INDIANAPOLIS – Sam Boggs, manager of Chain O’Lakes State Park in Noble County received a 2015 Hoosier Hospitality on Friday, Aug. 21, at the Indiana State Fair. Boggs was nominated for the award by Sheryl Prentice, executive director of the Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presented the award to Boggs and 19 other recipients to honor them for their high level of service in tourism-related jobs at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations. “These professionals and their Hoosier Hospitality are the vibrant pulse that keeps the tourism industry alive and well in the state of Indiana. It is a great honor to present these awards to such deserving tourism leaders whose work all too often goes unrecognized, but never unappreciated. They live out the Hoosier ideals each and every day as they are out on the front lines showing the public what makes Indiana a great place to visit,” Ellspermann said.
In nominating Boggs, Prentice wrote that “Sam’s professionalism, optimism and enthusiasm for the park and Noble County demonstrate the best of what Hoosier Hospitality is. He ensures the park visitors have a great experience and they learn about all the other things to see and do in Noble County. He is a knowledgeable spokesman for the tourism industry when he is asked to speak to organizations. And as a Noble County native, he is a true ambassador for the best of what Noble County has to offer.”
Boggs began his career at Chain O’Lakes State Park after graduating from Ball State University. He has served for more than 25 years in the state park system before returning to manage Chain O’Lakes. Under his leadership, the park set an attendance record of 283,000 visitors in 2014, making it the gateway attraction in Noble County. He led the restoration of the 1915 one-room Stanley Schoolhouse on the park property, which has won preservation honors. He persuaded several running organizations to hold races at the park, drawing hundreds of marathoners. He upgraded the park’s nature center to better serve visitors and has implemented several projects to improve the campground and park infrastructure. He serves on the Noble County CVB’s board of directors as vice president. Boggs assisted the CVB in using Chain O’Lakes Correctional Facility work crews to do restoration on the 1888 Sower Farmhouse in preparation for the CVB’s move to its new home in June 2015.
Nominations for Hoosier Hospitality Awards are submitted annually by community members and destination patrons. The Indiana Office of Tourism Development reviews the nominations and selects the winners. Outstanding service is a major factor in determining whether a person returns to an individual business or destination.