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South Dakota State Historical Society’s museum director receives award

The South Dakota State Historical Society’s museum director, Jay Smith, received the President’s Award for his service to the Mountain Plains Museums Association (MPMA) at its award banquet held in conjunction with the MPMA Annual Meeting in Wichita, Kansas, earlier this week.

The MPMA was founded in 1953 and provides services to museums in its 10-state region. It has more than 700 members and member institutions. The MPMA advocates on behalf of museums and through the Council of Regional Associations (CRA), and it provides a variety of services including an annual conference, scholarships and a purchasing co-op for a variety of museum-related supplies. The 10 states in the MPMA region are Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico.

The President’s Award is given for significant service to the MPMA. The award is a public recognition of those people, institutions or businesses that have contributed significantly in any capacity to the continued growth and success of the MPMA.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Smith. “The MPMA does excellent work supporting museums throughout the region and I am proud to make a contribution through my service. I intend to continue my work in the area of sustainability and work toward developing new projects and initiatives that benefit the entire museum community in our region.”

Smith has been the museum director for the State Historical Society in Pierre since January of 2012.

“Jay Smith brings a wealth of museum experience to our organization,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society. “As a veteran museum director, we count on him to provide leadership on a regional and national level.”

Smith served as MPMA president in 2010-2011, and as a board member, task force chair, vice-president, CRA chair in 2010, marketing chair, program chair and is currently Sustainability Committee chair where he has led the effort to create a planned giving program for the organization.

Since coming to South Dakota in 2012, Smith provided the impetus for the society to become a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. He is presently working with key society personnel on the Great Sioux Horse Effigy Return Celebration scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Pierre.