Chamber Announces 2017 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The 2017 Awards of Excellence winners are (left to right): Stella Montano, Spirit of Sheridan Award; Compass Center for Families, represented by Susan Carr, Key Service Award; Sheridan Physical Therapy, represented by Kati Sherwood, Strength of Sheridan Award; Chamber Board President Travis Evans; Luminous Brewhouse, represented by Cooley Butler, Small Business Award; First Interstate Bank, represented by Nicole Christensen, Large Business Award; and Josh Law, Business Person of the Year.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce honored the nominees and announced the winners of the 2017 Awards of Excellence during the annual Business Awards Luncheon Feb. 14.

The awards presented, the nominees and the winners are:

Spirit of Sheridan Award

This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County: demonstrates vision, ambition, and drive to serve the community and the mission of the Chamber, understanding a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success. Nominees for the Spirit of Sheridan Award are Brady Fackrell, Evan Jones, Spencer Kraft, Stella Montano and Anthony Spiegelberg.

Winner: Stella Montano

A Sheridan resident for 24 years, Stella Montano currently serves as the Director of Family Caregiver Services at The Hub on Smith, connecting caregivers with resources.

Montano flourishes in the “connector” role, identifying client needs with resources to help caregivers navigate systems. Montano stays very active in the community because of her love of people and to help her gain knowledge to pass along to caregivers.

A Chamber Ambassador for more than 10 years, Montano enjoys attending ribbon cuttings and volunteering at the Community Holiday Dinner. She also serves on the boards of The Life Link, the Wyoming Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Sheridan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation, and she and her husband delivered meals for the Senior Center on Saturday mornings for nine years.

Montano says, “If I am a leader in Sheridan, it is because Sheridan has invested in me as a person.  It feels natural to give back to a community that already has so many good things going for it.”

Key Service Award

This award honors a Chamber member non-profit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County: a non-profit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness. Nominees for the Key Service Award are Compass Center for Families, Dayton School Benefit Club, Rooted in Wyoming, SAGE Community Arts and Sheridan Foster Parent Exchange.

Winner: Compass Center for Families

Started in 1991, Compass Center for Families advances family-centered, child-focused positive relationships by operating several programs that serve children and families through advocacy, education and prevention.

Compass provides court appointed special advocates; a safe, conflict free location for children to visit loved ones in supervised and custodial exchanges; free community parent education classes; the parent liaison program in the five elementary schools in Sheridan County School District 2; and a shared parent mediation program.

Most recently, Compass became new providers for the high fidelity wrap around program to serve families whose children might be struggling with significant mental health or behavioral challenges. In addition, Compass director Susan Carr was recognized in 2017 with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.E.A.C.E. Award for her work to improve services for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims.

According to Carr, “When families are strong and healthy, our community is stronger, and quality of life improves for all who call Sheridan County home.”

Strength of Sheridan Award

This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a long and distinguished tenure in the community (20+ years):  an organization that demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, and demonstrates sustained quality performance. Nominees for the Strength of Sheridan Award are Century 21 BHJ Realty, Inc.; Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns; Marion Daycare & Learning Center; Sheridan College; and Sheridan Physical Therapy.

Winner: Sheridan Physical Therapy

Both from Nevada, Kent and Kati Sherwood fell in love with Sheridan during a trip through the town in 1994. The couple opened Sheridan Physical Therapy in November of that year and an outpatient sister clinic in Buffalo in 2004.

2017 has been a busy year for Sheridan Physical Therapy. They hosted an American Physical Therapy Association-approved continuing education program and added new staff to spear-head their ImpACT testing for club sports and Athletic Training services to Sheridan County School District #1.  Sheridan Physical Therapy also remodeled the clinic this year to provide better space for patients and staff.

Besides their commitment to the business and their patients, the Sherwoods and staff dedicate tremendous time to community nonprofits and other organizations including sponsorship and hosting of the Big Goose Gallop and Grind Run to benefit the Sheridan College Booster Club.

