feb 2006. There was one van, the company name and phone number and a small book of business when we bought it. Now we have 8 vehicles and several guides.

What influenced you to serve on the BH&B Board of Directors?
I was asked to be on the Keystone Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in Sept 2018.  Since we have been without a Chamber director I volunteered to represent Keystone Chamber on the BH&B Board.  It has been very interesting to get to know other business people and learn more about the inner workings of the BH&B Association.  It has also been helpful to learn what other businesses are doing especially during this strange year of 2020 with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.

What excites you most about the Association?
I really feel networking with other businesses is so important so we all serve the guests in the best way possible. This should really be our main goal to go the extra mile! They will be glad they came to the Black Hills to visit then. If we can’t do a tour, I call other companies to see if they can take the guests.  Being part of this group gives me valuable contacts so I have the latest information my guides need to make their tours as memorable as possible for our guests. This has also been beneficial while serving on the Keystone Chamber Board.

What is new, exciting or upcoming in your business or the tourism industry?
This is our 15th year owning Affordable Adventures Tours and the 30th year since it was started. We continue to strive to give 110% on our tours, service and CDC cleanliness guidelines.

For the Keystone Chamber, we continually strive to serve the Keystone businesses in promoting them in the most beneficial ways. We will soon have a new director and hope to have some new and exciting promotions happening in Keystone.

Learn more about Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association's Board of Directors here.