Just a few short years ago, Kent founded the Sheridan Chapter of Halo for Freedom Foundation and organizes events to provide support for wounded warriors who face extraordinarily difficult challenges during the rehabilitation, reintegration and healing process.

Small Business Award (under 20 full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member small business that serves the Sheridan area with excellence: a business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth.  This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community. Nominees for the Small Business Award are Bighorn Pediatric Dentistry; Gallery on Main; Luminous Brewhouse, Inc.; On The Rocks Jewelry, Inc.; and PURENERGY Fitness.

Winner: Luminous Brewhouse, Inc.

The idea for Luminous Brewhouse began in 2011 when two homebrewers decided to start a microbrewery in Sheridan. The pair started their dream business in November 2013 in a small production facility.

Because of its small production, the brewers have the opportunity to create and experiment with many different beers and non-alcoholic root beer. According to owner and daily operations manager Cooley Butler, Luminous strives to be a welcoming place to hang out, relax and enjoy local music talent in a family friendly environment. The business, which has four full-time and four part-time employees, also purchases as much as possible from local and in-state businesses to keep dollars circulating around the local community.

The past year has been one of exciting growth for Luminous as they received the people’s choice Balding spur award for best brewery at the 2017 Suds-n-Spurs Brewfest and moved into a much larger facility that enables them to produce up to four times what they could before. The facility also provides Luminous with its own taproom to showcase its beers, host events and be more involved in the community.

Large Business (20 or more full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member large business that serves the Sheridan area with excellence: a business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth.  This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community. Nominees for the Large Business Award are First Interstate Bank; L&H Industrial, Inc.; Mullinax Concrete & Irrigation; The Sheridan Press; and SWCA Environmental Consultants.

Winner: First Interstate Bank

In 1968, First Interstate Bank founder, Homer Scott, Sr., purchased the Bank of Commerce in Sheridan. He envisioned an exemplary bank with roots that would grow deep in the community. His formula was simple: take the best possible care of your customers, your employees and the place you call home.

Today, First Interstate operates more than 120 offices, along with online and mobile banking services, in six states.  The bank is committed to giving back to the local community through philanthropy, volunteerism, financial education, community development and sponsorships. The bank contributes to many large projects and non-profit organizations throughout Sheridan County, and bank employees visit elementary schools annually to “Teach Children to Save.”

Giving back through donations, event sponsorships, and volunteer efforts is something engrained in every First Interstate employee and is even written into the company’s corporate values. Over the last 25 years, First Interstate BancSystem Foundation has contributed more than $20 million and 154,000 volunteer hours to the places it calls home. And currently Sheridan’s FIB employees and advisory board members proudly serve on approximately 40 local boards and committees.

First Interstate is committed to providing exemplary customer service, exceeding customer expectations with the bank’s products and services, and supporting the communities it serves.

Business Person of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business person who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality, and exhibits innovation in business development. Nominees Business Person of the Year are Zack Cummins, Josh Law, Karen Moody, Jesus Rios and Tammy Yelton-Boone.

Winner: Josh Law

Leadership means having the confidence to speak up and make a change, according to Flood Marketing’s founder and director of strategy Josh Law.

“Leadership is confidence, taking a stand, trial and error, passion, compassion and commitment,” says Law. Law has grown into a highly recognized leader in Sheridan County. An entrepreneur, his focus is developing new businesses and creating new jobs. He created Flood Marketing, a full-service marketing agency based in Sheridan, in 2010.

Law also helps grow young minds by working with youth in Sheridan County.  A longtime member of the Antelope Butte Foundation board, Law currently leads fundraising efforts for the organization. He also serves as a constituent member at Volunteers of America on the Ministry Development Committee.

Besides his nomination for this award, Law counts Flood’s success and growth into managing five national accounts as one of his greatest accomplishments this past year. He says he looks forward to continued success by creating jobs and driving revenue in Sheridan County.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by members of the Chamber. The nominations then went before the Chamber’s Awards Committee, who compiled the final slate of nominees. Voting to determine the winners was done by the membership via on-line ballot.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!



Thank you 2019 Community Partners

Platinum Partners

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